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Old 01-08-2013, 07:46 AM   #1
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New to forum. Lumbar and cervical spine problems

Hi. My name is Lynda and this is the first time I have posted on any health forum. I had low back pain and pain in my legs for years. 11 years ago I had an MRI and the results were. L5 pars defect with spondylolithesis with 3mm slippage. Life carried on and 2 years ago I started to get severe pain and numbness with pins and needles in both legs travelling right down my legs to my toes. I was also having pain in my neck and arms. After many months of visiting my GP I finally had an MRI in June. For some reason they only scanned my lumbar spine. The results were. There is a grade 11 anterolisthesis of L5 on S1 by 7mm with modic type 11 degenerative end plate change and severe disc height loss L5-S1. There is a small disc bulg and disc degeneration T11-12 with out nerve root compromise. Conus terminates normally at L1. L1-2, L2-3 and L3-4 there is no evidence of nerve root compromise. L4-5 there is a central disk protrusion with annular tear, without nerve root compromise L5-S1 anterolisthesis with bilateral L5 pars defect and uncovering of the disk results in severe neural foraminal stenosis compressing the L5 nerve roots left more than right Impression L5 spondylolysis bilaterally with L5-S1 grade 2 anterolisthesis and advanced degenerative disc disease causing bilateral neutral foraminal stenosis compressing the L5 nerve roots left more than right. Since having this MRI in June my arms and hands have severely deteriorated with numbness, pins and needles in both arms and all my fingers, my thumbs being the worse and not being hardly able to use them. My legs have also deteriorated and feel like they don't want to work resulting in 2 recent falls. I have seen my consultant about this and have now just had yet another MRI on my C spine. I get the results on the 22 January and I'm dreading it. I'm not even 50 yet and feel like my life is in the scrap heap. I've had to give up my job as I can't physically do it anymore. Applied for disability and got turned down. I would like to hear from anyone in a similar situation

 
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:52 PM   #2
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Re: New to forum. Lumbar and cervical spine problems

Although most of the "lumbar" people post on the Back Problems board, it so happens I've had both worked on.

Let me explain something about spines that will help you know what to do first. Pain makes us all stand up and take notice but the reality is, the numbness may put your neck ahead of your lumbar in needing to be fixed. In order to have pain, the nerves have to alive and kicking. Nerves that are in trouble and showing signs of possible permanent damage or impending paralysis show signs like muscle weakness, numbness, pins and needles sensations and decreased reflexes. Your arms are in danger.

But here is another problem. Often a bad neck is responsible for leg problems. Pressure on the spinal cord in the neck doesn't cause pain but does cause major problems with trying to walk. I remember how I couldn't get my thighs to go forward....I walked taking baby steps. Turned out it was my neck, not my lumbar.

I suspect when you get that MRI result, you may find that you need surgery. I was 55 when I had my neck worked on for similar problems. Did great...until I broke it a few months later. Now my neck is fused from C3 to T1 and you know what...life is not that bad. I can still do just about everything I used to do and with little pain. I'm back here because I recently developed a new problem but it is related to the fractures I got an not the arthritis.

And once your neck is fixed, then you can see what is left that can be attributed to your lumbar spine. Seems like you need that L5 fixed. I just had that done in March and it has been a great recovery. No pain and steadily increasing strength.

The alternative is slow but certain paralysis. And you still have pain. So fixing what you can is about the best you can do.

Let us know what the cervical results are, okay?

 
Old 01-09-2013, 12:21 PM   #3
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Re: New to forum. Lumbar and cervical spine problems

Thank you for your reply. I guessed most of the problems I'm having were coming from my neck. I've done quite a bit of reading over the last couple of months concerning problems with the cervical spine. I'm dreading getting the results and and operation sounds terrifying, but if it helps to reduce the pain and stops the symptoms getting worse then I will have to have an operation. The pain medication doesn't help with the pain at all. I'm taking about 260mg of slow release morphine and 2 naproxen daily. I haven't been referred to the pain clinic yet as the consultant needs to know what's going on first. I had this buzzy electrical type thing put on my ankles, knees and arms, asked if I could feel anything, which I could slightly then was told I needed an urgent MRI. I'm getting quite anxious now as the results are in 13 days time. I hope you get your problems sorted out. PS will let you know the results as soon as I get them

 
Old 01-09-2013, 12:42 PM   #4
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Re: New to forum. Lumbar and cervical spine problems

Hi I just read your post. Forgive me if I missed something but you stated after many months of visiting your GP you had an MRI.

