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  • When need for surgery for cervical stenosis

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    Old 01-10-2003, 10:24 AM   #1
    Spimo
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    Post When need for surgery for cervical stenosis

    Hi,
    I was so glad to find this board because I am new to spinal problems. Had great pain in arm and shoulder but it resolved (2 mos)then a month later I could not move my right foot off the floor. This lasted 3 weeks. Had MRI and DX'ed with cervical stenosis so referred to a surgon. Now, it too has gotten better and my appointment is'nt til Feb. Would they still consider surgery if your symptoms are much better? So confusing. Would appreciate some throughts from some patient's who know from experience.
    Thanks, Spimo

     
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    Old 01-10-2003, 10:33 AM   #2
    mothmin
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    Talking

    Sorry to say, pain isn't the bottom line with spinal problems. I was in horrible pain for 6 months ( left ring finger) I did pt and the pain went away, however my mri showed severe pinch of spial cord, so much so that fluid couldn't pass through, I'm 4 weeks post-op today (wearing my soft collar). the thing with spinal disorders is, you can't tell which pain is caused by it, and which pain is just every day pains. good luck

     
    Old 01-10-2003, 02:43 PM   #3
    Niki47
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    Dear Spimo,

    ... the worst problems are often painless. Once there is sufficient pressure on your spinal cord, the dysfunction can effect everything below the bad level. So, if your trouble spot is cervical, both arms, legs and all vital organs are at risk.

    I am 9 weeks post op, and I was crippled up before surgery. It happened overnight. Not to scare you, but to demonstrate the importance of treatment. Do not be fooled by the "on again- off again" symptoms.

    What procedure are you facing? Read all you can, and there are many on the boards here who can and will help.

    Good luck to you!!

    Niki47

    Last edited by Administrator; 05-17-2018 at 03:25 PM.

     
    Old 01-15-2003, 02:20 PM   #4
    empi
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    Hi Spimo.

    I have stenosis. My actual diagnosis is cervical myelopathy with stenosis. I had an anterior discetomy at C-4-C-5 on 11-19 and I am doing great. The difference is amazing. I had some of your symptoms, only mine was the left leg. It would "stick" to the ground when I walked. I also had severe numbness and tingling in the left hand and fingers. Most of my symptoms have imoproved. I still have some numbness and tinglign in the left hand but I would say the improvement is 90%. My left lef is strong again. The surgery was a lifesaver.I am sceduled to have a cervical laminectomy in about 4 months to resolve the stenosis problem which is the spinal chord narrowing.

    Hopen this helps

    Maria



    ------------------

    Last edited by Administrator; 05-17-2018 at 03:25 PM.

     
    Old 01-15-2003, 08:56 PM   #5
    Spimo
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    Thanks for the info.
    My spine diagnosis is complicated by the fact that I have had MS for many years, although I had only mild to moderate walking problems before my new symptoms.

    I have no idea how the surgeon is going to tell the difference between the stenosis and MS as the cause of my very weak and spastc legs. To say nothing of needing to have surgery. The upside is I might be able to get better if they can fix my neck, but at my stage of MS it's pretty permanent. No fixes!
    Thanks for listening,
    Spimo

    Last edited by Administrator; 05-17-2018 at 03:25 PM.

     
    Old 01-15-2003, 09:33 PM   #6
    Spimo
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    Thank you for responding.
    It sounds like the bottom line is take every thing seriously when it involves your spine and/or spinal cord.
    Here's a little complication to my saga; I have had MS for many years before the recent (2mos ago) diagnosis of spinal stenosis. My concern is how does the surgeon know which problem is causing this bad spasticity and weakness in my leg(s)that I am having now. Before the DX of cord compression my walking was mild to moderately poor (cane, sometime walker), but lately it's really, really hard to get around.

    I guess you just have to decide to really trust the surgeon that you have chosen. But, it's scarry, nonetheless. The upside is that the possible surgery maybe will help me, MS at my stage sure is pretty well here to stay.

     
    Old 01-17-2003, 09:29 PM   #7
    pinecone
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    STENOSIS is bone growing around the spinal nerves till it strangles the spinal nerves. At that point you have no choice but surgery. A good Neurosurgeon will be able to ream the bone off the spinal nerves. Your Stenosis may come back or it may be in another area of the spinal column. Ask the Dr to do a check for anklyosing spondylitis

     
    Old 01-18-2003, 12:29 PM   #8
    BarbS123
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    Hi Spimo,

    I can't guarantee that I will be able to help you, but I CAN guarantee that I will try.
    (Believe me, I know how having MS can really screw things up!!!)

