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Old 07-03-2012, 09:23 AM   #1
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Help- C5-C6 - RT Arm Pain - Numb - Surgeon wants me to get a shot

Looking for advice- Had pain since January (in neck and entire right arm along with numb feeling in right hand, saw neurologist, got EMG, NCV's done, slight nerve damage in rt elbow and 2 MRI's.
Started with Steriod packs (2) -in April didn't work, then did physical therapy - kicked me out Mid June because that didn't help.
Got referred to Neuro Surgeon, She said get another MRI and a Cervical Epidural shot - even though I told her I do not want to get the shot.
Just got results from 2nd MRI: Findings: Mild intervertebral dis height loss at C5-C6.
C5-C6 Mild diffuse disc bulge with a superimposed moderate rt. paracentral/foraminal disc protrusion, which is larger compared to the prior study. This causes moderate lateral recess stenosis. There is moderate neuroforaminal stenosis as well. Findings worse compared to prior study. No left neuroforaminal stenosis.

Not alot of knowledge of what this MRI means.
I have not gotten the shot and do not want the shot especially when we do not know if it'll work. She did not want to discuss surgery until I got the shot But isn't the shot just a temporary fix? I wanted to discuss surgery because I thought this would fix the problem. I am only 35 and was active. Seems my issue is getting worse. Isn't it better to fix the problem prior to it getting worse? Any advice on how I should handle next steps? My follow up with the same surgeon is this Thursday 7/5

 
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:47 AM   #2
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Re: Help- C5-C6 - RT Arm Pain - Numb - Surgeon wants me to get a shot

Regarding your PRIOR MRI report...

1) when was it?
2) how have your symptoms changed since then?
3) what, exactly, did it say about the C5-6 level?

Last edited by WebDozer; 07-03-2012 at 10:48 AM.

 
Old 07-03-2012, 10:54 AM   #3
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Re: Help- C5-C6 - RT Arm Pain - Numb - Surgeon wants me to get a shot

1st MRI April 2nd - 2nd MRI June 28th
Symptoms have gotten worse since initial MRI back in April- stabbing pain in right arm, can't sleep on either side anymore - have to be on back and max of 2-3 hours sleep at a time and wake up with a lot of pain.
It said what I posted above about the C5-C6. Also said under impression: Moderate right paracentral / foraminal disc protrusion, larger compared to prior MRI. This causes moderate right lateral recess and neuroforaminal stenosis.

 
Old 07-03-2012, 11:05 AM   #4
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Re: Help- C5-C6 - RT Arm Pain - Numb - Surgeon wants me to get a shot

The key is in the adjectives used. Radiologists use a range of minimal/mild/moderate/severe to indicate how bad something is. You can see that "moderate" is just below "severe". If it were "severe", the surgeon might want to go ahead and operate. If the radiologist says just "moderate", then she's maybe going farther out on a limb than she likes. Hence, the attempt at a conservative treatment.

FWIW, I think it's pretty likely that the bulging disk is pressing on your C6 nerve and causing the neck pain and arm symptoms. One giveaway might be if you have right thumb symptoms. It's quite possible, as well, that a different radiologist might have labeled the disk problem as "severe".

I suspect you are stuck with the shot, for now. Who knows.... maybe it will work wonders.

You might want to take the opportunity to discuss with the surgeon how, exactly, she would operate if/when she decides to go ahead...

Last edited by WebDozer; 07-03-2012 at 11:08 AM.

 
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