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Newbie with more information to add to my current back/neck "situation"!

I recently posted on the forum for the first time, looking for any insight prior to having the all the facts...I still am missing a piece (an appointment with a Neurosurgeon) but I have more today than the day I made my first post! I have taken some notes from the moderators on what should be in the post and hoping to do them proud!

~Over the years, (since 1997 to be exact) my neck/back has been getting progressively worse and noticeably more so in the past 6 months or so. On 4/11/15 (Sat.), I noticed numbness, tingling, weakness and coldness in bilateral lower extremities (no specific injury occurred). On 4/13/15 (Mon.) returned to work but had to leave after 1.5 hours due to above symptoms making it too difficult to get around my workplace. I rested at home for a week, returning to work the following Monday (4/20/15), no better, no worse! Within this weeks (4/13-4/20) timeframe, I was in a wheelchair only able to transfer myself! On 4/23/15 (Thurs.), I once again left work due to the symptoms listed above. On 4/24/15 (Fri.), I was finally able to get into see an Orthopedist who then ordered ABI's (arterial blood flow studies) of the bilateral lower extremities for 4/29/15 (Wed.). On 4/28/15 (Tues.), the day prior to the MRI, I woke up with MUCH LESS numbness, tingling and weakness to bilateral lower extremities! YAY!!!! The numbness, tingling and weakness I continue to have is from my ankles down bilaterally. I am still using the walker but only if I don't have furniture to hold onto! I returned today 5/1/15, for my follow-up appointment with this Orthopedist. My results are as follows:

Cervical MRI- DDD, spondylosis (C4-5, C5-6 and C6-7) and annular bulging C4-7, most pronounced at C5-6. Osteophytic ridging at C4-5, C5-6 and C6-7. There is effacement of the posterior subarachnoid space at C5-6 and C6-7 with some mild impression on the ventral spinal cord margin at C5-6. There is a mild degree of central spinal canal stenosis at this level.

Thoracic MRI-Generalized mild thoracic DDD and spondylosis.

Lumbar MRI-L3-4 multifactorial moderate to severe central canal stenosis. Shallow left central disc protrusion. L4-5 postoperative changes and multifactorial mild to moderate central canal stenosis. Suspect tiny right central disc protrusion. L5-S1 mild right sub-articular recess stenosis with contact right S1 nerve. Marrow edema of bilateral L4 and left L3 pedicles. L3 lower facet marrow edema also. No fracture. These findings are likely stress/reactive in etiology.

ABI's- Negative.

~2001 I had a "large herniated lumbar disc, left L4-5", s/p micro lumbar discectomy L4-5.

~So at my appointment with the Orthopedist I asked him what he thought was the reason for the improvement and he did the one thing I cant stand ....answered my question with a question and said, " What do you think got you better?" He never addressed my improvement again which I find a little odd! I answered him that I thought maybe it was the downtime and rest???? Who knows!!! He continued to state that no one knows how my body will handle the changes in my anatomy! When asked if my feet would go back to normal, his response..."Who knows!?!?" I recorded this visit so I could remember what was said as I am the worlds worst at remembering these conversations as well as asking questions! He stated, "Something happened that inflamed you neurologically, with symptoms being partial foot drop and all those thing going on... you know !? but now no question... we have all the information and know this for certain.... It is not a matter of if you will need a laminectomy to L3-4 and L4-5 but when!"

~On, 5/8/15 (Fri), I see my Neurosurgeon, as this appointment was set up first. (He was out of town for 2 weeks when this all started!) I was worked in with this Orthopedist as a favor to a family member! I will see what the NS says but I am wondering what anyone would say to me with similar experiences?! Any thoughts or questions you could give me to ask the NS? Any help, comments, concerns would be greatly appreciated....At this time I really don't know what to think!
Thanks so much for your time!



  • hope4betterhhope4better Posts: 36
    edited 05/02/2015 - 12:18 PM
    wow, im impressed of your medical terminology! besides, it seems you know what you are talking about. I have, put simply, both cervical and lumbar issues. just a quick overview, hur t back in 03; tests pt and the rest until in so much pain had lumbar fusion with laminectomy (SP) . seems man y years go by until last year (14) began having tremendous weakness and pain in my legs. Under the watchful eye of pain management, seemed their only goal was to keep me off pain meds. yes, during these years, I became addicted and ect ect,... rehab and currently methadone clinic. Welcome year 2015, the pain in my legs have become a really big issue. fast forward to march 2015, I have never felt pain such as this, my own pain, with these spasms that are over the top. I couldn't walk. two hospital visits later, ct showed that I was close to having caudia equine syndrome. of which your bowel stops working and it is emergency s urgery. after the hospital I had 2 mri, one of my neck and the o ther back. it wowed the ortho surgeon I was referred to. meeting with him says I need to quit smoking for 3 weeks. its not the quitting that scares me, its the time frame. prescribes hydrocodone 5/325. I did very well, hurray for me! ylol methadone clinic even had a pill count day, I was right on target. now, I am having these bowel symptoms. I really cant have a bowel and am sick by it. I told this to the surgeon. I also asked for a refill on pain meds. no phone call back, just a message from his asst. that it is not their policy to refill meds. go ask your primary. primary says no, I swear newbie, I feel so downtrodden and scared. I feel I am alone in this, with God of course holding my hand. I am........ im sorry not to be able to offer hope to you. I sense you will be ok. you sound tenacious, and know your stuff. I commend yo u for that. ill keep you informed if that is ok- kathy
  • Hello,
    Wow, You certainly have a lot of different issues with your spine. Curious what the LE the Blood flow studies revealed?
    Get a couple of opinions from NS. If you think you are better great who cares what your Doc says. Sometimes they have the bedside manner of a wet blanket. Keep up the positive thoughts and pushing to find answers to your questions. Will be sending prayers your way.
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