This is my first post here. I'm a 44 male, have been experiencing intermittent tingling and mild pain in my left hand, forearm, and shoulder blade. My GP suspected pinched nerve and originally sent me to PT, which didn't really help. Went back for an MRI, which shows fairly large cervical disc herniations at C5-6 and C6-7. One is pressing on the left nerve root, which is likely the cause of that arm tingling, but the other is larger, and pushing against my spinal cord to the side (with some signs of cord flattening).
I have no apparent symptoms from the larger herniation.
After the MRI, I saw a random physical rehab doctor at a local hospital. He almost immediately brought a neurosurgeon who happened to be there into the room. Both suggested I consider two level fusion or disc replacement surgery, and warned me about paralysis risks if I don't do anything about the herniations. They did not advise PT given the size of the larger herniation.
I was floored, as I was not ready at all for such a diagnosis from what seemed like fairly minor symptoms.
With my head spinning, I did some research and decided to get more opinions. Got an appointment at a reputable orthopedics center, associated with a university hospital. The doctor I saw is a very experienced orthopedic surgeon that specializes in neck and spine.
He gave me a much more comprehensive physical examination, including a number of neurological tests, which were all negative.
His assessment is that because I have only mild symptoms, and no signs of neurologic deficit, I should not consider surgery. He also downplayed the risk of sudden paralysis, and said that it's possible that the herniation will remain asymptomatic or shrink over time, and the best thing to do is to just avoid activities like kickboxing and keep an eye on symptoms.
He did request a follow-on MRI with contrast, as the first MRI shows some "streaks" on my spinal cord, and he wants to eliminate some remote possibilities of other issues. So, I'll be seeing him again later this week for a more final/conclusive assessment.
I thought I'd share, in case anyone finds this helpful with their situation, or has any advice based on similar experience.********************************************************************************************************* Welcome to Spine-Health
One of the most important things that need members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.
So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.
Here are some questions that you should answer:
- When did this first start?
. Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
. Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
. Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
. Physical Therapy
. Ultrasound / Tens unit
. Spinal Injections
. Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
. Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
. How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
. Name of Medication
. How long have you been using this?
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?
Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.
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I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ
There you will find much information that will
- Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
- Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
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Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide
- Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
- Medical advice of any kind
- Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc
What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.
It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have areI’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?
Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.Specific comments :Personal Opinion, not medical advice :
--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 06/30/15 12:27 est