It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

  • Protruding cervical discs

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 04-23-2016, 04:08 AM   #1
    grdogs
    Newbie
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Apr 2016
    Location: Chillicothe, Ohio
    Posts: 2
    grdogs HB User
    Protruding cervical discs

    I have recently had a MRI of cervical spine due to constant headache, neck and shoulder pain. The MRI states I have C3-C4 spondylotic protruding disc abutting the cord and encroaching into and resulting in right greater than left foraminal stenosis with abutment of the C4 nerve root. C6-C7 protruding disc abutting the cord and resulting in high grade left greater than right foraminal stenosis with abutment and possible impingement of the C7 nerve root.
    I have an appt with a pain management physician as well as an Ortho physician. Of course I have to wait awhile before I get in to see both Dr's. My question is, my arthritis Dr referred me to physical therapy prior to having my MRI. Needless to say, PT is costly and time consuming and quite painful. Am I wasting my time with PT or is there a possibility it can help my condition?

     
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 04-23-2016, 07:18 AM   #2
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,198
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Protruding cervical discs

    Welcome to the board. I am a believer in seeing the spine specialist first for an accurate diagnosis and plan of treatment. Many spine surgeons like to direct the patient's care even when surgery is not needed, deciding whether pain management is necessary, referring to physical therapy, etc. I am not a fan of going to pain management first because it often ends up being the only specialist that is consulted with. As a result, an issue that could be resolved relatively easily ends up being a life time spent in pain management.

    I would suggest you make an appointment with either a fellowship trained orthopedic SPINE surgeon or neuro surgeon whose practice is limited to the neck and back for an accurate diagnosis and plan of treatment. When you are dealing with problems that are possibly impacting the spinal cord, I don't think you want to risk seeing anyone but a specialist who has the most education, training and experience with the issues and diseases of the back and neck.

    The MRI report indicates that there are degenerative changes resulting in protruding discs at two cervical levels that are causing bilateral stenosis. Stenosis is defined as a narrowing. In the case of the spine, it refers to a narrowing of the central canal (where the spinal cord is contained) or the neural foramen which are the openings between the vertebrae that allow spinal nerves to exit the spine and go out to innervate a particular part of the body.

    When one of these areas becomes blocked or compressed, it can result in nerve irritation, compression or damage. Things that can cause such pressure on the canal or opening include inflammation of tissue, herniating or protruding discs, enlargement of facet joints, osteophytes, etc.

    --to be continued shortly!

     
    Old 04-23-2016, 08:15 AM   #3
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,198
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Protruding cervical discs

    OK...so in non medical terms, the disc located between the cervical 3 and 4 vertebra is protruding which results in it pushing into the adjoining foramen. Think of a little hole that is only big enough to accommodate one sized thing...which in this case is a spinal nerve root. Now something new that doesn't belong there invades the opening and takes up space that is needed for the nerve to function normally. This puts pressure on the nerve, and depending on how much pressure, the nerve responds by being irritated or compressed. This compression can result in pain, tingling or numbness right at this spot or anywhere along the pathway of the nerve...thus, what we think of as "radiating" pain....apparently the foramina on the left side is more blocked than the one on the right.

    There is a nifty little illustration you can find online that shows the path of the spinal nerves, which nerve innervates which part of the body...a "dermatome map." You will see that C3 reaches into the lower part of the skull and C4 is the upper part of the neck.

    Similar things are happening at C6-7...except that the right side is worse, and the report indicates that there is lots of stenosis at this level. Another word for "high grade" in this instance is severe.

    You will note the report indicates that at both levels there is abutment of the spinal cord. This means that tissue is pressing into the central canal area which contains the spinal cord. Depending on to what extent this is occurring it will need watching as you do not want damage to the spinal cord. There is a suggestion that it is constricting the C4 and C7 spinal nerve roots.

    The thought regarding treatment is to somehow resolve the disc protrusions so they will go back into the disc space and thus, the foramen will return to their previous size and there will no longer be nerve compression or the possibility of cord compression. Physical therapy may help in this regard. Just be sure the therapist understands there is possible cord compression. It will no doubt be part of your treatment plan once you have seen the specialist. It almost always is a first step, along with epidural steroid injections to try to ease pain and reduce inflammation.

     
    Old 04-23-2016, 06:10 PM   #4
    grdogs
    Newbie
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Apr 2016
    Location: Chillicothe, Ohio
    Posts: 2
    grdogs HB User
    Re: Protruding cervical discs

    Thank you very much for the detailed information. Much appreciated.

     
    Old 04-24-2016, 02:42 AM   #5
    Fiona_Jo
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jun 2004
    Location: Northern California
    Posts: 801
    Fiona_Jo HB UserFiona_Jo HB UserFiona_Jo HB UserFiona_Jo HB UserFiona_Jo HB UserFiona_Jo HB User
    Re: Protruding cervical discs

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by grdogs View Post
    I have recently had a MRI of cervical spine due to constant headache, neck and shoulder pain. The MRI states I have C3-C4 spondylotic protruding disc abutting the cord and encroaching into and resulting in right greater than left foraminal stenosis with abutment of the C4 nerve root. C6-C7 protruding disc abutting the cord and resulting in high grade left greater than right foraminal stenosis with abutment and possible impingement of the C7 nerve root.
    I have an appt with a pain management physician as well as an Ortho physician. Of course I have to wait awhile before I get in to see both Dr's. My question is, my arthritis Dr referred me to physical therapy prior to having my MRI. Needless to say, PT is costly and time consuming and quite painful. Am I wasting my time with PT or is there a possibility it can help my condition?
    Hi! It sounds like you have a lot going on there (very similar to what to I was experiencing when I attempted PT). My first day of PT my Therapist went over my MRI with me and was very concerned about starting any type of PT at that time and wrote back to my Doctor that at this point I wouldn't be a candidate for PT.

    I highly recommend the PT you are seeing are very thorough and will review your MRI before they even decide if at this point if your a candidate, or to develop a plan that suits your needs, if they don't use your MRI, I would be very concerned and would wonder how could they possibly address your specific needs.

    I hope this helps!
    __________________
    080807-Cervical-Stim~071707-ACDF-C5-C7 w/instrumentation/bone graft~'07/06 Lumber instrum. removed 05/04-Fusion(DDD/Collapsed Disc L5-S1)08/99-Microdisectomy(Herniated Disc) ~Lupus/EDS,Migraine

     
    Closed Thread




    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:04 AM.





    2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!