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



Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

  • Spinal Cord Stenosis

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 01-17-2006, 04:51 PM   #1
    ThoreauFan
    Senior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Posts: 266
    ThoreauFan HB User
    Question Spinal Cord Stenosis

    Just received back MRI results ordered by my Neuro following problems using my hands - dropping things, pins/needles, numbness, etc.

    Report Findings:

    Spinal Cord Stenosis, result of broad-based disc bulges and endplate osteophytes.

    7mm C6-C7
    9mm C7-C8

    Anyone been there?

    I'm 39 (M), and my upper back/cervical pain began about 7 years ago.

    Is the stenosis serious enough for surgery?

    Any comments/insights are appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Last edited by funny4mony; 01-17-2006 at 04:52 PM.

     
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 01-18-2006, 02:46 AM   #2
    mhQ's
    Newbie
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Posts: 3
    mhQ's HB User
    Re: Spinal Cord Stenosis

    c-spine surgery experience here. mine was in '99, originally my pain and dysfunction had escalated to the point i had no choice. no sleep, nothing could relieve the pain and i was walking into walls etc.
    mine involved more than the numbness, weakness in my left arm.
    a consult with neurologist led to ER visit. er docs tried conservative treatment...traction, soft then hard neck colars, all to no avail
    several months later had my surgery .

    have you had a good heart2heart with your neurologist?

    in my situation i had disc issues plus osteophytes adding insult to injury as the saying goes. significant nerve pain (Root nerve) was long standing.

    if the pain and disfunction gets too bad for you, you might consider talking with neuro-surgeon- pref one specializing in your type of spine conditions.

    sometimes if a person does not get appropriate treatment soon enough, they can have permanent nerve damage.

    good luck to you!

     
    Old 01-18-2006, 07:49 AM   #3
    ThoreauFan
    Senior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Posts: 266
    ThoreauFan HB User
    Re: Spinal Cord Stenosis

    Thanks for the input, mhQ.

    I've been writing off a lot of symptoms to aging. Neuro dx Sleep Apnea 2 1/2 years ago, and then I have a host of other issues (about 8 rx daily, including Ambien & Diazepam).

    The walking into the walls things is odd. I have had periods where I have consistently banged my left shoulder while walking through doorways. Currently have mild balance & coordination problems. MRI showed foriminal (sp?) narrowing on most of the left cervical areas. I've adjusted to the pain over the years by hunching my upper posture.

    My big concern is long-term nerve damage; I need my hands, etc. obviously. The MRI was the result of abnormal reflex responses during an annual check up.

    I'd love to have a heart-to-heart with my Neuro. I don't have many options because the HMO and would require a referral to an actual Neurosurgeon, rather than a Neurologist. May have to do some work on my own to find an alternate opinion.

    Radiologist described the stenosis - as narrow as 7 mm - as "moderate." Several notes mentioned displacement of the cord, etc. I didn't like that at all, which I why I'm trying to find the stories of some other people.

    I wonder what has to happen before I can get a Dr. to actually do something.

    Last edited by funny4mony; 01-18-2006 at 07:52 AM.

     
    Old 01-19-2006, 06:06 AM   #4
    Backinthesaddle
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Posts: 515
    Backinthesaddle HB User
    Re: Spinal Cord Stenosis

    I also have stenosis to about that level with many issues. I would not take the chance and let it remain. If your osteopaths are inward as mine is that means bone smushing your cord. My NS told me last year that all it took was anther accident and I could have permanent paralyis, not worth it. I am having a decompression fusion C4/5 next month. In 2002 I had a decompression C6/7 and have permanent nerve damage in my right are from that but I can still use my hands fine I just know what sets it off and try to stay away from that position.

     
    Old 01-19-2006, 12:58 PM   #5
    ThoreauFan
    Senior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Posts: 266
    ThoreauFan HB User
    Re: Spinal Cord Stenosis

    Thanks, backinthesaddle.

    The "osteophyte complex" in both areas referenced above displace the spinal cord, resulting in the stenosis. For the most part, I, too, have learned to adjust my positioning to avoid pain, tingling, numbness, hot spots, etc.

    I'm working on getting something done. I'm having a set of nerve conduction tests next Tuesday. We'll see what the Dr. says after that. The standard neuro exam arm reflexes were abnormal, prompting the MRI.

    Is there any connection between osteophyte growth and trauma?

    I was in a high speed car accident two years ago; think NASCAR. More than 600 feet of spinning and bouncing off a guard rail - and my neck whipping around - before impacting a concrete barrier.

    I never made any connection between that and the current problems. I've had upper back pain for years. The numbness, loss of coordination, etc. is more recent.

    Who could have known?

     
    Old 01-19-2006, 07:59 PM   #6
    dootag
    Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: May 2005
    Posts: 80
    dootag HB User
    Re: Spinal Cord Stenosis

    Hi funny4mony,

    Sorry about all the miseries. I'll try to answer a couple of your questions what I know something about. "Does Osteophyte growth have anything to do with trauma?" I don't believe it's significant. The aging process and a number of diseases have a lot to more do with osteophytes.

