Re: neck, shoulder blade area and right arm pain
Hi Alinta, I'm Jenny and I do interpreting of spine MRIs for a lot of people. I've also had 2 cervical surgeries and am fused from C3 to T1. Since you've had 2 surgeries already, I'll get to the basics.
Your fusions are fine. But you have trouble in between them. My understanding from my doc is that once you fuse, it puts lots of pressure on the vertebrae above and below and makes you more likely to develop problems. Since you have 2 already, you would eventually end up with them being combined....did they bother to tell you that?
At C6-7, you have bone spurs form arthritis on a tiny joint on the outside of the vertebrae(uncovertebral joints) and those bone spurs have closed up the hole in the bone where the spinal nerves go out to the body. They rate the amount of closing with the words minimal, mild, moderate and severe.....they rated yours mild. But your symptoms sound more like moderate.
And the disk there had ruptured and is pressing on the spinal cord but only slightly. Your spinal canal is closed up to 8mms when normal is 10-11mms. I was down to 6mms. at 4 levels when I had my surgery so the cord can take a lot.
Cord compression doesn't cause pain but it can cause all sorts of numbness and muscles that don't work from that level down so it could affect your hands and even your legs and feet. The mild "foraminal" narrowing on those spinal nerves, will cause lots of pain into your arms.
Most docs won't operate until you reach "severe" levels but since you already have the 2 fusions, they might decide to just get it over with and fuse you from C5 to T1. You might want to consider having it done from the back(what I have). More painful after surgery but more stable in the long run. And they wouldn't have to remove the hardware in the front.
All I have is 2 rods and 10 screws in my 6 vertebrae fusion and it's not that bad. Minimal pain. But my doc watches it carefully as I am at great risk for problems above it and below it. So far just some small changes below it. But, I am developing more bone spurs inside the fusion and they are hitting the nerves at C4 and hitting my cord. How they fix that I have no idea and will wait and see if they have to.
Once a bad neck, always a bad neck!
Hope this helps. I'm here if you have questions.