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Old 12-04-2012, 10:51 PM   #1
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cervical disease and shoulder pain

Hello, comments please...
After a four year history of acute shoulder pain I had a repair of partially torn rotator cuff in 11/2010.
Pain persists so I was referred to a second shoulder surgeon who thought the problem was stemming from multilevel degenerative disc disease of c5-c6, c6-c7.
He has referred me to a spinal clinic with warnings of a potential cervical fusion in my future.
Do the MRI results warrant surgical intervention?
Can this be the cause of my daily shoulder pain? [scapula, trapezius, deltoid area, and of course the neck] There is muscle wasting of the whole shoulder, especially the scapula.

"At C5-C6 there is a mild posterior disc space narrowing with uncovertebral joint prominence particularly on the right. There appears to be at least a moderate degree of right neural foraminal narrowing due to uncovertebral joint spurring. No significant central or left neural foraminal narrowing.

C6-C7 demonstrates disc bulging posteriorly but most pronounced in the left posterior aspect. Although there is only minimal central canal narrowing as a result, the disc material does approach the ventral nerve root on the left. Mild degree of left neural foraminal narrowing is also suspected.

No further significant degeneration or abnormalities."

Has anyone had a similar experience, or perhaps can help interpret the MRI findings?
As I live in Canada I don't expect to get an appointment with the surgeon any time soon, probably another year. Any help with interm managment would also be helpful.
Many Thanks!

 
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:26 AM   #2
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Re: cervical disease and shoulder pain

Which shoulder has the pain? Is it movement-related or does it hurt for no particular reason?

Your MRI report doesn't look bad at all, although it's always possible that the radiologist is understating things.

The worst of it would seem to be this... "at least a moderate degree of right neural foraminal narrowing due to uncovertebral joint spurring". However, at this point, a fusion would seem like overkill, as the disk itself does not seem to be the problem, which is that the ridge along the top/back of the vertebra (the uncovertebral "joint") is laying on extra bone. Of course, this assumes that it's your RIGHT shoulder which is troubling you.

 
Old 12-05-2012, 07:03 AM   #3
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Re: cervical disease and shoulder pain

Thank you for your reply.
It is the left shoulder, the back of the scapula in particular, and is not movement related. Sensitive to pressure, either from a bathing suit strap, seatbelt, or simply touching the back of a chair. I haven't been able to comfortably lie on my left side for four years. Of course I use it as little as possible to avoid exacerbating the pain but have gained much physical activity this last year [run, play squash, rollerblade, bike].
These activities do aggravate the pain but it's good for my soul!
Regards

 
Old 12-05-2012, 08:03 AM   #4
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Re: cervical disease and shoulder pain

OK... my amateur's take on this is that the LEFT shoulder problem is probably not coming from the cervical spine. For one thing, the worst the radiologist says is that C7 nerve root is APPROACHED by the bulging disk. Also, the C7 probably does not go to the problem area. You can look up C7 + dermatome to see.

Finally, the pain should not be exacerbated by pressure at the point of the apparent sensation. If your cervical spine is the problem, then pressing on that shoulder/scapula area should not make any difference.

 
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