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moderate central canal stenosis, CSF effacement, spinal cord distortion...
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moderate central canal stenosis, CSF effacement, spinal cord distortion.

I've had three lumbar discectomies, the last one was emergent due to cauda equina syndrome in 2004. I had a neck x-ray about that time confirming significant cervical arthritis, but never had an MRI. I've had neck issues on and off since, but never that bad-a neck pillow really helped.

About a month ago, I noticed that the headaches became constant and severe at times and also that my hands are getting weak, my gait is off, and I have severe shoulder and scapular pain-additionally, I'm unusually sensitive to light. I went to see my family doctor-after checking my biceps reflexes and finding them diminished, she sent me for an MRI. It was read the same day, showing severe bilateral foraminal stenosis at C5-6 and 6-7, with moderate central canal stenosis with CSF effacement and spinal cord distortion at 5-6, and mild stenosis at 6-7. None of this is due to herniated disc, all to osteophytes.

I'm guessing that the headaches and the other stuff are due to the CSF effacement and cord distortion. I'm seeing a neurosurgeon on Tuesday. Just wondering if anyone has gone through this and what treatment they received. I'm guessing the doctor will want to fuse-from what I've read, it seems that a cervical collar and injections won't do much.

thanks all!
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Avatar_m_tn
I had and have pretty much everything you mentioned with the exception of the canal stenosis, and my cord was being compressed by a disc herniation. The cord compression tends to effect gait and weakness. The nerve root compression causes the absent reflexes, headaches, shoulder and scapular pain.

Since you've already had spine surgery, I don't have to be careful what I say. If you have no disc issues, you could probably get away with a Laminectomy and a Foraminotomy or some combination of the two. A cervical fusion which is what I had, is very tramatic on  the system, and it takes quite awhile to recover from. Those other two procedures have much easier  recovery's. Let us know what your Surgeon recommends.


Take Care
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks Kalvin-pretty much what I figured-hoping my neurosurgeon can offer me something that doesn't involve fusion. hang in there, marc.
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