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C6 C7 T1 surgery questions Retired Navy Chief

navy_chiefnnavy_chief Posts: 2
edited 03/20/2015 - 6:33 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
As stated I am a retired Navy Chief I have been complaining about tingling in my hands for past two years. The VA tested me for Carpal Tunnel two years ago and gave me wrist braces which did nothing. My primary health care provider sent me again this year for CTS test showed negative so they sent me in for an MRI for lower back and neck area well not good.

I really like everybody else don’t want surgery other looking at my MRI the cord above C4 and below T1 looks healthy the discs to me look nice and evenly spaced. It almost looks like if I could pull my C6/C7 vertebrae back slightly it would relive the pinch in the spinal cord.

I still have a full range of motion with my neck and do not suffer any pain other than the slight tingling in hands and hands falling asleep sometimes at night?

So do I have other options or is surgery the only option?

Hhere are the MRI results.

C4-5 There is Congenital narrowing of the of the spinal canal. It is minimally narrowed to 9.6 mm. There is no significant neural foraminal narrowing.

C5-6 There is a central and right paracentral disc osteophyte complex which along with the congential narrowing of the spinal canal results in mild spinal canal narrowing. The AP dimension of the spinal canal is narrowed to 8.6mm. In the right paracentral location there is indentation upon the right ventral hemi-cord. There is mild right neural foraminal narrowing due to unconvertebral osteophyte.

C6-7 There is a left paracentral disc extrusion which extends 2.5 mm superior to the parent disc. This disc extrusion indents and mildly compresses the left ventral hemi-cord. No abnormal cord signal intensity is seen in this location. The AP dimension of the spinal canal is moderately narrowed to 7 mm. Congenital narrowing of the spinal canal also contributes to this narrowing. There is mild to moderate left neural foraminal narrowing due to uncovertebral osteophytes.

C7-T1 No spinal canal or neural foraminal narrowing

T2/T3 There is prominent ligamentum flavum hypertrophy noted on the right. This is compressing the right aspect of the spinal canal and likely compressing the right dorsal aspect of the spinal cord. Facet hypertrophy results in mild right neural foranimal narrowing at this level. No axial images were obtained at this level.

Moderate spinal canal at C6/7 due to congential narrowing of the spinal canal with superimposed left paracentral disc extrusion which extends 2.5 mm superior to the parent disc. This disc extrusion is compressing the left ventral aspect of the spinal cord. The AP dimension of the spinal canal is narrowed to 7 mm. Mild to moderate left neural foraminal narrowing due to unconvertebral osteophyte. There is no cord signal abnormality seen. Further consultation with the soine surgeon ASAP is advised for the moderate spinal canal narrowing

Additionally, Further evaluation with a thoracic spine MRI is advised as there is prominent ligamentum flavum hypertrophy on the right at T2/3 which is narrowing the right aspect of the spinal cnal amy be compressing the right dorsal hemicord. Facet hypertrophy results in mild right neural foraminal narrowing at T2/3.

Please be aware that there are no medical professionals on this forum side of the main site. It is also a forum violation for any member to provide another member with any advice regarding diagnostic tests - Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator

However, you can apply this to any test:

  • MILD Treated with conservative measures such as Physical Therapy and mild medications. Many times these situations can be cleared up and the condition can be resolved.
    MODERATE Some more treatments may be needed, ie Spinal Injections, Ultra sound and stronger medications. Always a possibility of more aggressive treatment if the conservative measures don't help
    SEVERE Need for stronger medications. The requirement for surgery may be necessary


  • I'm a Retired Chief also, VA provided for my MRI after the reading, approved me for Neurosurgery evaluation and treatment of neck pain, numbness and tingling in right fingers to include surgical intervention if indicated and 4 office visits.

    I had ACDF Surgery (C6/C7) 10:30 AM, Thursday, March 5, the surgery lasted approximately 2.5 hrs. Reader’s Digest version first – Totally Amazing! I’m yet to experience any pain or pain as result of the surgery has been very minimal.
    Day 1: I was able to eat a normal meal for dinner which included: meatloaf, string beans and wedged white potatoes washed down with water and ginger ale. Although it took 30-40 minutes to slowly eat, I was successful with little soreness in my swallowing. I was a little afraid not to take any pain medication so I had my first pill around 5:00 PM, continued to sip on ice water and Sprite soda, around 11:00 PM finished off two cups of ice-cream and second pain pill at 11:30 PM prior falling to sleep.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Day 2: My Dr. visited my room by 7:40 AM, removed the top badging, drainage tube and reviewed surgical tape that would remain. Checked for pain and soreness and authorized my discharge. I took my third and final pain pill at 7:30 AM and have not required any medication for pain or muscle spasms. ---------------------------------------------------
    I’m going summarize and to skip to (Day 7) March 12, 2015: The grace of God, daily exercise by walking, stationary bike, CPAP machine (sleep apnea), lemon and honey, water and plenty of rest has contributed to what I am experiencing so far as amazing recovery. It’s my hope the switching of my nerving endings in my pectoral and triceps are positive foundational signs for full recovery of muscle atrophy. In closing, the ONLY pain I have experienced; in my chest cavity (esophagus) when swallowing and increase in my heart rate exercising.

    You have to determine what is best for your healthy living and thank you fellow Chief for your serving and commitment. Now serve your family with the best of you in great health. Regards Chief
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