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disc protrusion
Hi, I had an MRI taken last week, and they told me I had right foraminal disc protrusion C6-7 resulting in moderate right sided foraminal encoroachment.Correlate for right C7 radiculopathy and Shallow left paracentral disc protrusion C4-5 without spinal canal or foraminal stenosis. I´ve been having pain on my right shoulder and I´m very stiff of my neck and right shoulder blade. I´m always having muscle pain. I play tenis about 3 times a week and I usually feel pain after playing. My doctor told me that I´m not bad enough for a cirgury but bad enough that I feel pain everyday. I went with a pain doctor and he told me that I could have some cortizone inyections that is the only thing that can take the pain away. I already took therapy for a monthe and didn´t help. Do you know is theres another thing I can do instead of the inyections?
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Welcome to the Back and Neck Community.  Members are here to provide assistance and support to individuals experiencing symptoms related to possible abnormal conditions of the spine.  Advice given is non-professional and is primarily based on personal experiences.

The MRI of your cervical spine shows foraminal encroachment at the C6-7 level.  The foramen is the opening through which the spinal nerve roots travel from the spinal cord to the parts of the body they serve.  Your symptoms of stiff neck and shoulder pain can be directly related to this.  The extent of nerve involvement is apparently not significant enough to produce sensory changes such as arm pain, tingling and/or numbness in your  arm/hand.  The muscle pain is probably more related to your activity level and playing tennis.
Surgery would be indicated if the nerve involvement was severe enough to produce neurological changes that could become permanent if the compression of the nerves is not resolved.  Conservative treatment such as anti-inflammatory meds, physical therapy and epidural/cortisone injections can be tried to reduce the pressure and improve your function.  If you have already done medications and physical therapy, cortisone injections would be the next probable treatment.  Sometimes a prescription steroid such as a Medrol dose-pak can help as well.
Discuss your options with the pain specialist and you could consent to one cortisone injection to see if it reduces your pain.
I have osteoarthritis everywhere in my spine, knees and hands.  I am four weeks postop anterior cervical discectomy and fusion C4-C7 due to extensive disc degeneration, stenosis and nerve involvement.  Surgery was the only option for my cervical spine.
My knee osteo has been controlled with periodic cortisone injections, and I hope to delay any surgery for total knee replacements for a few years if possible.
Please post again with your progress and with any additional questions/concerns you may have.
Best wishes -----
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