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    Old 04-18-2013, 10:12 AM   #1
    slapappy
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    cervical opll (too young for adult diapers)

    I'm so glad to have found this site. I recently had an MRI because I've been experiencing numbness and tingling in arms. Everything on different websites that I've read regarding OPLL doesn't look encouraging. I'll be 50 in a couple of months, and see that this is about the age it starts affecting people. Anyone out there have a similar MRI at about the same age? I'm wondering how this thing progresses, and how quickly. So far I've experienced very little pain, except for a dull ache in my neck. It's mostly just an irritating tingling feeling. No loss of strength so far. In the last month, since the diagnosis, the tingling is becoming constant. I've also been having muscle spasms in the arms and back, kind of a twitching fluttering feeling. They move around, and are waking me up at night. I'm trying to take everything I read online with a grain of salt, because most of these sites are vaguely disguised advertisements for neurosurgeons and chiropractors. I'm hoping that someone with the same symptoms might let met know what to expect in the coming months and years. I'm too young for Depends!!! (no problems there now). Here's the results of the MRI:



    CLINICAL INDICATION: Upper extremity paresthesias. Bilateral numbness
    and tingling in the arms for 6 months.


    TECHNIQUE: T1-weighted spin-echo sagittal and axial, proton density,
    STIR and T2 FSE sagittal and gradient-echo axial images of the cervical
    spine at 1.5 T.


    COMPARISON: None.


    FINDINGS: Straightening of lordotic curvature. Minimal degenerative
    retrolisthesis at C4-C5. Otherwise normal alignment. Ossification of
    the posterior longitudinal ligament is noted from C4 to C7. This
    contributes to cervical spinal stenosis. Signal intensity of cervical
    spinal cord is normal. There is no paraspinal soft tissue mass or
    paraspinal edema.

    There is marked loss of disc height from C4 to C7, with discogenic
    endplate changes at these levels. There is otherwise preservation of
    disc height.

    C2-C3: Minimal central disc protrusion. No stenosis.

    C3-C4: Normal disc. No herniation or stenosis.

    C4-C5: Posterior disc osteophyte complex (PDOC) and uncinate spurs, with
    mild to moderate central stenosis and moderate to severe bilateral
    foraminal stenosis. There is minimal cord flattening.

    C5-C6: PDOC and uncinate spurs with mild to moderate central stenosis
    and moderate foraminal stenosis left greater than right.

    C6-C7: PDOC and uncinate spurs with mild to moderate central stenosis,
    severe left and mild to moderate right foraminal stenosis.

    C7-T1 and T1-T2 discs are normal. Canal and foramina are normal in
    caliber at these levels.


    CONCLUSION: Disc degeneration and central and foraminal stenosis at
    C4-C5, C5-C6 and C6-C7, with OPLL at these levels contributing to
    stenosis.
    ________________________________________ ______________________________________
    ________

    Last edited by mod85; 04-18-2013 at 12:57 PM.

     
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    Old 04-18-2013, 05:15 PM   #2
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    Re: cervical opll (too young for adult diapers)

    My deeply uninformed opinion is that your problem is more one of osteoarthritis resulting in disk spurring than it is OPLL. Seems the radiologist mentioned that almost in passing.

    You certainly might have pain in your neck from the foraminal stenosis. At C4-5, that's affecting the C5 nerve, which goes to your deltoid and biceps, in which you could experience a number of symptoms, from pain to tingling to weakness.

    Then, you have the same problem on the left side at C6-7, affecting the C7 nerve going down to your middle fingers.

    At three levels you have that "mild to moderate central stenosis". I'm assuming it's just the CANAL that's narrowed at this point, not the CORD, because if it were the cord the radiologist should have said so.

    I don't know about treatment for OPLL, but it seems logical to me that the way to deal with it is to provide more space in your canal by means of a decompressive surgery, in particular a laminoplasty. Perhaps a laminoplasty for C4/5/6, with a partial laminoplasty (laminotomy) at C7... and you could have foraminotomies done at the same time for all three levels. This from one who has had exactly that operation.

    I would add that you don't yet seem to be at the point of needing a decompressive surgery, and may never get there. Perhaps just foraminotomies for the worst levels...

    Last edited by WebDozer; 04-18-2013 at 05:21 PM.

     
    Old 04-18-2013, 06:48 PM   #3
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    Re: cervical opll (too young for adult diapers)

    Thanks for the reply, WebDozer. Are you about the same age as me? It sounds as though you've had no ill effects from your surgery, which gives me a lot of hope. At this point, I have little to no pain whatsoever. I was a little startled that the numbness has gotten more intense in the last few weeks, and has started to affect my legs in the last few days. But other than neck stiffness and occasional muscle spasms, very little pain or other symptoms. I'm a remodeling contractor, and my job can be very physically demanding. My therapist seemed to think it might be wise to pass on a job I have coming up, which will entail a lot of hard physical work. As long as I don't think there's any danger of making my neck worse, I'm inclined to take it, since money is an issue. From what you know, do you think there's a good chance that this will progress slowly, and surgery might not be needed? I have 2 kids, 12 and 13, and we have a pretty active lifestyle, which I'd like to keep up. I haven't yet consulted with a neurologist, and have no idea if this is even something I need to worry about. I've lived with a stiff neck my entire adult life, and the arthritis and aches and pains that go along with my job are no big deal. How long from the time you were diagnosed till the time you had your surgery? I appreciate the feedback, since there isn't a whole lot of information about OPLL to be found. Thanks, John