    Barb

    ------------------
    Anterior Cervical Corpectomy/Diskectomy); own bone from left iliac crest; titanium plate with 4 screws. Freed myself of Evil Miami JTO (not just J) killer contraption against surgeon's orders (and happy I did it!!!!)
    Rebellion worked--I'm free with the surgeon's blessing now! YIPPEE!!
    __________________
    Anterior Cervical Corpectomy/Diskectomy); own bone from left iliac crest; titanium plate with 4 screws. Freed myself of Evil Miami JTO (not just J) killer contraption against surgeon's orders (and happy I did it!!!!)
    Rebellion worked--I'm free with the surgeon's blessing now! YIPPEE!!

    Last edited by Administrator; 05-17-2018 at 03:24 PM.

     
    Old 01-20-2003, 10:47 AM   #9
    Spimo
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    Hi Barb,
    I read your past posts and I was hoping I could "talk" with you. I would appreciate it if you could tell me how the doctor(s) knew it was your spinal problem and not MS. The symptoms are so alike. I am so anxious about my first time appointment with the neurosurgen this Friday. Again, how the heck will he know? please share with me some of your thoughts.
    Thanks soooooooo much.

     
    Old 01-20-2003, 06:44 PM   #10
    BarbS123
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    Hi Spimo,

    My story is kind of weird. For the LONGEST time, my left hand has been pretty numb most of the time, and VERY numb some of the time. (My right hand numbs up on me pretty often, too.) Then, several months ago, my left ARM started acting up. Sometimes, there was numbness, sometimes pain, sometimes weakness. I attributed it all to the MS.

    The numbness was getting worse, so when I saw my neurologist in August for my regular MS 3-month follow-up, I mentioned it to him. He told me that not everything is from the MS and told me to come in for an EMG; he wanted to test me for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I scheduled an appointment for the EMG and had the test on Aug. 21. (It's not often that you go for a test and hope it turns out positive, but this is how I felt; I figured that CTS was fixable, whereas numbness from MS wasn't.) Anyway, before I left his office, he told me that sure enough, I had a pretty bad case of CTS in both hands, worse, of course, in the left. I left his office feeling pretty good.

    A couple of weeks later, I had my regular visit with my internist. I asked him how long after one started splinting for CTS should it be before improvement could be noticed. He said, "Not long." Well, not only was the CTS not improving, but it seemed that the numbness in the left arm was getting worse!! The doc suggested I look into surgery for the CTS, and I agreed and put it on my schedule to call a doctor for that. But I never got the chance.

    On Sept. 4, I had to carry VERY heavy cases all over one of the campuses where I teach. (That's another story--a long one. It can wait for another time.) Anyway, by the time I got to my classroom, I was in a lot of pain. By that night, I couldn't lift my left arm all the way above my head. By the night after that, I could raise it even less, and by the next day, it was virtually paralyzed. I called the neurologist and got an emergency appointment for Monday evening (9/9). He examined me and then told me to get an MRI and to come in for an EMG. After getting the MRI results that Friday (9/13), he asked me when the EMG was scheduled, and when I told him it was for 9/18, he said, "Come tomorrow instead." On Saturday, the EMG showed that my arm was DEAD! The MRI report showed SEVERE compression of the nerve root at c4/c5. He told me to see a surgeon. I called on Mon. 9/16, saw her on 9/17, and had the surgery on 9/19. No time to react! Apparently, the compression was so severe that they were afraid of permanent paralysis.

    So for me, Spimo, what I thought was MS was really a cervical problem, compounded by MS AND CTS. I had a triple whammy! But the MRI confirmed that it was definitely cervical--remember, MS symptoms are caused by lesions in the BRAIN.

    Funny thing is that I started wondering if I really had MS after all. Many of the MS symptoms DID disappear after the surgery, and as you said, the symptoms are SO similar. I asked the neurologist about this in November, and he assured me that I still do have MS. (Remember, I had the positive MS tests to prove it!) It's just that the Avonex is working! (Silly me, I was kind of happy when my leg started burning again. It's not that I WANT MS; I just didn't want to think that I was living with a misdiagnosis.)

    My suggestion to you is to make sure that a cervical problem definitely DOES exist, but then, before you have surgery, get a second (and even third) opinion. Some cervical problems might not require surgery; they might be treatable in other ways. Also, speak to your MS neurologist about this. Make sure he communicates with the neurosurgeon, and don't agree to surgery unless he agrees, too.

    Well, Spimo. I hope I've helped. Please keep me informed. Best of luck.

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    Barb
    __________________
    Anterior Cervical Corpectomy/Diskectomy); own bone from left iliac crest; titanium plate with 4 screws. Freed myself of Evil Miami JTO (not just J) killer contraption against surgeon's orders (and happy I did it!!!!)
    Rebellion worked--I'm free with the surgeon's blessing now! YIPPEE!!

    Last edited by Administrator; 05-17-2018 at 03:27 PM.

     
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