Have you consulted with an orthopedic or neurosurgeon at all? If you have and I didnt see it in your post please forgive me. But from what I rerad and see this should not be in the hands of your GP.

You need an ortho or neuro doctor that is specifically trained in and treats daily spine related issues.

Your MRI concerns me when you talk about numbness etc.

Please consult if you havent done already with a specialist.

I have had spine issues for 25 years. My history is that I have had surgery several times to the lumbar area ; several surgeries to the cervical area and both areas have Harrington Rods.

I am now going on Friday for an Intrathecal Pain pump to deal with the pain. I have had disc issues; stenosis; numbness in my legs; weakness in my arms and the list goes on and on.

Have you been thru any type of medication routine or physical therapy?

Please let me know and then I can write more. Again I urge you to see a specialist.

 
Old 01-09-2013, 04:17 PM   #5
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Re: New to forum. Lumbar and cervical spine problems

Thank you for your reply. I was referred to physio and only saw her once as she referred me to see an orthopedic specialist at my local hospital. I have been prescribed morphine and naproxen by my GP. The orthopedic specialist hasn't given me any medication until I get the results of my cervical MRI on 22 of this month. I first went to my GP with severe pain and numbness in my legs 18 months ago. It has taken this long for me to go through the system. The morphine was only prescribed to me about 6 months ago so I have been left in crippling pain for a year. The morphine isn't doing anything for my pain now, especially for my arms and hands, my hands swell quite badly every morning and I can't feel them at all. The swelling does go down, but not completely.soon as I try to do anything they swell back up and go red including my fingertips. I can't straighten either thumb anymore.

 
Old 01-09-2013, 06:53 PM   #6
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Re: New to forum. Lumbar and cervical spine problems

Lynda:

This is upsetting to me to hear that you are having crippling pain and because of the system it is taking all this time for you to be seen by a specialist.

It concerns me in the way you are feeling. What concerns me is if there is any "nerve" damage. The longer it goes on the bigger the problem. Once nerves are damaged to my understanding it is permanent. From the sounds of it besides an MRI doing an EMG to see how the nerves responds is in order.

You said the morphine isnt doing much for you. I am not sure why it isnt helping you.

The reason I say that is I am going thru surgery On Friday to have a Intrathecal Pain Pump inserted in my spine. It is a combination of medication which includes morphine. Before I go thru the surgery on Friday I went thru a trial to see if it worked. I found great relief from the morphine.

Isn't there anyway of getting into see the doctors sooner?

 
Old 01-16-2013, 06:55 AM   #7
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Re: New to forum. Lumbar and cervical spine problems

Hello Lynda,

It's hell to live with chronic pain, tell me about that.
Why don't you tell your doctor morphine doesn't work and he can switch you to a different medication.
What about oxycontin?, they have that in England.

 
Old 01-16-2013, 02:57 PM   #8
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Re: New to forum. Lumbar and cervical spine problems

You may find that you have problems in both areas. Clearly you have a problem in the lumbar area, the spondylolisthesis, that has continued to progress. This pain and numbness in your legs is most likely coming from this slippage.

Cervical problems may also contribute to leg pain if there is cord compression, but you can count on the spondylolisthesis being responsible for at least part of the leg pain.

 
Old 01-26-2013, 03:07 PM   #9
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Re: New to forum. Lumbar and cervical spine problems

well ive got my cervical MRI results and some of my thoracic spine as well.

Hemangioma are noted at C2-T1 and T4. Minimal scoliosis and reduction of the lower cervical lordosis but normal alignment. At C6-C7 there is a small central protrusion more prominent to the right effacing the CSF anterior to the cord and causing disortion of the cord but not causing cord compression.No/ signal change to within the cord. At C7-T1 there is a broad central disc bulge/protrusion and extrusion more prominent to the left narrowing at the left lateral recess and narrowing left exit foramen. At T6-T7 there is a large disc protrusion and extrusion extending superiorly behind the PLL causing distortion of the cord but no signal change to the cord appreciated. There are broad bulges at multiple upper to mid thoracic levels.

Needless to say i now have to have another MRI on my thoracic spine section. I have been referred to a cervical/thoracic consultant as the one im seeing is a lumbar surgeon. The consultant said i have major serious problems and i need surgery. I dont really understand this MRI and will be asking questions when i finally get to see the cervical/thoracic consultant

 
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