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Herniated disc with symptoms of myelopathy

SS251SSS251 Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am new here. I have a cervical disc herniation at C-5-6 with annular tear abuting spinal cord the herniation is a central posterior and it is right in middle 0f spinal cord. There was only a 9mm stenosis of the central canal from MRI There was no flex extension MRI which I feel is necessary due to symptoms I am having. I have neck pain,bilateral shoulder pain, numbness and tingling in "left" arm and hand,but pain in the "right" arm to forearm. Terrible balance problems , stiff legs,one leg, left will just kind of give out on me when walking at times, not always. HIP pain,sacro pain, but really never any lumbar pain ,like right where lumbar is, so odd and from research it points to mylopathy but the cord in a STILL shot of MRI only shows abuting?


  • Hi SS251,

    First let me say HI and welcome to spine-health. Have a look around. There are some really good articles besides the forums. What have your doctors told you regarding the myelopathy. What is the course of treatment they are suggesting in reference to your care? As most will tell you the only way to stop the progression of myelopathy is the surgery route. The surgery is not done to reverse the condition but rather to avoid further damage. You may want to check out the video on Radiculopathy and see if that matches any of the symptoms you are having. Cervical stenosis can cause weak legs and a heavy feeling in them as well. When you had the MRI done of your cervical did they also do one of your Lumbar spine?

    Anyway just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health and look forward to reading more of your post. Take care.
  • I was wondering the same thing? Did they mri your lumbar or sacral area as well because maybe you have issues in those areas as well.I know when they did my lumbar nothing really showed the first time it was done and my problems were blamed on my cervical area.Its just been in the last year that i've showed problems in my lower back.
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  • Thank you for the response all.

    I am in the medical field and just had a lumbar MRI yesterday, that has not been dictated yet.The films themselves in looking at the discs in proportion tot he spinal canal of the lumbar did not look as though anything was really going on there. I had asked that the sacro area also have MRI as this area is what really bothers me, instead of say low back pain, it is the hips mostly,however only a lumbar scan was ordered.

    The person ordering the test said they were not ordering sacro MRI because unless they felt like I had cancer there or something it would not show much , just tendons and ligaments. Well in my opinion it was needed due to the work i was doing and the enormous stress placed on the sacro area. Trust me my job duties are detailed and push heavy weight from front and side all day that twisted my HIPS enormously! Which is what obviously injured my cervical region.

    I just feel like the cervical herniation abuting cord is not compressing cord enough to have this many symptoms of legs, balance and hips, but who knows since it is central/posterior and with flex and extention when moving maybe is compressing further then we know since the MRI was standard when it revealed this pathology( meaning no flex and extention views).

    I was injured over time due to my JOB. Saw 1rst Workers comp walking clinic Doctor who felt since so many areas effected that I needed to see rheumatoid Doctor, so went to a rheumatoid Doctor under workers comp and he ordered XRAY's. Full spine , THUMB, and rib area, all XRAY showed was mild degenerative changes in the ONE SACRO ( left ) that they did. I may have should have explained the HIP issue better where its the literal RIGHT sacro bone so painful, yet my left lower hip that gives out and both legs heavy and buttock pain ? No one takes time to listen these WC visits last 5 minutes! So the LAST WC Doctor sent to looked at the dictated reports of all only ,never looked at films and said there was nothing wrong with me and if my moving heavy equipment all day is bothering me to QUIT the JOB.

    I asked for a one time change in DR , they took too long according to law so saw a Doctor on my own and this Doctor ordered MRI of cervical which showed the central posterior herniated disc with tear abuting spinal cord as well as a thumb injury ( de quivarens) a known related injury in my field. Let me just say too I weigh 110-115 lbs and that pushing 4 times my weight all day and moving heavy furniture to perform the exams I did at each patients bedside, as opposed to MOST patients being brought to the heavy equipment by transporters is a known injury producing duty, yet they would not listen to reason, even though our job field is listing at OSHA and lays this info out clearly! My leg would have so much force when pulling the machine from the side ( at times when my neck would hurt way to bad to push and turn equipment from front) that my sock would totally twist of the foot of whatever side i was pulling from. There were days I could barely walk due to the hip issues and my NECK killed me constantly. My job after getting the machine to a patients room involved both arms and shoulders to be abducted for 30 minutes or longer on each exam and then after that push/pull the monster equipment back to lab to download images and then back to more patients rooms all day and REPEAT, all the while dying in pain!

    and to hear that last workers comp doctor without EVER ordering an MRI look at me with his eyes and say I LOOK fine so nothing must be wrong and if pushing machine is bothering me to find a new job, ticks me off. There is more to his behavior but I've said enough already. Just want some answers and to HEAL, this is destroying my life.

    I was fired because my employer said they would not accommodate a non related work injury nor any medical/disability.

    However I and all workers only needed transporters to bring patients to a LAB to have their exams like most Hospitals provide knowing that doing it this way will prevent injury, even the occupational therapist at their won hospital warned them!

    I also want to make mention that LAST WC doctor when learning the machine weighed 500lbs 4 times my weight said {Well so what , it has wheels!)

