It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

myelomalacia question


Post New Thread   Reply Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-27-2013, 04:57 AM   #1
tigerguy
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 7
tigerguy HB User
Question myelomalacia question

I had ACDF surgery at C5-C6 about 5.5 weeks ago. Unfortunately my MRI says I have focal myelomalacia there, up to 6 mm. Also, unfortunately this showed up as a little smaller spot way back in Feb. 2010 MRI. Recommended neurosurgeon consult was delayed nearly 2 years--long story and regrettable.

My question is: My neurosurgeon says that surgery went very well and that I will heal--he just won't say how much--1%, 30%, 70%, etc. Most things I read say there is no healing of nor treatment for myelomalacia. Unfortunately although surgery was supposed to stop any further damage and possibly reverse symptoms, I would say overall some symptoms have improved a little, but my most major complaints, such as pins and needles from left chest down to toes, especially left hip, knee, and foot pain seem worse. Stretching my left hamstring and piriformis seem to provide some relief. Any thoughts?

 
Reply With Quote
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 07-27-2013, 02:51 PM   #2
WebDozer
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,382
WebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB User
Re: myelomalacia question

I think that 5.5 weeks is too soon to be making evaluations...

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2013, 08:46 PM   #3
ladybud
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
ladybud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 6,030
ladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB User
Re: myelomalacia question

Myelomalacia is a result of the degenerative process in spine associated with the disc disease. It doesn't have anything to do with your symptoms, is just an MRI finding consistent with the arthritic process in the spine. Your lower symptoms shouldn't be related to your neck symptoms at all. Do you have DJD in the thoracic and lumbar spine too? The chest and lower extremity symptoms would be coming from there, not your neck. Look up the spinal dermatomes and you will see where each level corresponds to the area of pain. It is really helpful for sorting this out.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2013, 05:40 AM   #4
WebDozer
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,382
WebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB User
Re: myelomalacia question

Myelomalacia in the cervical spinal cord can affect anything 'downstream'. Your hip/leg symptoms could be a result of it. I still have symptoms - and a little muscle atrophy - down my right leg from cervical myelomalacia that occurred in 1986.

Of course, your leg/hip (though not chest) symptoms could also easily be caused by lumbar spinal problems.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2013, 06:26 AM   #5
tigerguy
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 7
tigerguy HB User
Re: myelomalacia question

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladybud View Post
Myelomalacia is a result of the degenerative process in spine associated with the disc disease. It doesn't have anything to do with your symptoms, is just an MRI finding consistent with the arthritic process in the spine. Your lower symptoms shouldn't be related to your neck symptoms at all. Do you have DJD in the thoracic and lumbar spine too? The chest and lower extremity symptoms would be coming from there, not your neck. Look up the spinal dermatomes and you will see where each level corresponds to the area of pain. It is really helpful for sorting this out.
Where can I find spinal dermatomes? I have never heard this term before. Thank you for your input!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2013, 06:41 AM   #6
tigerguy
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 7
tigerguy HB User
Re: myelomalacia question

Quote:
Originally Posted by WebDozer View Post
Myelomalacia in the cervical spinal cord can affect anything 'downstream'. Your hip/leg symptoms could be a result of it. I still have symptoms - and a little muscle atrophy - down my right leg from cervical myelomalacia that occurred in 1986.

Of course, your leg/hip (though not chest) symptoms could also easily be caused by lumbar spinal problems.
My neurosurgeon says we need to wait on even thinking about doing anything to lumbar until at least another 6-8 weeks or so. I have a lumbar MRI from about 13 months ago, and I had one epidural as recommended from an orthopedic surgeon. However, the doctor who actually did the epidural told me that most patients that come in with my quality of MRI don't have any symptoms nearly as bad as mine. That tends to tell me that it is mostly the myelomalacia at C5-C6 that is causing all or at least most of my symptoms. I also know that I have a disc at T3-T4 that abuts the cord (Feb 2010 MRI). Maybe this has worsened? 1986 was 27 years ago. How fast did you get better? By what percentage did you improve? Did you have a cord compression that was surgically repaired? Thank you for your valuable input in my search for answers. By the way, I am experiencing a lot of fatigue that I have never felt in my life--perhaps due to myelomalacia? And I notice when I get more sleep my symptoms are much more bearable--I wonder if that is due to more sleep or more time laying down helping to decompress some nerves in my thoracic or lumbar area. Thoughts?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2013, 06:46 AM   #7
tigerguy
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 7
tigerguy HB User
Re: myelomalacia question

