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Spinal cord compression
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Spinal cord compression

I have been suffering from neck pain, radiating down through my shoulders, arms, hands and back, and radiating up, causing severe headaches.  I was in physical therapy for 3 months but I am still having problems so my doctor sent me for an MRI.

I just got the MRI results shown below yesterday.  I was immediately referred by my doctor to a Neurosurgeon who I saw today.  He told me I need to have surgery and have a disc removed from my C-spine.  So, first, I am scared to death, and second, I want to know what this all means in "lay" terms I can really understand.  What exactly is wrong?  Do I really need surgery?  Are there any other alternatives or life style changes that might make things better?  What will happen if I don't have surgery?  Please help me.  I'm feeling overwhelmed and desperate.

Thanks (in advance) for your help.  

FINDINGS: There is a normal alignment of the cervical spine. The vertebral body heights are maintained. The prevertebral soft tissues appear to be normal. The visualized portions of the intracranial contents appear to be normal. The structures of the posterior fossa are normal. C2-C3: There is no disk bulge or protrusion. There is no spinal stenosis. The neural foramina are patent bilaterally. C3-C4: There is a focal posterior disk protrusion with effacement of the ventral thecal sac without spinal stenosis. The neural foramina are patent bilaterally. C4-C5: There is a focal posterior disk protrusion with effacement of the ventral thecal sac and mild spinal stenosis. There is mild abutment of the ventral aspect of the spinal cord. The neural foramina are patent bilaterally. C5-C6: There is a posterior disk osteophyte complex, slightly greater to the right, with effacement of the ventral thecal sac and abutment of the ventral aspect of the spinal cord with mild cord compression. There is no evidence of signal abnormality within the spinal cord to account for acute cord edema. There is bilateral uncovertebral arthrosis. There is severe narrowing of bilateral neural foramina. C6-C7: There is a left paracentral disk osteophyte complex with effacement of the ventral thecal sac and mild spinal stenosis. The neural foramina are patent bilaterally. C7-T1: There is no disk bulge or protrusion. There is no spinal stenosis. The neural foramina are patent bilaterally. IMPRESSION: Cervical spondylosis with evidence of mild cord compression noted at the C5-C6 level.
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I just had this surgery for some of the same reason your doc wants to do surgery. I had 3 levels done with plate and screws was home 15 hours after the surgery....had a hellish sore throat but was pretty much doing well by day 6. Talk to you doctor and have him go over all this with you til you understand it all.....if he wont get a new doctor...GOOD LUCK!
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Rainnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!
How ya doing after the surgery??? I saw your name and just clicked to instantly send you a welcome back...I hope that all went well!!!!!!!!!

NaniKai~
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there, NaniKai
how are you?.....I'm so stiff and sore...Igo back to Doc, wed.....not looking forward to it...because my after care has been horrid...I had to go to an urgent care center here...I had the surgery in memphis 2 hours from home...anyway ...I was sent home 15 hours after surg and once the pain meds wore off...I had horrid surg pain and called my nurse back in memphis and was told wasnt anything they could do...they had given me percocet..spelling? ....it didnt work...and then my husband took me to urgent care and the doctor there called the place I had surgery and they told him to tell me to eat ice....this urgent care doc..called me in some lig. pain med and thet got me through the rough pain....I'm so thankful he was willing to not let me suffer no matter what my nurse said...I'M  STILL IN SHOCK...if there was a way I would never go back....I dont blame my doctor..because she took it on herself....but I will ask him what the protocal is when a pt calls there nurse in pain.

anyway...how are you?
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