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Welcome to the Back and Neck Surgery Forum! This forum is for questions and support regarding back and neck such as: Herniated disc, Pinched nerve, Sciatica, Degenerative spine disease, Spinal stenosis, Spine trauma and fractures, Spine tumors and Spine treatment options.

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I have had severe shoulder and neck pain for the past few months.  No other symptoms.  I had an MRI and these are the results:

C4-5: Uncovertebral joint hypertrophy with left posterior disc osteophyte complex results in moderate to severe left foraminal stenosis.  Effacement of ventral CSF space.

C5-6:  Moderate degenerative disc disease with broad based 2mm postererior central and bilateral paracentral disc bulge/osteophyte complex indenting the thecal sac anteriorly and touching the ventral surface of the spinal canal.  The spinal canal measures 8mm in the AP dimension in the mid sagittal plane. Moderate bilateral narrowing of the neural foramina.

C6-7 Uncovertebral joint hypertrophy results in mild left foraminal narrowing.  Small posterior disc osteophyte without significant central canal or right foraminal stenosis.

Impression:

Mid cervical degenerative disc disease and uncovertebral joint hypertrophy with marginal osteophytes causing multilevel narrowing of the neural foramina.

Broad based 2mm posterior central disc bulge at C5-6 with moderate spinal canal stenosis.

Dr. said PT for 2 months if not better Surgery.  I also had an ESI C5-6 level injection on Dec 23rd with no help at all.  Follow up after injection with the surgeon, he said that he could remove the disc and do a 2 level fusion but couldn't say weather it would relieve my symptoms?

I have been doing PT now 3 times a week for the past 2 months.  It helps for a few hours if that.

Any answers you might have to any comments in the post would be greatly helpful.  
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1083596_tn?1313398276
Dear Friend,
If PT is giving you relief, then avoid surgery to the last level. Few life style modification will be required, but would surely be helpful.
Please let me know the present scenario so that i can give advice as per the present condition.
Regards
4 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi. I can't interpret your MRI. I have a one level c-5-c6 and was misdiagnosed as carple tunnell by two orthopedic md. I've read that fusion surgery is quite major and the recovery time is very long. It may be your only choice, but I think you should seek a different opinion first. I would not accept a maybe from the doctor. I've heard there are test that can be done to track pain such as a "discogram" on another adr support group forum.  Perhaps there is a large university hospital where you live that can refer you to a neurologist with up to date infomation and who may be able to give you information on artificial disc replacment.  I don't think multiple disc replacement surgeries are performed in the U.S routinely, but some people travel to Germany or other countries to have this done.  You may want  to research this a little more. When I first was injured my pain was severe and I could barely function, but now it's five years later and the pain is more tolerable.  Perhaps this will happen to you also. Still, I'm thinking about artificial disc replacement surgery because I wan't to be able to function a little better. The fact that I was misdiagnosed with carpel tunnel for five years by two orthopedic md without proper testing just shows you how valuble a second and third opinion can be.  Fusion is major surgery,it's worth getting a second opinion.
I hope this helps. Good luck. Marisette
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Avatar_m_tn
I had an ACDF to C4, C5 and C6 in September 2010. Three discs were removed and replaced with titanium cages and fusion. Great difficulty was experienced in swallowing solid food for several months. I seemed to be recovering quite well but now the pain to my neck and shoulders has returned with a vengeance. My Surgeon has ordered me to have a MRI and CT scans on 4th March 2011 then I return to see him on 11th March. I hope that the problem is not further herniated discs. A lot of the problem has been caused by a PLIF operation to the lower spine I had in December 2008. Apparently it creates undue stress to the top area of the spine. Despite taking pain relief the pain is most severe.
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1596620_tn?1297517104
If you pay money for an opinion do you just put it on a list that never really gets answered?
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Avatar_m_tn
Not a doctor.  I faced the same questions you are now and lived through 14 years of pain before submitting and getting cervical fusion of C-5 through C-7.  I did PT (little to no help) cervical traction (weekly for 2 years) was good for a while but became useless.  I took every kind of medication that you could imagine, from motrin to narcotics with little benefit from the numbness pain and spasms.  The surgery gave me 10 wonerful years that were relatively symptom free but the symtoms (symptoms) are now coming back.  The good news is that the cervical fusion is still stable (multiple MRIs) and what I am now dealing with is residual peripherla nerve damage that becomes acute when the muscles get too tight.  I am now seeing a neurologist that is managing my symptoms with Botox (for the muscle tightness) and pain modulators (non narcotic).  I had tried the cortical-steroid injections into my spinal cord and they helped for about a month but scared the death out of me (sticking a catheter in your spine once a month).  Bottom line...if you have the fusion, your rehab will be a couple of dark months, but should give you long term relief.  
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