Exam reveals signal loss of the cervical discs on T2 sequences. At the C2-3, the disc is slightly diminished in height, with no focal herniation, central or foraminal narrowing. The C3-4 level reveals a small central disc protrusion causing some indentation upon the subarachnoid compartment and contact upon the ventral margin of the cervical cord, although no significant mass effect upon the cord or exiting nerve roots.
At C5-6 (ACDF on 3/29/10) an extruded left paracentral herniated nucleus pulposus is present. This results in moderate compression of the cervical cord to the left of the midline. There is also resultant left C5-6 foraminal narrowing with potential to encroach upon the exiting left C6 nerve. At C6-7, rightward bulge results in some effacement of the ventral subarachnoid compartment without significant mass effect upon the cord or exiting nerve root. Evaluation of the cord raises question of some vague area of increased intramedullary signal on T2 sagittal sequence at C5-6. The findings are probably related to the compression from the adjacent disc herniation. No definitive mass or other abnormality is noted. The marrow signal is unremarkable. Visualized paraspinal soft tissues are unremarkable.
My doctor did the ACDF on C5-6 but advised that there would probably have to be surgery at a later date for the other discs. From what I have researched the protruding disc can herniate and/or rupture if pushed to their limits. Wouldn't it have been smarter to take care of them before it happens? Also, no other tests were ran prior to surgery and just had an EMG done that now shows something abnormal with my muscles and nerves that are connected to C6-7 and C7-8.
I feel like I am going to have a nervous breakdown. I just don't know what to do.
Presently there is no surgery available which can help us to keep the disc in its natural anatomical position.
The surgeries available varies from Disc Replacement to Disc removal to Disc removal and fusion.
THe decision for the surgery depends upon the symptoms present as well as the signs , which the surgeon / treating doctor can elicit.
Hence we will have to wait for his call to decide, as what lies as a future fate, of the disc issues.
Please discuss, for other specifis concerns.
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