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Old 04-09-2004, 11:12 AM   #1
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arkcheri HB User
Unhappy Anterior Cervical Fusion of C 5-6 6-7 Neck

Hi,

Anyone that would share please do: regarding you injury - level of pain before - test/ procedures/ etc - status or outcome would be appreciated. Looking at surgery May 3rd and still scared to death. Mental attitude is alot I read and hear I would love to come to peace with this.

MRI
Steroid Injections
Triger Point Injection
Meds Throughout - Physical Therapy throughout
Nerve Conduction Study
Visit to Neurologist and told I needed surgery

Thanks
Cheri

Last edited by arkcheri; 04-09-2004 at 02:01 PM.

 
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Old 04-09-2004, 06:43 PM   #2
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napamike HB User
Re: Anterior Cervical Fusion of C 5-6 6-7 Neck

Could you please tell me some of your troubles. I have been dealing with neck and back problems since 1999 and getting much worse. I have shoulder pain, arm pain and tingling, hand numbness, loss of grip, etc. And now my head just feels heavy if you know what I mean. Like my neck muscles no longer exist and going into the center of my back. The many dr's i have seen dont seem to pinpoint the problem. I was hoping to find someone who has had like kind problems.

 
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Old 04-09-2004, 06:57 PM   #3
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napamike HB User
Unhappy Severe neck and back problems

I have received the following mri report could someone assist me in understanding this report. I have had neck and back problems since about Sept 99 and getting worse. Unable to sleep much, arm tingling, shoulder pain, neck pain, muscle pain in entire upper back, my head feels heavier than what my muscles are able to keep upright.



MRI Examination of Cervical Spine
I recently had a cervical spine MRI completed below is the results that are typed exactly in the MRI report. Please offer me an opinion as to how severe these results really are. Today 3/31/2004 I went to my neurosurgeon and he said that my neck problems are not the cause of my right arm, shoulder and hand numbness, tingling, burning loss of grip and what I describe as when holding my arms in a driving position or even reading a paper my arms mainly my right arm become almost instantly numb and my right arm just drops. The pain starts in my neck area going into my shoulders both and mainly down the right arm but recently started to affect my left arm. Back in 1999 my MRI showed about the same but the words severe did not exist in my MRI now they do. Please help me interpret my MRI report.
Quote from the report ďA magnetic resonance imaging examination of the cervical spine was performed. Images acquired in the sagital and transaxial planes.
The cervical alignment is straightened from C2 through C6. At C3-C4, there is a left foraminal disc protrusion. At C4-C5 and C5-C6 , there are moderately large HNPs which are lateralized posterolaterally. This is on the right at C4-C5 resulting in moderate to severe stenosis of the right anterior recess. It is laterized to the left at C5-C6 where there is moderate to severe left foraminal stenosis and moderate left anterior recess stenosis. It is compressing the left ventral cord at the C5-C6 level. It does not involve the cord at C4-C5. Mild central stenosis is also present. There is no bone marrow lesion, myelomalacia or surrounding soft tissue mass.
IMPRESSION
1. C5-C6 moderately large left foraminal HNP with a broad-based component. This results in moderate to severe left foraminal stenosis with left ventral cord compression.
2. C4-C5 moderately large right posterolatera HNP with moderate to severe stenosis of the right anterior recess.
3. C3-C4 left foraminal disc protrusion.
............. M.D signed"
Now could anyone please help me FULLY understand my MRI. As I stated at the beginning my neurosurgeon today 3/31/2004 said I really donít think that your neck problems are that significant and the MRI Dr usually exaggerates the MRI results so then letís get an EMG. Also he did recheck the medical records and found that I had previously had and EMG, many MRI's, X-rays, etc and also had been previously checked for carpel tunnel syndrome, and also thoracic outlet syndrome both carpel tunnel and thoracic outlet being found to be normal. Please HELP I have put up with this since 1999 and until recently developed new pain between my shoulder just felt the pain and dealt with the pain and MAJOR discomfort by using LOTS of Naproxen, Vioxx , Relafan Ibuprofen, not all at once but different pills at different times and now I have very bad stomach and esophagus irritation along with acid reflux now getting worse another story. So pills are not and option anymore and I have forgotten to say I have even tried the chiropractor again over the last several months with relief only temporary and when the pain returns WOW it is worse.

