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    Old 04-23-2003, 02:17 PM   #1
    deephile
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    Question Questions about spinal stenosis

    Hi I am new to the boards and I was just wondering how many of you have spinal stenosis? I am in my early 40's and have had it in lumbar region since mid 30's and managed to still have a life more or less. I recently found out that I also have Cervical stenosis and 3 levels of herniation in cervical area plus the lumbar stenosis and 3 levels of herniation there too. I am going to see a neurosurgeon friday and just wondered what to expect. I am starting to have a lot of anxiety aboyt this but desperatly want to feel better.


    Dee

     
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    Old 04-23-2003, 03:18 PM   #2
    avcat9
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    Hi Dee,

    I, too, am new to the board.
    I am in my early 40's and was diagnosed with severe cervical spine stenosis C3-C7. I had had neck pain for 10 years which I attributed to "arthritis" and muscle spasm but I finally sought medical care when I began to experience numbness, weakness and clumsiness of my left hand/arm. I also started experiencing severe pain unlike before.
    I ended up seeing 3 Neurosurgeons in town ( Seattle, WA), including one at the University Medical Center.
    What was confusing for me was that 2 of them recommended an anterior procedure and the other one recommended the posterior approach. In addition, one suggested I go ahead with surgery right away, while 2 suggested that I wait (until what?). I have now spent 9 months waiting and I am now ready to consider surgery as nothing has improved with time, epidurals (very helpful for the pain -- for me), PT and pain meds. You didn't say in your post what neurological deficits you are experiencing. Certainly if you have evidence of cord compression and are experiencing deficits then surgery is likely to be advised. I have been relatively functional (heheh) aside from the severe pain but I am acutely aware that with only minimal trauma, I could sustain severe injury to my spinal cord being that it is already "squished" and has no room to go.
    One thing that I have learned from this board is that surgery isn't all that awful -- is seems that a number of people here have been helped with surgery. Since I have not had mine yet, I cannot speak from experience.
    Make sure that you get all your questions answered from the surgeon you see. It is always good to get a second and even third opinion. Even though, I saw several doctors and had a "good feeling" about 2 of them, the decision to go ahead with surgery was pretty much left to me.
    I know what you mean about the anxiety and about wanting to feel better. Over the last 9 months that I have deteriorated (and have been on disability), I have felt desperate to feel better again. The pain and my situation have really made me feel down at times. I wish the best for you at your appointment.
    Please let me/us know how it went for you.



    [This message has been edited by avcat9 (edited 04-23-2003).]

     
    Old 04-23-2003, 03:34 PM   #3
    cnewmann
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    I am in my late fifties and had cervical stenosis, a bone spur compressing the nerve and two bulging disc in C6 & C7. I had numbness in my right hand, hyper-reflexes, and some inbalance.

    I am now 5 weeks post-op and doing fine. The surgery was scary to me until I found this board and all the cheerleaders. I wouldn't wait to have the surgery done. I was afraid that if I waited---I still knew I was going to have to have it sooner or later--and I might be in poor health. So I decided to do it while I was healthy.

    Connie

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    ACDF C6 & C 7 with plating and donor bone 3/20/03
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    Old 04-23-2003, 03:52 PM   #4
    Michael Hurts A Lot
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    Hi - not sure I would wait on surgery IF it is inevitable. The longer you put it off, the more permanent the damage to the spinal cord from the compression - something to talk about with your doctor.
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    I am completely recovered, no pain at all.

     
    Old 04-23-2003, 03:53 PM   #5
    avcat9
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    Connie,
    This is Avcat.
    I wanted to ask you about the surgery you just had.
    Were you ever advised to have the posterior approach?
    I have a friend in his early 70's who had the posterior approach done for one level about 10 years ago and is happy with the result. I have 3 or possibly four surgical levels and don't know how to decide what to do. One of the "anterior approach" surgeons wants to do 3 levels now and the other one wants to do 2 at a time (several years apart). I have also looked into the minimally invasive surgery at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh and went as far as mailing my records and MRI. I talked to the doctor by phone and e-mail and he said I was a candidate. I guess what I am getting to is how should I decide what surgical procedure to go with? Did you ever face that dilemma once you decided to go ahead with surgery? Thanks in advance.

     
    Old 04-23-2003, 03:59 PM   #6
    deephile
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    My spinal cord is apparently being sqished and I have had an achy neck for years that recently has become almost unbearable and I have become quite clumsy. I knock things over and somtimes I have a grip on something and just drop it. I am trying to get disability going to first appeal process on my way to the poorhouse but that is a different issue. Anyway in their rejection of my claim they said that I should still be able to waitress. (LOL) I bet you would all love to have me wait on you!!! Plus if I am on my feet for more than 15 minutes I have this burning pain in my leg and groin that I can't even begin to describe.
    I was doing some yoga and it did help for quite a while but it is now to painful to keep up----so I guess surgery is probably my best option. I will let you all know my experience.

