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CT Results possibly NOT my pain source...???

I'm a 37 yr old mom and for the past 20 years I have suffered from periodic neck pain. Every now and then it would seize up and I couldn't move for about a week then I would slowly start to feel better and then I would carry on like normal till the next seize up. I would go to physio, chiro and massage and it would get me back on track till the next episode. On July 3rd my third son was born, 5 weeks later on a Friday night he had a life threatening episode where he stopped breathing and after a frantic 911 call and several tests by noon the next day the Dr came and sat down in our hospital room and told me that our baby was having seizures and that we would be medi-vac'd to Vancouver children's hospital the next morning (a whole other story, but he 's home and doing great now with a diagnosis of nothing other than epilepsy!) So that day when the Dr. came into my room and had the "talk" with me, during that talk, my neck seized again and this time it was excruciating and landed me downstairs in the ER getting some pain control. This was on August 15th, 2012 and I'm still waiting for this seize up to go away! 5 days ago I had a CT and this was my result:

C4-C5:small posterior disc protrusion w/o central canal stenosis
C5-C6:mild right posterior lateral disc osteophyte complex formation and a small posterior disc herniation, resulting in minimal central canal stenosis and effacement of the right lateral recess.
C6-C7:tiny posterior central disc protrusion and minimal posterior disc osteophyte complex formation with minimal central canal stenosis.
C7-T1:minimal posterior disc osteophyte complex formation without significant central canal stenosis.

I'm still waiting to see a specialist to go over these results, I've seen my family Dr and he said I most likely need surgery. The results seem fairly mild to me??... minimal, tiny etc...why am I in soooo much pain? I can't turn my head to the left AT ALL, I have harsh burning sensation all down the left side of my back into my hip, all down my left arm, in my shoulder and up the side of my neck into my jaw and temple and eye. At times I'm unstable on my feet, almost clumsy feeling, and suffering from incontinence (apparently from child birth?) and always a sensation/headache of feeling like I'm getting the flu (if that makes any sense). Anyways I guess I'm just wondering if anyone can give me some info on my results? Are they what's causing my pain if they are so minimal?

Thanks for taking the time to read my story, HUGS xo
Mother of three amazing boys who wants her life back, suffering from chronic neck/shoulder pain for 9 months.


  • The smallest little defect hitting a little nerve just wrong can cause big problem. Good news is CT pretty much confirms no major structural problem. It does not tell a doctor where, what or how to operate. I hope your specialist will stick with you and order more testing to try to pinpoint the problem that is there, somewhere. Nerve testing, MRI with contrast, or myelogram? Also tests looking for the possibility of a non spinal related cause. Good Luck!
    Severe DDD, Severe neural foraminal stenosis at 2 levels, moderate canal stenosis at 2 levels, significantly impaired left shoulder & arm function. Chronic moderate compression fracture at C6.
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