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  • Cervical Spinal Stenosis

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    Old 04-22-2017, 03:19 AM   #1
    kati218
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    Cervical Spinal Stenosis

    I recently had and MRI. It showed bilateral forminal narrowing affecting C4-C5 and C6-C7 with nerve impingement.
    I have been having numbness in thumb, index and middle fingers. Also pain and weakness in right shoulder and arm. This has gotten better than it originally started out as.
    I started on a weeks worth of prednisone of which I'm on 2nd day. I'm not noticing much difference.
    What does this mean for me? What am I looking at for the future regarding pain and just living a normal live?
    If I have narrowing/stenosis does disc replacement help that?
    Do I see an orthopedic doctor or a neurosurgeon?
    I am so afraid right now.

     
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    Old 04-22-2017, 05:05 AM   #2
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    Re: Cervical Spinal Stenosis

    Hi Kati,
    almost everyone will have spinal stenosis at some time or another. Its simply a narrowing of the spine and where the fluid goes through it. Ive been told I have stenosis for over 20 years now and it hasnt gotten any worse but I do have nerve impingement as well. I get numbness in my left hand and fingers and occasionally it travels down my leg.

    You would see an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spines if you are interested in possible surgery, but I would warn you that unless it is affecting your ability to walk or move freely, I would hold off on that as long as possible. No Cspine surgery is EVER a one time thing. once you fix the CSpine, you then will be back in surgery over the next few years fixing lower parts of your spine.

    You can live with stenosis forever. Its not life threatening! Dont be scared please...depending on how much pain you are in, the pain for me, usually comes and goes.

    Steroids, help decrease the inflammation. For some people, they dont work in oral (tablet) form, and they have to get an injection into the area. Ive had the injection- it doesnt hurt and it lasts a few months and wears off. I think I had it three times and then I went in for an epidural (under Xray in the surgey center) which took away the pain for about 4 months. I wouldnt recommend it personally....I just live with the knowledge I have stenosis. I work out, and do allot of stretching of the neck, shoulders and back. PT might help you learn how to do this...


    Im all about avoiding unnceccesary surgery on my spine- but I hope this gives you some peace of mind that there is no need to be scared...you can live with this forever and there is a chance it will NEVER get worse!

    Keep us posted!
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    Old 04-22-2017, 05:20 AM   #3
    kati218
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    Re: Cervical Spinal Stenosis

    Thank you for your reply. This does give me some peace of mind.
    I'm so anxious about the pain, numbness and what the future holds.

     
    Old 04-22-2017, 06:13 PM   #4
    teteri66
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    Re: Cervical Spinal Stenosis

    Welcome to the board. Did you get a copy of the MRI and the radiology report?

    Do you know how much stenosis there is or what is causing the narrowing in the foramina? Usually it is caused by degenerative changes in the disc, enlargement of the facet joints, or something similar.

    Stenosis can occur in two places in the spine...the central canal that contains the cerebral spinal fluid and the spinal cord and in the neural foramina. The foramen is an opening located on both left and right sides for each vertebra and it allows the individual spinal nerve to exit and spine and go out to the area of the body the nerve innervates. Something is causing these openings of both sides at C4-5 and C6-7 to narrow. This puts pressure on the nerve as it passes through and prevents it from functioning normally. This nerve compression results in pain that is felt at the site, or it may be felt anywhere along the path of the nerve.

    You can look online for a "dermatome map" to see which nerve innervates which area of the body. C6, for example runs across the top of the shoulder, down the top inside of the arm and into the thumb.

    Since the stenosis is in the foramina, various conservative treatments would be prescribed, depending on what is causing the stenosis. When it is located in the foraminal openings, it is painful and can cause many symptoms, but it doesn't have the potential to cause other worse issues as it does when located in the central canal.

    Cervical spinal stenosis (central canal narrowing) needs to be watched because if it begins to press into the spinal cord, it can cause a disease of the spinal cord called myelomalacia. It can also cause permanent nerve damage to the nerves of the spinal cord which, when severe enough, can lead to paralysis.

    You might want to make an appointment with a spinal specialist for an accurate diagnosis and plan for treatment. This can be either a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine or neuro surgeon. Just be sure the practice is limited to neck and back issues. Their training is almost identical when it comes to the spine.

    Last edited by teteri66; 04-22-2017 at 06:18 PM.

     
    Old 10-20-2017, 11:51 PM   #5
    Laurieivy
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    Re: Cervical Spinal Stenosis

    I have the same thing.. mine if on my left shoulder and arm.... pain and tingly in may thumb index and mid fingers. I had an MRI last week and they discussed it with the neurosurgeon. The person that read the MRI said it was severe narrowing but the neurosurgeon disagreed and said it was moderate. I am scared too! I am 60 just retired and we are going to full time rv and see the states. Planning this vacation for 5 years. I need to be healthy. I am glad someone said it didnít progress because that is what Iím hoping for. Maybe a cortisone shot

     
    Old 10-20-2017, 11:54 PM   #6
    Laurieivy
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    Re: Cervical Spinal Stenosis

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Laurieivy View Post
    I have the same thing.. mine if on my left shoulder and arm.... pain and tingly in may thumb index and mid fingers. I had an MRI last week and they discussed it with the neurosurgeon. The person that read the MRI said it was severe narrowing but the neurosurgeon disagreed and said it was moderate. I am scared too! I am 60 just retired and we are going to full time rv and see the states. Planning this vacation for 5 years. I need to be healthy. I am glad someone said it didnít progress because that is what Iím hoping for. Maybe a cortisone shot
    Also they have referred me to a physical science doctor.

     
    Old 10-21-2017, 08:51 PM   #7
    teteri66
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    Re: Cervical Spinal Stenosis

    It is important to find out if there is any cord compression. That is the most significant finding with a cervical spine issue....Most stenosis tends to get worse with the passing of time...but it does depend on what is causing it.

     
    Old 10-24-2017, 07:03 AM   #8
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    Re: Cervical Spinal Stenosis

    Has anyone ever had the HF10, Spinal cord stimulation, that is implanted in your back under the skin. My orthopedic dr gave me a dvd disc to view yesterday, called a Implantable pulse generator ( IPG )
    This device is used to treat back pain & Leg pain ???

     
    Old 10-24-2017, 07:58 AM   #9
    teteri66
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    Re: Cervical Spinal Stenosis

    I would just caution you to remember that you are viewing a disc made by the company that manufactures the neurostimulator. It will provide all the positives of the product but will not talk about the negatives!

    If you type spinal cord stimulator into the search box, you can read older threads from people who either had one implanted or are considering it.

     
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