     
    Old 04-23-2013, 04:17 PM   #4
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    Re: cervical opll (too young for adult diapers)

    I think you really need to follow up with specialists about this. The radiologist gives reasons that have nothing to do with OPLL but are sufficient to explain your symptoms. He just says the OPLL "contributes". No way I can tell if it contributes at lot or a little. It's possible that fairly minor surgeries - foraminotomies are what I have in mind - to address the foraminal stenosis would be enough for now. The one foraminotomy I had turned out to be an outpatient procedure, to give you some idea.

    I don't want to tell you that the OPLL isn't important, though. I just don't know. If it is important, my knowledge of it is so small that you're already way ahead of me.

     
    Old 04-24-2013, 11:50 AM   #5
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    Re: cervical opll (too young for adult diapers)

    I'm seeing a neurologist in a few weeks, after I've completed my physical therapy, and will know more then. Assuming I do have the same procedure as you had, what was the outcome? How soon were you able to return to work? My job demands a lot from my body, and I'm wondering if I need to be thinking about a new line of work. Do you have any significant limitations because of your surgery? I sure do appreciate the input. Thanks

     
    Old 04-24-2013, 11:59 AM   #6
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    Re: cervical opll (too young for adult diapers)

    My foraminotomy turned into an outpatient procedure. I don't know how much that is to be counted on. I never took pain meds after, and my symptoms cleared up right away.

    My laminoplasty would have kept me out of a desk job for three weeks and out of manual labor for probably two months or so.

    What limitations I may have are from nerve damage, not from the surgeries themselves...

     
    Old 05-14-2013, 10:08 AM   #7
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    Re: cervical opll (too young for adult diapers)

    How fast did your neck situation progress? My physical therapist asked to see me another month, and I can't get an appointment with my primary. I'm a little bit alarmed by the fact that nearly every day there's a new symptom. Last week, while working, I was experiencing electrical jolts in my right bicep. I've been electrocuted several times at work, and that's exactly what it felt like. I've also had soreness in the right wrist for several weeks, that's getting sorer every day. Feels like a sprain, but there's nothing I can remember doing which would have caused a sprain. Also muscle spasms in both triceps. After I force the muscle to relax, by bending my arms, there is several seconds of twitching in the triceps. The newest things is muscle fatigue in both arms, shoulders, and back. I feel like I've done a thousand pushups, then a thousand pullups, and then climbed Mount Everest. Not really pain, just muscle exhaustion. With my job, I sometime get sore and tired muscles, but I usually recover within a day. This has been going on a week now. Has anyone with a similar MRI had similar symptoms? No shooting pains or anything, just fatigue, soreness, and tingling. I'm guessing this has been going on for years. I know I've felt a crunching sensation in my neck for several years. From the onset of these newer symtoms (about a year), does this progress rapidly, or might I have another decade before surgery might be necessary? Any responses from people in similar situations would be greatly appreciated. My therapist doesn't seem to know much, and I won't be able to see my doctor for another month.

     
    Old 05-14-2013, 11:08 AM   #8
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    Re: cervical opll (too young for adult diapers)

    I'm not sure what PT has to do with it, and I don't know how a PT can help you. PT, in my experience, is much more for lumbar, where core-strengthening and leg/hip-stretching exercises can help. PT - also in my experience - tends to just be a billing mill, milking your insurance as long as they can.

    I don't know what kind of "primary" would not see you for a month. Sounds more like something you'd hear from a neurologist. Anyway, I think you need to follow up with docs, and NOT wait to see if PT can help you.

    As for your symptoms, I have to say they are beyond anything I've experienced. I think that moderate-to-severe foraminal stenosis at C4-5 may be to blame. That would affect biceps and deltoids...

    Last edited by WebDozer; 05-14-2013 at 11:11 AM.

     
    Old 01-15-2015, 04:07 AM   #9
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    Re: cervical opll (too young for adult diapers)

    Hi guys.
    I had tingling in my arms 3 years ago. I am now 60ish. But that was put down to posture. On 5/12/13, I went to Bangladesh to work. On 13/12/13 I flew home in a wheelchair. My OPLL as it was affected C345&6. I had an Urgent corpectomy on C4 and C5 on 31/12/13 and was discharged from hospital 08/01/14. My left arm and hand had been totally paralysed before that. Today I hve been back to work for 3 months but I am not clear whether I should be or not. I do a desk job. I still walk with a spastic gait, and pain wanders. Sometimes sharp, sometimes aching. Muscles twitch. I'm told it will progress and they can extend the cage further down the spine - but hey. there's a lot more people out there far worse than us. Keep smiling and push your limits while you can.

     
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