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  • Severe Cervical Stenosis

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    Old 12-28-2006, 10:33 AM   #1
    ShepherdLady
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    Severe Cervical Stenosis

    Hello!

    What a wealth of information here! I have been searching the Internet reading anything I can about Cervical Stenosis. But the medical websites in most cases just offer general information. Most especially in regards to the symptoms one can get if they have cervical stenosis.

    It really is good to see what others in my predicament are going through, that said at the same time I am sorry they are going through it!

    I was recently diagnosed with Severe Cervical Stenosis and myelopathy. What a frightful diagnoses! And I am now trying to learn all I can about it, so I can better figure out what is from the stenosis, what is from my back and what is from my Rheumatoid arthritis.

    I have 3 badly herniated disc's in C4/5, C5/6, C/6/7 that have all herniated back into my spinal cord. Neurologist says they have been there a long time to be this bad. I am also showing cord signal change that my OS says means my spinal cording is showing edema.

    I am having a 3 level discectomy using cadaver bone graphs and plates and screws. They say the goal of this surgery is to keep my myelopathy from getting worse. I am having this surgery Jan 22.

    I just wanted to say Hello and I have a lot of reading to do on this site.
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    Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

     
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    Old 12-28-2006, 10:46 AM   #2
    PearlDoves
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    Re: Severe Cervical Stenosis

    Welcome to the board! I hope your surgery goes well. Good luck to you and many blessings. If you have any specific questions about the surgery or our experiences, just let us know

     
    Old 12-28-2006, 11:02 AM   #3
    BobM
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    Re: Severe Cervical Stenosis

    Sorry to hear about your problem - but the big thing to focus on now is that you have been diagnosed, and are getting treatment!

    I have a similar problem (C4/5/6/7) and have had all these levels fused, but mine took two separate surgeries. I had severe pain, and had lost most of the use of my left shoulder & arm, before the first surgery. The operation was scary to me, but need not have been. Takes a while to recover, but I am so much better now - pain is mostly gone, and my arm is almost normal!

    Each person's experience with this problem is different, but the vast majority seem to be much, much better afterwards.

     
    Old 12-28-2006, 06:06 PM   #4
    ShepherdLady
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    Re: Severe Cervical Stenosis

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PearlDoves
    Welcome to the board! I hope your surgery goes well. Good luck to you and many blessings. If you have any specific questions about the surgery or our experiences, just let us know
    >>

    Thank You PearlDove. I am sure I'll have plenty of questions!!

    May I ask you what your symptoms were?
    __________________
    Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

     
    Old 12-28-2006, 06:27 PM   #5
    ShepherdLady
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    Re: Severe Cervical Stenosis

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BobM
    Sorry to hear about your problem - but the big thing to focus on now is that you have been diagnosed, and are getting treatment!>>


    You're so very right! I have been seeing a PM doc for over a year now with back pain and weird very painful sensations in my upper thigh. Along with nerve pain that goes from the side of my knee down to my ankle. The strange thing is this mostly happens if I lay on my side. And for the most part, stops if I lay on my back. But when I lay on my back my thigh goes numb from my knee on up. Also my left leg is weak as well.

    He thought all this is due to a possible nerve root problem from L-5. But according to my MRI the bulging disc in that area isn't pressing on the nerve. He is a wonderful doc, and says just because the MRI doesn't show it, doesn't mean something isn't going on in that area. I do like the fact that he thinks outside the box and doesn't rely just on an MRI. However, I think now that all this is coming from my cervical problem. But all this has been very frustrating trying to deal with!!



    I have a similar problem (C4/5/6/7) and have had all these levels fused, but mine took two separate surgeries. I had severe pain, and had lost most of the use of my left shoulder & arm, before the first surgery. The operation was scary to me, but need not have been. Takes a while to recover, but I am so much better now - pain is mostly gone, and my arm is almost normal!>>

    Wow, so glad your getting back to normal!! How is your range of motion now that your fused?

