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Cervical Disc Fusion? Non Surgical Options? Understanding MRI


I am a 37 year old woman with 3 children.

Almost 2-1/2 years ago I had a fusion with hardware at C6-7. I had symptoms on and off for possibly several years. The first diagnosis was a shoulder injury, after 4 months of physical therapy with no improvement, the doctor ordered a MRI. Almost a week after the official diagnosis of a ruptured disc with spurring, I had the surgery. It is quite possible this started in Oct 2005 when I was in the hospital with HyperCranial Hypertension. Im currently trying to get the medical records from this episode. I felt back than that someone had hit me in the back of the head and neck with a 2x4...a feeling I again feel now. They really never had answers of what caused it. I did have a 3 spinal taps at that time which showed high pressure. Again, not sure if that is related but looking into it.

Two weeks ago while tilting my head back to wash my hair in the shower, I felt a sharp stabbing pain. A few days later it was progressively getting worse - radiating pain in my shoulder blade and then shooting pains down my arm into my forefinger and thumb. This pain is worse than when I had symptoms from the c6-7 injury. I have been resting, alternating cold and heat. Dr prescribed tramadol and cyclobenzaprine....I have a high pain tolerance so I've been trying just ibruprofen and the cyclo at night. I feel most comfortable laying flat. I am overweight at 200 at 5'4 but I am very active. Shortly after my fusion, I ended up having RAI (Radioactive Iodine Rx) for a hyperthyroid and spent the last year hypothyroid which effected my weight. I am finally leveled out on meds and losing weight...when this happened. I am a non smoker. I rarely drink. However, my parents were very heavy smokers.

An MRI stated -

At C5-6 there is posterior spurring/ridging across the posterior vertebral body margins and there does appear to be a shallow broad posterior disc protrusion extending minimally posterior to this. They contact and may very slightly efface the anterior margin of the cord. There is no nerve root effacement or displacement. Neuroformamina are normal at every level.

The upper cervical spine is slightly flexed.

Im looking for any and all information, links. I want to do as much research as possible to get the best available options out there. Thank you!!!
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