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  • MRI Results! Scared and need some help!!

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    Old 01-26-2012, 11:28 AM   #1
    USgirl456
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    MRI Results! Scared and need some help!!

    I'm scared! Two doctors said I need an anterior spinal fusion. Seeing very reputable nuerosurgeon in February. Just had an MRI and it says:

    Cervical lordosis
    Minimal anteriolisthesis of C2 over C3
    C5-C6 - small right side uncovertebral bone spur indenting into the right foramen.

    C6-C7 - large disc/osteophyte complex compressing the subarachnoid space anterolaterally and narrowing the left nueral foramen. Mild decreased AP diameter of spinal cord.

    Yikes! Can someone help! In a lot of pain here and don't know which way to turn! LITERALLY!

     
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    Old 01-26-2012, 01:11 PM   #2
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    Re: MRI Results! Scared and need some help!!

    What are your symptoms, please? If fingers, which fingers? Anything in legs?

     
    Old 01-26-2012, 01:40 PM   #3
    USgirl456
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    Re: MRI Results! Scared and need some help!!

    Hi there,

    Pain all up and down neck, trapezius muscles (sharp burning pain) achy, heavy feeling down both right and left arms biceps, forearms and wrists. Fingers a little numb and cold. I'm stumbling a bit and have been experiencing migraines.

    I've had facet injections which didn't help (1st one did for 2 weeks) all others unsuccessful. I had a radio frequency ablation, did nothing.

    Currently on Hyodrododone 4X daily, Robaxin, nuerotin. I'm still in a lot of pain.

    Let me know what you think.

    Oh....pain in my jaw but that can be from the pain and clenching my teeth. Just thought I'd throw that out.

     
    Old 01-26-2012, 01:48 PM   #4
    USgirl456
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    Re: MRI Results! Scared and need some help!!

    Also, very athletic female, in shape, and only 42 years old. Mother of 2 and happily married. I golf and am an equestrian and love yoga.

     
    Old 01-26-2012, 01:56 PM   #5
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    Re: MRI Results! Scared and need some help!!

    <<Cervical lordosis>>

    You are supposed tgo have cervical lordosis (backward bend), unless you have too much.

    <<Minimal anteriolisthesis of C2 over C3>>

    The C2 disk is displaced forward slightly over the C3. Shouldn't matter much.

    <<C5-C6 - small right side uncovertebral bone spur indenting into the right foramen.>>

    Google "images of uncovertebral joint" and look at third picture. Shows an example of your problem. You have a "small" bone spur (osteophyte) that may be impacting the peripheral nerve as it heads down to your right shoulder/arm/hand. If the C6 nerve is affected, you might notice it particularly in your thumb.

    <<C6-C7 - large disc/osteophyte complex compressing the subarachnoid space anterolaterally and narrowing the left nueral foramen. Mild decreased AP diameter of spinal cord.>>

    Clearly the worst level. He doesn't say how badly the left foramen is affected, which is unfortunate. Compression of the spinal cord isn't good, but people can have badly compressed cords for a while and hardly notice.

    I don't see any flashing red lights here, but it seems like your docs are putting two (your symptoms) and two (the C6-7 complex) together and getting four (you need an ACDF). Not unreasonable.

    Did they say how many levels they want to do? Did they say how they might address the uncovertebral bone spur at C5-6?

    I'd be interested to know how the NS sees it...

    Last edited by WebDozer; 01-26-2012 at 01:57 PM.

     
    Old 01-26-2012, 02:34 PM   #6
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    Re: MRI Results! Scared and need some help!!

    << love yoga >>

    It may not love you back. Yoga is certainly a way to injure the cervical spine if one is uncareful or unlucky.

     
    Old 01-26-2012, 02:45 PM   #7
    USgirl456
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    Re: MRI Results! Scared and need some help!!

