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Cervical annular tears
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Cervical annular tears

On September 5 my wife experienced a searing, burning pain between her shoulder blades that traveled up her neck and then down her right arm.  In 2005 she had had fusion of c4-6, so she thought the pain may go away.  It didn't and has resulted in numbness, tingling, stabbing pain in neck, shoulder, and right arm down to her fingers, particularly the ring finger.  She has had cervical and thoracic MRIs.  Two doctors say the MRIs look fine and that the previous fusion site looks good.  The second of two doctors says the fusion sight looked "pristine" and suspected her pain was due to annular tears.  After a discogram, he reported that she had annular tears at every level in her cervical area.  He said he could not do surgery and sent her back to her internist.  This past week we got a second opinion from a neurosurgeon.  He was surprised that we had not had a myeologram done.  He also was puzzled that the previous orthopeidic doctor had ordered a discogram and not a myeologram.  He further stated that annular tears do not cause pain and numbness in upper extremities and that the annular tears would not cause the pain and numbness in my wife's right arm.  He suggested that the MRIs would not reveal any nerve damage at the fusion sight because that area was obscured on the films.  Further he suggested that the EMG that we had could not be conclusive that there was no nerve compression/damage at the fusion site.  We are now scheduled for a myeologram.  We are happy that there is a possible cause for the pain other than annular tears.  If there is something going on with the nerves at the fusion site, perhaps surgery can address that.  Questions:

1) Do annular tears create arm pain and numbness in extremities?

2) Will the myeologram reveal nerve damage/impingment, etc?

3) Is there treatment for annular tears?

Any thoughts/info you have would be appreciated.
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