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herniated c4-5 5-6 6-7
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herniated c4-5 5-6 6-7

In severe pain since Nov 05.  Had myleogram .  It showed Ventral cord flattening on C4-5 On c5-6 i have near effacement of subarachnoid space and bulge of disc material extending into the R and L neural foramen of uncovertebral spur.  on C6-7 narrowing of subarachnoid space ventrally with counterclockwise rotational cord deformity.     This sounds very complicated.  As far as herniations go?  How bad is this?    My neurosurgeon wants to ACDF multilevel but I am so unsure about the fusion.   Would CED be an option?  As it looks more promising in the future.  I am only 37 with 4 kids.  I am extremely active and will be for a while.



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Avatar_n_tn
Its difficult for me to answer your question specifically without seeing the MRI images - reports can be just too subjective somtimes.

In general, you have to be careful about what you attribute to the discs - if there is pain from other reasons like muscle spasm, ligament injury, bony pain etc, then surgery may not help the pain. Physical therapy, posture training, muscle relaxnts etc may be better. The main benefit of surgery is to prevent neurological disability from compression of the spinal cord or its roots, like arm or leg weakness etc. It is less certain to fix pain if this is the main problem. You doctor should hopefully be able to judge if there is any neurological compromise by the examination and MRI.

I'm not sure what you mean by CED. If you mean microdiscectomy - this is usually for small focal disc protrusions not bigger one like yours.

