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  • Severe stenosis

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    Old 03-13-2015, 02:51 PM   #1
    Happymummy1
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    Severe stenosis

    Hi, I was wondering if someone could interpret my MRI results for me. They sound pretty scary to me and I would like to understand them so I am better equipped when I see the doctor. I am awaiting an appointment with a spine doctor; within 4 weeks I am assured.
    Here are my results:

    -Straightening and slight reversal of the normal cervical lordosis.

    -At C3/4, there is a prominent disc /osteophyte complex causing moderate central canal stenosis and frank indentation of the ventral surface of the cord. Bilateral exit foraminal stenosis, slightly worse to the right.

    -At C4/5, there are mild degenerative changes within the disc. No encroachment on the cord or exiting foramina.

    -At C5/6, there is severe central canal stenosis due to a prominent disc/osteophyte complex with cord compression and near complete effacement of the circumferential CSF around the cord. Bilateral exit foraminal stenosis, moderate on the right and severe to the left with compromise of the left exiting C6 root.

    -At C6/7, there is mild central canal narrowing. Exit foramina are patent.

    -AtC7/T1, central canal and exit foramina are patent.

    Normal appearances of the cervical cord and craniocervical junction.

    Comments: Severe cervical spondylosis at C3/4 and C5/6, the latter associated with severe central canal stenoses and compromise of the cervical cord.

    Thank you in advance.

    Last edited by Happymummy1; 03-13-2015 at 02:57 PM.

     
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    Old 03-14-2015, 03:07 AM   #2
    Happymummy1
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    Re: Severe stenosis

    I know you can't diagnose anything. I would appreciate any help anyone can give in understanding my MRI report.
    Thanks again...

     
    Old 03-14-2015, 03:11 AM   #3
    Happymummy1
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    Re: Severe stenosis

    I know you can't diagnose anything. I would appreciate any help anyone can give in understanding my MRI report.
    Thanks again...and thank you Hollykins1.

     
    Old 03-14-2015, 01:14 PM   #4
    noevr
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    Re: Severe stenosis

    Hi, what are your symptoms? That is what is important really. How much it's bothering you.

    I was reading about this new device they put between "wings" I call them, can't remember the real name, the bones that extend out on each side of each level and they clip this device between these to open the space up to help with stenosis, you have to be at least 40 yrs old. I believe they were doing it in Atlanta cathy

     
    Old 03-14-2015, 01:42 PM   #5
    Happymummy1
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    Re: Severe stenosis

    Hi, I am 41 years old. My symptoms are, I have had moderate to severe neck and right shoulder pain for years. It is tolerable most of the time but then I cannot move for a week or so when the pain gets too bad. Thankfully, this does not happen very often. I get a fairly bad pain down my left arm and less often in my right arm, this can stop me sleeping at times. Most significantly for me are the electric shock like pains I get down both arms which I get during most activities. They occur when I cough, sneeze, look up or down, bend down to fill the washing machine and when I walk up the stairs, (most activities really)this has changed recently from only occurring when I ran upstairs. I have what was diagnosed as idiopathic peripheral neuropathy altered sensation) some years ago, this involves my small and ring fingers and the sides of both hands (more noticeable in right hand), also my toes on right foot (little toe and the two next to it, and ball of foot), I also get tingling along with the altered sensation. I have recently had a problem with my bowels but this has only happened once. I live in the UK. I am awaiting an appointment but have been told to avoid certain activities to protect my neck until I have been seen when they can provide me with more information once they have examined me. (ie I'm not to do any heavy lifting at work). Thanks in advance for your input.

    Last edited by Happymummy1; 03-14-2015 at 03:43 PM.

     
    Old 03-14-2015, 04:06 PM   #6
    noevr
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    Re: Severe stenosis

    I had a slightly herniation in my c 4/5. Had pt and steroid injections. Have to be careful not to look down at phone/laptop, use pillow on lap. Also bought a soft cervical collar when it was bad and it really helped, just wore it around house.

     
    Old 03-14-2015, 04:11 PM   #7
    teteri66
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    Re: Severe stenosis

    Welcome to the board. Sometimes we can seek medical attention based on the severity of symptoms and how much we can tolerate, but yours does not appear to fall into that category. Things can be watched and tolerated unless these issues are affecting the spinal cord and the fluid contained within the spinal canal. Depending on "how bad" these issues are, it can still be a "wait and see" situation, or surgery may be inevitable. This will be determined when the spine specialist examines you, performs a basic neurologic exam and correlates this to what he/she sees on the MRI.

    The radiologist reading the MRI reports that at two levels there is disc osteophyte complex sufficiently severe that it is pushing into the spinal cord, taking away space that is needed by the nerves and fluid to function normally. This is the type of situation that when left unattended and when sufficiently severe can cause paralysis. In this part of the spine, nerve compression can affect the nerves at the level of impact or anything below that level. So you could have symptoms in the spinal nerves beginning at C3 and running on down.

    If the spinal cord is not impacted, the patient with cervical spine issues would primarily feel symptoms in the upper part of the body...the head, neck, arms, hands and fingers....However, if the spinal cord is involved, one could also feel symptoms in the lower limbs, bladder, bowel, etc., your symptoms can all be explained by the cord compression you have at C3-4 and C5-6.

