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  • New here with Cervical and Lumbar Stenosis

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    Old 11-04-2010, 05:17 PM   #1
    STENOPAIN
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    New here with Cervical and Lumbar Stenosis

    Hi, sorry not sure how to write this so I will just tell my story. It started ten years ago when I would get flairs of pain inbetween my shoulder blades slowly progressing to today when I have pain going from my neck down both arms, both shoulders, between shoulder blades it burns, lower back pain that never stops hurting radieting out to the hips and down both legs to the feet. I had am MRI in September which came back saying for the cervical area:
    C3-4: Circumferential disc bulge eccentric to the right. There is a
    right uncovertebral joint hypertrophy resulting in moderate right
    neural foraminal stenosis without significant central canal or left
    neural foraminal stenosis.
    C4-5: There is right uncovertebral joint hypertrophy and mild
    circumferential disc bulge. There is severe right neural foraminal
    stenosis without significant central canal or left neural foraminal
    stenosis.
    C5-6: Spondylitic circumferential disc bulge and bilateral facet
    osteoarthropathy and uncovertebral joint hypertrophy results in
    severe bilateral neural foraminal stenosis with mild to moderate
    central canal stenosis.
    C6-7: Broad-based disc protrusion into the left lateral recess.
    There is left uncovertebral joint osteoarthropathy and facet
    hypertrophy. Overall there is mild to moderate central canal
    stenosis with severe left neural foraminal stenosis and no
    significant right neural foraminal stenosis.
    and the lower back:
    L2-3: Mild disc bulge and mild bilateral facet osteoarthropathy.
    There is no significant central canal or neural foraminal stenosis.
    L3-4: Mild disc bulge and bilateral facet osteoarthropathy. No
    significant central canal or neural foraminal stenosis.
    L4-5: There is bilateral facet osteoarthropathy and mild disc bulge.
    There is moderate bilateral neural foraminal stenosis with borderline
    central canal stenosis. There is 5 mm of degenerative type
    anterolisthesis.
    OK, went to nuerosurgeon who told my hsband and I that from the MRI results I defiently needed to have a disk repaired, then went for the EMG, results said no nerve damage...
    Went back to neurosurgeon who point blank said, no damage you aren't in pain, come back when you can't walk, write, hold on to anything...anyone else have problems with the emg results. And I still have all the chronic pain.

    Last edited by STENOPAIN; 11-04-2010 at 05:19 PM.

     
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    Old 11-04-2010, 05:58 PM   #2
    jennybyc
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    Re: New here with Cervical and Lumbar Stenosis

    Hi and welcome. Here's the problem with spinal issues. Everyone thinks that ae going to have surgery to relieve their pain and that is not why spine docs operate. They could not care less about your pain. What they worry about is nerve and or spinal cord damage. They do surgery to stop the progression of nerve/cord damage that leads to paralysis. the only thing pain has to do with the diagnosis is when the pain starts to go away.

    Canal stenosis and nerve compression...which you a lot of, will eventually result in the loss of nerve/cord function. So how do you know if you are losing nerve function? Numbness and tingling in your arms(from the neck) and the legs(from lumbar or neck), trouble walking, muscles that don't work right, stiff muscles, dropping things you think you have hold of, having to pee all the time because you can't hold much in your bladder(same for bowels), dragging a leg, can't sign your name, can't hold your head up....you get the idea. The problems in the neck can cause trouble from that level down if it's the cord so any problems below your neck can be lumbar or cervical.

    That is what they want to know about. Pain is a symptom that something is wrong but it isn't physically dangerous. Loss of muscle function is as it preceeds paralysis.

    So start watching yourself. Write down when you notice anything strange happening with the muscles of your arms or legs. I remember one of the oddest problems I had was my thighs getting so stiff that I couldn't take a step any bigger than a baby step. And if I had to sign too much paperwork at work, my signature got really messy after only a couple of signatures. The stiffness in my thighs was from cord compression in my neck and the hand writing was from compression of my spinal nerves in my neck.

    The reason they don't care about pain is that the stats on relieving pain with surgery is only about a 30% success rate. However, they have a 70% success rate reversing numbness and muscle damage. And you have a 1-3% chance of coming out of surgery paralyzed(and that is why you need the best spine doc you can get). So they don't jump at surgery.

    I hope this helps you understand why he sent you away. You might want to get a second opinion and when you go, don't talk about pain but rather, if you've found any of the muscle and nerve damage I mentioned. I had to do this too once I understood what they were looking for and the second doc did surgery right away. They do an EMG looking for nerve damage but if you can show that you have muscle function problems, they forget the EMG.

    hugs...........Jenny

     
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    Old 11-05-2010, 10:10 AM   #3
    STENOPAIN
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    Re: New here with Cervical and Lumbar Stenosis

    Thanks, that cleared up a lot of confusion. i do have to admit I have problems writing, I have right arm weakness, and when I walk I am starting to notice a difference in my gait, I walk pulling to the right, my right leg is weaker than my left. I am going to make a chart to keep track of problems as they arise.
    OH, can I get my PPC to control the pain in the mean time? I find it unbearble without pain meds.

     
    Old 11-05-2010, 11:29 AM   #4
    jennybyc
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    Re: New here with Cervical and Lumbar Stenosis

    Sure...control the pain or go crazy...right?

    But watch for the signs of muscle dysfunction...that is how you get the docs to do something.

    I swear, spine surgeons are the worst communicators of any specialty!

    Hugs..........Jen

     
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