Help me please

 
Old 04-09-2004, 08:03 PM   #4
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PsychLea HB User
Re: Anterior Cervical Fusion of C 5-6 6-7 Neck

You need to get another opinion, pronto!!!

Most radiologists that I am aware of, DO NOT exaggerate findings. Sounds like you have major nerve impingement from your HNP's (herniated discs).

Also, go to the Spinal Disorder section on Healthboards. You will find more info for your situation there.
__________________
God bless,

Lea

 
Old 04-10-2004, 10:32 PM   #5
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gloryemt HB User
Re: Severe neck and back problems

[QUOTE=napamike]I have received the following mri report could someone assist me in understanding this report. I have had neck and back problems since about Sept 99 and getting worse. Unable to sleep much, arm tingling, shoulder pain, neck pain, muscle pain in entire upper back, my head feels heavier than what my muscles are able to keep upright.



MRI Examination of Cervical Spine
I recently had a cervical spine MRI completed below is the results that are typed exactly in the MRI report. Please offer me an opinion as to how severe these results really are. Today 3/31/2004 I went to my neurosurgeon and he said that my neck problems are not the cause of my right arm, shoulder and hand numbness, tingling, burning loss of grip and what I describe as when holding my arms in a driving position or even reading a paper my arms mainly my right arm become almost instantly numb and my right arm just drops. The pain starts in my neck area going into my shoulders both and mainly down the right arm but recently started to affect my left arm. Back in 1999 my MRI showed about the same but the words severe did not exist in my MRI now they do. Please help me interpret my MRI report.
Quote from the report ďA magnetic resonance imaging examination of the cervical spine was performed. Images acquired in the sagital and transaxial planes.
The cervical alignment is straightened from C2 through C6. At C3-C4, there is a left foraminal disc protrusion. At C4-C5 and C5-C6 , there are moderately large HNPs which are lateralized posterolaterally. This is on the right at C4-C5 resulting in moderate to severe stenosis of the right anterior recess. It is laterized to the left at C5-C6 where there is moderate to severe left foraminal stenosis and moderate left anterior recess stenosis. It is compressing the left ventral cord at the C5-C6 level. It does not involve the cord at C4-C5. Mild central stenosis is also present. There is no bone marrow lesion, myelomalacia or surrounding soft tissue mass.
IMPRESSION
1. C5-C6 moderately large left foraminal HNP with a broad-based component. This results in moderate to severe left foraminal stenosis with left ventral cord compression.
2. C4-C5 moderately large right posterolatera HNP with moderate to severe stenosis of the right anterior recess.
3. C3-C4 left foraminal disc protrusion.
............. M.D signed"
Now could anyone please help me FULLY understand my MRI. As I stated at the beginning my neurosurgeon today 3/31/2004 said I really donít think that your neck problems are that significant and the MRI Dr usually exaggerates the MRI results so then letís get an EMG. Also he did recheck the medical records and found that I had previously had and EMG, many MRI's, X-rays, etc and also had been previously checked for carpel tunnel syndrome, and also thoracic outlet syndrome both carpel tunnel and thoracic outlet being found to be normal. Please HELP I have put up with this since 1999 and until recently developed new pain between my shoulder just felt the pain and dealt with the pain and MAJOR discomfort by using LOTS of Naproxen, Vioxx , Relafan Ibuprofen, not all at once but different pills at different times and now I have very bad stomach and esophagus irritation along with acid reflux now getting worse another story. So pills are not and option anymore and I have forgotten to say I have even tried the chiropractor again over the last several months with relief only temporary and when the pain returns WOW it is worse.

Help me please[/QUOTE] Hi NapaMike, Maybe i may be of some help. As the last post, the hnp's are herniated disc's. Stenosis IS pinched nerves. I somehow injured myself back in 7/2000 and have been suffering the SAME EXACT symptoms you have described. I also had MRI's done which the reports are somewhat similar to yours, however i dont think mine were quite as bad as yours. I took my MRI films and consulted with a very reputable neurosurgeon and right away he stated that i most definately was a candidate for surgery. I just had surgery last Monday (04/05/04), Anterior Cervical Discectomy on c 4-5 and c 5-6. As far as the radiologists who interpret the MRI's exagerating their findings, that couldnt be further from the truth in my case. When my neurosurgeon got inside, my discs were actually worse than what showed on the MRI. Hope i was of some help. Please, you dont have to suffer any longer, get a second oppinion!