     
    Old 04-23-2003, 04:19 PM   #7
    avcat9
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    Dear Dee,

    Your neck related symptoms sound just like mine.
    I have broken and dropped several coffee pots and plates at home so I definitely would not be able to wait tables heh heh! That is unbelievable about your disability. I only have 5 more months of collecting though since it is from another state where I was working -- then off to the poor house!
    I will be looking for you to post on Friday after your appointment!

     
    Old 04-23-2003, 06:14 PM   #8
    BWL
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    Hi Dee,

    No advice as I am not a stenosis sufferer, but I wanted to say hi and welcome you to this wonderful group of folks.

    Connie - I'm so happy to see you up and about. How are you feeling?

    Bruce

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    ACDF with plating and donor bone C6-7 (1/29/03)
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    Old 04-23-2003, 07:57 PM   #9
    joprud
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    Hi Dee,

    Welcome to our little family.

    I don稚 know that I can be of much help answering your question because my docs have yet to be any help to me. Apparently my pain level and the symptoms described below are not enough to warrant surgery...not that I want to go there...but I just wish my docs would at least take me serious enough to tackle this constant pain...and I do kinda worry about permanent nerve damage. But that痴 my docs (not very helpful ones)....and that痴 my area (Canada)...trust me...I知 sure you will have better luck with your docs in the States.
    I知 47... I have DDD...3 levels affected in the lumbar.... central spinal stenosis at L4-L5 ....disc protrusions...tear...etc..see signature...and foraminal stenosis at 3 levels in the cervical spine....Between 1993 and now I have had numerous flare ups. These flare ups would usually last from 1 to 3 weeks, increasing in frequency. Starting Jan.2002...things got much worse... I have been in pain all day every day... varying types of pain and to varying degrees. I am experiencing pins and needles (most particularly my right leg from the knee to my toes), aching and weakness in my legs and in my hips. Occasional drop foot. Sitting for long is out of the question, on my worst days I can稚 even go 5 mins. Standing for too long can also become more painful. Love to walk and normally I知 fine, but occasionally walking causes the pain in my back to get worse 2 steps 末 stop due to excruciating shooting pain up my back 末 few more steps in barely bearable pain 覧 stop shooting pain 末 etc. This has happened a few times. Pins and needles in legs when squatting. Lying down is most often the most comfortable but lately and occasionally in the past it is still painful. (although still better.) Pins and needles and/or what feels like mild vibrating in legs often when lying down. Occasional RLS. Pins and needles in legs periodically when sitting... muscle twitches when lying down. Occasional pins and needles on the right side of my face and twitching of the right eye. Also experiencing pins and needles in my arms from the elbow to my fingers now constantly when lying down. Now experiencing frequent pain and burning pain across shoulders and neck....Occasional weakness in arms as well... I think I remembered everything.

    Have you tried researching online?....There is a ton of info out there...I found that the more I read and learned the more my fears were eased....and of course these guys were the best find of all.

    What symptoms are you experiencing?

    I wish you all the best with your neuro appointment...please let us know what happens.

    Take Care,
    Joanne


    ------------------
    • Sept63,fall on back on stairs,compression fractures of T6 and T8
    • 1993 X-ray Diagnosed DDD
    • Nov,2002 MRI C4-C5 posterior osteophytic bar effacing ventral thecal sac, stenosis of neural foramina.C5-C6 posterior disc protrusion effacing VTS. Stenosis of neural foramina.C6-C7 posterior disc herniation effacing VTS.stenosis of neural foramina.C7-T1perineural cysts in both neural foramina.left convex scoliosis mid thoracic spine.wedging of T7. wedging of T5.degen.end plate changes at T8-T9. L4-L5 diffuse disc bulge effacing VTS.hypertrophy of facet joints,central spinal stenosis.L5-S1 posterior disc protrusion with associated tear of annulus fibrosis. hypertrophy of facet joints.S1-S2 Perineural cysts involving S1-S2 nerve roots.
    • So far have tried: meds,physio,acupuncture all to no avail.

     
    Old 04-24-2003, 06:18 PM   #10
    winged phantom
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    Hi Dee,
    I've been trying not to be on the boards too much. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif But I had some severe cervical stenosis and just had a three level cervical fusion two weeks ago. From what I have read and heard, stenosis will not get better on its own but may progress, either slowly or quickly. But who can say what it will do in any given individual? That's the thing, and you must be on top of it with your neurologist or your NS to be sure you don't progress to the point of irreversible nerve damage.

    Welcome to the boards... we'll give you info and hold your hand while you wade through the morass of appointments and tests and even surgery...

    But do your homework, and don't be rushed into quick decisions. It's your body, and you have to live in it. Post away....
    wr

    ------------------
    • 12/29/89 C5-6 Microdiskectomy (no fusion)
    • 4/9/03 ACDF C4-7 with plating and donor bone
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    • 12/29/89 C5-6 Microdiskectomy (no fusion)
    • 4/9/03 ACDF C4-7 with plating and donor bone

     
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