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Myleopathy - Need surgery & advise!!!!!!!!!!!


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Old 01-29-2003, 05:10 PM   #1
Renee016
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Post Myleopathy - Need surgery & advise!!!!!!!!!!!

I went back to see my orthopedist today - now he is saying that although my symptoms are not classic for herniated discs in the neck, he thinks that I have some myleopathy going on and that if I don't have surgery it could get worse - even to the point where I lose all coordination and it becomes irreversible.

I also saw a nuerosurgeon today and he said I needed surgery as soon as he saw my MRI's. He said the reason that I'm not having any symptoms in my arms is because the disc is not pressing on those nerves, it's on the spinal cord itself and that is why I'm having weakness in the legs. He also strongly suggested that I have the surgery in the next 2 or 3 weeks because he thinks its been long enough.

I NEED INFO! First of all, can anyone explain myleopathy? Also, I'd be very interested in hearing from anyone who's had anterior cervical discectomy and what their experience was. And most importantly, can anyone give advise on who should perform such surgery -an orthopedist or a nuerosurgeon?

Thanks in advance for all your help.
Renee

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1982 Fusion surgery for scoliosis with stainless steel Harrington Rod (T5 - L3) using pelvic bone for grafting
1999 Neck problems began
2001 Cervical Kyphosis
2002 Diagnosed with Epstein-Barr (level was 7+) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
2003 3 Herniated Cervical Discs - C4 thru C7. One disc (C5-6) pressing on the spinal cord (no nerve root compression) causing leg weakness, tingling, burning and numbness - diagnosed with myelopathy and ACDF recommended.
2/24/03 One-Level Anterior Cervical Discectomy with donor bone and titanium plate (C5-6)
Post 2/03 - Symptoms returned and worsening. Weakness in my legs is like walking against a 50 mph wind - pain in lower back and all the way down my right leg to the ankle - vertigo, muscle spasms in trunk and legs
7/03 EEG, BAERS and MRI of brain all normal
7/03 MRI of lumbar spine showed mild herniated disc (L4/5) with moderate to severe DDD and edema in the endplates. HOLDING OUT FOR ARTIFICIAL DISC REPLACEMENT!

 
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Old 01-29-2003, 05:32 PM   #2
melanie dawn
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Hi Renee,
I also have myelopathy and central herniated discs.I agree with the neuro, and have the surgery sooner than later. I was undiagnosed for over 2 years and am anxiously awaiting surgery, He is right the symptoms may progress.
I would definatly have my surgery done by a neuro, not an ortho.I think you will find most of us on the board feel that way. Here in Canada orthos dont do necks. I think you need to research the neuros and see two of them at least.
You certainly have some time to do some research , learn as much as you can. In saying that dont leave it too long to prevent progression.I am sure you will hear from lots of people on this board who have the same diagnosis and have had the surgery.
My heart goes out to you, I know how scary this is. Thank goodness for this board and the knowledeable and supportive people on it.Good luck to you,will keep you in my prayers.
Mel
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Congenital Cervical Stenosis,complicated by:
Paracentral Disc herniations ,bone spurs C4/5,C5/6,C6/7
loss of lordotic curve
Advanced myelopathy inc. walking difficulty, loss of gag reflex with swallowing problems, neurogenic bladder, occipital neuralgia, spacticity

 
Old 01-29-2003, 05:44 PM   #3
melanie dawn
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Renee,
sorry I meant to address the myelopathy and forgot. Myelopathy means spinal cord disfunction. In the case of those of us on this board it is a functional myelopathy(the other kind is from infections etc).Your spinal cord is responsable for all of the function of the body, It transmits all of the signals for movement and sensation etc.
In this case the cord is compressed and interfering with the function of the cord. Depending on the level that is damaged, problems corespond to the level that is damaged and below. Myelopathy can start as weakness and progess to stumbling, shuffling walking, clumsiness of hands, pain, numbness, headaches, bladder and or bowel problems.
I know this sounds scary and overwhelming, but You need to be aware of the symptoms, just some of which i have listed. Do a search online, look up cervical stenosis, and cervical myelopathy. I think it is very important to be knowledgeable and well informed. As well the people here on this board have a wealth of knowledge and experience which is highly valuable.
Keep in touch and I'll be thinkng of you.
Mel
__________________
Congenital Cervical Stenosis,complicated by:
Paracentral Disc herniations ,bone spurs C4/5,C5/6,C6/7
loss of lordotic curve
Advanced myelopathy inc. walking difficulty, loss of gag reflex with swallowing problems, neurogenic bladder, occipital neuralgia, spacticity

 
Old 01-30-2003, 07:02 PM   #4
Renee016
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 165
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Hi, Mel Thank you for your reply. What gets me is that for the past three months my ortho kept sending me to different doctors for different tests to rule out everything from Epstein-Barr to diabetes and now I go to the nuero and he says don't wait more then three weeks! My symptoms have been getting worse - tonight my right thigh feels like there's a knife stuck in it and my feet are just buzzing constantly. I'm a little depressed actually - I've been waiting to hear surgery and now I'm not as relieved as I thought I'd be. I'm worried about losing more mobility (already had fusion surgery for scoliosis 20 years ago)and causing more wear and tear to be put on the discs that are not fused. I know they are only doing one-level (C5-6) but I have another disc with a tear (C4-5) that I am worried about getting worse in the future. Maybe they should just fuse my whole spine and be done with this!

Oh, well, sorry for complaining.
Renee
__________________
1982 Fusion surgery for scoliosis with stainless steel Harrington Rod (T5 - L3) using pelvic bone for grafting
1999 Neck problems began
2001 Cervical Kyphosis
2002 Diagnosed with Epstein-Barr (level was 7+) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
2003 3 Herniated Cervical Discs - C4 thru C7. One disc (C5-6) pressing on the spinal cord (no nerve root compression) causing leg weakness, tingling, burning and numbness - diagnosed with myelopathy and ACDF recommended.
2/24/03 One-Level Anterior Cervical Discectomy with donor bone and titanium plate (C5-6)
Post 2/03 - Symptoms returned and worsening. Weakness in my legs is like walking against a 50 mph wind - pain in lower back and all the way down my right leg to the ankle - vertigo, muscle spasms in trunk and legs
7/03 EEG, BAERS and MRI of brain all normal
7/03 MRI of lumbar spine showed mild herniated disc (L4/5) with moderate to severe DDD and edema in the endplates. HOLDING OUT FOR ARTIFICIAL DISC REPLACEMENT!

 
Old 01-31-2003, 05:46 AM   #5
melanie dawn
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Location: welland, canada
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Hi Renee,
you go ahead and whine your little head off, I do.!Renee I know how frrustrating this is, my symptoms are quite similar to yours. The waiting and double checks are so frustrating. From my point of veiw I dont understand the waits and check everything else first( iwas checked for lou gehrigs, ms etc)But medically some of the books and docs feel that myelopathy from stenosis is rare in the not senior citizen population. Myelopathy from ms or infection , or stenosis is still myelopathy , and behaves very similarly. So maybe it is best to rule everything else out first, What do I know? I 've been like this over the last couple of years, and just got diagnosed.
So you just let it out when you have to, its an important tool for decreasing stress.
Take care of yourself,, Mel
__________________
Congenital Cervical Stenosis,complicated by:
Paracentral Disc herniations ,bone spurs C4/5,C5/6,C6/7
loss of lordotic curve
Advanced myelopathy inc. walking difficulty, loss of gag reflex with swallowing problems, neurogenic bladder, occipital neuralgia, spacticity

 
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