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  • C5-C6 Spinal Stenosis

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    Old 08-30-2006, 12:53 PM   #1
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    C5-C6 Spinal Stenosis

    I posted a little while ago trying to figure out exactly what my MRI meant. I got it now, but have another question for anyone who knows or has the same thing.
    My MRI said I have mild-moderate acquired spinal stenosis that is causing flattening of the central canal, and a hard disc at C5-C6. And some narrowing in both neural foramina.
    Someone that I know (not a dr., but has a lot of experience with backs and necks) said that that's not a big deal and probably wouldn't be causing my symptoms. I got the MRI done because I've had neck pain for quite some time, muscle spasms, knots all over my back and neck, headaches, but the worst part is I've had pretty bad weakness in my legs and arms. Like I walk to the bathroom and my legs start to lock up, and I feel like I just ran 5 miles and can't possible take another step. Has anyone ever had these symptoms or know whether or not they can be attributed to the MRI findings? I'd appreciate any input at all! Thanks!

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    Old 08-31-2006, 08:26 PM   #2
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    Re: C5-C6 Spinal Stenosis

    Yes M'aam. You got it, all right. I have just about the exact description as you and at the same level. At the mild-to-moderate involvement level, you might ask the doctor if he'd consider giving you a 7-10 day regimen of prednisone or heavy duty anti-inflammatories to see if your current leg symptoms might back off -- on the chance that a portion of you symptoms might be related to inflammation along the spinal cord (this helped me). The person "you know" who says it's not causing you symptoms is out to lunch. It's the pressure of the narrowing foramen on the chord, along with attendant inflammation of the cord that is causing the problems. My own fervent diet of ibupropen has kept me from far. That's not to say that anyone with mild to moderate cervical stenosis is not a "borderline" case -- we're all a prayer away from increased involvement and likely surgery.
    For me, the lower leg stiffness and near lockup is the most troubling. It usually backs off, but I am now having those symptoms as we speak -- 2 weeks of house painting did that! Good luck.

    Old 09-01-2006, 02:07 AM   #3
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    Re: C5-C6 Spinal Stenosis

    Thank you!! I was starting to think I was imagining things! I will ask about prednisone. Unfortunately, I don't see him until the 13th, but I'll try ibuprofen until then. Maybe that way I can actually get out of the house! (a good day is when I can walk to the mail box without stopping) Thank you again!

    Old 09-02-2006, 01:22 PM   #4
    Jimmy B
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    Re: C5-C6 Spinal Stenosis

    Excellent advise from Bobnorth !! I think the "someone you know" could be misguiding you. Be careful.

    I too have been diagnosed with moderate stenosis at C5-7. My symptoms are more arm related with my C-6 nerve root being pinched. MRI also revealed herniated disc and bony spurs causing the stenosis. I will more than likely require surgery in the near future, however, I have started PT sessions and have seen some improvement. I am on a regimen of Ibuprofin and Norco to help with pain and swelling, but the biggest helpers have been 1) Medrol dose pack (steroid) and 2) traction treatments at PT.

    Both of these have made my life change from miserable pain to managable pain. The steroid dose pack helped tremendously with swelling that was increasing the pressure on the nerve. Traction has also provided relief to the nerve for me, although I hear this is more hit or miss with most people.

    I would definately ask your doctor about a steroid treatment of some kind to help relieve some of your symptoms. It is worth a shot.

    Jimmy B.

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