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Another First Post Regarding Herniated Discs: c4-7

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Unread 02-18-2013, 03:44 PM   #1
ChelKB
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Default Another First Post Regarding Herniated Discs: c4-7

I had an MRI 2 weeks ago with the following results:

The craniocervical junction is unremarkable. No significant disc herniation seen at the c2-3 and c3-4 levels. At the c4-5 level, there is a large broad based central and right paracentral disc herniation noted attentuating the ventral thecal space and impinging on the exiting nerve root and causing some narrowing of intervertebral foramina on the right at this level.

At the c5-6 level there is a very large broad based herniation extending posteriorly and causing compression of the cord with the AP diameter of the spinal canal reduced to approximately 5 to 6 mm at this level, There is some increased signal in the cord suggestive of myelomalacia.

At the c6-7 lever, there is a moderately large central and right paracentral disc herniation also noted attentuating the ventral thecal space and abutting onto the ventral aspect of the cord. The cord is tilted slightly to the left.

The neurosurgeon that I saw recommended 6 weeks of physical therapy and traction. I just had an EMG test done this week and the neurologist thinks that herniations as large as mine will not resolve without surgery. She told me a fall or accident could be very bad. Needless to say, I am terrified. Also, my blood pressure is through the roof - 158/80 the last time it was checked. I have asked my primary to send my information to a different doctor for a second opinion. Do you think it will take long to get in to the second doctor? Should I be scared? I have 2 young children. I want to be fully active in their lives. Any thoughts?

I am 38, work full-time as an accountant. Up until 2 months ago, I was actively running and working out with kettlebells (was up to a 25 lb bell). Last year I ran 3 half marathons, a 15K and a handful of 10 and 5K's. It feels like I'm in this nightmare that I so want out of.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 04:29 PM   #2
mg neck prob
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[[HI ChelK

Yes you MRI shows problems c4 thru c7---Just a little background im fused at the same level. Prior to surgery I had pain for several years in neck always in enough time allowed it went away until 2010 every month pain was there 24/7 --took Docs 6 months before I even got MRI---I had 4 disc pressed against spinal cord -- I started to go parlyzed on the right. Yes with this type of surgery always seek 2-3 consults the other type of Doc would be a orthopedic spinal surgeon --its what I chose but I researched him alot before i even chose him. Yes I agree always try conservative treaments first p.t or esi (epidural steroid injections). I think alot depends on your pain level currently as well are you having numbness in hands and fingers pain going down arm --in shoulder and scapular area?? I will tell you this dont be terrfied. Concernedn yes its spinal surgery-- and there risks involved. That all being said I got to a point pain was so bad I actually looked forward to the surgery. I have no regrets at all it gave me my life back. Im not 100% perfect but i would say 90% improved and Im happy with that outcome.Please let me know if you have more ?? I will be happy to try to answer the best I can. Please dont fear it I wasted so much time fearing it ---i was home from surgery in 24 hrs and the pain after surgery for me was not even close to the pain prior to surgery. I was much better during the recovery period.

I responded to you on the other post so just in case I posted it here as well.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 04:32 PM   #3
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Default Hi chelk

Best not to do all the activities until you have all your evaluations in. You don't want to make the spine worse with weights etc. Take it easy, and get those other opinions. Bring someone with you when you go see the neurologist. You may miss something, the other person can fill in the blanks. Keep a pain chart, and bring that to your next appts. Try not to panic, I know how easy that is to do. You are young, and that works in your favor. I think I would hold off on traction as well, until I had more opinions. ginnie
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Unread 02-18-2013, 08:41 PM   #4
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I put this on my other thread as well

Thanks so much for replying to me mg neck prob and ginnie. it's comforting to find people to talk about this...who understand. I'm sorry you are here but grateful at the same time.