    WebDozer,

    Thank you so much! You are very knowledgeable and informative. I'm glad you see no flashing red lights....that's the best news I've heard all day. My pain management doctors said my neck is completely straight. So there is so much weight being stacked upon one another. I have an appt. tomorrow with the pain doc to discuss the MRI and pain management. I have been dealing with this chronic pain for about a 1 1/2 years and it's breaking my spirit! I used to be such a happy go lucky person and each day I see my light dimming.

     
    Old 01-26-2012, 02:56 PM   #8
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    Re: MRI Results! Scared and need some help!!

    Sorry to spoil the apparent good news, but when I said I don't see any flashing red lights, I meant "on the MRI". Your symptoms are lights enough by themselves, especially the stumbling. What we want to see on the MRI are obvious, operable problems that explain the symptoms. Your MRI may show such problems, but it's up to the neurosurgeon to decide. From what I have been told, neurosurgeons don't have a high opinion of radiologists when it comes to cervical spinal issues.

    BTW, if your neck is "straight", then you have LOST your natural cervical lordosis, which perhaps is what the MRI report actually said? Maybe the person who transcribed the radiologist's dictation lost that part. If you have lost the lordosis, that puts unnatural pressure on the vertebrae.

    If I had your MRI and your symptoms, I would be looking forward to a NS looking at my MRI and saying he sees operable problems, and that he thinks he can at least somewhat alleviate the symptoms by operating.

    (Don't forget to ask what can be done about the uncovertebral bone spur.)

    Last edited by WebDozer; 01-26-2012 at 02:58 PM.

     
    Old 01-27-2012, 11:35 AM   #9
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    Re: MRI Results! Scared and need some help!!

    Just had 3 disks put in
    C3,4,5, 7 weeks now, was in so much pain, couldnt drive, sleep, sit, killed me, am feeling so much better, still hurt some but not like before, meds help alot. Go for the surgery, Unless you like pain?

     
    Old 01-27-2012, 11:39 AM   #10
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    Re: MRI Results! Scared and need some help!!

    ACL - excellent news... may I suggest you start your own thread, titled something like "3-level ACDF"? A LOT of people want to know about the operation and recovery, and they will see you better that way.

     
    Old 01-27-2012, 12:44 PM   #11
    USgirl456
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    Re: MRI Results! Scared and need some help!!

    ACL1959....noted! Thank you for the suggestion and thrilled you're doing well. My NS appointment is February 14th. This guy is supposed to be fantastic so I'm very comfortable with all this moving forward.

    Have you guys done TENS units? I'm getting a prescription for one. The idea behind it is fascinating and makes a lot of sense on paper but does it really work in "real life.". Interested in hearing what y'all have to say about it.

    Again, thanks to all that replied. It's so helpful to know that you're not alone in all this.

     
    Old 01-28-2012, 06:34 PM   #12
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    Re: MRI Results! Scared and need some help!!

    Hi I just had an acdf of the C5-C6. post-op 8 weeks. I am slowly feeling the benifits at this time. With plenty of healing to go. I am happy I had the surgery. Being I was miserable with constant arm pain from my shoulders to my wrist. Both Arms (ugh). My spinal cord was badly compressed and I could feel the relief when I woke from surgery. I know I have other problems going on up there also. I am just hoping and, praying I can live with these remaining cervical problems. My C5-C6 were by far the worst and was ruining my quality of life. I was foolish and held off on surgery for 6 months longer than I should have. Don't wait and try to stay positive. These fusions are done on a daily basis! Best to you moving forward and looking for answers! God Bless your efforts too!

     
    Old 02-15-2012, 04:57 AM   #13
    USgirl456
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    Re: MRI Results! Scared and need some help!!