    So does my car, but I don't push it I drive it and when pedestrians jump out in front of you I did not have to get and try to stop the force of a rolling car so as not to hit them like would happen in the hallways at work, you would get the machine speed up pushing or pulling or hard as you could to get it moving but then have to try and stop that force on a dime so as to not run over patients or people in the hallway that darted out in front of you , severe whiplash all day long, its no wonder, but no one can see this? Does this make sense to any here?

    just so frustrated to be in this position and there is nothing i can do , my work and now these WC Doctors have dictated my life.
  • It sounds like you need to hire an attorney that specializes in WC law.

    Good luck,

  • Went to see a different workers comp Doctor under my one time change ( first Doctor merely looked at me with his eyes and did not touch me said he could see nothing wrong and so i asked for one time change. THIS Doctor did not even want to look at the MRI I had recently ordered by a private DOCTOR , but then agreed to look, he comes back and says well I just don't see why you would be having pain. I said seriously, you looked at my MRI and come back to tell me you can't see a reason for me having pain, he said yes. He said well you have a disc bulge but its just interfering with the spinal fluid, bot the spinal cord, so I said are you telling me you SEE spinal fluid in between my disc and the cord itself, he said yes. ( I KNOW BETTER!) I know how to read these things, trust me. So I go with him to view and I point out the sagital image where I have herniated disc and there is no spinal fluid to be seen as the disc sits right on the spinal cord,I then look at the axial images as well ,both show same thing,but the sagital also shows the TEAR. I said you see spinal fluid anywhere here, he said WELL the disc is not pushing the CORD DOWN ( to myself I am thinking, how dare you tell me you saw fluid when not knowing I know how to read these) but did not, then I point out the obvious TEAR and ask if he sees that, he says yes, but thats just from wear and tear. Okay so this workers comp doctor says I should have no pain,no problems and yes I could move a 500lb machine all day long, no problem when it hurts to even hold my purse or pick up a plate!
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  • Are these WC docs actually Neuro or Ortho Surgeons? Many doctors have no clue.

    I would keep pushing. Remember by the time you stand up the load will increase the disc bulge from the weight of the head/neck above.

    Sorry that you are suffering.

    Hang in there.


  • Thank you again for reply.

    Just here venting and reading others stories, sometimes it helps just to vent though.

    I was seen last by an ortho DOC. The radiologists who read my MRI clearly states herniated disc in C-5-6 with TEAR and abutting spinal cord . I realize there is some confusion over bulging, protruded and herniated disc in the medical literature and I have a clear full understanding in the difference and what makes the difference.

    A BULGING disc is like a tire on a car that lost some AIR, it bulges around the rim of the wheel, there is NO HOLE or tear in the tire and the AIR is not leaking out, hence NO HOLE.

    A disc that has herniated has a TEAR and the inside of the nucleus spills out, just like a tire that has a HOLE ( there was first a bulge though) a herniated disc always has a tear somewhere a bulging disc does not, in a bulge it is just weak and pushing out so to speak.

    Clearly a tear is seen in my MRI films as well as a herniation as well it is touching my spinal cord, there is NOT a spec of spinal fluid ( the white portion that surrounds and protects the spinal cord itself) there is not a spec to be seen, the herniated torn disc rests upon the cord itself in sagital as well as axial views of MRI.

    IF this DOC wanted to PLAY DOWN the TEAR of the disc, by stating , well that tear is from wear and tear, okay what caused the TEAR to make that wear and tear ( DUH.....why is this workers comp DR so h-bent to exclude a 115 lb female body pushing a 500 lb piece of equipment all day is not the CAUSE ) Forget that I know why he does not want to SEE IT.

    But seriously to look me in the EYE and tell me that a disc tear is not painful or that it is OKAY for the herniated torn disc to SIT, press, and touch the spinal cord, blows my mind. IF IF IF the spinal cord needed no protection the spinal fluid would not be there ( GOD would not have bothered with it) So clearly the spinal cord is delicate and needs protecting so the fluid is around it doing just that, when a herniated disc touches spinal cord , it ain't right, when a disc tears, it ain't right and medical literature dictates that a TEAR IS A DISC is ALWAYS painful and to hear this fool tell me he just does not understand why I am in pain and that I could go back to pushing pulling 500 lbs all day when I can not function is again mind blowing.

    GOD will take care of this for me though, yes he will in his own special way.

  • From wheeless text book of orthopadics.

    Annular Tear

    - Discussion:
    - lesion labeled annuular tear or internal disruption is based on
    concept of leaking disc, one which permits the irritating liquid
    material normally restricted to the center of the disc to come into
    contact with the innervated tissue;
    - annular tissue that permits egress of this liquid has a poor capacity
    for healing;
    - at most, a thin layer of scar tissue at the periphery of the tear may
    seal the leak but leave the disc highly susceptible to retearing;
    - where as herniated disc has a significant capacity to be resolved w/
    time, annular tear continues to produce symptoms indefinitely;
    - clinical picture is based on pain related to increased intradiscal
    pressure and irritability of neural structures;
    - annular tear is usually produced by injury that increases intradiscal
    pressure significantly;
  • And the workers comp Doctor was an orthopedic and he does surgery ( not that I want surgery!) But you'd have THUNK he would have a CLUE why I have so much pain...and he clearly acknowledged the TEAR was there, but he said well thats from wear and tear, but everything in an nutshell, the man says no reason for pain...i'd like him to walk in my shoes.

    Something needs done about this fraudulent workers compensation system that allows DOCTORS to get away with malpractice.
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