It started 2 years ago. I had pain near my shoulder blade on my right side. I was sent for an x-ray which showed slight disc degeneration. I was sent to PT for 4 weeks and sent on my merry way. The pain eventually went away and as I said on my other post,

I was actively running and using kettlebells. In early December, I had really bad shoulder pain and the next day, I had partial numbness in my right thumb and index finger. It tingles and burns sometimes as well. I went to my doctor who ordered an mri and an emg. The day I had my mri, I went back to my office and received a phone call from my doctor wanting to go over the results. I thought I was going to be sick to my stomach. They had me sitting with a neurosurgeon 2 days later.
He decided that I should do 6 weeks of PT and traction (which I did traction for the first time today). But as I said, my primary and the neurologist I saw for the EMG were very surprised by that. They both told me it will probably only resolve with surgery. That is when I decided to ask for another opinion.

On a good note (I think), my primary, the neurosurgeon, neurologist and my pt guy all say that I present much better than what the mri shows. They say that my range of motion is pretty good except I can't really bend my head down. Lately, I have been developing new symptoms, such as numbness in my left hand as well as most of my right hand. I get tingling in my face and on the bottoms of my feet.

When I called the neurosurgeon's office to tell them, I feel it was taken very lightly. My primary knows this and so does the physical therapist. He even told me today that he is happy I am getting another opinion. I obviously want this taken care of, even if it is surgery (though that scares the daylights out of me). I've never had surgery in my life. Thanks for listening to me ramble on.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 08:05 AM   #5
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Default Hi Chelk

I really am glad you are going for another opinion. This is not to be taken lightly. The reason why I say no traction or pulling up on the neck, is that was what was done to me and it made the pain worse, and the condition worse. I was also a fool not to go for more opinions, as that was before NT.
1st neuro did C6-7, never told me the rest of them had problems too. He denied I could still be having such pain. Well six years of misery later I was then fused C3-7. I had reversed the curve of my spine and wasn't told about it. I came to NT. very very frightened at another surgery. The first didn't go so well. I got my information right here and knew what to do when I saw the second and third opinions. I just think to play it cautious until you really have several neuro specialist concur with the DX.
Yes surgery can be ruff and very scarry. It can be all that yet still turn out OK too. I am not pain free, but it is tolerable, and I do have a better life now.
I hope this all works out for you. I will be here with anything you have a quesiton on. NT, saved my sanity, I won't leave the site, but try to help others in my same boat. Take care Chelk, let me know how the opinions go. You are in my thoughts and prayers. ginnie
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Unread 02-19-2013, 09:07 AM   #6
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[HiChelKB,

I remember how you feel even though Im a bit older then you I have always been althlete all my life and Im still very fit just more aches and pains (lol). I was afraid because I have a stressful career and devoted 25 yrs my life to it and I was scared on a mutilevel fusion I may loose everything I worked hard for all my life. A few years prior to the neck fusion I also had cancer and almost lost my leg. Im here to tell you life as dark and scary as it can be --life turns around as well for the better. Don't let fear cripple you. And with you being fit will help you even more with your recovery. Im with Ginne 100% now that you had mri and you have some large herinations --I would not do traction. Some of that face numbing and your feet when you have the apt you might want to inquire about small fiber neuropathy or sfn. Not sure-- its just a thought. Many of us have been where you are now and totally understand your fears. Listen glad you joined us feel free to ask questions or express your feelings thats what this site is about information and support.
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Unread 02-20-2013, 04:31 PM   #7
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I wanted to let you all know that I have my appointment with the second neurosurgeon tomorrow. I am thankful but scared. I have been having a lot of symptoms the last few days with numbness and tingling in all of my extremities and my face and also increased pain in my neck and mid-back. It has really been scaring me. I am pretty sure I will need surgery. I will keep you posted. Thanks for all of your encouragement.
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Unread 02-20-2013, 06:55 PM   #8
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Default Hi chelkb

Still here, hoping that the next appt. tomorrow goes OK. What ever the outcome you have friends right here. ginnie
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Unread 02-21-2013, 10:46 AM   #9
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hi "chelkb".i have the same thing you have.it even spread to my left shoulder.they had to remove a bone from there.i to have to take "HB pills"to.now its spread over to my right side.i get nerve block injection,to help me function and some pills(meds).so like you they avoided surgery.my is work related(workComp) and im a bit older than you(my name).the fibro is also spreading through out.but a 2nd opinion might not hurt.who knows they my do to you what there doing for me.."nerve blocks"

p.s my is so bad it took me out of work permantely
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