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Old 09-04-2012, 01:02 AM   #1
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Something odd occurred that has me "unnerved"

Hi Everyone,

I have DDD, cervical canal stenosis-moderately severe, foraminal narrowing and cord flattening, osteoarthritis. Apparently the action is really happening at C6-C-7. I have moderate stenosis, osteoarthritis and cord flattening at C5-C6.

I am currently awaiting an answer as to whether or not a neurosurgeon is going to see me, pending review of my chart notes, MRI and x rays. MRI has confirmed the above.

But I'm a little scared...how fast can this progress? I've had the most alarming symptoms the last year and a half, but it's gotten worse since last February.

The other night though, I was sitting up in bed, on the computer and I bent my head slightly forward, heard a large "CRACK!" noise, then felt a deep "thud" like feeling and then excrutiating sudden pain down the left shoulder, into my left arm. It seems this pain has now switched, but has yet to cease. It is now at the back of my neck, radiating down my right shoulder and with a shooting sharp pain down my arm. BOTH hands go numb at the pinky finger and the entire length of both arms on the outter side. I cannot turn my neck to the right, barely to the left.

I feel like I'm being BS'd and I'm getting tired of waiting after having been fighting with insurance to get seen my by a neuro. If I'm turned down, I'm going to cry. I'm tired of these frightening symptoms, which have also included heaviness and weakness in my legs, making it difficult to walk at times, as well as my coordination is off, I'm off balance and I keep dropping stuff left and right. I cannot grasp objects as small as a penny. I'm frustrated, but what happened the other night REALLY scared me.

Is this not serious? If it's not why does this keep getting worse for me? WHy don't neurosurgeons take this seriously, or is it serious?? UGH!

Thank you for your feedback.

 
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:44 AM   #2
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Re: Something odd occurred that has me "unnerved"

It certainly sounds serious, and I very much hope you get in to see a surgeon. In the meantime, I would be careful about how you move, sleep, etc., and by no means allow anyone to mess around with your neck (like a chiropractor).

If you want another set of eyes on your MRI report, post it here. Something to do while you're waiting...

 
Old 09-04-2012, 09:05 AM   #3
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Re: Something odd occurred that has me "unnerved"

Quote:
Originally Posted by WebDozer View Post
It certainly sounds serious, and I very much hope you get in to see a surgeon. In the meantime, I would be careful about how you move, sleep, etc., and by no means allow anyone to mess around with your neck (like a chiropractor).

If you want another set of eyes on your MRI report, post it here. Something to do while you're waiting...
Web, thanks a bunch. I've already posted it here. Most didn't think it was too "serious" and that they had seen "worse" but here goes:

C4-C5- There is a mild central disc osteophyte complex which minimally effaced the ventral thecal sad but causes no significant canal stenosis or cord flattening. There is no significant foraminal narrowing.
C5-C6- There is a central disc osteophyte complex which effaces the ventral thecal sad and flattens the cord with moderate canal stenosis. Uncovertebral hypertrophy results in mild right foraminal narrowing. The left foramin is patent.
C6-C7- There is a central/right paracentral broad based disc protrusion which effaces the ventral thecal sac and results in moderately severe canal stenosis. Uncovertebral hypertrophy causes mild to moderate right foraminal narrowing. The left foramin is patent
IMPRESSION: At C6-C7- There is a central/right paracentral broad based disc protrusion which results in moderately severe canal stenosis. There is also moderate right foraminal narrowing
at C5-C6, a central disc osteophyte complex results in moderate canal stenosis. There is also mild right foraminal narrowing

What I find interesting about this is that there was no mention of cord flattening in the IMPRESSION portion of this MRI.

I also have beginning mild degenerative changes in lower lumbar with a disc bulging at L4-L5 and mild facet changes, without canal stenosis or formaminal narrowing
L5-S1- There is a small central disc protrusion with an associated annular tear. No canal stenosis, foraminal narrowing or nerve root impingement (but boy does it HURT)

Anyway, that's it. I've read not to pay attention to the cracking, but with what happened the other night and that it's getting WORSE and then the thud and now pain, I'm very concerned.

Thank you for your feedback Webdozer! I appreciate it very much!

 
Old 09-04-2012, 09:24 AM   #4
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Re: Something odd occurred that has me "unnerved"

OK, I see that you posted it earlier, so I guess my reaction would not have changed, either.

Didn't the MRI say anything about C7-T1? If your pinky-finger problems were caused by foraminal narrowing, it would be at the C7-T1 (C8 nerve) level. There's always the possibility, though, that the pinky-finger symptoms are due to cord compression at a higher level.

The other thing about the report... the radiologist says you have "moderately severe" canal stenosis at C6-7. OK, that MIGHT be problematic, but he doesn't say anything about the CORD. After all, the CANAL can be significantly narrowed before the cord itself is affected, because of the cushion provided by the spinal fluid. The important takeaway from this is that the radiologist's report - at least regarding the C6-7 level - is inadequate, as he left out a very important piece of information, that is, the condition of the spinal cord at that level.

