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need info about herniated cervical disc and possible paralysis

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Old 05-13-2004, 10:00 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 66
Hurdy HB User
need info about herniated cervical disc and possible paralysis

Hi Everyone, I need as much info as i can possibly get ! My best friend recently had a mri of her c-spine. When she went back to her pcp to get the results he told her that she had a herniation at c 6-7 and that her spinal cord also showed some narrowing. Her pcp told her that if she decided not to have surgery that it was a good possibility for her to become paralyzed, not to mention that he also told her that if she did indeed have the surgery she had a 50% chance of coming out of surgery paralyzed. Here is her mri impression:
1. C 6-7 disc bulge with a superimposed central disc herniation. This produces a moderate degree of canal stenosis along with very slight thinning of the spinal cord. There are no spinal cord signal abnormalities seen in this region.
2. There is no evidence of neural foraminal stenosis at this or the remaining level of the cervical spine.

There you have it, any info that any of you have to offer would be great. I will most likely be accompanying her to her NS consult and we would like to be as knowledgeable and informed on this type of injury as possible. Oh, i dont think it makes a bit of difference but she is 34 years old. Please accept my thanks in advance. Hurdy

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Old 05-13-2004, 12:09 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 26
hzz HB User
Re: need info about herniated cervical disc and possible paralysis

I would hate to claim that just because I got away with it, anyone could.

I had a "severely" herniated C6/7 disk from an auto accident in '02 that was inpinging into the spinal canal at first. Six months later, a follow up MRI showed the disk had totally collapsed and the two vertebrae were fusing together (the fusion was noticed through a CT). Problem was, C-6 and 7 were actually stair-stepped and this in effect was kinking the spinal canal (I think reducing it by 7mm).

The surgeon described this situation as "dangerous". I scheduled surgery a few weeks later, however circumstances delayed the surgery till almost exactly a year from the auto accident. At first after getting the bad news I was being very careful, but during the time waiting I finally decided to continue walking and had to continue driving.

I swear, there were never any symptoms from spinal cord damage, nor are there any showing up to this day. Unfortunately, the nerve root to my left arm was damaged and all this waiting did not help the situation. So that is most likely perminent. But I am really glad that I'm not in a wheelchair to this day.

Old 05-14-2004, 07:45 AM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: St. Louis Missouri
Posts: 160
Ramsfan HB User
Re: need info about herniated cervical disc and possible paralysis

Hi Hurdy,

It is true that any disk protrusion on the spinal cord can cause paralysis, especially if left untreated. I don't know if 50% is a true figure on being paralyzed from surgery although I am not a doctor. I've had 3 surgeries in 8 years for disk ruptures and have 5 vertibrae fused together (C3 through C7) My 1st time was so bad I saw the doctor on a Friday and he did the surgery the following Monday. This procedure is very common, a lot more than I realized. Over the years I have had aches and pains from my battle scars but still can live a fairly normal live. Although nothing is a sure thing, with a good NS your friend should come through surgery fine. Read several postings on this board and gather some questions to ask the NS when your friend has her appointment. She should do fine.


PS. I was 39 when I had my 1st surgery and 47 on this most recent surgery.

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