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Cervical MRI


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Old 06-28-2013, 05:12 PM   #1
Bardda1
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Cervical MRI

Hi

I've been having pain and neck stiffness for years, and also have rheumatoid arthritis. Several months ago I started having "pins and needles" feeling in my left arm that became more and more intense from my shoulder down into my hand, mostly my thumb. I had an MRI, this is the result:

C2-3: There is a small posterior right lateral disc osteophyte complex as well as advanced facet arthropathy, particularly involving the right facet joint. This causes marked narrowing of the right neural foramen.
C3-4: There is moderate facet arthropathy, causing moderate narrowing of the left neural foramen. No evidence of canal stenosis. Right neural foramen appears patent.
C4-5: There is mild disc space narrowing and a right paracentral posterior disc/osteophyte complex causing minimal ventral impression on the thecal sac and mild narrowing of the right neural foramen. There is also moderate right facet arthropathy.
C5-6: There is advanced disc space narrowing, with prominent spurring both anteriorly and posteriorly. There is endplate sclerosis on both sides of the disc space. A prominent central posterior disc/osteophyte complex causes moderate to severe canal stenosis at this level with mild flattening of the cord. There is also moderate bilateral facet arthropathy. Neural foramina are significantly compromised at this level.
C6-7: There is a small posterior disc/osteophyte complex with minimal ventral impression on the thecal sac, but no significant canal stenosis or neural foramina narrowing.
C7-T1: Normal.
OTHER: There is degeneration and narrowing at the C1-2 articulation with some irregularity of the dens.
CONCLUSION: Advanced degenerative disc disease involving the cervical spine, which is most severe at C5-6 with canal stenosis and bilateral neural foraminal narrowing at this level.

My doctor never called me, just sent me an email that said "no bulging disks, just arthritis", and he suggested I go see a pain management doctor. What should I do? I am having a really bad day today, my arm has been asleep more than it has been awake, and it's becoming more painful.

 
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:32 PM   #2
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Re: Cervical MRI

"Just arthritis?" Did he really say that? What kind of doc is this?

First, there's arthritis and there's ARTHRITIS, and you seem to have the latter kind. "Severe" canal narrowing just from osteophytes? That's impressive, as it usually requires a bulging or herniated disk to cause that.

You don't seem to have symptoms from the canal stenosis YET, but this REALLY bears watching. "Severe canal stenosis" is not something to be fobbed off on a Pain Management clinic which, like as not, will want to keep you on the string until your money runs out.

Your "significantly compromised" C5-6 foramina are resulting in left C6 nerve radiculopathy. The C6 goes to various shoulder/arm muscles, and down into the thumb.

You MAY benefit from an operation to simply clear out your foramina (a foraminotomy), which is much less invasive that other cervical ops.

You need to get AT LEAST TWO more opinions, from spinal surgery specialists.

So sayeth the amateur....

Last edited by WebDozer; 06-28-2013 at 05:34 PM.

 
Old 06-29-2013, 07:06 AM   #3
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Re: Cervical MRI

Hello bardda,

So I'm very new to neck issues, only 7 weeks new, and I can see more on your MRI than just arthritis. You really need to find a good nueurosurgeon specializing in the neck and spine or orthopedic fellowship trained in neck and spine doctor. One that will one take you seriously and two take your MRI seriously. I don't have as many cervical issues as you, but I do have the numbing and tingling too. Don't take no for and answer ! I had 3 opinions before I found the neurosurgeon I am using now. Good luck Hun! Also the only thing I found to help with the pain other than meds is ice. I ice 15-20 minutes every hour. Please keep us updated Hun !!
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Ankle replacement to come soon

 
Old 06-29-2013, 09:03 AM   #4
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Re: Cervical MRI

Quote:
Originally Posted by bshorter30 View Post
Hello bardda,

So I'm very new to neck issues, only 7 weeks new, and I can see more on your MRI than just arthritis. You really need to find a good nueurosurgeon specializing in the neck and spine or orthopedic fellowship trained in neck and spine doctor. One that will one take you seriously and two take your MRI seriously. I don't have as many cervical issues as you, but I do have the numbing and tingling too. Don't take no for and answer ! I had 3 opinions before I found the neurosurgeon I am using now. Good luck Hun! Also the only thing I found to help with the pain other than meds is ice. I ice 15-20 minutes every hour. Please keep us updated Hun !!

I didn't know using ice colud actually help. I have been always having this nick pain since my jobs in a call center as a cutomer representative takes alot of looking down, making my nich in pain. I am going to try the use of ice... can you tell me more the details about how to use it or maybe do it.