    Your neuro doing nerve conduction tests suggest he is concerned about what is going on. However in the absence of some tangible spinal cord things he's not treating it as an emergency -- that is normal and you should take comfort. The designation "Moderate" re your stenosis is normal. There are well defined guidelines for those descriptions.

    Can I make a suggestion? You have a lot of concerns and really legitimate ones at that. I would make an appointment with my family doc if I was you. You might have to fib about why you want to see him as the staff never considers "want to talk" as a good reason. Then sit with him and express your concerns. If you don't understand some things tell him. If you're scared tell him. You get the idea. Also, if the specialists aren't already sending your family doc copies of their reports you should try to make that happen. Then your family doc will have a paper to rely on and can give you even better answers. I really think it will make you feel better about what is going on and your family doc will be pleased you came to him/her.

    Good luck I'm sure you will have a good outcome.
    dootag

     
    Old 01-19-2006, 08:50 PM   #7
    ThoreauFan
    Senior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Posts: 266
    ThoreauFan HB User
    Re: Spinal Cord Stenosis

    Thanks for the response, dootag.

    I'll give it a try, although I usually see Urgent Care physicians for acute issues. Two to three week waits for a PCP appointment is pretty common - heavy patient loads. I don't think I've actually seen my PCP for more than two years.

    My earlier Neuro appt. was an annual follow up.

    Regardless, I'll get in for a talk. I have a bad sinus infection anyway; I've been putting off an ethmoidectomy & a host of other related procedures my ENT recommended 18 months ago.

    Thanks!

    Last edited by funny4mony; 01-19-2006 at 08:52 PM.

     
    Old 01-24-2006, 02:50 PM   #8
    ThoreauFan
    Senior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Posts: 266
    ThoreauFan HB User
    Re: Spinal Cord Stenosis

    Update:

    There was no need for additional tests.

    I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon tomorrow a.m.

    I'll try to keep a diary on the boards about the surgery, etc.

    Thanks for everyone's help!

     
    Old 01-25-2006, 10:50 AM   #9
    Backinthesaddle
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Posts: 515
    Backinthesaddle HB User
    Re: Spinal Cord Stenosis

    F4M I was told and have read that yes osteopythes can be caused by trauma. As in my case. I didn't have it within the last year of the second injury and then after the rear ender I had it and it was quit severe depending on the wording of my NS. Since it is a way the body tries to heal itself, it also is from getting older as dootag said. I think it is more inportant that if the bone spur is inward and up against your spinal cord then if it was facing outward. Inward as mine is can cause permanent injury if I were to have another trauma to that area (again according to my NS). Plus who wants to go years with this pain? Not I.....I have already been 1 and 1.5yrs and it is enough.

    What did the doctor say this morning?

     
    Old 01-25-2006, 02:05 PM   #10
    ThoreauFan
    Senior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Posts: 266
    ThoreauFan HB User
    Re: Spinal Cord Stenosis

    My Neuro gave me the talk yesterday; may get worse after surgey; no guarantees; not a fun recovery; they don't treat pain; concern is the spinal cord. Non-treatment and progression could get ugly; walking; breathing;, etc.

    NSs are pretty confident people, if I'm using the right word. My NS has an impressive pedigree - Harvard, Mass. General, etc., and my surgery appears to be less challenging from his perspective (that of a brain surgeon).

    It will be an anterior two level cervical fusion, using donor bone, protein sponges, plates & screws. I'm having it scheduled (ins. pre-certs, etc.) right now; probably looking at 3 weeks out or so. NS says I'll only need the collar for about 3 weeks and that I should leave the hospital the day after surgery.

    NS felt the symptoms were atypical, and the primary issue is motor function.

    The accident may have contributed or pushed the condition along. Or maybe not. In short, it can be anything or a combination of things. They don't know.

    Physicians here don't treat pain w/surgery. In fact, even the fusion itself doesn't appear to be a major concern. Getting the pressure off the spinal cord is the goal.

    NS won't be cleaning out areas of foraminal narrowing, etc. The surgery will be focused on the two areas where the cord is being displaced.

    I am told I will still probably have the pain.

    That's it for now.

    Oh. PCP's office called, and I'm having a complete physical.

    Last edited by funny4mony; 01-25-2006 at 02:06 PM.

     
    Old 01-25-2006, 05:32 PM   #11
    Backinthesaddle
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Posts: 515
    Backinthesaddle HB User
    Re: Spinal Cord Stenosis

    Glad you at least have a plan. Isn't it strange that no one seems to want to treat pain? My doctor also said that along with the fact that he also is not going to worry about my other areas of stenosis or bone spurs since they are not compressing the spinal cord. I guess they hope that the compression of the cord once relieved will alleviate many of the other pains. I was told that since mine was 4-5 that the problems I have with 6-7 and 5-6 may get better since it is above them. I already had a posterior decompression of 6-7 and I would think that the tricep pain would be done with but it isn't. The PT this doc sent me to said she thought the would go back and fuse 6-7. But this doc doesn't think so. Sucks to wonder about future pain and future surgeries when the docs could fix it all at one time but I suppose there is a reason they do not.

