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teddybearhugs
07-11-2018, 04:30 AM
I have had ongoing issues with my cervical spine since 2010, and had a ACDF in 2014. Due to my neck pain increasing, and pins and needles in my hands, arm and shoulder pain, (I have also had a feeling in the nape of my neck that I can only describe as a heavy weight being placed there). I had a recent MRI scan done. My GP isn't concerned with the results. They are as follows:

Findings: A comparison is made with the previous MRI Oct 2015.

Straightening of the normal cervical lordosis. Previous anterior
cervical fusion at C5/6 with incidental Modic type II end-plate
change on either side of this articulation. Otherwise, the vertebrae
return normal signal throughout with no concerning or focal marrow
replacement.

At C3/4 level, central disc osteophyte complex mildly indents the
spinal cord (new finding) and minimally flattens the right
anterolateral aspect of the cord (unchanged). Minor exit foraminal
stenosis on the right at this level (unchanged).

At C4/5 level, left paracentral disc osteophyte is in contact with
the cord (new finding). No significant exit foraminal narrowing.

At C6/7 level, as before there is left sided mild exit foraminal
stenosis demonstrated.

I just wondered if anyone who was a bit more clued up than me, thinks it is ok to be left.

teteri66
07-11-2018, 07:18 PM
As far as I am concerned, anytime one has an issue that is compacting the spinal cord, even to a small amount, has something that needs to be watched. When it is caused by the degenerative process as in "degenerative disc diseas," you can pretty well assume that the condition will not improve. If lucky, it won't worsen...but as we age, for most of us, DDD tends to get worse.

Right now there are two segments where osteophytes (bony growths/ bone spurs) have formed due to the degenerative process. These cause the facet joints to enlarge...which takes up space needed by the nerves to function normally. These osteophytes at C3-4 and C4-5 are new since the previous MRI and are putting a small amount of pressure on the spinal cord.

I would assume the doctor feels they are sufficiently tiny that they are not causing damage to the spinal cord, and thus can be left alone, at least for now.

If you were located in the US, I would suggest you see a spine specialist (either a neurosurgeon or orthopedic spine surgeon) to be sure that there is nothing else of significance that is pinching or indenting the spinal cord. I personally do not trust a general practitioner to have the skill and/or experience to find things on MRI that are subtle (but significant!). (This learned the hard way!). However, I also know the healthcare system in the UK is different and I don't know enough about how it works to say whether or not you can feel comfortable relying on what your GP tells you.

Obviously your symptoms indicate there is spinal nerve compression that is causing the numbness and tingling in arms and hands, etc. But otherwise, disc height is maintained and everything else appears to be OK.

teddybearhugs
07-12-2018, 03:54 AM
As far as I am concerned, anytime one has an issue that is compacting the spinal cord, even to a small amount, has something that needs to be watched. When it is caused by the degenerative process as in "degenerative disc diseas," you can pretty well assume that the condition will not improve. If lucky, it won't worsen...but as we age, for most of us, DDD tends to get worse.

Right now there are two segments where osteophytes (bony growths/ bone spurs) have formed due to the degenerative process. These cause the facet joints to enlarge...which takes up space needed by the nerves to function normally. These osteophytes at C3-4 and C4-5 are new since the previous MRI and are putting a small amount of pressure on the spinal cord.

I would assume the doctor feels they are sufficiently tiny that they are not causing damage to the spinal cord, and thus can be left alone, at least for now.

If you were located in the US, I would suggest you see a spine specialist (either a neurosurgeon or orthopedic spine surgeon) to be sure that there is nothing else of significance that is pinching or indenting the spinal cord. I personally do not trust a general practitioner to have the skill and/or experience to find things on MRI that are subtle (but significant!). (This learned the hard way!). However, I also know the healthcare system in the UK is different and I don't know enough about how it works to say whether or not you can feel comfortable relying on what your GP tells you.

Obviously your symptoms indicate there is spinal nerve compression that is causing the numbness and tingling in arms and hands, etc. But otherwise, disc height is maintained and everything else appears to be OK.

Thank you for your reply, I have now been given an appointment to see my Neurosurgeon at the end of this month, to discuss the results. Many thanks for taking the time out to reply, I really appreciate it.

teteri66
07-20-2018, 04:07 AM
Thought I responded but don't see it, so...

Please let us know what you learn at the upcoming appointment! Go in prepared to ask questions! Don't assume he/she will tell you what you need to know!

I do know I waited what turned out to be "too long" to have my first surgery and I have permanent nerve damage as a result.

Of course, one never knows what "too long" is as it is different for every person!

teddybearhugs
07-20-2018, 05:35 AM
Thought I responded but don't see it, so...

Please let us know what you learn at the upcoming appointment! Go in prepared to ask questions! Don't assume he/she will tell you what you need to know!

I do know I waited what turned out to be "too long" to have my first surgery and I have permanent nerve damage as a result.

Of course, one never knows what "too long" is as it is different for every person!

I will let you know, how things go..I too was made to wait for my first surgery, infact had I have listened to the consultant then, I would have ended up paralysed... well that is what I was told when I went for my pre-op assessment!!! I will come back and let you know what comes from this appointment. Thank you for your reply... and sorry for the problems you have, that is awful. Sending hugs your way xxx

teddybearhugs
07-25-2018, 08:07 AM
Well I had my appointment...The Neuro said the only issue I now have with my neck is arthritiis, which doesn't really show on an MRI scan. And I have been discharged to monitor things myself.

mookerific
10-08-2018, 06:43 PM
I really hope all goes well for you. How have your symptoms been recently?

teddybearhugs
10-09-2018, 05:19 AM
I really hope all goes well for you. How have your symptoms been recently?

Hello Thank you for your reply x

My symptoms aren't great, I am constantly dropping things and have pins and needles in both hands, I have also been getting electric shock type feelings at the base of my neck, in certain positions... But my Neuro Doc, isn't interested... he has agreed that there is straightening of the Lordosis and said that can be left, he is aware I have discs contacting the cord etc too, but has told me that I don't need to be seen now for at least 10 years, my GP isn't interested, so I am just putting up with it for now.

mookerific
10-09-2018, 05:23 AM
That's nonsense. Find another neurosurgeon. Never let these people make you doubt your own instinct - you know your body best, and if you are suffering you MUST find a doctor who embraces that. These doctors have a God complex and are used to folks just slinking away when told that there isn't a problem. Don't accept that! I hope you feel better and hope you get the care you deserve soon.