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  • Cervical Stenosis, Spondylosis, Annular Tear and Scoliosis in Thoracic Spine

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    Old 11-04-2006, 04:16 PM   #1
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    Cervical Stenosis, Spondylosis, Annular Tear and Scoliosis in Thoracic Spine

    Hi all,

    I am a 45-year-old female who was diagnosed last year with spinal stenosis and spondylosis without myelopathy and will soon be returning to the out of state clinic that diagnosed me for a recommended follow up mri.

    Because of additional spine problems found by local doctors since my diagnosis last year, I would like some suggestions regarding what questions I should ask of the neuros at this upcoming appointment. Thank you in advance to anyone who replies.

    Here is the radiologist's report from last year:

    Result: Report Date: 19 Oct 2005 6:06PM MRI of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine without IV contrast. Cervical spine: Congenitally narrow cervical spinal canal. Moderate spondylosis in the mid/lower cervical spine with associated degenerative disk disease and narrowing of the C5-6 andC6-7 interspaces. Disk osteophyte complexes at C5-6 and C6-7 cause marked narrowing of the spinal canal. No abnormal T2 signal identified within the spinal cord. Cervical neural foramen are widely patent. Thoracic spine: within the thoracic spine,there is an anular tear and small focal disk protrusion at the T7-8 or T8-9 level which partially effaces the ventral subarachnoid space and minimal deformity of the ventral spinal cord. No abnormal cord signal identified. Between the scout aquisition and the images of the thoracic spine, the patient appears to have moved slightly, therefore, prior to any surgical intervention within the thoracic spine, further imaging is recommended to definitively determine the level of the above findings. Lumbar spine: Lumbar spine normal with no significant spinal canal or nerve root compromise.

    I had an emg last year which came out fine, although most of it was done on the left leg.

    Although the above report doesn't specifically state this, my cervical spinal cord is significantly compressed. The csf fluid is pushed away at the c5 and c6 spaces.

    The neurologist who diagnosed me from the well respected clinic strongly recommended close monitoring. He found no true neurological deficit on exam but referred me to a neurosurgeon at the same clinic who said that the disks were large and "cause for concern" but did not recommend surgery "at this time". Of course, I was warned about the usual signs of an emergency such as weakness in the arms and/or legs; Tingling, numbness or pain in the arms and/or legs; Loss of bowel and/or bladder control.

    I am very happy to report that none of these things have happened within the last year and I in no way expect them to find a neurological defict this year either.

    The clinic who diagnosed me and whose advice I am trying to follow is several hours away from me. The neurologist there who diagnosed me realized without me saying anything about it that I did not know of my problems before coming to him and he was very uncomfortable with the fact that I had been getting the run around from my local doctors for four years and knew nothing of the existence or extent of my problems. To that end, he urged me to find a local neurologist to monitor me for early signs of myelopathy. In case you haven't guessed by now, my injuries result from 2 rear end collisions, one at a very high rate of speed and one by a very large commercial vehicle.

    Since I live in a rural area, it is very hard to find good doctors. I found a neurologist in a neigboring town who is in the office a couple of days each week. From what I hear, she works for the insurance companies and runs around to neighboring counties doing emgs and stuff. This is the best I could find. Anyway, I have seen her twice within the last year.

    The new local diagnosis which I will be informing the clinic doctors about are:

    - Thoracic DDD with palpable muscle spasms and knots in the area of the annular tear which were found by the local neurologist 6 weeks ago and for which I have been taking 4 mg zanaflax twice a day with no relief of the significant mid to lower back pain or muscle spasms that are there daily and brought on by sitting.

    - Mild left convex thoracic scoliosis (an incidental finding by a local radiologist who was reading a recent chest x-ray).

    - Tronchoteric bursitus in left hip (for which I have received one injection that provided relief for about 3 months before wearing off.)

    In addition to this, I attended a large county fair in September of this year at
    which a couple of chiropractors were set up with scale like equipment that measures how straight you are.

    One of the chiropractors at the fair did some measurements and handed me a paper with a diagram on it that shows that my left hip is 2 1/2 inches higher than my right hip, the left shoulder is 7/8" higher and the head curves downward to the left. The screening showed that I am putting 12 lbs more weight on my right leg as opposed to my left.

    I got to thinking about this and remembered that I had seen a chiropractor 6 months after my first accident 5 years ago and he had done xrays of the entire spine. It was one of those deals where I saw an ad stating a full exam and x-rays were being offered for $40.00 so I made an appointment.

