Anyone know what Protrusion/Herniation MM is enough to cause pain etc?

Anyone know what Protrusion/Herniation MM is enough to cause pain etc?

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ButterflyPain
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Anyone know what Protrusion/Herniation MM is enough to cause pain etc?

I was wondering if anyone knew what millimeter of a cervical protrusion/herniation would start to give you pain or warrants perhaps seeing a neurosurgeon for? One of my biggest is 3mm. I just want to make sure my neurologist is correct by saying I don't really have anything that warrants a visit to a NS. Eventually I might want to see one just for an opinion, not for surgery though.

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cla_gua
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I my neck is very similar to

I my neck is very similar to yours. My first mri read 2mm protrusion on c5-6 and c6-7. The latest mri read 2mm protrusion on c5-6 and minimal bulge at c6-7 and c7-t1. I took both mris to ortho surgeon and he said they were large bulges. Who knows.

But to go back to the 2 to 3 mm protrusions. When I first had the injury in July 07 I only had sever muscle spasms. The first time my hand went numb was in Nov 07. I am now experiencing nerve pain one and a half years later. I've been told I am not surgical. My fear is that it is going to spread to my other disc.

Get another opinion and see another Dr. Your pain is important and you need to feel that you are being taken care of. I've gone to two different pain drs and a great ortho surgeon.
Clarissa

abenaki
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No Real Answer

There is no real answer to how much is too much. Each person is different and it more depends on how you are feeling. If your symptoms warrant, then you go for another opinion and get a neuro surgeon to look at your tests. It is really very individual. Also, everyones pain is different and that too determines what you do.

My lower back and my cervical spine look identical on an MRI yet I don't have any leg pain but lots of lower pack pain. On my neck the pain got so severe that I had to have surgery and man did that make a tremendous difference. I immediately felt better and still do.

So as I said, it is more individual I think. Figure what you feel you can live with and what you can't and don't let one doctor dictate anything. Second opinions are always a great idea in these instances.

Good luck!

Gary

ButterflyPain
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hi

cla_gua wrote:
I my neck is very similar to yours. My first mri read 2mm protrusion on c5-6 and c6-7. The latest mri read 2mm protrusion on c5-6 and minimal bulge at c6-7 and c7-t1. I took both mris to ortho surgeon and he said they were large bulges. Who knows.

But to go back to the 2 to 3 mm protrusions. When I first had the injury in July 07 I only had sever muscle spasms. The first time my hand went numb was in Nov 07. I am now experiencing nerve pain one and a half years later. I've been told I am not surgical. My fear is that it is going to spread to my other disc.

Get another opinion and see another Dr. Your pain is important and you need to feel that you are being taken care of. I've gone to two different pain drs and a great ortho surgeon.
Clarissa

Wow, thanks for responding. Yeah, for me first I started having tingling and numb sensations in my hands, then I had pain in the left side of my neck a month or so later when I'd lay on my right side at night. Then shortly after I started getting these pressing head pains on the left top of my head. Sometimes the headaches would come and go. I thought it was anxiety or depression, although neither has ever had physical symptoms, and to my knowledge I had never been depressed before.
Then a month or two later my neck was tight and hurt all the time, and I had head pain all the time. Now I have a lot of stiff feeling, pain, pain down my left arm, weaker left hand, and had some left leg trouble. Along with the same head pain that feels similar to my other pains. Oh and I had a lot of muscle spasms that came up on the emg I had early this year.
My neurologist has asked me if I've fallen, and at the time I was like no. I had told him though I had a trauma birth with forceps and had temporary left facial paralysis and have nerve damage on the left lid so it droops lower than the other and it also changed my eye color. Aside from that I remembered I was in a car accident 13 years ago, and I just remember that I briefly passed out and my whole body hurt for a couple days. I also fell in a bathroom after fainting from a flu shot at age 11. I don't know if those would have something to do with it. I also danced for years.

Anyhow I am really leaning towards going to see a neurosurgeon or ortho as my neuro has been treating me for 10 months and nothing has really improved aside from my depression.

ButterflyPain
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Thanks

abenaki wrote:
There is no real answer to how much is too much. Each person is different and it more depends on how you are feeling. If your symptoms warrant, then you go for another opinion and get a neuro surgeon to look at your tests. It is really very individual. Also, everyones pain is different and that too determines what you do.

