I posted the C5-6 MRI stuff down below. Most of you have seen it before, but this way you don't have to go searching for it. I left out the rest of the MRI results, because it has no bearing on my problem or questions.
Am I understanding correctly (from reading these boards) that the spinal CANAL is different from the spinal CORD?
Is spinal STENOSIS different from spinal cord COMPRESSION?
Does this mean that my spinal CORD is not even being disturbed?
C5-6: The previously described broad-based disc osteophyte complex eccentric to the right at this level has increased in size and is adjacent to the cervical cord which is mildly draped over this abnormality without evidence of severe cord compression or cord edema. There is moderate asymmetric right central canal stenosis at this level with AP dimension of central canal at 7-8mm on the right side.
1. At C5-6 level there is interval increase in the size of the previously described broad-based disc osteophyte complex more to the right than the left compared with the prior study from August 4, 2011. This is causing moderate central spinal canal stenosis with the cervical cord draped over the disc osteophyte complex, but not severely compressed or demonstrating cord edema.
Yes, stenosis and compression are 2 different things. Stenosis means "closing up" such as an artery in the heart with stenosis that means it is closing up from cholesterol plaques. You spinal canal, which should be wider than your cord plus it's fluid and thecal sac is getting smaller. That can happen from a variety of factors but yours seems to be from the osteophtye/disc complex.
So your canal can have stenosis without the cord being compressed at all. Many are born with congenital stenosis...a canal that is abnormally small from birth. The ligament that goes up inside the canal can thicken and enlarge and that can cause stenosis. But the most common kind is what you have. Your cord itself is 11-12mms wide so if the canal dimension is down to 7-8mms, then you know the cord is being compressed fairly significantly.
When the stenosis gets so bad that it compresses the cord, then you have problem. It appears yours is hitting the cord now but your cord is NOT showing signs of damage from it...and that is good. But I'd suspect the doc may want to do surgery now or fairly soon.....you really don't want to go too much below that although I was down to 5-6mms. But the idea is do the surgery before the cord shows signs of damage.
YES Jenny it helps, BUT, I was hoping there wasn't really a problem and I was just being a big baby whining over the past few months...lol. So there really is a problem that needs addressed....blah.
Tomorrow I start my 3rd week of PT. My neck is feeling better pain wise, but I don't have any more ROM then when I started. The tingling in the back of my shoulder is almost non existent...yea! I go 3 times a week. My shoulders and wrists however, are not liking the PT at all! Feels like I now have tendonitis in the wrists & shoulders from the new exercises she threw at me on Friday. I've been icing all weekend.
Doing pretty well, thanks. Back is healing nicely and I have my 3 month check-up later this month. Then I'll be able to twist and bend over! Neck is not so good...new pain has developed....seems to be C2-3 problem. And my trigger fingers are still "triggering" but with much less pain thanks to a couple of cortisone shots in the palms. RA meds are starting to slowly kick in again...thank goodness!
Got over the psych problems the surgery gave me and even helped me get further in therapy...more new memories! Surgery brings back my past for me.
So all in all, I'm doing okay right now....can't complain but I will anyway!
Hahahaha complain all you want, you deserve to after all you've been through!!!
I hope you're not having new problems that will require even more surgery. I bet after all you've been through, that you can pretty much just walk in and tell the doctors what the problem is now. I'm glad your back is healing, just don't get too excited about it and hurt yourself! I didn't know you could get cortisone shots in your palms, did that hurt?? Is the trigger finger related to the RA? I'm so happy you're doing better emotionally. You've been through so much and don't need any more.