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ifeelyurpain 05-19-2013 09:22 PM

Need advice on cervical MRI... should I consult neurosurgeon?
Hi to all.... will try to make this as short as possible. I am 55 yr old female with history of DDD including bone spurs/ disc protrusions. I have had no spinal surgeries as of yet. My first MRI was in 2010 which I had due to severe radiculopathy in left arm. Most of my findings in that test were mild to moderate so I had physical therapy (made me worse) then an epidural C6 C7 ( helped minimally) then a facet injection which helped a lot. I was pain free for about a year then it all started creeping back. Not having the severe arm pain now but am having tingling in fingers (left thumb, pointer finger and middle finger) Also tingling occasionally in toes. Have also been diagnosed with Trigger thumb (bi-laterally) and possibly beginning of carpal tunnel.

I have weakness in my hands and wrists , muscle tenderness in forearms and sometimes triceps, left leg (thigh) vibrates sometimes, extreme tightness and pain in neck/upper back sometimes icy cold feeling in arms. My arms ache and feel heavy when I lift them to do the simplest thing such as brush and drying my hair but they don't ache all the time.
Had a new MRI 2 weeks ago.

Findings: Mild reversal of cervical lordosis.
C4C5 - Left eccentric disc osteophyte complex indents ventral
thecal sac and left lateral recess. Superimposed small left lateral recess disc protrusion contacts and flattens the ventral left hemicord. The factors result in moderate effacement of the left lateral recess and proximal left neural foramen. Findings have progressed significantly since the 2010 exam.

C5 C6 - Broad disc osteophyte complex slightly indents the ventral thecal sac. Mild bilateral uncovertebral joint spurring causes mild right greater than left foraminal stenosis.

C6 C7 - There is an osteophyte complex that slightly indents the ventral thecal sac. Mild bilateral uncoverebral joint spurring causes minimal left foraminal stenosis.

An orthopedic surgeon ordered this MRI and quite honestly I don't think he even looked at it. When I asked him about it his response was, " oh I can tell more from x-rays". Huh??? Why did I just pay big bucks for an MRI then? He then said he was going to send me for an epidural injection and said that surgery is inevitable for me in the future. (and he did say 'fusion')
I did not make the appt. for the injection. I proceeded the next day to the MRI facility and picked up my report and now looking for different doctor. I would like to see a neurosurgeon. Do you think they will see me with this report? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!!

WebDozer 05-20-2013 01:19 PM

Re: Need advice on cervical MRI... should I consult neurosurgeon?
You certainly need a new doc, as that OS sounds like an idiot. However, I'm not so sure about a neurosurgeon, just yet, as you'd be taking the chance that he'd want to do surgery just to make a buck.

If you have a problem, it's at C4-5. It's hard to tell if your C5 nerve root is being affected. The radiologist's description makes it seem like it might not be, but then he says it's "significantly" worse than in 2010.

If that nerve were being affected, you'd notice it in deltoid and biceps, not in the hand. I have to wonder if your hand symptoms are not due more to carpal impingements.

Anyway, I'd try seeing another orthopedist or physiatrist, one who's been recommended as being willing to talk and explain things to patients.

ifeelyurpain 05-20-2013 02:41 PM

Re: Need advice on cervical MRI... should I consult neurosurgeon?
Thanks for your reply Webdozier. Yes, I am finished with that doctor for sure. I couldn't believe he didn't even look at the MRI.
What does flattening of the hemicord mean? Is that the same as spinal cord? I have never heard that term before.

WebDozer 05-20-2013 03:14 PM

Re: Need advice on cervical MRI... should I consult neurosurgeon?
I hadn't heard it either, but it seems to be the front half of the cord...

Millard 05-22-2013 07:26 AM

Re: Need advice on cervical MRI... should I consult neurosurgeon?
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][COLOR="Blue"]Hello ifeelyurpain,

I have an injury that required several specialist through the years. Personally, I would ask for a recommendation to see a neurologist. I also see a psychiatrist but they are specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation. I know you are in pain and seems everyone (Doctor) is giving conflicting information. WebDozier is offering some sound advice that seems to be from experience also. I hope you get your problems resolved quickly and painlessly.

Kindest regards.[/COLOR][/FONT]

ifeelyurpain 05-22-2013 04:12 PM

Re: Need advice on cervical MRI... should I consult neurosurgeon?
Thank you Millard for your encouraging words. It really is frustrating feeling like you have to bounce around from doc to doc just to get answers. I have made an appt with a neurosurgeon in a couple weeks so hopefully I will be more informed.

Back in 2010 I did go to one of the top spine neurosurgeons in Atlanta when I had radiculopathy in my arm (C6 C7). He treated me with injections and we avoided surgery. However, when I went back to him this year with problems returning and asking him if I should have another MRI he blew me off acting like I was wasting his precious time....Why? because my arm wasn't hurting!!!

It really irked me because now that I've had the MRI (ordered by different doc) I've learned that my problem this time is higher up (C4 C5) and those nerves don't go all the way down the arm so while NO I'm not having arm pain I am having other issues. And the cord is being flattened now so its not like I was just imagining things.

When I've over exerted myself physically I have a lot of pain in my chest/pec muscles even to the point of painful breathing. On inhalation there will be a stabbing sharp pain. Also have that burning feeling going down my spine. Not fun....but will get answers soon I hope.

Many good health wishes to you all!!

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