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  • Cord effacement and bulging discs

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    Old 11-08-2019, 02:09 AM   #1
    Join Date: Jul 2016
    Posts: 6
    Yellowroses23 HB User
    Cord effacement and bulging discs

    I was involved in a car accident 3 months ago where the car I was travelling in was T-boned. I was in the back of the vehicle on the side that received the full impact. Following an MRI on my neck the results stated that I have disks bulging at C5/6 and C6/7 with moderate cord effacement.
    I am in considerable pain every single day. The pain goes down to my fingers, with it being felt quite badly in my bicep area. I have had medication, physiotherapy and steroid injections to try to stop the pain and was then referred to a neurosurgeon for review. He viewed my results and said that since it appeared that the nerves weren't impacted at all that he could see no reason for me to be in such pain. He even went as far as stating that a lot of car accident patients "think they are in pain!" Or that my pain is from a pulled muscle. Trust me, this pain is real!
    My question is, can the cord effacement and bulging disks cause considerable pain even though nerves are not impacted? The MRI showed I have moderate effacement of the spinal cord - could this be causing the pain?
    I have since booked in for a second opinion due to this doctor's attitude.
    Has anyone else had a similar injury with substantial pain like I am in?
    Thank you.

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    Old 11-10-2019, 06:27 PM   #2
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    Re: Cord effacement and bulging discs

    Welcome to the board. You know your body better than anyone else, and your tolerance to pain. I am happy to hear you are getting a second opinion. I would suggest you also consult with an orthopedic spine surgeon. Even though their training in the spine is similar to that of the neurosurgery training, ortho spine docs sometimes look at issues differently. I found them to be more flexible in their thinking.

    Cord effacement can be a serious issue...certainly worthy of exploring further. The disc bulges are pushing into the thecal sac, which can put pressure on the nerves of the spinal cord. Depending on the extent of the effacement, it can cause quite a bit of nerve pain. Also, a doctor cannot really judge how “big” a disc bulge needs to be in order to cause symptoms. Sometimes issues that don’t appear to be of much significance can cause a great deal of pain.

    Don’t give up. Keep looking for answers. Sometimes it takes awhile to find the doctor who will listen to you and think “out of the box” if necessary!

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