My lower back and my cervical spine look identical on an MRI yet I don't have any leg pain but lots of lower pack pain. On my neck the pain got so severe that I had to have surgery and man did that make a tremendous difference. I immediately felt better and still do.

So as I said, it is more individual I think. Figure what you feel you can live with and what you can't and don't let one doctor dictate anything. Second opinions are always a great idea in these instances.

Good luck!

Gary

Thanks Gary!
Yeah, I figured everyone is different. I just haven't been told or have any knowledge of how big a protusion is to warrant pain. My dad is like 3 mm doesn't seem that big. Although I'm thinking the space in the neck isn't that big to begin with. Plus Ive been told I have a long slender neck and those types tend to get injured more often.
I'm going to have my neuro go over the mri with me as to what each thing means as he didn't do it last time, and as far as I know didn't have a print out in my file till I called requesting one for myself.

cla_gua
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Butterfly- My opinion to

Butterfly- My opinion to everyone is to always take your MRI films with you to your Dr's visits. I've been told the same 2mm isn't a lot. I am sure afraid to know what more than 2mm feels like.

I am basically playing the waiting game. And living my life in the mean time as best as possible. All my Drs have said that 2 mm is not casing any nerve damage and they won't do surgery on me also because I am 29 yrs old.

Accupuncture has worked great for my muscles. Hopefully Friday I will be getting trigger point injections. My PM Dr. is always cancelling. I do like him but I think I am going to have to can him if he cancels again.

What medical treatments have you had to help you with your neck? Do you feel pain everyday or does it come and go? I feel muscle and nerve pain everyday on and off.

Clarissa

ButterflyPain
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hi

cla_gua wrote:
Butterfly- My opinion to everyone is to always take your MRI films with you to your Dr's visits. I've been told the same 2mm isn't a lot. I am sure afraid to know what more than 2mm feels like.

I am basically playing the waiting game. And living my life in the mean time as best as possible. All my Drs have said that 2 mm is not casing any nerve damage and they won't do surgery on me also because I am 29 yrs old.

Accupuncture has worked great for my muscles. Hopefully Friday I will be getting trigger point injections. My PM Dr. is always cancelling. I do like him but I think I am going to have to can him if he cancels again.

What medical treatments have you had to help you with your neck? Do you feel pain everyday or does it come and go? I feel muscle and nerve pain everyday on and off.

Clarissa

Yeah, I haven't gotten the films, just a printed out report. I haven't even thought to get them from the place I had them done.
Yeah, I am with you if 2mm feels like heck, what does anymore feel like...Not a comforting thought.
Yeah, I am only 26, but was 25 when this started. My neuro thought my x ray would come back clean but it didn't. Surprise, surprise. I mean do these doctors just think we go there because we feel great?
I'm sorry to hear about your doc cancelling on you. The only reason I go to mine still is because my mom has gone to him for 20 years for her MS, so he is trusted by our family.

Treatments...I had PT for 9 sessions...They did heat wrap around my neck, then Ultrasound and some exercises. I think it helped a bit towards the end...I've had the shots three times, but they haven't really worked...I'm on a muscle relaxer , and tylenol with codiene for this, and cymbalta, lexapro, klonopin for my depression and anxiety. The anti-inflam doesn't really work for me. I do ice my neck, and that works, sometimes I heat it and that helps, but once I take it off it is back to point A again. Walking around at school helps the upper back pain but not really the neck or head pain. It has improved, but it does take steps back here and there. I have a cervical pillow , but am not sure if it is firm enough. I also have a soft collar I wear sometimes.
What treatments have helped you?

cla_gua
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I started off with physical

I started off with physical therapy and traction (where neck is pulled to try and to place back hernaition) three times a week. It really helped me that is pt.

At the time I only had muscle spasms. I got two epidural shots on Dec 07 to help tingling in arms and nerve pains. It did nothing for me but made my muscle worse.

During all of this I was seeing a chiropractor. To be honest I really feel it was a waste of my time but never did I feel he hurt me or made my situation worse. I continued to do my exercises I learned at pt.

In January 08 I changed my chiropractor to another and started to do traction again for about 7 weeks three times a week. Here is where things went a little wrong. My educated opinion is that this chiro made c7-t1 bulge. I remember sitting at the computer and my shoulder blades started to burn really bad. This had never happened before until that one day after I had an adjustment with him. After that I stopped going to him and just really didn't do anything but my exercises I learned at pt.