Thanks,
Carla

 
Old 06-29-2013, 03:21 PM   #5
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Re: Cervical MRI

I personally freeze bottles of water. There shape is easier I think for the neck. Then after its frozen solid, I wrap it in a dish towel. I put it at the base of my neck and shoulder because that's were my pain originates from. Keep it on for 20 mins then off for 40. Then on again for 15 and so on. Now if you have issues with your whole neck put the bottle vertical so it goes down your whole neck. I typically do it while reclining in my lazy boy recliner and watch a movie.

Before I was diagnosed it was the only thing that helped me. I already have muscle relaxers , Narco pain meds, and nerve medication. None of it helped only ice , but it does wear off after it warms up. But any relief is better than none. Good luck
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2006 march- ankle fracture, plate and pins.
2012 sept -Debridement , ligament and tendon repair.
2013 July 3- C5-C6

Ankle replacement to come soon

 
Old 06-29-2013, 04:07 PM   #6
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Re: Cervical MRI

Thanks so much for the replies. My doctor is my PCP and usually very conservative and tends to think things are just normal aging. I was surprised he even sent me for the MRI. I've had to do a lot of reading and research on my own and what worries me is the severe canal stenosis caused by bone spurs. I've been told that a new injury could be devastating if those bone spurs hit the spinal cord. I will most definitely try the ice since Norco I pretty much worthless for this. My rheumatoid arthritis is getting to me now at my age (60) and I also have lots of pain an stiffness in my lower back. Walking is really difficult for more than a block because the back of my thighs feel like they are very weak and my legs feel very heavy. Could that be related to my neck or is it more likely problems in my lower back? I read that the cervical spine is the most common place for rheumatoid arthritis to affect, after the hands and feet.
One other question.....does anyone have this numbness and tingling in the arm and hands that causes itching? The back of my left hand is torn up from scratching, but my right hand is fine. It even itches on my palm. Anti itch meds don't seem to help I guess since the itching is from my nerves?

 
Old 06-29-2013, 04:12 PM   #7
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Re: Cervical MRI

Webdozer, one more question...sorry.
You say I don't see to have symptom of severe canal stenosis yet. What are those symptoms? What should I be watching for?
Thanks so much everyone.

 
Old 06-29-2013, 04:16 PM   #8
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Re: Cervical MRI

I have a herneiation at C5-c6 with cord and nerve compression, and also have numbness and tingling in both hands but no itching.
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2006 march- ankle fracture, plate and pins.
2012 sept -Debridement , ligament and tendon repair.
2013 July 3- C5-C6

Ankle replacement to come soon

 
Old 06-29-2013, 04:34 PM   #9
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Re: Cervical MRI

Cord compression could cause all kinds of symptoms downstream from the compression. In your case, arms and legs both.

As for "normal aging", yes, it USED to be "normal" that people became progressively crippled by spinal problems as they aged. Spinal problems may be the number one reason old people act old. With modern surgeries - and I mean anything invented in the last fifty years - you may be able to counteract those problems to some extent.

Anyway, you really need more opinions. That's plural, opinionS....

Last edited by WebDozer; 06-29-2013 at 04:35 PM.

 
Old 06-30-2013, 12:57 PM   #10
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Re: Cervical MRI

Thanks very much, I will most definitely be seeking second, third opinions. Unfortunately I checked on my insurance coverage and there are NO Neurosurgeons within 100 miles that take my insurance. There are lots of orthopedic surgeons. Would that be appropriate for me do you think? Paying for medical care out of pocket is not an option right now, so I'm limited to what I can get. I tried a chiropractor once, he just made it worse.
Just wondering though if you've ever heard that people with canal stenosis caused by bone spurs are a greater risk in the event of an accident. I seem to attract those accidents, I've been "rear ended" six times in my life.
Also, have you heard of itching caused by nerve problems? My left hand itches like crazy and it seems to be all on my knuckles and wrist, everywhere there is a joint.
Thank you all for your great advice and information. You do a great service to those of us who can't get good info from our doctors.

 
Old 06-30-2013, 01:32 PM   #11
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Re: Cervical MRI

Find a fellowship trained orthopedic dr who's practice is limited to the neck and spine. I totally understand not Paying out of pocket. Even if they offer a sliding scale most people couldn't afford all the appointments. Good luck !!
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2006 march- ankle fracture, plate and pins.
2012 sept -Debridement , ligament and tendon repair.
2013 July 3- C5-C6

Ankle replacement to come soon

 
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