    Try not to worry, but it is important to see a spine specialist soon. Also be careful while you are waiting for treatment. Avoid any activity where your neck might experience a whiplash-type impact, or where you might fall. Maybe avoid skateboarding for awhile, and stay off roller coasters....

    Good luck and let us know how your appointment goes.

    Last edited by teteri66; 03-14-2015 at 04:13 PM.

     
    Old 03-14-2015, 04:15 PM   #8
    teteri66
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    Re: Severe stenosis

    By the way, it may turn out that your "peripheral neuropathy" is actually caused by your cord compression. That happened to me.

     
    Old 03-15-2015, 02:37 AM   #9
    Happymummy1
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    Re: Severe stenosis

    Thank you Teterri66, I appreciate you taking the time to explain things to me. I am hoping for the watch and wait approach. Its a lot to take in/accept when I have been so healthy and active. I have been thinking about carrying on as normal. I do a lot of heavy lifting and manual handling as I care for my disabled mother. After hearing from you I will hold off until I have seen the doctor, I will be making alternative arrangements for my mother. I will definitely give the skateboarding a miss Thanks again.. I will keep you posted on how things go.

     
    Old 03-15-2015, 02:46 AM   #10
    Happymummy1
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    Re: Severe stenosis

    Hi noevr, thanks for taking the time to reply. How are things for you now? Have you managed to avoid surgery? I am hoping I do not need to have surgery for a long time if at all. Maybe pt and a collar could be an option for me??? I will know more after my appointment. I will let you know how I get on.

     
    Old 03-17-2015, 12:36 PM   #11
    Happymummy1
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    Re: Severe stenosis

    Hi, just wanted to update with ?new symptom. I am now getting sharp pains from my neck up the back of my head in certain positions. I also got up from the couch and had numbness running down the back of my leg from my buttock to my calf. It was really odd as it was not my whole leg, just in a line down the back of my leg. My leg felt a little odd for a while then it went away????? It's gonna feel like a long wait for this appointment.

     
    Old 03-17-2015, 08:36 PM   #12
    teteri66
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    Re: Severe stenosis

    Just for your personal knowledge, look up a dermatome map online. It will show you which spinal nerve innervates which area of the body. It will help you to understand how you can have symptoms running down the back of your leg, for example....and have nothing on the front side.

    This is typical of a lumbar nerve compression, but a pinched spinal cord can also cause these symptoms.

     
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    Old 04-18-2015, 12:37 PM   #13
    Happymummy1
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    Re: Severe stenosis

    Hi, just wanted to share. I had a scary 'episode' during the other night. I woke up in the early hours with my right leg feeling almost numb, very heavy, with tingling at the front and top of my foot. I could barely move it. It felt like I was trying to move it through mud, very hard to describe. I didn't try to walk on it but was able to move it a little in the bed. It settled after a few hours, this morning it feels like I have been exercising just that leg, very achy and, not weak, but doesn't feel normal strength. I called my spinal physio, (I haven't had an appointment with the spinal doctor yet), she said as long as it has settled then not to worry, if not settled go to GP.... Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

     
    Old 05-11-2015, 12:02 AM   #14
    Happymummy1
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    Re: Severe stenosis

    Just wanted to give an update. I saw the surgeon who said if he was looking at the MRI alone he would not operate, he would recommend physio and painkillers. However given my symptoms I am to have bloods taken for vitamin B12 and B6 deficiency and thyroid levels, I am to have an MRI of thoracic and lumbar spine on Wednesday and he is going to speak to the MDT to determine a course of action. Unlikely to be surgery but if it is it will be a posterior approach to free up space for my cord. I am ok to return to work with whatever restriction they place on me, I can return to the gym and just avoid running (my first choice of exercise, been unable to run anyway due to numb/altered sensation in my feet and pain). Overall not too bad, I am more hopeful now that I won't need surgery. I will let you know how I get on.

     
    Old 05-12-2015, 06:38 PM   #15
    ChuckStr
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    Re: Severe stenosis

    My MRI is similar to yours (mine is not as bad if the radiologist report above is accurate). I've had many of the same investigations as you, everything normal except the C5/C6 spinal problems (and C4/C5 as well in my case). I've had symptoms in my legs for about a year, feeling like walking through sand, twitches etc, so yes I've experienced similar things to your leg symptoms including the achiness etc. I also had horrible pains in my left and later right arm and shoulder which have subsided. I also lost about 50% grip strength in my left arm due to weakness primarily in my wrist extensors which came back over 6-7 months, although that left arm is still more prone to cramping and fatigue. I've seen a total of 5 spine specialists about it and the consensus is to monitor to make sure it isn't worse (one guy said he expected me not to be able to use my arm in a year without surgery, which fortunately has not turned out to be true). I get neurological testing done every few months and I monitor my strength etc more often than that. I mention all this because in my case the wait and watch protocol has worked ok.

    It appears there is more visible compression in your case (assuming the radiologist report is accurate), which I would find concerning. Most of my surgeons suggest my case is "borderline" for requiring surgery and only the lack of overt symptoms prevent everyone from suggesting surgery. With you having the symptoms I would think surgery may be more likely. From the other MRIs and blood levels etc they are obviously looking for other causes of the symptoms particularly in your lower body. If they don't find any and don't recommend surgery that would concern me as it appears some of your symptoms are progressing as well. BTW what is an MDT?

    Good luck and let us know how things go...

     
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