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Old 01-19-2015, 07:43 PM   #3
ChuckStr
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Re: Cervical Stenosis with myleopathy

At 4mm you certainly have compression of your spinal cord. At C5/C6 your spinal cord would be at least 7mm normally. That much compression is probably dangerous on its own but, as you've experienced, you'll often get different opinions on this depending on who you talk to.

As far as ortho or neuro spine surgeons it probably doesn't matter as much as them being spine specialists. Spine specialists have received specialized training in diseases of the spine that a "regular" neuro or ortho surgeon wouldn't have. They also limit their practices to spine issues. I personally, think there are some differences, however, and it is often useful to get opinions from both. In my experience, ortho spine specialists tend to be a little more conservative and also more willing to think outside the box in terms of treatment. As Lionor suggests, ADR (disk replacement) may be a possibility in your case since you have only the one spinal level. That is something you'd want to explore with the surgeons you get opinions from.

It is relatively common to have cervical cord compression/myelopathy without significant pain if you don't also have neuroforaminal stenosis causing nerve root compression. The other problem with myelopathy is that it is impossible to predict the course. In general 75% of sufferers have stepwise symptom increase followed by some amount of stability and/or alleviation of symptoms. 20% have consistent slow degradation and 5% have fast progression. Symptoms to watch for are hand clumsiness, gait disturbance, foot drop, and bowel/bladder issues.

I don't have specific recommendations for Drs in Florida (living on the other side of the country), but in general, university hospitals will often have spine centers with excellent spine surgeons.

Good luck and let us know how it goes....