I am a 34 yo father of the world's most wonderful and amazing 2 1/2 you little girl. I had a MRI done on 5/6/09 due to arm pain from what was later identified as herniated disc at the C5-6. On my MRI impression my Radiologist noted that there is a syrinx at my C6 and it is 5mm long and 2.6 mm in diameter and that he feels it is "clinically insignificant."
My wife and I had an appt with a local neurosurgeon on 5/24/09 to discuss treatment options for my herniated disc. He reviewed the MRI with us and showed us the herniated disc and casually mentioned the syrinx. He said "this is not a problem now, but could be in the future." My wife and I exchanged quizzical glances at one another and asked him about it, but he just continued to move on to treatment options re: my disc. Which consequently is going to require surgery. I had a 2nd opinion by another neurosurgeon in another part of our state (Maryland) and he to was not all that concerned with the syrinx. Consequently, he is recommending surgery for the disc herniation as well.
For the past month and a 1/2 I have been dwelling on the dicectomy that I am going to have and have been ignoring the syrinx thinking it is not a big deal. However, something the 2nd neurosurgeon said really got me wondering and doing some research. I asked him if he could just remove the syrinx when he did the discectomy since he was already going to be inside my neck. He stated that the syrinx is inside my spine and in order to do that he would have to cut my spinal cord open. Now logically ANYTHING inside your spine that is not supposed to be there is a bad thing. So I started doing some research online and what I have discovered has absolutely scared me to death!!!! It appears that since I have this syrinx, I now have Syringomyelia. It is asymptomatic right now, but it appears inevitable that it will grow, elongate and cause me horrible debilitating problems in the future. The Radiologist was passe' when he spoke about it during my MRI results session with him on 5/6/09. He casually said that it is most likely something I was born with and was an abnormality. No real concern in his voice.
Am I over reacting to this syrinx or am I dead on in my fears and concerns for my future. I am sitting at work right now shaking so bad because I am upset that I can barely type!! I am grieving for my future and the life I wanted with my daughter and the planned additional children my wife were going to have. I don't know if it is fair to have additional children if the burden of caring for them could possibly fall solely on my wife. I am upset over the fact that treatment for this disorder appears very sucky at best with not a lot of hope for a normal quality of life. This is NOT how I envisioned my life being and how I would spend my future in pain and with back surgery after back surgery. I dont want to stop working!! I don't want to have to limit my activities! I want to coach my daughter in sports, I want to ride bikes with her and teach her to ride a horse and throw a baseball and shoot a basketball. I don't want to be a burden to my wife! I want to live to see my grandchildren and enjoy them!!! I am so upset right now I could just cry, in fact I am tearing up as I try and type.
I was dreading this discectomy surgery so much and fretting over the dangers of it, but it seems like a "walk in the park" compared to what I am potentially facing right now!!!
Today I have re-scheduled an appt for 1pm to speak with my Radiologist about the MRI and the syrinx finding additionally I have contacted Johns Hopkins for a consult. Initially, I was going to go there for a 3rd treatment opinion on my herniated disc, but now it appears it will be to manage a possible Syringomyelia disorder.
You know I refuse to let this alter my life, I am a fighter and a survivor!!! But I am so crestfallen over the possibilities that face me, right now I do not know how much ego strength I have to face this battle. I am scared to death and beyond upset!! ANY thoughts, advice or experience anyone could add to this would be of comfort and beneficial.
Thank everyone in advance for their time,