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Cervical Spine and Unsteady gait

Problems with balance and coordination after neck injury. Losing fine motor function in hands. I drop everything.  Primary doctors are stumped as to what could be causing this. MRI's done several days apart read: MRI reads:

C4-C5: small central protrusion with minimal mass effect on the cord
C5-C6: moderate left focal paracentral protrusion with mild-moderate mass effect on the cord

2nd Mri:
C5-C6: Very mild diffuse disk bulge slightly asymmetric to the left contributing left lateral recess and neural foraminal impingement.

Please tell me someone else has had these problems. I am at a loss as to what else could be causing my problems, as I had absolutely no problems before injury.
Thank you so much.  



  • Before my ACDF, I was starting to have problems with my gait and I felt like one of my legs was lagging behind by a few seconds.  This went away after my surgery.  However, I had very severe cervical spinal cord compression.  At every surgical consult, I was asked if I had problems buttoning shirts since apparently that is another symptom of severe cord compression.  I was not having problems with my motor skills in my hands, although I'm sure that would have been next if I had waited much longer to have surgery.

    It sounds to me like you need to see someone other than a primary care doctor.  There are very specific neurological tests that a specialist will give to try to access the level of spinal cord compression, if any, including toe to heel walking in a straight line and various assessments of your feet and hands.
    C6-C7 ACDF - January 20, 2016
    Shoulder surgery - August 2, 2016
    Interlaminar laminotomy, mesial facetectomy and foraminotomy bilateral at C5-C6 and unilateral left at C6-C7 and bilateral C6-C7 facet fusion - December 7, 2016

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    Hi FlyRadio!  I have similar symptoms to you.  My MRI has severe impingement at one point.  The surgeon I saw this week tried to belittle me and blow me off.  He says I have carpel tunnel- apparently my carpel tunnels moved to my neck?  I have the unsteady gait-  
    I'm going for an EMG this coming week.  My primary care doc ordered it so the results would go to her (and me) and not to the disliked neurosurgeon.
    Before everything, when I first got back from my appointment on Monday I came to these boards and freaked.  Bunches of us have been through the messiness of inconsistent advice and hearing someone else say, yep!  I had that and I'm okay or I did this, definitely helps!


    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
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