I am awaiting an ACDF in February on C6/7 because the pain has been going on so long (2 years but very bad since last April) and an MRI showed the herniated disc is pressing badly on my nerve and markedly compromising my spinal cord.
I have had bouts of sciatica for years now but, despite physio, have been left with quite bad numbness down my left leg. However, the tingling and numbness is now spreading also to my right leg and foot. I also have a mild pulling sensation in my lower spine. I just feel that things have not been right for a long time. I asked my GP about it and he said to wait until I had my other op over and he would arrange PT. However, I think that considering my other problems in my neck an X-ray/CT or MRI scan of the lumber region would be in order. I am beginning to feel like a hypochondriac! Has anybody any advice please?
I have the same cervical & lumbar. In the beginning I had doctors blow me off because of complaining about both, so I let the lower pain go & just focused on the pain in the upper, at the time we did not know it was cervical. The MRI ordered on the C & T area picked up the L1&2 & indeed just in that area there are problems. ON the report it states highly recommends that area have another MRI on the lumbar.
My doctors said the same, wait till the cervical is done before ordering an MRI of the lumbar or anything else of that area. My PM doctor did admitt my insurance company would give us a hard time because the cervical had to be done first. I wanted you to know that my surgeon who did my cervical a few wks ago did tell me very often when cervical problems exist lumbar problems can to. He made that clear that its not uncommon at all, but they can only focus on one area at a time so they put the lumbar off. He more or less said which ever area is giving you the most problems is the one we will do first & the surgerys have to be at least 1yr apart. I am not sure if thats just his way, probably. So no its not just you. I thought the same until this surgeon told me different. Perhaps just speaking with your doctor & letting them know your concerns about getting it looked at as soon as you can after you tackle the cervical.
I am asking my next PM appointment how soon we can get the MRI on the lumbar following the cervical surgery. I am not putting it off & risking the kind of pain I ended up with in the cervical. I hope this helps you out & good luck with your surgery. Sammy
i thought of you sammy when i saw this post,and figured you would jump on it.
bobby, do you know for certain that you DO have a problem that is stemming from your lumbar or could this just be the spinal cord compression showing itself in this particular way? i am only asking this becasue having actual compression upon your cord can also create problems way down to your toes. it is just becasue that compression is up so high that anything below it can be affected in some way too. but on the other hand,it could be two seperate issues too,like sammy has and i also have except my lumbar annular tear and bulge has not shown to be symptomatic as of yet,and i am hoping it stays that way too. while it wouldn't hurt to obtain that lumbar MRI,realistically,i don;t think you would really be able to actually "do' anything about til after this surgery is done and you have healed some,you know what i mean? you also don;t always know for certain just what areas are truely being affected when you have spinal cord compression going on either. it all depends upon exactly where that compression is and how deep it actually goes into your cord that will dictate any problems and or symptoms for an individual person. having that surgery then seeing how those particular symptoms are would really dictate whether or not there even is a problem with that lumbar,meaning it could just have been the upper compression causing it.
i am wondering if you would even be able to actually lie down within that MRI tube and actually tolerate it? it would probably be less painful and problematic for you to at least wait til you have healed to a certain degree,just for your own sake. that of course would depend upon what produces pain and how still you would be able to remain thru it too. as you are probably already aware,if you even make one move during that MRI,they have to redo everything agian til you can get thru that. i have to wrap my arms with a blanket just to keep them from suddenly moving on me with my spinal cord injury. they have a habit of doing little happy dances,but my legs are worse. it aint easy sometimes.
i just think you really need to look at this whole thing abit more realistically and what you can actually even do right now,vs waiting til you can tolerate things better and also see what actual symptoms are still there post op from this surgery. if this were me,i really would wait. but thats just me. you just wont really know what is being generated by the sp compression til the surgery gets done and you are at least a few months out, things change within the cord over that first year when it has been affected. its just a process that occurs with spinal cord affectation/compression over a period of time. hope all goes well with your surgery,please keep us posted.Marcia
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.
Thank you both very much for taking the time to reply at length and I really do appreciate this. I will take keep your advice in mind and when I feel better (hopefully) after the op I will see what symptoms I am left with and push for further tests (if necessary).