    I have suffered from shoulder pain on and off now for almost 5 years. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and thought that that was why my shoulders had been giving me such pain. They throw the big gun medicines at me because of it and my shoulders haven't gone out in a few years now, except lately. When I say, gone out, I mean extreme pain and I cannot even move my arms. I think all the meds I take for my RA have masked the problems in my cervical spine. And now because my spinal cord is so compressed, it justed isn't helping that area anymore. I even often wonder if I do have RA now, and wonder if all the problems I have been having over the years isn't from my spinal cord. It is something I am going to ask my Rheumy at my next appointment.

    Each person's experience with this problem is different, but the vast majority seem to be much, much better afterwards.
    >>

    That is what I have been reading as well. I so hope I am one of them and don't have worse problems when this surgery is over.
    __________________
    Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

     
    Old 12-29-2006, 07:38 PM   #6
    kim55119
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    Surgery

    I had a laminoplasty done because of severe stenosis and myelopathy. My C2-C7 (and a little bit of T-1). Not a lot of neurosurgeons do this surgery as it is pretty delicate. I had mine done 7 weeks ago. Recovery is slow going. Surgery itself was perfect. My cord was very compressed. I just had screws and plates. No bone. I understand it may not help all of my symptoms...mainly because I might have waited too long. I guess you can't really tell for about a year. Good luck. It is scary though. When I got my diagnosis I was pretty freaked out (I'm 47).

     
    Old 12-29-2006, 08:06 PM   #7
    PearlDoves
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    Re: Severe Cervical Stenosis

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShepherdLady

    Thank You PearlDove. I am sure I'll have plenty of questions!!

    May I ask you what your symptoms were?
    Oh dear, where do I begin, lol

    well let see, the specifics are, I had stenosis, radiculopathy and myelopathy caused by a bone spur, and I'm sure the kyphosis wasn't helping the situation either.

    It started out as a lot of pain in my upper back and neck, and before it got that bad, I was always feeling like I had chronic fatigue. Muscle relaxer seemed to help the neck and back pain. I had an MRI and was going to physical therapy to see if it would help. Initally it seemed to help but then the excersies seemed to make it worse, so I was only going for massage for a while, meanwhile somehwere along the line I was getting numbness and tingling and the physical therapist didn't want to really touch me anymore. Then my doc wanted to have me go to a neurosurgeon so he referred me to the neurosurgeon that I wanted to go to. It was going to be a 4 week wait, meanwhile my syptoms were getting worse, my limbs were getting heavy and the tingling was getting ridiculous if I recall correctly. I was able to get in sooner to the neurosurg after having my primary call his office telling them that he wanted me to be seen sooner.

    Upon seeing the neurosurg, he ordered tests that were basicly preping me for surgery, meanwhile between tests and the next visit he wanted me to wear a hard colllar for 24-48 hours to see if things were "moving" in there, and I was to record the symptoms. After a little over 24 hours and already having werid stuff happening, nothing could prepare me for what I was about to experience. I started getting shooting pains down my arms and legs and my legs were giving out. At one point I was sitting in a chair and my legs simply would not work to let me get up. As I was walking I had to keep grabing on to the person helping me because my legs kept giving out.
    The legs giving out became a regular kind of adventure, if I started doing much walking beyond a blocks worth or two, they could start to give out on me, though I would never completely fall it seemed.

    In general, the numbness and tingling got so crazy that it was in my face, my mouth and tounge. I would also get burning sensations around my neck area I think. I had some localized sensations in my fingers, my left side usually felt heavier than the right, but there were times where my whole body would feel like it was 30% heavier than my own weight. I believe I also had some bladder retention, and of course the jumpy reflexes.

    But surgery went great, now I'm just dealing with the aftermath.

    Last edited by PearlDoves; 12-29-2006 at 08:12 PM.

