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Neuroforaminal narrowing

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello all..a question please..as per my last MRI, I show to have moderate to severe bilateral neuroforaminal narrowing at c6-7 and asymmetric disc protrusion at c5-6. My question is this... can a problem at this cervical level cause any problems lower in the body ( feet/legs ), and if you have this narrowing in one place , are you prone to have the same narrowing problems at other parts of the spine.



  • Hi Mark;

    All I know is that it depends on what nerve is being compressed, and that determines what radicular pain you experience. Not all people are the same, and react differently, in that some people experience no pain at all, while others experience acute pain. If you browse through this site, it will actually tell you what problems may or may not arise from problems at the different disc levels, check under neck pain, and go from there.
    I wish you good luck, and great health!!!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • From what I have read, symptoms can be anywhere in the body below the affected level. So yes it is possible. And I think that if the naarrowing is from DDD or arthritis, it is likely to also be in other parts of the body. This is just my understanding, I'm NOT a dr, just a pt. :))( Have you had MRI's of your Thoracic or Lumbar? Might help pinpoint where your pain is coming from. Good luck.

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  • Neural foraminal narrowing refers to the little openings on the side of your spinal column where you nerves exit from the spinal cord(peripheral nerves)One on each side i.e. right and left. They control sensation and movement of your limbs. The most common places for this to happen in the cervical spine is at c5-6, c6-7, but can happen at other levels.

    The foraminal narrowing can cause nerve root irritation or compression leading to radicular pain(stabbing, burning, aching pain) on that side of your body or both sides if bad enough. Usually it is myelopathy that causes strange symptoms in parts of the body that are not involved with the peripheral nerves affected at the level of your foraminal narrowing.

    Myelopathy is caused from compression of the spinal cord itself, and has it's own seperate set of symptoms. Some times it can be both radiculopathy and myelopathy = radiculomyelopathy. This is both foraminal narrowing and spinal cord compression. I hope this helps.
  • i have the narrowing at c5-6 and c6-7 their the ones that scare me about my spinal cord. what options do we have for that problem
  • Hello,
    I have bilateral foraminal narrowing at c4/5 c5/6.I had injections done in October of this year and have had very little relief.I don't want to scare you but, i was just told by my neurosurgon last week that i need a Decompression and Fusion asap. I am very nervous about the surgery but at the same time i'm more afraid of waiting much longer.
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  • Hi, My neurosurgeon said that any pain from the narrowing went like this: C5-6 from the upper arm to the elbow; C6-7 the "trigger finger." He was able to clarify to me why I had pain from my upper arm to my elbow, then more pain in the wrist and arm (with NO pain in the forearm).
  • Hi,

    Just thought I'd jump on here and say, my 30 years of Cervical Spine degeneration and the eventual progressive radiculopathy symptoms were:

    C-2/3 facial, cranial, headaches
    C-4/5, C-5/6 hand numbness, weak wrists

    With severe DDD at 3 levels and multiple bone spurs encroaching (not impinging) spinal cord surface I experienced 3 months prior to surgical intervention ACDF whole left side body numbness (loss of feeling/sensitivity)

    Currently, have witnessed what C-5/6, C-6/7 can do because of severe DDD at C-6/7 onto T-1/2 with neural foraminal narrowing bilaterally but more severe on the left:

    C-5/6 and C-6/7

    Progression of both hands fingertip numbness constant, positioning hand function, hand pain and numbness;

    Further Progression left arm weaker in strength, left hand going numb; left arm neuro-muscular burning pain flare-ups, whole hand weak and disabled; fingers stiff

    Progression in 6 months after 5 flare-ups left arm/hand, ulnar nerve damage neuro-muscular dysfunction, pinkie, ring and middle finger lost strength and coordination; wrist weak and painful; muscle atrophy and loss of muscle tone visible lower arm elbow to hand; pinkie, ring curling and loss of function/coordination, whole hand grip and function went from moderate to severe inability to function.

    No radiculopathy symptoms in legs

    Nice to read each other's reports of actual physical symptoms and C-spine level of degeneration.

    I also understand with regard to "our wiring" spinal cord, nerve branching and nerve root junctions it can be an overlap with regard to joint levels in the spine.

    Have a good day, spine friends !

  • cervical probs for 30 yrs too!
    mine have been symptomatic since start and progressive deterioation resulting in many problems.
    C1- T1 and also thoracic (dont no which levels in thoracic , not scanned)
    also lumbar for 20- 25 yrs with many probs

    its very overwhelming

  • I had fusions at C5-6 and still had pain. Only later did the doc look at the back of my neck (which always had hurt me) and we did a foraminotomy from C4-6. THAT helped me more than the fusion with plating, although that was needed, too. I still have some pain and radiculopathy, but nothing compared to what I lived with before.

    Look it up and ask the orthopedist/neurosurgeon LOTS and LOTS of questions before undergoing surgery that makes you nervous.

    Good luck and I hope you feel better and stronger each day.
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