    Hi everyone,

    Just wanted to give you all an update on my meeting with the neurosurgeon. He actually read the MRI disc as I waited and said that I have a herniated disc at C6-C7. He said that I will need surgery and advised me to consider an Anthroplasty. He said that I was too young for a cervical fusion and that if I got one he would be operating on me again in 10 years time as they don't last forever and also puts immense pressure on the discs above and below. I asked him if surgery was needed right away and he said no. He said that I will eventually come to a point where conservative measures (epidurals, TENS, medications) no longer work and enough is enough. Now, I'm faced with a huge decision. Do I plan surgery for this year or try the conservative route until it becomes unbearable. I've had a great month this month my PM doctor added TENS and Nuerotin to my treatment and I feel the best I've felt in years. I nearly canceled my NS appointment.

    I would love anyone's feedback regarding Anthroplasty and also what would you do? I have 2 children that are ages 5&8 and a wonderful husband and parents that would stand by me on whatever decision I make. Just confused now because I'm having such a good month.

    Thanks again for taking the time to respond!

     
    Old 02-15-2012, 05:42 AM   #14
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    Re: MRI Results! Scared and need some help!!

    Anthroplasty is just a generic term meaning "joint repair". The NS is talking about cervical disk anthroplasty, where a metal prosthetic is inserted in place of the disk. This prosthetic is able to bend forward-back and side-to-side. Google "cervical disk anthroplasty" and read up on it. One of the sites has a good demo.

    I do not know what the current evaluation of this technique is. Obviously, your NS supports it (or, at least, wants to try it on you), but general medical opinion may be different.

    As for ADS (adjacent disk syndrome), I have seen this cited repeatedly as a reason to avoid or delay fusion surgery. There's a well-known study by Hilibrand that concludes the chances of needing adjacent-level surgery increase 2.9% per year. So, if you say that after 10 years, 30% of patients need surgery at an adjacent level, that sounds like a lot. However, there's quite a bit of doubt that there's a causative relationship, even though the logic for one seems intuitive. After all, if someone has a problem at one level that's bad enough to require surgery, wouldn't you expect that they'd naturally have problems at other levels that would progress to needing surgery on their own?

    Anyway, I strongly urge you to read up on this all you can, AND GET AT LEAST TWO MORE OPINIONS. At least, take the arthoplasty idea back to the first two guys and see what they say.

    As for delaying surgery, I fail to see the point. If you need it, you need it, and delaying only prolongs your pain and threatens to make some of the symptoms permanent.

    Of course, all of the above comes from an interested but only semi-educated amateur.

    Last edited by WebDozer; 02-15-2012 at 05:43 AM.

     
    Old 02-27-2012, 02:42 PM   #15
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    Re: MRI Results! Scared and need some help!!

    Hi USgirl456,
    I have similar problem, straight neck, bone spur, narrow foramen..., lots of pain on the back that I couldn’t sleep, some finger-numbness, didn't lost any walking ability nor stability.

    The finally conclusion is, since the control/balance/walking part is ok, the bone spur at the C5/C6 level which seems pressing the spinal cord (centre) didn't do much damage. All signals from top to bottom go through.
    The pain on the back is what they called "refer pain". Mine was due to nerve compression on the foramen, 2 levels, 3 holes.

    10 months ago, walked into operation room: Posterior Formainotomy on bilateral C6/7 and right C5/6. I thought I should be fully recovered by now, but unfortunately not. Previous nerve pains are almost gone. Back is still a bit sore, cannot tolerate any pressure, so no bra. The new problem is the weak neck muscle, I still cannot sit up-right whole day. I need to lie down every 4-5 hours. If I have choice I will try "Anterior Microforaminotomy for Cervical Disc Herniation". But this type of operation is not available here.

    Problem going in from the back is cutting through a lot more muscle than from the front, much longer recovery time.

    Do I regret? No, of course not. I can sleep now.
    I have seen four neurosurgeons, all suggested 2 level fusions ADCF. I am 46 years old single mum, I don't want to have more levels fused too soon. I read alot of articles, and formaintomy looks like the best option I have, and I convinced one of them to do it.

    I hope my experience can help. And all the best.

     
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