Glory

 
Old 04-11-2004, 12:00 AM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,139
injured betty HB User
Re: Severe neck and back problems

[QUOTE=gloryemt]Hi NapaMike, Maybe i may be of some help. As the last post, the hnp's are herniated disc's. Stenosis IS pinched nerves. I somehow injured myself back in 7/2000 and have been suffering the SAME EXACT symptoms you have described. I also had MRI's done which the reports are somewhat similar to yours, however i dont think mine were quite as bad as yours. I took my MRI films and consulted with a very reputable neurosurgeon and right away he stated that i most definately was a candidate for surgery. I just had surgery last Monday (04/05/04), Anterior Cervical Discectomy on c 4-5 and c 5-6. As far as the radiologists who interpret the MRI's exagerating their findings, that couldnt be further from the truth in my case. When my neurosurgeon got inside, my discs were actually worse than what showed on the MRI. Hope i was of some help. Please, you dont have to suffer any longer, get a second oppinion!

Glory[/QUOTE]


napamike
Ya know, I just looked up stenosis and it said the same thing that my doc said, stenoisis is narrowing, not necessarily pinched nerves. Because the area is narrowed, it is invading the space that the cord uses. That is not good, especially in the neck area.



I would get a lot of opinions but I would also do whatever you are going to do right away as your situation looks pretty serious.

 
Old 04-11-2004, 09:31 AM   #7
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Posts: 33
gloryemt HB User
Re: Anterior Cervical Fusion of C 5-6 6-7 Neck

[QUOTE=arkcheri]Hi,

Anyone that would share please do: regarding you injury - level of pain before - test/ procedures/ etc - status or outcome would be appreciated. Looking at surgery May 3rd and still scared to death. Mental attitude is alot I read and hear I would love to come to peace with this.

MRI
Steroid Injections
Triger Point Injection
Meds Throughout - Physical Therapy throughout
Nerve Conduction Study
Visit to Neurologist and told I needed surgery

Thanks
Cheri
[/QUOTE] Hi Cheri, First let me tell you that last Monday (04/05) i had the anterior cervical discectomy fusion on c 4-5 & 5-6. So i am only 6 days post op. Let me give you a little history on my pain....etc... I have a handicapped child who has always been big for his age and so i have had to do a lot of lifting, so i most definately contribute my neck and back problems to that. In July 2000, i started out with a stiff neck that just refused to go away until one day i turned to look at something and i dont know what happened, the pain was so excruciating i couldnt stand it. The pain was severe to the point i couldnt function for about 3 mos. then it lessened, however i had remained with pain and pain meds for the past 3 1/2 years. I had pain in my neck,left shoulder and shoulder blade area and down my left arm all the way to my finger tips, also incredible muscle spasms. Over this past year the pain had moved into my right shoulder and arm intermittantly. Last summer one day all of a sudden my right arm became weak, and within about 2 days it was pretty much useless. I just kept working with it and within a month i had it working pretty normal again. Pretty weird huh? Well, it scared me, i had been putting off getting surgery and that whole ordeal really made me start to think that it was getting about time to have the surgery. Anyway, the past 3 years i have been on meds, i went to a spine clinic ( chiropractor) without relief, had MRI's, then the neurosurgeon wanted to do a myelogram. So i had the myelogram 10/03. I will NEVER have another one of those done. The pain is just terrible, and i have always had a high tolerance to pain. About the surgery, i did alot of research before i had mine. I talked face to face with a couple of people who had the same surgery and they said they were glad they did it and highly recommend to have it done. I read a few posts on a website that a few other people had wrote about their surgery and they too said the same thing. They all said that other than a sore throat, when they woke up in the recovery room they felt great. So i was very optimistic and was not nervous at all when i went in for mine. Boy did i get a big surprise!!! For me the first 24 hours post op was pure h***. I only stayed in the hospital 24 hrs and was discharged to recover at home. The second day post op was bad but of course there was some improvement. Everyone who had the surgery said that they just had a sore throat so i had expected just that, i had surgery before and had been intubated so i knew what my throat would feel like. Well, the sore throat was nothing like that, the soreness was all over in my throat (in the front of my neck). I could just feel all the swelling inside my neck from under my chin to the base of my neck. It was very painful and i had a very difficult time swallowing. I could hardly even swallow a pill, it would get caught in my throat, not to mention the constant lump i could feel in my throat and even just to swallow my own saliva was hard. Like i said before, i am 6 days post op now and i still have a lump in my throat, it is better than it was, i still am having a little trouble swallowing pills and food. The incision site isnt to bad, although it is about 4 to 5 inches long. I dont know why because everyone else i have seen theirs was only about 2 inches. I still have pain in the back of my neck, both shoulders and arms. My muscles are tight and sore in my shoulder area as well. I am making the best of it and i am getting around quite well. I do have a soft collar on and the doc says i have to wear it at all times except while showering and will have to for about 4 weeks. I am 35 years old, which i dont think age really matters much, it is how you feel and your mental status. I really dont mean to make you scared or worry anymore than you already are, i am just telling you how my experience was. You definately need to stay positive, you very well may be like everyone i have talked to and just breeze through surgery and wake up feeling like a million bucks!!!! I hope i have helped some and if you have any questions i would be more than happy to help anyway i can. Glory

