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Old 05-06-2011, 08:05 AM   #1
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C4-5 and C5-6 Disc herniation

Due to a neck and shoulder pain I did an MRI. The result summary reads out as following

* Left posterio-lateral disc-osteophyte complex at c5-6 level is indenting the thecal sac, left exiting nerve root and mildly narrowing the left neural foramina
* Right posterio-lateral osteophyte at c4-5 level is indenting the thecal sac. No significant root indentation or foraminal compromise.

Just wanted to know if this would need a surgery or steroids/medicines/therapy can solve it. Can it lead to paralysis in future?

C4-5 indentation was also diagonised 5 years back and was treated with steroids and therapy.

Thanks in advance for your response.

 
Old 05-06-2011, 02:14 PM   #2
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Re: C4-5 and C5-6 Disc herniation

There are 2 issues that can lead to paralysis in the spine....the spinal nerves and the spinal cord.

The spinal nerves peel off the cord at each vertebra(except C1) and go out to the body, and where they leave the cord, they can be compressed by herniated disks, or arthritic bone spurs or any combination of those 2. The compression is rated as minimal, mild, moderate and severe. Once you get to severe and beyond, you are risking compression so bad that it cuts the blood supply to the nerve and it dies, leaving you with paralysis of the area served by that nerve. You have this type of compression at C5-6 but it is listed as mild so you are not in danger from this.

The other type is compression of the spinal cord itself. This can occur from a herniated disk or bone spurs, the combination of the 2 and from something called spinal stenosis where the bone of the canal starts to thicken up all by itself. The spinal cord has a covering that holds spinal fluid around it and this is called the "thecal sac". You have disk/bone spur complexes hitting the thecal sac at both C4-5 and C5-6 but not your cord. Believe it or not, your cord can take a lot of compression before you are in danger of paralysis. My cord was compressed in several places and actually half normal thickness from the severity of the compression. But if it does become compressed to the point of cutting off the blood supply, you become paralyzed from that level down in the entire body. Your situation will need monitoring periodically but you are far from having that happen.

I doubt any doc would suggest surgery at this point as the surgery can cause paralysis so they usually wait until you get "severe" or a cord badly compressed.

Any questions, I'm around.

hugs........Jenny

 
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Old 05-07-2011, 02:22 AM   #3
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Re: C4-5 and C5-6 Disc herniation

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennybyc View Post
There are 2 issues that can lead to paralysis in the spine....the spinal nerves and the spinal cord.

The spinal nerves peel off the cord at each vertebra(except C1) and go out to the body, and where they leave the cord, they can be compressed by herniated disks, or arthritic bone spurs or any combination of those 2. The compression is rated as minimal, mild, moderate and severe. Once you get to severe and beyond, you are risking compression so bad that it cuts the blood supply to the nerve and it dies, leaving you with paralysis of the area served by that nerve. You have this type of compression at C5-6 but it is listed as mild so you are not in danger from this.

The other type is compression of the spinal cord itself. This can occur from a herniated disk or bone spurs, the combination of the 2 and from something called spinal stenosis where the bone of the canal starts to thicken up all by itself. The spinal cord has a covering that holds spinal fluid around it and this is called the "thecal sac". You have disk/bone spur complexes hitting the thecal sac at both C4-5 and C5-6 but not your cord. Believe it or not, your cord can take a lot of compression before you are in danger of paralysis. My cord was compressed in several places and actually half normal thickness from the severity of the compression. But if it does become compressed to the point of cutting off the blood supply, you become paralyzed from that level down in the entire body. Your situation will need monitoring periodically but you are far from having that happen.

I doubt any doc would suggest surgery at this point as the surgery can cause paralysis so they usually wait until you get "severe" or a cord badly compressed.

Any questions, I'm around.

hugs........Jenny

Thanks Jenny for the detailed explanation. Couldn't have been explained better.

 
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