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  • Please interpret this

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    Old 09-25-2015, 07:30 AM   #1
    Seacoast
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    Please interpret this

    Results of MRI:

    Findings:
    Cervical vertebral normal in height. Straightening of the normal cervical lordosis likely.due to muscle spasm. No fracture. Degenerative disc space narrowing at C-5-C6 and C-6-C7 with mild Spurs at this level. Chronic mild degenerative 2 mm anterlisthesis of C3 on C4 and C4 on C5.
    No significant soft tissue abnormality. Oblique view shows mild right C5-C6 and C6-C-7 and moderate to severe left C-3 -C4 and mild left C-5-C-6 and C6-C7 neural foraminal narrowing.

    The pain is from behind shoulder and radiates down right arm to hand. Been treated with prednisone, anti inflammatories and muscle relaxer with no remarkable difference. Pain medication I believe was cause of severe headache with vomiting. Using heat and ice along with physical therapy prescribed exercises. It's been a month now. Just started omega 7 and glucosamine.

     
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    Old 09-25-2015, 08:51 AM   #2
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    Re: Please interpret this

    Your cervical spine is undergoing changes associated with age and degenerative arthritis. There are changes from C3 to C7, both left and right, with forward slippage (mild) at 2 levels. The foraminal narrowing puts pressure on the nerve roots passing thru the foramen (opening like a tunnel), which can cause the arm pain radiating down the nerve. The arthritic changes can cause neck pain. There is evidence of spasm in the neck muscles. It is interesting that the problem appears more severe on left, but your symptoms are on right. You may need at some point, a neurosurgical consult, if the pain is intolerable and you don't get enough relief from anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants. This can be partially helped by surgery by opening up the foramen and fusing the vertebrae that have slipped forward. The arm pain would probably be helped 100%, but the neck pain less so. I hope that helps, but I know is not good news. I would discuss these results with your Dr. and consider how aggressive you want to be at this point.

     
    Old 09-25-2015, 10:37 AM   #3
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    Re: Please interpret this

    Thanks for the quick reply. I wish the prognosis was not so depressing. I was hoping to hear that taking more omegas and drinking more water would cure it
    (ha ha...I know, wishful thinking). I just read about studies using abdominal fat transfer that are underway and hoping by time I may need surgery that technique will be approved and fine tuned.

    This is my first experience with this. I really feel for those that have been suffering for years. I don't know how anyone can manage day to day life, much less a full time job. It is so draining physically and emotionally. Medications seem to all have side effects that seem to be worse than the condition itself.
    The PT tried some traction but I ended up with numbness and tingling in my hand that I didn't have prior to that which is really scarey to me.

     
    Old 09-25-2015, 11:00 AM   #4
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    Re: Please interpret this

    Hi Seacoast,
    Sorry your in pain, have my sympathy. I have lived with pain however there are often new treatments certainly in the USA and UK. Please don't give up, pain is depressing, swimming is good exercise however check with your dr. My back gets stiff and warm water helps ease some pain. Please ask your dr to explain your scan findings. Can always seek another opinion from another dr, sorry I don't know about insurance if would be covering etc worth finding about about for a second opinion. The scan does seem to indicate degenerative arthritis however I'm not a registered health professional. Your dr's should treat the pain and slow the progression of the arthritis. Many natural products check with your dr that they don't interact with your prescribed meds. Pain can and should be treated. I do distraction therapy and distract my mind with art therapy, music and doing nice things. However that's only effective with meds I find. Good luck and I hope your pain eases really soon. Hope I've helped, used to be a nurse and have arthritis myself and other conditions etc.
    Take care
    Katie

     
    Old 09-25-2015, 02:58 PM   #5
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    Re: Please interpret this

    Thanks for the encouragement.

     
    Old 09-25-2015, 04:20 PM   #6
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    Re: Please interpret this

    Just to let you know, I have the same problems with my neck. Have already had a fusion at one level and now, 7 years later am having significant neck pain again and putting off the surgery until I really need it. The surgery is no fun, but way better than the back surgery I had, so if needed again, I'll do it to feel better. In the hands of a good neurosurgeon, you would be fine. But only you can determine when the time comes you say, "OK, enough pain, time to do it." If you get muscle weakness in your arm, that signals that it is time to do something.

     
    Old 09-25-2015, 07:01 PM   #7
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    Re: Please interpret this

    Im reading that everyone develops this as we age, but my mom or other family members never had any pain related to arthritis or degenerative joint disease? Are there things to do besides exercise to slow the progression? How do you find a "good" neurosurgeon? Did you try injections prior to surgery? Does the surgery leave you stiff with decreased range of motion?

     
    Old 09-26-2015, 08:00 PM   #8
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    Re: Please interpret this

    Last question first, a bit of stiffness and decreased range of motion in neck did result from surgery, but better than pain for me. There is nothing you can do to prevent this from happening. Sometimes injections are done. I have had epidural steroid injections in my back but not in my neck. I do think intermittent traction can help short term, a few hrs maybe, but not lasting relief. You can get cervical traction devices for use at home, or get cervical traction at chiropractor's office or physical therapy. I am using a rather primitive device at home that goes over the top of a door and involves pulleys with a ten pound bag of water and chin/back of head straps that stretch your neck and relieve the pressure. This is a stop-gap measure for me until I get up the nerve to have surgery again. But it does give me a few hrs relief. Obviously not a long term solution. I hope you find the answers for you and get relief, even if it means surgery. I would get recommendations for a neurosurgeon, then interview 2-3 until you find one that you feel comfortable with. Your PCP, friends, neighbors, etc who have gone thru this can help.

     
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