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Old 12-04-2012, 12:09 PM   #1
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Unhappy New Here and TERRIFIED!!

I went to the ER at the beginning of Sept because I was having tingling up and down my left arm and I thought I was having a heart attack or something. After an EKG and a CT scan of brain when I mentioned I get tension at the base of my head I was sent home with a suggestion to see a neurologist. I was sent for an MRI by neuro..

Findings: There is straightening of the cervical lordosis. Vertebral bodies are normal in
height without a fracture or subluxation. Limited evaluation posterior fossa is unremarkable.
No abnormal signal is seen in the cervical spinal cord.
The craniocervical junction is maintained.
At C2-3 there is disc desiccation, otherwise unremarkable level.
At C3-4 there is a small disc bulge. There is left uncovertebral hypertrophy and mild facet
arthrosis. There is no thecal sac compression. There is mild left foraminal stenosis.
At C4-5 there is a small disc osteophytic ridge and bilateral uncovertebral osteophytes.
There is mild thecal sac compression and mild bilateral foraminal stenosis.
At C5-6 there is a moderate left paracentral foraminal disc osteophytic ridge, bilateral
uncovertebral osteophytes. There is severe thecal sac compression to the left of midline and
compression of the spinal cord as seen on series 6, image 18. There is severe left foraminal
stenosis with compression of the exiting nerve root. There is moderate right foraminal
stenosis with abutment of exiting nerve root.
At C6-7 left paracentral disc protrusion. There is a mild spinal cord compression to the left
of midline. There is mild endplate remodeling. There is no foraminal stenosis. Facet joints
are intact.
At C7-T1 is unremarkable
Degenerative disc disease results in severe compression of the spinal cord to the left of
midline at C5-6 and mild compression to the left of midline at C6-7.
At C5-6, there is severe left foraminal stenosis with impingement of the exiting nerve root.
Mild degenerative changes are seen at other levels.
No abnormal cord signal is seen along the cervical spine

The neuro told me to consult with a surgeon, then told me like 3 times to not fall down or gt in any accidents!

I saw the surgeon this past Friday. He said he didnt think I needed to rush and hav surgery at this point and wants to see me again in 2 months and also have another MRI.

This whole thing has me terrified. I'm walking around like I am going to break. I can't stop thinking about it and worrying. I have anxiety disorder, so it is really hard for me to not obsess about this. I have been crying for days, and imagining myself ending up paralyzed

 
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:15 PM   #2
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Re: New Here and TERRIFIED!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweeteypie1118 View Post
I went to the ER at the beginning of Sept because I was having tingling up and down my left arm and I thought I was having a heart attack or something. After an EKG and a CT scan of brain when I mentioned I get tension at the base of my head I was sent home with a suggestion to see a neurologist. I was sent for an MRI by neuro..

Findings: There is straightening of the cervical lordosis. Vertebral bodies are normal in
height without a fracture or subluxation. Limited evaluation posterior fossa is unremarkable.
No abnormal signal is seen in the cervical spinal cord.
The craniocervical junction is maintained.
At C2-3 there is disc desiccation, otherwise unremarkable level.
At C3-4 there is a small disc bulge. There is left uncovertebral hypertrophy and mild facet
arthrosis. There is no thecal sac compression. There is mild left foraminal stenosis.
At C4-5 there is a small disc osteophytic ridge and bilateral uncovertebral osteophytes.
There is mild thecal sac compression and mild bilateral foraminal stenosis.
At C5-6 there is a moderate left paracentral foraminal disc osteophytic ridge, bilateral
uncovertebral osteophytes. There is severe thecal sac compression to the left of midline and
compression of the spinal cord as seen on series 6, image 18. There is severe left foraminal
stenosis with compression of the exiting nerve root. There is moderate right foraminal
stenosis with abutment of exiting nerve root.
At C6-7 left paracentral disc protrusion. There is a mild spinal cord compression to the left
of midline. There is mild endplate remodeling. There is no foraminal stenosis. Facet joints
are intact.
At C7-T1 is unremarkable
Degenerative disc disease results in severe compression of the spinal cord to the left of
midline at C5-6 and mild compression to the left of midline at C6-7.
At C5-6, there is severe left foraminal stenosis with impingement of the exiting nerve root.
Mild degenerative changes are seen at other levels.
No abnormal cord signal is seen along the cervical spine

The neuro told me to consult with a surgeon, then told me like 3 times to not fall down or gt in any accidents!

