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Spinal Cord Impingement- How much is too much?

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Old 12-26-2005, 11:48 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 489
notpain HB User
Spinal Cord Impingement- How much is too much?

How far does a herniated disc have to impinge on the spinal cord before it causes symptoms? I have had another cervical MRI (3rd one now) and my C4/5 is clearly pressing (if every so slightly) on the spinal cord. It is not quite central (more to the right) but not far enough right to compress the exiting nerve. My condition has become worse, as it is clearly not just indenting the thecal sac, it is actually slighty touching the spinal cord.

I've read everything I can find in terms of studies online and it seems there are so many with cord impingment and no symptoms. And of course I read over and over how many people have herniations on MRI's and are asymptomatic. BUT I AM VERY SYMPTOMATIC. And I'm getting tired of surgeons and neurologists dismissing this finding as asymptomatic when I am clearly not and they can offer no alternative explanation for my balance problems. I have read over and over that cord impingement can cause balance problems. I'm at a loss now.

So how far does an impingement or indentation have to go to cause problems? And while you are at it - what about thecal sac impingement - it would make sense to me that anything that altered the flow of spinal fluid could cause some kind of problem.

Please advise and if possible quote a source where I can further my research.

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Old 12-26-2005, 12:39 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 558
Terri43 HB User
Re: Spinal Cord Impingement- How much is too much?

Hello Notpain, I have the same problem. I'm a wc case so they are always goiing to say your ok. My neurosurgeon said I need surgery ASAP or the damage will be permanant. I have stabbing pain down my right arm, pins and needles, burning, lose of sensation in my arm and fingers, I drop small things, have culmsey hands, my last 3 fingers want to curl under, I can't use my arms or hands for very long before the pain get to severe and that is with the pain meds. My neck is always stabbing at times it feels like if I move it its going to fall off. and lately my fiancee has called in the pinball wizard because when I first stand up to go to the bathroom or to the kitchen I bump into the walls back and forth. we laugh but its not funny. anyway thats what I have and my herniation is 8mm. I have decided that if at this next hearing next month if they don't approve the surgery then i'm doing it on my own insurance. I have an appointment on the 28th to get things started.

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