So this will require a spinal surgeon's eye to fill in what the radiologist left out.

Just a word about cord compression.... Someone can have SEVERE cord compression without symptoms (I'm an example of that) or with very minor symptoms (I'm also an example of that, at a different time). I don't know it for a fact, but I'll bet the converse can also be true, which is that apparently relatively innocuous compression can have significant symptoms.

Of course, I'm just an under-educated and over-opinionated amateur. You really need the opinion of one or more spinal surgeons. And in the meantime, don't let anyone mess around with your neck.

Last edited by WebDozer; 09-04-2012 at 09:25 AM.

 
Old 09-04-2012, 09:33 AM   #5
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Re: Something odd occurred that has me "unnerved"

Web,

They didn't do an MRI in the thoracic region. everything after c-6-c-7 had no signs of DDD at all. It went to T-1 I believe.

What bothered me about this MRI report was how JURASSIC it was. It wasn't detailed and there were no measurements. The cord flattening was not addressed except for one sentence, however, I remain nervous about what's going on with my neck lately. I just hope they give an answer soon!

I won't let anyone touch my neck. Also, would you give the same advice about being careful with sleep etc? Anything else I should know?

 
Old 09-04-2012, 09:36 AM   #6
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Re: Something odd occurred that has me "unnerved"

<< It wasn't detailed and there were no measurements.>>

It was not well done, but I've seen worse. All the more reason to get a surgeon or two to look at the images...

 
Old 09-04-2012, 09:39 AM   #7
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Re: Something odd occurred that has me "unnerved"

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Originally Posted by WebDozer View Post
<< It wasn't detailed and there were no measurements.>>

It was not well done, but I've seen worse. All the more reason to get a surgeon or two to look at the images...
Web, yep, it's being reviewed by neurosurgeon as we speak. I just pray they will see me.

I was told that if they denied entrance to a surgeon, they'd let my clinic know. I pray that doesn't happen as I believe a Neuro can help me understand my results better and be realistic about it.

Thanks a bunch!

 
Old 09-04-2012, 05:34 PM   #8
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Re: Something odd occurred that has me "unnerved"

I fortunatly didnt have to get approval to see a specialist. I took my MRI's to two surgeons so far, and both of them only wanted to see the disks. They weren't interested in the impressions. They both told me the same thing. That I need a 3 level fusion. I guess they wanted to form their own impressions.

I hope you get in to see a specialist soon. It's just awful that people have to wait for the insurance makes up their minds. Good luck to you.

 
Old 09-04-2012, 09:34 PM   #9
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Re: Something odd occurred that has me "unnerved"

If that had happened to me I would have been to the ER. As for your neurosurgeon, chances are he's not the one that is reviewing you case-it's probably a physician's assistant or nurse practitioner. Neurosurgeons are too busy these days to review case

 
Old 09-04-2012, 09:39 PM   #10
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Re: Something odd occurred that has me "unnerved"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kay1963 View Post
Web, yep, it's being reviewed by neurosurgeon as we speak. I just pray they will see me.

I was told that if they denied entrance to a surgeon, they'd let my clinic know. I pray that doesn't happen as I believe a Neuro can help me understand my results better and be realistic about it.

Thanks a bunch!
I know how you feel. When I was referred to the neurosurgeon from the ER his PA had to review my case. Luckily she felt sorry for me because I had suffered for so long and no one would help. Unlike you though I didn't need an approval from an insurance company. Most times they won't approve surgery until you have exhausted all the conservative treatments like PT, epidural steroid injects and pain medication. And most neurosurgeons won't do surgery until you've tried those treatments for at least 6 months.

 
Old 09-05-2012, 12:17 AM   #11
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Re: Something odd occurred that has me "unnerved"

Have you tried any conservative treatments yet?? PT helped me for almost three years, then since this February I've had three steroid injections, no help. Two epidurals, nope. Then I had a radio frequency nerve ablation, that really helped the nerve pain that radiated down my arm. So when my Ortho's office put in for the three level ACDF it was approved in a week. What I'm trying to say is that for me, I wanted to try all the conservative treatments before going with the surgery. Now I'm to the point where I'm living on pain meds, not getting much sleep, etc.

I hope you hear something soon from your insurance company. I know how frustrating all the waiting can be. My surgery was supposed to be on the 28th of last month, but when I had the pre op physical, I failed the EKG the day before the surgery!! Now on to a stress test so I can get scheduled again. Good luck to you.

 
Old 09-05-2012, 12:13 PM   #12
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Re: Something odd occurred that has me "unnerved"

I am so sorry this is happening to you, all of this frustration of fighting the insurance companies seems so unfair, then when you DO finally get a report of a MRI done, and someone's interpretation of it is so vague , that is definately exasperating. Hang in there, I will be praying for you that you get some answers and relief soon

 
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