I saw the surgeon this past Friday. He said he didnt think I needed to rush and hav surgery at this point and wants to see me again in 2 months and also have another MRI.

This whole thing has me terrified. I'm walking around like I am going to break. I can't stop thinking about it and worrying. I have anxiety disorder, so it is really hard for me to not obsess about this. I have been crying for days, and imagining myself ending up paralyzed
I dont' know much abut reading MRI's however I do know a bit about cord compression and if I were you I'd get 2 more opinions at least from surgeons.
((((hugs)))

BTW I was told to not fall down or get into an accident when I first had my spinal injury and one surgeon wanted to do surgery and 2 others said not at this time. This was in 2003. I was doing great until this summer. I fell a couple times in early July and the two surgeons I saw believe that the falls had to do with the cord compression however when I fell the second time I jarred my neck really good which caused things to spiral down BIG TIME! As you saw I'm having surgery on Friday.

MTA: I know how terrifying the thought of being paralyzed is. This is one I have to deal with each day since my compression has gotten so bad there's a lot more chance now. Anyway try to relax ( I know hard to do)
Hopefully others with a better understanding when it comes to MRI'S will chime in!

Last edited by rockenmama; 12-04-2012 at 12:18 PM.

 
Old 12-04-2012, 12:43 PM   #3
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Re: New Here and TERRIFIED!!

Thank you for responding. I hope others who can read MRI's will be able to help also. I can't stop worrying about this.

 
Old 12-04-2012, 02:26 PM   #4
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Re: New Here and TERRIFIED!!

I'm a little surprised that you don't have more than left-arm tingling. That, at least, is a GOOD sign, for the time being. That is most likely caused by the severe left foraminal stenosis which is affecting the C6 nerve. Let me ask, does this tingling - or any other symptom - go down to your thumb? Are any of the muscles of your left arm abnormally weak?

Assuming that the left-arm symptoms are caused by the foraminal stenosis, and those are your only symptoms, then the compression of the cord at C5-6 is still asymptomatic. How long it will remain so is the question.

As for the conflict between your physicians... I don't want to second guess either one. I'm pretty sure that many surgeons would want to schedule you for a C5-6 ACDF, possibly even extending that one level down, or even one down and one up. If the surgeon doesn't want to - and, remember, he gets paid for doing surgeries, not for waiting - I would be receptive to his reasons for wanting to wait. Two months is about the limit I would want to wait, though, given that it's been three months already. Best not to let these things go for too long.

In the meantime, though, I would heed the urgency expressed by the neurologist, and get myself two more opinions. Two. Even if you have to pay out of pocket.

And as for being terrified, you don't seem to have anything that's terribly out of the ordinary, at least for the people here...

Last edited by WebDozer; 12-04-2012 at 02:28 PM.

 
Old 12-04-2012, 02:33 PM   #5
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Re: New Here and TERRIFIED!!

I don't have any weaknes anywhere. Just a pinched nerve kind of pain above my left shoulder blade

 
Old 12-04-2012, 02:37 PM   #6
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Re: New Here and TERRIFIED!!

my left thumb sometimes spasms. What exactly is a C5-6 ACDF? This is all so new to me

 
Old 12-04-2012, 02:39 PM   #7
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Re: New Here and TERRIFIED!!

A little odd that the surgeon wants another MRI. Is he going to wait two months before he orders it? Makes me think that the first MRI was low quality, at least from the perspective of deciding on how to operate.

