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Levator Scapula spasm is now formaminal stenosis?

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Old 09-21-2007, 11:52 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: St. Louis MO, USA
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deadlifter HB User
Levator Scapula spasm is now formaminal stenosis?


I was originally diagnosed with Levator Scapula spasm and after 2 trigger point injections and a month of physical therapy I wasn't getting much better so my orthopedic surgeon who was treating me sent for for a C-Spine MRI and came back with the following report:

Vertebral body stature, alignment and marrow are normal. Single level degenerative disease at C5-C6 where this is a right sided disc and osteophyte with unconvertebral spurring, focal effacement of the anterior subarachnoid space and significant right foraminal stenosis. Otherwise the disk spaces are maintained without degeneration, herniation or other level of disease. The cord is normal. IMPRESSION: Single level disease with right-sided disk and ostephyte at C5-C6.

My othopedic surgeon is referring me to a pain management doctor to perform an epidural steroid injection. He says this should reduce the swelling of the disk and allow the body to heal itself with full pain free function restored though it might take 2-3 injections.

Is this true? My searching of this board and other internet sites shows the epidural steroid injections to be an effective pain management technique but not a definitive long term cure.

Also, does anybody know for sure if methyl prednisone is used in these injections? I had a bad ocular reaction (central serous retinopathy) a couple of years ago to oral methyl prednisone and would like to avoid that again. I will definitely mention this to the pain management doctor when I see him. I have successfully received cortisone injections into my foot since then with no ill effects (or good ones either!).

Any insight is much appreciated!



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Old 09-21-2007, 10:26 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: CA, USA
Posts: 161
john449 HB User
Re: Levator Scapula spasm is now formaminal stenosis?

Difficult situation. Probably good you have such an isolated lesion. I've come to the same conclusions you have about short and long term outcomes for epidurals. The nice thing about a single lesion is that a precise injection is more likely to work and can be helpful diagnostically (in case future surgery is contemplated).

Regards steroids a few years back it was triamcinalone for epidurals. Might ask your doc if a test injection would be warranted.

The report doesn't mention which foramen is compromised. As you are probably aware the cervical spine anatomy is a bit different than the rest of the spine in that the nerve roots exit above rather than below their respective vertebrae. With that in mind I suppose either the C5 or C6 root could be involved. So any other muscles involved, spasming, weakness, etc.? Anyhow, good luck. Maybe you'll be the exception and get the long term result.

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