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Cervical stenosis and nonsurgical approach to creating more canal room at C5-7

bookcatbbookcat United States Posts: 66
I have cervical spondylotic myelopathy and severe central canal stenosis at C5-7. In the process of preparing for a 2-level ACDF, my neurologist, oncologist, and ortho surgeon came up w/a nonsurgical protocol of trigger point injections to relieve nerve irritation. The idea is that the injections may relieve pain, allowing the muscles to relax and restore some of the lordotic curve. I have kyphosis.

This protocol is intended to widen the spinal canal by a very small amount through loosening the muscles. It may support a better surgical outcome in restoring lordosis. I had my first set of injections today. They were painful; however, I think the R side one may have reduced some of the pain.

I was looking at surgery in July, so I got new scans to help in planning the surgery, generating rethinking the treatment plan. It's been challenging to shift gears (I just got called in for an appointment about this today). My surgeon is pregnant and won't do the ACDF after mid-Aug. The next time she will be available is Nov.

Has anyone tried this approach? I know the surgery is elective and there's no need to rush into things. However, I am so weary and pain is affecting my daily life and setting limitations. It's as though I'm in a tug-of-war w/myself. Part of me just wants to have the surgery and another is saying that trying out this trigger point approach is a reasonable thing to do. Feedback and support appreciated :S :-S

PLIF L1-3 6/13
ACDF (C5-7) 8/12
PLIF (L2-5) 2003/05/08


  • Catherine,

    You do understand that myelopathy won't get better on it's own and surgery is done to stop the progression of it? Use the search feature above and place and read some of the articles here on it. As far as the trigger point injections, they are surface treatment and really do nothing to the spine structure itself. Yes they can help relax some of the muscles, but that is about it, it won't do anything to the dics that have herniated and putting pressure on the cord. I have had so many trigger point injections myself but it is to treat the muscles and the trigger points themselves. Hopefully along with this your taking a good muscle relaxer. I notice you make mention of a oncologist so is their some other medical condition going on, that would keep them from wanting to do surgery for fear of a non fusion? I could see a real fear of you fusing.

    Look up the ACDF surgery, and get learn about it. Do you know what kind of bone grafting they will be using? Do you know if you will be in a brace or collar and for how long. There are many successful fusion patients on the boards. Many will tell you the fear of the surgery was worse than the surgery itself. My concern in your situation is the myelopathy, and of course your ability to walk. Keep in mind this is your spinal cord. I am not talking you into surgery, but encouraging you to learn more about it. Also seek out several more surgeons opinion as to what you should do, if your uncertain.

    Keep us posted on your decision.
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