 
Old 04-13-2004, 11:01 AM   #8
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arkcheri HB User
Re: Anterior Cervical Fusion of C 5-6 6-7 Neck

NapaMike,

Sorry so long - I had trouble loggin on had to get reset. I am scheduled for surgery 5-3-04. My symptoms are like yours expect on the left side is worse. I also feel like my head is too heavy alot. My MRI did not show any nerve's pinched and I'm scheduled for surgery. You sound like you have alot more damage than me. I'll keep you informed on my surgery and tell you if it helps but right now I have been depending on these good people on these boards for my information. God Bless and keep up informed.

Cheri

 
Old 04-17-2004, 09:25 AM   #9
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bab38 HB User
Unhappy Re: Anterior Cervical Fusion of C 5-6 6-7 Neck

I was in an automobile accident in July 2001, I was sitting stopped at a red light, as a passenger, i was bent over when we were hit from behind. The day after I started having neck pain on the left side and headaches. I went to the emergency room and they x-rayed me, said it was severe whiplash, I did therapy for a month with no improvement. I went and saw a nervespecialist and he went over my mri report with my husband and I and stated that c3c4c5 were laying on my spine and I needed to have them fixed, if I didnt want to end ip parlazed, the following week I had surgery august 2001, It really sucked, the recovery that is, I had a two year old at the time and it was really hard on him as well as everyone else in my house. about a week post op I statrted having facial numbness and was not feeling quite right, called my doc and he was out of town, went to thew emerg room, had a mri of my brain and a cat scan of my neck, did not show anything out of ordinary. I was relieved. Started therpy about 4 months after surgery, my mobility was quite a bit limited than before, I was quite an active person beofre, so this change was quite hard to come to terms with. The therapist was quite nice and gentle and did his best to help me, after a month of this, meanwhile I was still on 10 hydrocodone, flexeril, and some big anti inflamm. I was still in so much pain, it was a differnet pain than I had had before the surgery, my neck didn't feel like I was trying to carry around a bowling ball (my head) anymore. This new pain is a constant, throbbing, burning, pins and needles pain that starts at the base of my neck on the left side, goes accross the front of my chest, accross my back, in the shoulderblade area and down my left arm. I went back to my neo and he oreder yet another mri, he said the fusion was nice and soild, but there was something he didn't understand and he would get to me after he conferred with some fellow docs. I waited 9 wekks for hime to contact me, meanwhile I called his office everyday trying to find out something I could do for the pain.