My GP scheduled a nerve conduction test and emg I think that is what it is called. Everything came back normal except the trapezius muscle. He referred me to another PM Dr. He is the one I am still going to.

I have also tried accupuncture.I love the results. It works great on my muscle spasms. That is why I think these trigger point injections are going to work great.

That is about it. What seems to work great is exercising. I just need to watch out that I don't over do it. Losing weight and taking vitamins and supplements for my spine have also worked.

I was 28 years old when this all happened. It sucks but it really has made me appreciate life. I wish no one had to go through this. I really never even thought twice about my spine and now that is all I think about. It is kind of funny that now when I see or meet new people I always look at their necks. I am going into the medical field and boy are there so many nurses with scars on their necks from cervical surgeries.

Don't ever feel that you are alone and that no one else understands you. We all know what your are going through and will try and help answer your questions with our experiences. This forum has really helped me get through the toughest part of my life.

Best wishes,
Clarissa

aetown (not verified)
Title: Member
herniation

My herniation is broad based, transverse dimention of 12mm and 6mm into the spinal canal. Lets just say it was a very frustrating and painful summer, but now its October, Ive worked with the Chiro since June, had all the xrays, spiral CT scan, MRI, met with an NS twice, and all I can say is my symptoms are improving! As long as they continue to improve I will not have fusion. Its frustrating when the FDA says they dont know the long term effects of disc replacement, when they KNOW that fusion usually results in more fusion later on! of course everyone is different and not everyone would have to go that route. Im holding out hope that eventually the United States will start offering a more widespread option of disc replacement, Id rather take my chances with that then getting fused! Good luck to you, its definatley a painful and frustrating road for all of us!!

Patricia
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mm's not really a determining factor

Two years ago I had asked my PT about nerve impingement as it results in pain vs numbness vs tingling vs weakness. She told me that the result (symptoms) were dependent on how and where the nerve root was being compressed. The nerve provides all those senses, so the part of the nerve that is being touched determines what your symptoms are. The measurement (mm's) of a herniation doesn't necessarily determine which symptoms you will have...unless of course the herniation is so bad it completely compresses the nerve to stop all sensation. Many people have herniations with no symptoms..this has been studied many times over. Also, where the disk herniates will be a factor in determining your symptoms. They don't all herniate in the same direction. As mentioned in the other posts above, the symptoms are as individual as the person.

ButterflyPain
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hey

cla_gua wrote:
I started off with physical therapy and traction (where neck is pulled to try and to place back hernaition) three times a week. It really helped me that is pt.

At the time I only had muscle spasms. I got two epidural shots on Dec 07 to help tingling in arms and nerve pains. It did nothing for me but made my muscle worse.

During all of this I was seeing a chiropractor. To be honest I really feel it was a waste of my time but never did I feel he hurt me or made my situation worse. I continued to do my exercises I learned at pt.

In January 08 I changed my chiropractor to another and started to do traction again for about 7 weeks three times a week. Here is where things went a little wrong. My educated opinion is that this chiro made c7-t1 bulge. I remember sitting at the computer and my shoulder blades started to burn really bad. This had never happened before until that one day after I had an adjustment with him. After that I stopped going to him and just really didn't do anything but my exercises I learned at pt.

My GP scheduled a nerve conduction test and emg I think that is what it is called. Everything came back normal except the trapezius muscle. He referred me to another PM Dr. He is the one I am still going to.

I have also tried accupuncture.I love the results. It works great on my muscle spasms. That is why I think these trigger point injections are going to work great.

That is about it. What seems to work great is exercising. I just need to watch out that I don't over do it. Losing weight and taking vitamins and supplements for my spine have also worked.

I was 28 years old when this all happened. It sucks but it really has made me appreciate life. I wish no one had to go through this. I really never even thought twice about my spine and now that is all I think about. It is kind of funny that now when I see or meet new people I always look at their necks. I am going into the medical field and boy are there so many nurses with scars on their necks from cervical surgeries.

Don't ever feel that you are alone and that no one else understands you. We all know what your are going through and will try and help answer your questions with our experiences. This forum has really helped me get through the toughest part of my life.

Best wishes,
Clarissa

Thank you Clarissa!
Yes, this forum is a very nice place to communicate with others who know what you are talking about. I am going back to PT soon, I hope that helps me and reduces some of the pain for a while.

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