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Staying Calm

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,512
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello Everyone

I am new to this forum, but have read many post about cord compression and neck pain. I am 42 years old and work as a teacher and commercial fisherman. I have been having neck pain on and off for about three years now. Boy was I surprised to read my MRI report.

1. Protrusion centrally and to the left at C4-C5. This causes mass effect on the ventral lateral aspect of the cord. (I would call it mild based on what I have read)

2. Mild annular bulging at C3-C4. This does not cause mass effect on adjacent neural elements.

3. Marked disc space narrowing at C5-C6.

4. Reversal of cervical lordosis consistent with muscle spasm

5. The cord is normal and the study is otherwise unremarkable.

My symptoms include increasing neck pain as the day progresses. My neck feels good in the morning. However, I have been having some mild numbness in my left foot upon waking which goes away as the day goes on. I have also had some pretty severe muscle aches and stiffness in my hamstrings over the last 2 weeks.

I went to see a very respected Orthopedic doctor in town of 40 some years, I truly trust him. I did not make a big deal out of my lower extremity symptoms as they are mild compared to my neck pains. Nevertheless, I did make him aware of the symptoms. I have not experienced urination, bowel or motor problems. He told me to go to PT and work through it. I agree with him for the most part.

I have not been on any meds and taken about 30 Ibuprofens. I feel fortunate at this point compared to some of the stories I have read on this forum.

I guess my concern is based on some of the posts I have read about cord compression and the fact that I have a mass effect or cord compression at C4-C5. I am trying to stay calm but not sure if I should do something else about this in addition to PT as the protrusion is hitting my cord and could cause spinal cord damage. I think I can learn to live with the pain at this point and hope it gets better. Any insight would be much appreciated.

I wish everyone the best on this forum.



  • please be carefull of all the ibuprofin
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • That is 30 Ibuprofen in the last month.
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  • maybe u might ask your doc to recomend a ns for a second opinion? i dont know but i think the finding always lists everlittle detail and maybe some of the findings arent much of anything causing your problems. wish i had answers for u,only to stay close to your docs to get answers. good luck.
  • I agree, it may be time to have a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon have a look at your MRI if only to give you some peace of mind. They are so much more highly trained at looking at these studies and making determinations about the spine, nerves and spinal cord.

    Paul is right, lower extremity symptoms are nothing to ignore. When you see the doc you have to tell him ALL your symptoms, even if they aren't particularly "painful".

    Good luck to you and let us know how you're doing.

  • Hello Everyone

    First of all, thank you for your wisdom and input it has turned out to be very beneficial. I decided to go back and see my regular Doc to request an L-spine MRI before I went to the NS.

    I went to the imaging center this morning. I have not received a radiologist report yet but was able to get the images from the imaging center when I departed. I am basically doing my own diagnosis here, but it appears I have a moderate bulge at L5-S. I find this hard to say, but if it is in fact what the radiologist report says too, it is good news (maybe).

    I think I have a chance to fix both my neck and lower body with PT if my lower extremity symptoms are not related to my mild cord compression at C4-C5. I have been experiencing some unbelievable pain in my hamstrings along with some foot numbness since I lost wrote. My hamstrings are so tight I think they might explode. I spent all night Thursday walking around in a circle listening to Van Morrison. The meds the doc gave my helped, slept 9 hours last night and did not get up once.

    Hope for a report from the radiologist Monday and back to the Doc. See if he thinks I need to go to the PT the NS or both. I am very hopeful as I still have some years of dad duty in front of me.

    I truly wish everyone else good fortune with their spine problems. It seems like we humans are in need of some evolutionary upgrades to our spinal construction.

    Regards, Jeff

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  • Hello Everyone

    Received the MRI report.

    1. No bulges, protrusions or herniation's in L/spine.

    2. Desiccation of disc material without herniation at level L5-1.

    3. Questionable congenital cyst involving left L5 pedicle with possible pars defect in this reason.

    Still no clear answer "are the problems in my legs from the herniation in my neck of from one or both of the deficiency in the lumbar. Need to get to the NS.

    Regard Jeff

    Thanks Jeff

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