He finally contactd me and wanted me to go for a mylegram, that was soooo awful. I would never reccomend one of those. to make a long story a bit shorter, it has been almost two years since my accident, and I am still in severe pain most of the time. I have not been able to return to work, and this whole ordeal has about cost me my husband and my kids. I sought out a new doctotr and he told me I have three new herined dics, one above and two below the fusion. He recommended that I wait on surgery, which will have to happen eventually and have epidural injections, I have had 2 since November 03, the most recent was 6 weeks ago, does anyone know of any med I can take that will help with the pain and discomfort? I still take flexril, I don't think it works after almost 2 years of taking it, but that is all the doctor will let me have. I sure hope someone can help. I just came accross this site a few days ago and I am soooooo glad I have found people to discuss this with that have been through simular experiences.

please excuse my typing, it is quite difficult.


bab38

 
Old 04-17-2004, 09:30 AM   #10
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injured betty HB User
Re: Anterior Cervical Fusion of C 5-6 6-7 Neck

bab38

Ask about Neurtonin. Not a pain killer. Not a narcotic.


They are still trying to figure out how it works, but it does.

Meantime, that is what happens with surgery, it makes you a patient for life. Sorry that you had to find out the hard way.

There is a periodical that you can read, The Burton Report, that may give you answers.

 
Old 04-17-2004, 12:19 PM   #11
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tomasthequester HB User
Lightbulb Re: Anterior Cervical Fusion of C 5-6 6-7 Neck

[COLOR=SeaGreen][FONT=Tahoma]Hi!

I get totally confused and baffled by some of the Dr's responses I read to the obvious symp-toms that are put forth to them. I donít want to demean any one particular doctor but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck; Guess what?

Enough sarcasm.

This is a brief history of my journey.
7/2001 - Problem started when I adjusted myself in the seat of my SUV using my upper body to leverage my weight in the seat.
** 11/2001 - I went to the doctor to start treatment for stabbing pain in between left shoulder blade and spine. Started Vicodin and Celebrex
** 4/2002 - Initial MRI: Spinal and facet stenosis C3-4, 4-5, and 5-6
** 5/2002, 6/2002 - Corticosteroid injections
** Bone Scan - 7/2002
** 11/2002 - Steroid injections (facet block) Started experiencing problems urinating.
** 2/2003 Ė MRI Spinal and facet stenosis at C4,5,& 6 showing signal in spinal cord degra-dation. Problems progressed with stabbing pain in upper left arm.
** 3/2003 - Nerve stimulation test EMP
** 3/2003 - SSEP
** 3/2003 - Myelogram
** 4/2003 - Started Neurontin,
** 4/2003, 8/2003, 11/2003
Corticosteroid injections.
** 01/2003 Ė Finally gave up fighting the pain and went to Neurologist at the University of Washington
** 02/10/04 Ė ACD with corpectomy at C5 with cage implant using vertebral bone and plate fixation.

The out come has been fairly good. I am back on Neurontin and I do use Vicodin occasionally. There was a lot of damage to the nerve at C5 which can take as long as a year to calm down. Let this be a cautionary note!!!!! Donít let the pain go on too long. There were other warning signs for me. I could not urinate properly and was extremely constipated. This was a direct effect of the spinal cord being pinched by the arthritis in the vertebrae.

Please note that Iím a freak for understanding the basics of what is going on with your spine. The basic definition of spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal. This narrowing can squeeze (compress) and irritate the nerve roots that branch out from the spinal cord, or it can squeeze and irritate the spinal cord itself. This can cause pain, numbness, or weakness, most often in the buttocks, legs, and feet.

Any time you read STENOSIS moderate to severe pay attention. It means your bones are exhibiting some sort of abnormal behavior whether arthritic or spurring. This is going to encroach on the nerves and aggravate them. Or worse as in my case, a pinching of the spinal cord itself with potential paralysis. OUCH!


There is no substitute for knowing the medical terms and descriptions and understanding as much as you can about them. Talking to Drs will be measurably easier for you and communi-cating with other spinies will be much more productive, believe me.

You know at least for me the worst was the fear! I can deal with pain but now knowing was my undoing and the best was being able to talk to other spinies about whatís happening to them. So talk and learn itíll help.

Take care and God Speed!

Jeri [/FONT][/COLOR]

 
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