     
    Old 12-30-2006, 08:02 PM   #8
    ShepherdLady
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    Re: Surgery

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kim55119
    I had a laminoplasty done because of severe stenosis and myelopathy. My C2-C7 (and a little bit of T-1). Not a lot of neurosurgeons do this surgery as it is pretty delicate. I had mine done 7 weeks ago. Recovery is slow going. Surgery itself was perfect. My cord was very compressed. I just had screws and plates. No bone. I understand it may not help all of my symptoms...mainly because I might have waited too long. I guess you can't really tell for about a year. Good luck. It is scary though. When I got my diagnosis I was pretty freaked out (I'm 47).
    >>

    I was told too, that the surgery may not help, other than it will keep my myelopathy from getting worse. And yeah, it all is very scary.
    __________________
    Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

     
    Old 12-30-2006, 08:13 PM   #9
    ShepherdLady
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    Re: Severe Cervical Stenosis

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PearlDoves
    Oh dear, where do I begin, lol

    well let see, the specifics are, I had stenosis, radiculopathy and myelopathy caused by a bone spur, and I'm sure the kyphosis wasn't helping the situation either.

    It started out as a lot of pain in my upper back and neck, and before it got that bad, I was always feeling like I had chronic fatigue. Muscle relaxer seemed to help the neck and back pain. I had an MRI and was going to physical therapy to see if it would help. Initally it seemed to help but then the excersies seemed to make it worse, so I was only going for massage for a while, meanwhile somehwere along the line I was getting numbness and tingling and the physical therapist didn't want to really touch me anymore. Then my doc wanted to have me go to a neurosurgeon so he referred me to the neurosurgeon that I wanted to go to. It was going to be a 4 week wait, meanwhile my syptoms were getting worse, my limbs were getting heavy and the tingling was getting ridiculous if I recall correctly. I was able to get in sooner to the neurosurg after having my primary call his office telling them that he wanted me to be seen sooner.

    Upon seeing the neurosurg, he ordered tests that were basicly preping me for surgery, meanwhile between tests and the next visit he wanted me to wear a hard colllar for 24-48 hours to see if things were "moving" in there, and I was to record the symptoms. After a little over 24 hours and already having werid stuff happening, nothing could prepare me for what I was about to experience. I started getting shooting pains down my arms and legs and my legs were giving out. At one point I was sitting in a chair and my legs simply would not work to let me get up. As I was walking I had to keep grabing on to the person helping me because my legs kept giving out.
    The legs giving out became a regular kind of adventure, if I started doing much walking beyond a blocks worth or two, they could start to give out on me, though I would never completely fall it seemed.

    In general, the numbness and tingling got so crazy that it was in my face, my mouth and tounge. I would also get burning sensations around my neck area I think. I had some localized sensations in my fingers, my left side usually felt heavier than the right, but there were times where my whole body would feel like it was 30% heavier than my own weight. I believe I also had some bladder retention, and of course the jumpy reflexes.

    But surgery went great, now I'm just dealing with the aftermath.
    >>

    Good luck with your recovery!!

    I too have had and continue to have tingling in the face. When it first happened my left hand went numb too. I went to the ER thinking I was having a stroke. I spent the night in the hospital because they thought I had a mini-stroke AKA as a TIA.

    It wasn't until a month later or so that my neurologist ordered an MRI for my cervical spine. He called me with the results and warned me not to fall or get in a car wreck, or I could end up dead or paralyzed. He really was worried for me.

    Looking at my MRI films, I am surprised I am doing as well as I am. Because my spinal cord just looks mangled.

    Over the years I have suffered from severe shoulder pain, pain from my shoulders to my elbows, slight balance problems. As well as bladder urgency. A lot of this I chalked up to my RA and just getting older. Boy, was I wrong!

    And then I have been seeing a PM doc for my back and left leg pain and weakness. Still not sure if this is from my back or my neck. I guess if it gets better, it's from my neck. ;-)
    I even use a cane now.

    One of my hobbies is dog training and I don't even do that anymore. This all has so impacted my life.

    I just hope I feel better afterwards....
    __________________
    Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

     
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