 
Old 12-04-2012, 02:40 PM   #8
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Re: New Here and TERRIFIED!!

He wants me to have one right before I see him

 
Old 12-04-2012, 02:44 PM   #9
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Re: New Here and TERRIFIED!!

The C6 nerve (from the C5-6 level) goes down to the thumb. Just more evidence that your symptomatic problem is the C6 radiculopathy (foraminal narrowing at C5-6 squeezing the nerve) and not cord compression.

An ACDF is an anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion. The surgeon goes in from in front, removes the disk between the C5 and C6 vertebrae, inserts something (like a piece of donor bone) in its place, then clamps the whole thing together. In a few months, the C5 and C6 vertebrae grow through the donor bone and fuse the whole thing together.

I've had one (among other things) and so has Peyton Manning, if that helps...

 
Old 12-04-2012, 02:47 PM   #10
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Re: New Here and TERRIFIED!!

I just looked it up. It sounds so scary....risk of loss of voice, ability to swallow etc.

 
Old 12-04-2012, 04:45 PM   #11
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Re: New Here and TERRIFIED!!

Welcome! I'm new too! I had an ACDF fusion for myelopathy at the cervical levels of 5-6, 6-7. Yes, I was scared just like you. There are many great people here that are caring, knowledgable, and are going through similar things.
WebDozer described and explained it very well.
Getting a second opinion is a positive thing. Welcome!
Sunshine
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:33 PM   #12
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Re: New Here and TERRIFIED!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweeteypie1118 View Post
I just looked it up. It sounds so scary....risk of loss of voice, ability to swallow etc.
I had a 2 level ACDF earlier this year-best thing I ever did.

Don't spend your time reading up on it online. IMO most of the stories you are going to read are from people who've had some complications. There are over 70,000 ACDFs done each year so the horror stories are only a small % of the people who have had it done.

The reason why you don't hear from too many people who've had no complications is because they have moved on with their lives. The surgery was a success so there is nothing holding them back from enjoying life. I think more people who have had a successful surgery should share their stories.

 
Old 12-05-2012, 07:51 AM   #13
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Re: New Here and TERRIFIED!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Realhousewife View Post
I had a 2 level ACDF earlier this year-best thing I ever did.

Don't spend your time reading up on it online. IMO most of the stories you are going to read are from people who've had some complications. There are over 70,000 ACDFs done each year so the horror stories are only a small % of the people who have had it done.

The reason why you don't hear from too many people who've had no complications is because they have moved on with their lives. The surgery was a success so there is nothing holding them back from enjoying life. I think more people who have had a successful surgery should share their stories.
Thank you for taking the time to reply. I havn't read any horror stories. I just looked up information on what the surgery entailed and it listed those things under possible complication which of coure, freaked me out! I'm having such a hard time not thinking about it constantly and I am crying every day. I dont handle having things wrog with me very well!

 
Old 12-05-2012, 08:18 PM   #14
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Re: New Here and TERRIFIED!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweeteypie1118 View Post
Thank you for taking the time to reply. I havn't read any horror stories. I just looked up information on what the surgery entailed and it listed those things under possible complication which of coure, freaked me out! I'm having such a hard time not thinking about it constantly and I am crying every day. I dont handle having things wrog with me very well!

I have an anxiety disorder too but reading up on the surgery helped to prepare me for it. I knew there would be a possibility that the surgery could leave you paralyzed but that's such a small risk compared to not having surgery if you need it. All those other complications are rare too. When I woke up I had a sore throat but that was from the breathing tube. It went away in a few days time. That was the only thing that bothered me. I had surgery for my knee 5 weeks after my neck surgery-that's how well I did.

If I had to do it again I would. The risks and complications are well worth the outcome IMO and happen very rarely.

 
Old 12-06-2012, 04:02 AM   #15
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Re: New Here and TERRIFIED!!

The warnings are less to make you think twice about surgery than they are to protect the docs for malpractice.

 
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