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Have you received many varying professional opinions pertaining to Cervical Stenosis?

I received the gamut of diagnosis of the severity from mild to severe with  an equal number of varying proposed interventions to include:  no surgery, arthroplasty, to ACDF


No consensus amongst several highly qualified neurosurgeons :(


What's a layman to do?


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Comments

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,177

    All of that should be clear in the MRI report.  Then based on that, there could be different opinions on how to proceed.  A lot depends on the degree of stenosis

    All about Spinal Stenosis

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Thanks, Ron


    But the doctors are looking at the same imaging and give varying opinions from mild stenosis to severe and no surgery to ACDF.



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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,177

    I can understand that when doctors look at the actual images, they may have slightly different opinions regarding the severity.

    But the MRI report spells out in detail if the condition is mild, moderate or severe.

    Still, when you have different medical opinions and action plans, it is wise to seek another opinion.  You always want to have two medical professionals who agree on the condition and agree on the action plan

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Literally a dozen neurosurgeon opinions looking at the same imagery.

    From their reports:  mild stenosis, moderate stenosis, severe stenosis

    Proposed intervention vary from:  no surgery, arthroplasty, ACDF, arthroplasty or ACDF (my choice) 

    Absolutely no consensus.  I also thought their was a metric applied to determine the degree of stenosis (narrowing).


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,177

    Thats totally amazing that the number of medical professionals you have mentioned and they are all looking at the same report and image and they come up with an unbelievable range in the condition.   Not for nothing, but I'd have a very hard time dealing with any of those doctors, when they cant seem to come up with the same conclusions.

    There are specific numbers that the medical field uses in determining the degree of stenosis.

    These are averages

    Lumbar

    15mm and 27mm    When its below 12mm, the condition of spinal stenosis is present, when it drops under 8mm, the condition becomes moderate to severe

    Cervical

    8.8mm and 12.4,,   When its below 6mm, the condition of cervical stenosis is present, below 4mm , its considered severe.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • That sucks.  I know how confusing and lonely this can be.  I’ve had a similar experience and I’ll share mine in the hopes that it helps.  I can’t tell you what to do and your mileage may vary from mine.  

    Surgery as option for me was not suggested for about 2 years by my chiropractor no less.  I had 3 herniated disc and 1 bulging in neck.  And one herniated disc in my mid and lower back.  All from being hit by a car.  I started the long slog through surgeons after a heat wave in Nee York jumped my pain levels through the roof.  My back constantly felt like it was on fire and at this point it hurt to touch it, which never happened before.

    I was diagnosed with stenosis, osteoarthritis and all the other not so fun stuff that comes with a spine injury.  I could barely be on my feet for 20 minutes at a time.  My pain medication was increased to no avail.

    I ended up seeing 5 different kinds of surgeons.  Kind you I passed all the strength checks they did.  The first surgeon wanted to do a 2 lvl AC/DC.  The second surgeon told me my MRIs looked like shit and wouldn’t do surgery on me.  The third one didn’t even bother to see me and passed me to his pain doctor.  The fourth one told me I needed a 3 lvl ACDF because I tried everything else.  The fifth surgeon finally asked the right questions and had me do the toe to heel walk in a line.  I barely made it one step before I fell on the ground.  Turns out my symptoms where severe loss of balance.  This surgeon also recommended a 3 lvl acdf.  

    I went with this surgeon and the 3 lvl acdf.  While it didn’t cure all my chronic pain, it did relieve the intense, crippling burning pain.  I have some more quality of life now but I still need constant rest and medication.  Heating pads hello too.

  • Only you know how bad your pain is. Normally once diagnosed they will refer to a physical therapist. If that doesnt work then they may try an epidural or rfa . They will also suggest chiropractic or other forms of alternative medicine. Medication will be offered. Surgery is usually a last resort. And most surgeons do not want to operate. If you are in severe pain you have to let them know that. Only you know youre body. This was my experience. Dont ever give up! Good luck

  • Pain is secondary to functionality for me.

    I have bilateral scapular dyskinesia and feel like the "rubber band" man.

    There's little doubt my disc at C4/5 is diseased.  Big discussion on whether surgery would address my instability issues.




  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 795

    BOWTIE - gross cervical instability at C4/C5 was the clinical diagnosis that was given to me by my neurosurgeon as justification for  my third ACDF this past January.  He would never explain to me what went into that diagnosis, expect to say that I passed the criteria.  All that I knew was that my neck was very unstable prior to that surgery.  Now I'm fused from C2 to C7. 

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