    I picked up the 2002 x-rays from his office and brought them to both my gp and local neurologist. They contain pencil markings from the chiropractor which shows scoliosis throughout the spine. For some reason, however, I have a vague memory that he told me to put my right shoulder down before doing the x-rays. I never ended up treating with him as I was scared of chiropractors because of a previous bad experience with a different chiropractor not long after my first high speed accident in 2000.

    I was referred to this first chiropractor by a local attorney. The attorney told me to tell the chiro that he had sent me. I was desperate for relief of my cervical burning pain and hip problems so I made the appointment and went to see him. I did not have x-rays or an mri with me at the time. I told this chiro that I would get a copy of the x-rays and would prefer to wait until he saw them, thinking this was safer.

    On my 2nd visit to him a few days later, however, I still didn't have the x-rays as I had been told by his receptionist on the way out that he didn't really believe in them anyway. He convinced me to let him manipulate my spine anyway and proceeded to take his thumbs and put them on the back of my neck. He then applied very firm pressure and would not stop when I told him to. I will never forget the crazy and determined look in his eyes as he was doing this.

    Shortly after this "adjustment" the radiating burning pain in my cervical area increased ten fold. All I could do was lay on the couch with an ice bag on it and cry. This is the only time I have cried about any of my many pain problems in 5 years. Needless to say, I never went back to him. I did talk to him on the phone a day or two later and asked what he had done to me. He couldn't tell me what this adjustment was called and didn't have a copy of his notes, so really didn't remember. The notes regarding my visits with him were "lost" for a long time, although I have recently obtained a copy of them.

    I have posted to another board in which a neuro answers you and he has made the following suggestions regarding my upcoming appointment:

    That I ask if the chronic cord compression is going to lead to myelomalacia (permanent damage) if not repaired.
    That I ask if they think the pain in my mid to lower back is coming from the known disk with the annular tear (the local neurologist told me that she thinks it is).
    That I see a registered physical therapist (I did so 5 years ago and it made things worse.)
    That plain x-rays are the best way to check for scoliosis
    If various diagnostic options would be appropriate for me
    What interventions would be appropriate for my various spinal symptoms/problems.
    That I choose a good neurologist who I trust to coordinate my care and to cut down on the confusion caused by seeing "a half dozen different doctors"

    While I very much appreciate his reponse, I wanted to post here because I know many of you are well versed in all aspects of spine problems. If you have any suggestions or comments, please respond.

    I only work part-time so it is his insurance that allows me to be seen at the well respected clinic. It is the only insurance I have. Needless to say, I have a big problem here.

    I apologize for the lenth of this post. God Bless any of you who read it and respond to any part.

    Last edited by Administrator; 03-08-2014 at 07:21 AM.

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    Old 11-04-2006, 05:41 PM   #2
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    Re: Cervical Stenosis, Spondylosis, Annular Tear and Scoliosis in Thoracic Spine

    Kathy, dear one, I was not going to respond to your post because there are others whose back problems are much more similar to yours than mine are. But then I got down to the bottom of your post.

    I am very concerned for you. Your back problems are secondary to your safety right now. If your husband is slowly increasing in his aggression toward you, it's only a matter of time before it's not your chair he's kicking. It would be abuse to press his elbow into your neck and kick your chair even if you didn't have neck and back problems. The fact that you do makes it even clearer that he intends to enforce his "power" over you by hurting you. I am not an advocate of divorce. I strongly believe that the marriage vows are binding, and that being "unhappy" is not a legitimate reason for divorce. Being unhappy is a legitimate reason for getting some counseling. But this is different. When a woman is being abused as you are, she needs to protect herself. You are no match for him. Please, Kathy, at least look into finding a safe place you would be able to go where he would not find you. Your local phone book should have an abuse hotline listed where you could get some information and support. No matter how much you love him, no matter how many years you've had with him, you cannot let him think it's okay to abuse you, physically or verbally. You apparently have some family, an aunt, who you're in touch with and who loves you. Could you stay with her if necessary? Unless your husband gets some help, the abuse is not going to stop. It's going to continue to escalate. Please, Kathy, you're worth more than that. Don't wait until it's too late.

    Please post again and let us know you're finding help and are okay. Please, dear one, get yourself safe!


    Old 11-04-2006, 06:23 PM   #3
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    Re: Cervical Stenosis, Spondylosis, Annular Tear and Scoliosis in Thoracic Spine


    Emily is right? Get yourself to a safe place. Worry about your insurance later!
    Your health, mental state, and your life are far more important.