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladybud View Post
Myelomalacia is a result of the degenerative process in spine associated with the disc disease. It doesn't have anything to do with your symptoms, is just an MRI finding consistent with the arthritic process in the spine. Your lower symptoms shouldn't be related to your neck symptoms at all. Do you have DJD in the thoracic and lumbar spine too? The chest and lower extremity symptoms would be coming from there, not your neck. Look up the spinal dermatomes and you will see where each level corresponds to the area of pain. It is really helpful for sorting this out.
I do have DJD in both thoracic and lumbar. At T3-T4 I have a disc that abuts the cord (MRI from Feb 2011). But, two neurosurgeons and 2 other doctors have looked at this and also a lumbar MRI from July 2012 and have not expressed major concerns over it--at least not compared to my neck, perhaps just a matter of the neck being the worst problem presently.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2013, 09:27 AM   #8
WebDozer
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,382
WebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB User
Re: myelomalacia question

Sorry, my problems were in 1996, and I had a C3-4 ACDF. The pre-surgery symptoms were not extreme, although the MRI was. Some symptoms got better, some got partially better, and some are still intermittent.

Just do a search on "dermatome" and you'll find all the maps...

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2013, 10:40 AM   #9
ladybud
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
ladybud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 6,030
ladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB User
Re: myelomalacia question

I had cervical fusion on C5-6 a few years ago. As I recall, it took about 3-4 months to feel like I had recovered. I had complete resolution of my shoulder and arm pain, and about 80% of my neck pain, but I had some disc bulging at C3-4 that they didn't want to deal with. So 5.5 weeks is early and the longer the nerves were compressed, the longer they take to recover. So you should continue to get improvement over the next few months. Core strengthening exercises may help help with your lumbar issues and put off having to do anything surgical. Lumbar surgery is worse than cervical so avoiding it would be good if you can.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2013, 07:59 AM   #10
tigerguy
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 7
tigerguy HB User
Re: myelomalacia question

My Feb 2011 MRI said "severe canal stenosis" at C5-C6, but due to a lack of communication between me and the neurologist, I did not have surgery until June 2013. We tried PT first. Then when I got a ns referral he didn't accept my insurance, my symptoms were not very severe, and I just did not ask for another ns who might take my insurance. The pins and needles spread from my calf to my foot and up to my abdomen up to my chest on the left side. On the right I only have a slight bit of numbness in my right foot and a slight bit in my right index finger only (hardly noticeable--one of my early symptoms but it never got worse) and some hyperflexia in right leg, which seems to have diminished some after surgery.

My May 2013 MRI said the spinal canal left to right was down to as small as 5 mm in one spot, but the myelomalacia spot was only perhaps slightly bigger than 2 years prior, but my symptoms were a lot more severe, which is what prompted me to seek surgery. I now know that I really messed up by not getting in sooner. I am told that if I had surgery 2 years ago, most or many of my symptoms would have reversed. Now the prognosis is a lot more gloomy.