     
    Old 01-25-2006, 09:44 PM   #12
    ThoreauFan
    Senior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Posts: 266
    ThoreauFan HB User
    Re: Spinal Cord Stenosis

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Backinthesaddle
    Isn't it strange that no one seems to want to treat pain? My doctor also said that along with the fact that he also is not going to worry about my other areas of stenosis or bone spurs since they are not compressing the spinal cord. I guess they hope that the compression of the cord once relieved will alleviate many of the other pains.
    BITS,

    My Neuro (not NS) was frank as to the line of thinking here. Trauma or progession of the cord compression can have horrific results; paralysis below the affected area and permanent nerve damage. That's what they treat.

    I was explicity told that they are not treating my pain. If the pain subsides, then great.

    But it's not the point of the surgery.

    The NS said it was unusual to see this type of degeneration at my age (39). I will continue to have degenerative issues - more bone spur growth, etc. - in the future. With artificial disks and other treatments on the horizon, they will only perform surgery for what is absolutley necessary right now.

    I'm one of the lucky ones, though. I know of people with unbearable pain. My pain issues are non-existent compared to most of the people having problems. My heart & prayers go out to you all.

    F4M

    Last edited by funny4mony; 01-25-2006 at 09:54 PM.

     
    Old 01-26-2006, 05:19 PM   #13
    Backinthesaddle
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Posts: 515
    Backinthesaddle HB User
    Re: Spinal Cord Stenosis

    My first injury was when I was 38. My NS told me that he thought I may have a degenerative problem. Hmm I thought that is crazy as I had little neck pain before this problem. But looking at the latest MRI and CT the only places that are worse are the ones that got injured. Nothing else progressed in 3 years so I am doubting it was a degenerative issue. Most of the problems seen in my neck are seen in people over 60 so I am told. Now at 42 with two injuries I wonder what 60 will feel like.

    My doc like yours didn't mix words when he talked about paralysis. However, the Ortho doc who will do this surgery wasn't to concerned (my NS retired and referred me to this doc). Neither doc would give me any ideas of the future. I do understand why they don't want to fix it all at one time but it would be easier I would think.

    When is your surgery?

     
    Old 01-26-2006, 08:38 PM   #14
    ThoreauFan
    Senior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Posts: 266
    ThoreauFan HB User
    Re: Spinal Cord Stenosis

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Backinthesaddle
    Most of the problems seen in my neck are seen in people over 60 so I am told. Now at 42 with two injuries I wonder what 60 will feel like.

    I do understand why they don't want to fix it all at one time but it would be easier I would think.

    When is your surgery?
    I don't have an exact date for the surgery; Dr. said the office would contact me shortly with the date and details.

    I think it would be easier to just do all the work at once, too. For you, me, and the other patients, anyway.

    As with you, my degeneration is in line with someone over 60. Neither of my parents or any siblings have arthritis problems. I am the youngest in the family. Yet, the best guess is that my problem is a primary degenerative disease, possibly based on heredity in some way. I'm sure there's something else involved, but a Dr. isn't going to delve into it.

    My cynical side comes to the surface when I give it some thought.

    I'm starting to believe a great deal of today's medical care and its protocols are based upon issues of liability and potential for litigation. A 7 figure a year brain surgeon doesn't want to spend his/her day testifying in court. In the past few weeks, I have seen and heard scores of carefully worded, qualified, equivocal statements. My health care providers write reports and give answers in CYA fashion, as if preparing for court. I smell the convergence of big biz health care, insurance, and lawyers.

    Reading your story, it only sounds like more of the same.

    That said, I'm just ecstatic they'll do something about it.

    But it would be nice if medicine could go back to being just about medicine.

    Last edited by funny4mony; 01-26-2006 at 08:45 PM.

     
    Closed Thread

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
    Spinal AVM MRI results Tashaisinpain Spinal Cord Disorders 8 05-12-2010 02:36 PM
    Spinal fusion ... Anterior Cervical Discectomy Julie1119 Spinal Cord Disorders 16 01-11-2008 04:46 PM
    MRI Results (neck/thoracic) two protrusions/on spinal cord (m)... greenacres Spinal Cord Disorders 3 11-18-2007 07:18 PM
    what happends if you lost spinal fluid by jumping during a spinal tap. My mri shows lronco1 Spinal Cord Disorders 8 10-27-2007 09:41 PM
    Spinal stenosis/Foraminal stenosis? kaybee Back Problems 1 10-08-2004 10:55 AM
    Has anybody had surgery for spinal stenosis? Kamden Back Problems 12 08-26-2004 10:23 AM
    Cervical Spinal Stenosis-Post Op Randy86 Spinal Cord Disorders 1 08-26-2004 05:33 AM




    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 06:58 PM.





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