    Can't comment on your health issues either. I was in a very abusive marriage for 14 years, and managed to raise 4 kids on my own. Seek help and maybe an Order of Protection. You need documentation. Keep safe. kdk819

    Old 11-04-2006, 07:37 PM   #4
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    Re: Cervical Stenosis, Spondylosis, Annular Tear and Scoliosis in Thoracic Spine

    kahtyIL am sitting here reading ur post with tears in my eyes please find somewhere to go to get away from the abuse my mom was shot and killed by her husband who told her for years he was going to kill her this is not a joke please get away from him I also know when I get upset and tense up that makes my back hurt worse Iwill say a prayer for you god bless you and take care please let me know how ur doing

    Old 11-04-2006, 08:11 PM   #5
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    Re: Cervical Stenosis, Spondylosis, Annular Tear and Scoliosis in Thoracic Spine

    Kathy, we all seem to be uttering the same thoughts about your home situation, totally bypassing your back health issues. So THIS IS A SIGN for you.

    Kathy, I lived with an obessive control freak for 20+ years. He was very controlling, but was not ever physical at all. Yours is! Whether you see it or not, this man MEANS TO HURT YOU. It's not a matter of anything else but WHEN! He's working his way to that bat he's so disgustingly reminds you about and you need to LEAVE NOW!

    Kathy, if he works for a fairly large company, and you divorce him, you would be entitled to COBRA health insurance and can keep it for up to 3 years. I am on COBRA from my divorce. THis is a federal law. But COBRA does have to be offered there. I would check into that.

    Stress plays a huge role in your pain as well. I think you might be surprised at how well your body can feel away from that stress, by being in a safe and healthy environment.

    We are all very very concerned for your well being. Please post back here and let us know how you are.
    "believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

    L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
    Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
    Solidly Fused Nov-2006
    A Success, but still improving!

    Last edited by Justoneofus; 11-04-2006 at 08:11 PM.

    Old 11-04-2006, 09:43 PM   #6
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    Unhappy Re: Cervical Stenosis, Spondylosis, Annular Tear and Scoliosis in Thoracic Spine

    IA .. with the other posters. Your safety has to come first. Is there a family member you can go to? I realize you NEED treatment for your stenosis and annular tear, but right now you're in a very scary and volatile situation.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.
    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

    Old 11-05-2006, 03:08 PM   #7
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    Re: Cervical Stenosis, Spondylosis, Annular Tear and Scoliosis in Thoracic Spine

    Kathy - I agree with everyone else about your safety but don't ignore gait, weakness and numbness issues - I had cervical stenosis C4-C7 and wasn't in pain, ignored other symptoms and was almost paralyzed - see my post on the spine board - good luck - Gloria

    Old 11-05-2006, 06:07 PM   #8
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    Re: Cervical Stenosis, Spondylosis, Annular Tear and Scoliosis in Thoracic Spine

    Thank you all, for your concern. You have all helped me in some way.

    FishingChick, I am very sorry to hear about your mother. May God bless you and help you heal.

    I had forgotten about Cobra. He is a state employee. I will check into this soon.

    My aunt, in fact, has two houses. She spent her life in the Navy and never married. One house is empty and will remain so. She uses it for visitors. The two houses are very near each other. If I had to, I could probably stay in the empty one.

    Today has been wonderful. He took off early this morning and I haven't seen him since. I think I know what he is doing, but to be honest, I really don't care. I am just enjoying the peace and quiet. Just me and my two wonderful teenagers.

    Tomorrow, I have some insurance issues to deal with regarding my upcoming medical tests. After that, I plan on starting to organize things around the house so that all financial papers and such are easily found when I need them. Then I get to go see my son receive an academic achievement award from his football coaches.

    Thanks all, for opening my eyes for me. I will definately stay in touch.


    Old 11-05-2006, 06:49 PM   #9
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    Re: Cervical Stenosis, Spondylosis, Annular Tear and Scoliosis in Thoracic Spine

    Kathy, I join the people concerned here and want to tell you that your Aunt's 2nd house is not a safe place if your husband is violent or abusive and knows where it is located.

    There should be resources in the nearest larger town where safe haven can be sought, do not take the chance of moving out without support when your husband is making serious physical threats against you.

    First take care of your safety and please do take threats seriously.

    I have nothing against Chriopracters, they serve great purpose and do lots of people great help, HOWEVER, reading your medical situation, I would advise you to stay away from chrio unless the neuro refers you.

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