I was under the impression that whenever I got surgery, the symptoms would go away. That was a real mistake. Live and learn and live with pain it looks like. One of the most troubling symptoms is now marked fatigue, which may have started to manifest itself right before surgery, but it has been really bothersome after surgery. Partly due to lack of being able to sleep post-surgery, but I think perhaps due to the spinal cord injury having gone on too long. The other night I got a total of 9 hours of sleep in two segments and still was just dragging in the afternoon and didn't do much of anything all day as it was a Sunday. This makes me worried about functioning at work when I get back to it in 4 weeks as a teacher. Any experience with fatigue as a symptom or how to try to combat it?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2013, 08:02 AM   #11
tigerguy
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 7
tigerguy HB User
Re: myelomalacia question

Do you know how long you had the cord compression before you had surgery? I would like to do some plans for my core, but am not sure I should do them with my neck. I should start PT soon--hopefully they can guide me on that.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2013, 08:41 AM   #12
ladybud
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
ladybud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 6,030
ladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB Userladybud HB User
Re: myelomalacia question

I didn't have cord compression in neck, just nerve root compression and disc herniation. I would get the ok on core strengthening exercises for your back from your surgeon and physical therapists when your neck has had time to heal.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2013, 05:12 AM   #13
seshu
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2
seshu HB User
Re: myelomalacia question

I have myelomalacia at C5-6 (9mm). I am now 25 days post C4-6 ACDF. All this started in July 2012 when I had a bike accident. Before surgery I had pain, mild burning and sudden jerks (around 10 times in a day) in my arms. Now, i don't have any pain and jerks are rare. But, the burning has become worse though not unbearable. My Neurosurgeon says I need to be patient as it takes a lot of time to heal completely or it may stay like that forever if it is due to myelomalacia. I am in the dark just like you and this patience is very frustrating.

I am sorry to hear that you still have pain after surgery. But, i heard that pain goes away faster than numbness/burning. Again, your symptoms might be due to lumbar issues.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2013, 08:17 PM   #14
wbcaddis
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1
wbcaddis HB User
Re: myelomalacia question

Myleomalacia at c 5,6 can cause problems all the way down to your big toe. You can expect improvement for up to 12 or even 18 months. Walking is good as is sleeping. If you can find a comfortable sleep position you are far better off than you can imagine. This assumes the damage is in your spinal cord, which is what it sounds like to me based on your post. You can have pins and needles, various dysthesia symptoms like cold is hot or numbness and pain at the same time., don't be depressed, it is a long road. I am fused c 4, 5,6,7 and have myleomalacia at c, 5,6 . Good luck.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013, 12:30 PM   #15
0055
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Iowa
Posts: 13
0055 HB User
Lightbulb Re: myelomalacia question

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerguy View Post
I had ACDF surgery at C5-C6 about 5.5 weeks ago. Unfortunately my MRI says I have focal myelomalacia there, up to 6 mm. Also, unfortunately this showed up as a little smaller spot way back in Feb. 2010 MRI. Recommended neurosurgeon consult was delayed nearly 2 years--long story and regrettable.

My question is: My neurosurgeon says that surgery went very well and that I will heal--he just won't say how much--1%, 30%, 70%, etc. Most things I read say there is no healing of nor treatment for myelomalacia. Unfortunately although surgery was supposed to stop any further damage and possibly reverse symptoms, I would say overall some symptoms have improved a little, but my most major complaints, such as pins and needles from left chest down to toes, especially left hip, knee, and foot pain seem worse. Stretching my left hamstring and piriformis seem to provide some relief. Any thoughts?
I have myelomalacia .... Had it before and after my ACDF 4-5-6 . My spinal cord was flattered to 5 mm . Had a lot of neck pain before and my walking was messed up and very fatigued! After ... Horrible arm pain and numbness in right hand,actually entire right side was affected, tingles hip pain ect...
Now I am 7 months out and things are some better ,I take gabapenton which helps,and they have given me an epidural. Myelomalacia is not supposed to get better ,(spinal cord injury) but I am very happy to to not be in as much pain ! So any way I hope you feel better as time passes as well. ! I do still get overly fatigued easily though!! And can still have an off gate. Best of luck and take it slow and easy!!

 
Reply With Quote
Reply Reply

Tags
acdf



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:57 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2017 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!