Discussions that mention valium

Spinal Cord Disorders board

Hi, I am new to the Message Boards but I am hoping that someone can help me understand what my recent C-spine MRI is saying in layman's terms. First I must say that originally I was in a slip & fall accident 1/2002. I had a couple small herniations (central) in C4-5 and C6-7 and a broad based disc herniation extending into both neural canals with no significant ventral cord encroachment at C5-6.

On 4/12/06, just last week I was rear-ended at 20-30 mph. They did a CT scan of my neck that turned up negative for any fractures, a brain MRI that came back negative, however the c-spine MRI came back with the following:

"The heart or C5-6: A broad-based disc protrusion is identified in the right lateral recess and into the right foramen. The neuroforamen is narrowed approximately one-third of its usual diameter. The disc indents the anterior aspect of the right lateral recess. The cord does not appear displaced. there is no flattening noted."

Of course I am not a doctor and I don't know what this means, but I do know that within 5 minutes of my PCP getting the results she set me up with an emergancy consult with a local neurosurgeon for Thursday morning. I do have right arm numbness, nausea, stiffness and tingling on my right side.

As one can imagine I am going through a great deal of anxiety at this point. I was told that there really isn't a conservative method to help a broad based herniation in the neck. I am on oral steriods, lortab and valium to help with the pain.

Any suggestions as to what is going on would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
I greatly appreciate everyone's words of support! I spent most of the day yesterday at St. Mark's Hospital. My appt with the neurosurgeon was at 9:30 am. He went over my MRIs with me, ran some tests (pin wheel, reflexes, etc.) and it turns out that I am worse off than anyone thought. Though the MRI images don't clearly show how bad the nerve is being pinched off, I am having significant problems in my right arm and hand. I have lost all feeling in my index finger and thumb (according to the pinwheel test), I have no strength when doing the thumb to pinky finger test, he broke right through that and my reflexes are next to none in that arm.

He sat me down and discussed my options. Considering I have been on Steriods, Valium and Lortab for a week and it's only getting worse he is extremely conserned there will be permanent damage to the nerve root. He did tell me that we could wait a couple weeks and see what happens, couple months or even a year or so. He did say the downfall of all that is permanent damage to my right arm. He was honest enough to say that Physical Therapy will not help a broad based disc herniation extending into the nerve root canal.

My physical therapist was called by my PCP upon getting the MRI results and he actually told me he refused to touch me until after surgery and this was BEFORE I met with the surgeon. My chiropractor was the same way. They both said the herniation was too large and they didn't want to risk paralyzing me by possibly treating the wrong way.

So given all this information, I sat down with my sister, I took her along for moral support and for a second pair of ears to listen to what the doc said so I didn't make any rash decisions. She told me that her fear was that I would lose part if not all of my right arm if I didn't go ahead with the surgery. Since the surgeon wasn't pushing it that I had to have it done like yesterday, but rather it was my choice as to when I wanted it done. I opted to have it done on Monday. He told me that since the steriods weren't helping there wasn't a whole lot more they could do conservatively and after much research I know he is right.

So Monday I go in for a C5-6 discectomy and fusion at a wonderful hospital here in Salt Lake City and I am hoping that when I wake up from surgery I can say "this was all worth it!"

Again I appreciate all your support, thoughts and prayers!!

Ana :wave:
Quote from Leebee1253:
Can anyone tell me what to expect when you go for a c-spine MRI. I am wondering if I should get sedation first or not? Please advise.

You won't be getting sedation.

I'm assuming you are nervous about the closed in space of the MRI? There are such things as "open" MRIs, but they aren't much more open... And the downside is the images are tpyically not as clear as a "normal" MRI.

That all said, most PMs or even MRI facilities will recommend you get a valium or something along those lines prior to the MRI if you are nervous.

The up side is there is NO PAIN whatsoever from an MRI. Just a bunch of loud noises. Sort of like a jackhammer.

Hope I helped a bit!
Ana - it's great to hear you're doing well!

RE the tube (MRI): Don't hesitate to ask your Dr. for sedation. I'm not sure if "sedation" is the right word, though. I took plenty of valium and kept my eyes shut. My shoulders barely fit the width of the tube. But I didn't find it that uncomfortable. I no longer have anxiety with regard to having MRIs.

The noises are what can be jarring. Usually, the "spin" ordered for a cervical MRI isn't that bad compared to the other types of MRIs. Today's machines also work much faster than earlier equipment. I've had the "open MRI" in the past - 45 minutes worth. I don't know if it would even be applicable to a cervical MRI. IMHO, it was worse.
I had open MRI for C-spine, I had Valium but decided at the last minute not to take it and I was fine. I've had closed MRI since and it is definitely faster and really wasn't too bad.