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Old 09-27-2006, 10:01 AM   #1
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Mild stenosis causing severe pain/is this common

is it normal for mild stenosis to cause severe shoulder pain. I couldn't imagine the shoulder pain I will have if it gets worse. I know a disc tear can hurt worse than a total herniation sometimes or so i was told. They said people can function easily with disc herniations and not even know it.

If my nerve is being choked slightly through the neuroforamina, is it normal to have the pain I do.

Oh, I posted before but didn't get any response so sorry if you already read something similar.

Thanks, Jason

 
Old 09-27-2006, 11:03 AM   #2
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Re: Mild stenosis causing severe pain/is this common

jason i have multiple cervical problems including stenosis, myelopathy, bulged disks and bone spurs. first ortho said it was all coming from my neck. i saw a spine specialist and he had an MRI of my hsoulder done which showed an acromial impingment. so sometimes yes arm, shoulder and hand pain can come from the neck and it's horrible BUT sometimes there is another underlying problem.

 
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Old 09-27-2006, 07:39 PM   #3
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Re: Mild stenosis causing severe pain/is this common

I think it all comes down to how much nerve impingement there is, either from disc herniations, protrusions or stenosis. It is true that there are tons of people walking around with stenois and disc problems with no, or few, symptoms. Unfortunatley there are those of us that are lucky (NOT) enough to have just the right nerve(s) affected negatively.

My MRI showed problems C4-C7 but I have no symptoms of the C4-5 level so my orthopedic spine surgeon did a C5-C7 fusion - he said there was no current reason to fuse the C4-C5 level if I was not having symptoms from that level (although in the future it may become necessary).

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Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
Old 09-28-2006, 12:37 PM   #4
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Re: Mild stenosis causing severe pain/is this common

mild impingement/severe pain. wow, i hope it doesn't get worse. Thanks for responding. My neck seems to have cause more problems then my back did but my back was in much worse shape.

 
Old 09-28-2006, 02:02 PM   #5
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Re: Mild stenosis causing severe pain/is this common

Jason, two months ago I was diagnosed with moderate stenosis at C5-7, spondylosis and two disc herniations at the same levels. I know exactly the pain you are speaking of and yes it is unbearable at times (night time for sure). My shoulder was in severe pain and it literally felt like my arm was broken (bicep pain). My thumb, forefinger and forearm also went numb and have stayed that way to this day.

I think Karin is exactly right. The pain is stemming from the nerves being pinched from disc protrusions (herniations) and probably not the stenosis itself (in your case being mild). Many people in this world have some level of stenosis in this area of the body due to the wear and tear that goes on it that particular area. Just thinking about how much you turn your head on a daily basis and it is easy to understand that this is a vulnerable spot for arthritic conditions to appear as you age. However, most people don't realize they have stenosis because they never have an MRI (without symptoms there is no reason to ever have one). Having said all that, I do believe that having some level of stenosis does make it easier for the nerves to be pinched by other injuries to that area (ie disc herniations).

To make a long answer short... your shoulder pain is probably being caused by a nerve being pinched. Stenosis doesn't just happen over night and you have probably been living with it for a while. You should seek PT and have your condition monitored closely by a professional.

BTW, I have been going to PT for six weeks now and along with traction treatments 3 times/week and steroid dose pak have eliminated my symptoms 80% (except for the numbness). My NS tells me the discs are being absorbed by my body and the numbness may be the last thing to come back and could take a few months. Due to my moderate stenosis, there is still a pretty good chance this can all happen again, but I will only consider surgery as a last resort.

Hope you feel better soon.

Jimmy B.

 
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