Good luck
15 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I forgot to ask about minimal swelling in right forearm and some swelling in right hand with a light blue color.  My Ns says this has nothing to do with my neck, but I don't believe that as I have never had this problem before.   ANYONE know anything about this???
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Avatar_n_tn
Sounds like me 2 yrs. ago. 43yr. old male 2 kids and too young for this! Where is your pain? Any weakness and where at. Any loss of bladder function or gait probs? Numbness or weakness in hands and arms. All are typical of your condition. Check the archives under acdf and related probs. and add what the Drs. are asking for or they cant answer your questions. Best of luck, Mike
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Avatar_n_tn
pain in both arms, right hand, upper back, burning in neck, cant grasp things, have sharp pains shoot in leg at times.  feet at night.  back pain..  doing alot of research. don't want fusion.
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Avatar_n_tn
If the drs determine the source of discomfort is coming from the discs in your neck, please consider surgery.  I had herniated and bulging c4/5,5/6,6/7 (never knew it, though).
They ruptured and I now have a permanent spinal cord injury.  I had no choice but to have the fusion and it saved my life.  I know people who had the exact surgery (minus the rupture) and they are fine, no permanent residuals.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm looking for info regarding mri with c3-4 mod effacement of the thecal sac and mod spinal canal narrowing. C4-5 mild broad based disco-osteophytic protrusion of the thecal sac and mild spinbal canal narrowing. Mod L neural foraminal narrowing is present. C5-6 Mild broad-based posterior disco-osteophytic protrusion is present with more accentuated R lateral and R paracentral focal disco-osteophytic protrusion. These findings result in severe R neural foraminal narrowing and mod-severe spinal canal narrowing. Mild L foraminal narrowing is present. I'm a  48 year old right handed very active female.
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Avatar_m_tn
be very very careful about letting anyone operate on you for pain. your MRI findings (while abnormal compared to a healthy spine) are "normal" for your age. most people have disc/stenosis/foramen issues, but just because you have them does not mean they have anything to do with your pain. if your problems are myofascial, which is a distinct possibility in the absence of weakness / numbness, then the surgery most likely will do squat if your lucky. if your unlucky, you'll be worse.. if i were you i'd get an evaluation and perhaps some initial treatments (to see how you do) at a myofascial release clinic. like the one run by John Barnes in Paoli pennsylvania or sedona arizona. check out his website and read about myofascial pain syndrome. I was like you and had both my shoulders scoped and even a minimally invasived neck surgery to try to get me out of pain. they did nothing. myofascial release focuses on musculo-skeletal balance and elimination of myofascial restrictions. it sounded like a crock to me but it worked. 70 % of my pain is gone in 3 months, this after 2-3 years of severe pain and ridiculous expense. i improve more every week. good luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
ps-- i read your next post about your hands, and arm swelling/ turning blue. what kind of pain do you have?. is it neck/shouleder/chest???  were (are) you involved in overhead activity or poor posture activity (ie computer work)? have you been checked for a cervical rib? I've done all this research. you may have some impingement of elements of your brachial plexus in the thoracic outlet area. read about thoracic outlet syndrome and the treatment options, which initially are posture correction, myofascial release, stretching etc. there are surgical options and if it is severe and the above does not work, then check out a guy named Aaron filler in california or Johns Hopkins Univ--- they do minimally invasive surgeries using some pretty cool diagnostic techniques.. but you should try conservative methods first. reverse the bad postural habits and put your body parts back where they belong, and your body should take care of the rest. if this is your problem it can take a long time to correct and you'll need professional guidance so be patient.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have some questions I thought you might be able to help me with. I have seen alot of your postings. Please comtact me @
***@****     thanks,Mike
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Avatar_n_tn
hello this is my first posting, i found this site while looking up some of the neurosurgeons i have been to and others who have been recommended to me.  Last week cmilberg posted that they have c4 to c4 herniations and bulging which is exactly my case.
I had a roll over accident 18 years ago and the herniations and bulging are gradually getting worse. Recent MRI shows that c5 to c6 is putting pressure on my spinal cord as well as the disc below but to less of an extent. my question is how long until there is a permanent spinal cord problem, i am already showing spinal cord or neurological symptoms, tripping, dropping things and occasional numbness in the hand.
I am terrified of the surgery because i am active, an avid runner as well as i love to ski and swim and play sports.
One doctor said i would never be able to do all these things again others have not said this to me.
Also the c4 to c5 is not bulging as much so one doctor said he would leave it another said he would only take the really bad one at c5 to c6 and another has said all three should come out if you take out one.
also a catscan revealed calcium build up that is causing additional spinal cord pressure at c6 so on surgeon said he would remove it.
How do i know what to do?
Do i keep going for more opinions?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi. I have not yet posed a question to the forum staff. I am glad I found this site. It was difficult to find one like this. My story is quite long; but, I will try to shorten it. Hopefully, someone will have some helpful advice for me. I am a 37 year old female. I have been dealing with neck pain for about 10 years. Nothing major at first - just occasional pain. I attributed it to the physical warehouse work that I did. For the past 7 years I have been working in a clerical position. About 6 years ago, I stretched my arms above my head and felt a pop. The diagnosis from that was that a muscle had contracted and did not release. I was in a lot of pain and could not move my neck. After about 6 weeks of seeing an ortho spec. and physical therapy, I felt better but not pain free. I was told there was nothing left to do and that I had to live with it. Once a year, since then, usually after doing something major like painting or landscape shoveling, I end up laid up with severe pain in my neck and down my left arm to my elbow. About three years ago, after a severe bout of pain, I insisted on seeing another ortho specialist. I got an MRI done. The tech who did the scan told me that I had c3 and c4 deformed discs in my neck that occasionally hit my spinal cord. The follow up visit with my family doc had him stating that I only had a little arthritis and I should not be in that much pain. I still wanted another opinion. I was referred to an ortho surgeon who basically walked in the room, asked if I smoked, I said, "yes," and he said there was nothing he could do for me and walked out of the room. Luckily, my insurance paid that $400 visit because I sure wouldn't have. That doc has since quit practicing. Over the past year, my pain has increased. I am in pain constantly now with a constant neck ache and headache that progresses to a migraine at least twice a week. I was missing too much work due to the headaches and went to the doctor demanding something be done. He put me on medical leave and prescribed physical therapy. After one month with no improvement, my doc could refer me to another ortho specialist. I had to wait another month for that appt. I had another MRI done. The ortho spec. told me that it looks like I was in a bad accident and C3 and C4 are deformed and have bulging and bone spurs and are hitting my spinal cord. I believe that is spinal stenosis. C7 and C8 are now also messed up and there is narrowing of the nerves or arteries leading from my spinal cord. (I don't have all of the technical terms that most of you have.) The spec said there is no surgery to correct it and referred me to pain management. I had to wait another month to get into see them. I went there last week and he saw C3, 4, AND 5 hitting my spinal cord and recommended epidural injections. It will take another month to get the insurance approval and get that ball rolling. I am scared to have anything injected in my neck. I don't even let anyone TOUCH my neck. Now, they are releasing me to return to work even though I haven't received any injections yet and I am exactly the same as I was 4 months ago except much poorer. I feel as though nobody is believing that I am in as much pain as I am in. I have constant neck, head, shoulder, upper back, upper chest, shoulder and bicep pain. It is mostly concentrated on the left side. It hurts to talk and sometimes swallow. Turning my head results in stabbing pain. Sometimes I won't even be doing anything and I will get a jolt of pain through my neck that causes me to gasp. I have to keep getting up while I am typing this because sitting is painful. On a good note, I rarely have numbness in my fingers or hands. A lot of the time I have to lay down or recline to get some relief. Moist heat also provides a little relief sometimes; but, never completely. I feel I must mention that I have always had a high pain tolerance. Broken bones didn't phase me much. But this is practically intolerable. I think it has to do with the length of time that I've had to endure it and that I am still quite young. A couple of weeks ago, I ended up in the ER with a migraine that kept getting worse. I haven't been in the ER before and was freaked out. LOL. Anyway, any advice that anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated. Right now, I feel as though I am a big baby. I never realized pain could be so exhausting. I have taken different meds but right now Excedrin Migraine works the best as long as I can recline in a dark quiet room. Has anyone else had these symptoms? How do you maintain a normal life under these conditions?
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Avatar_n_tn
I had herniated or ruptured c2-c7.  My surgeon wanted to fuse my neck.  He gave me three months to get out of "trouble" meaning releiving my spinal cord of danger.  I went on full time disability and visited the nearest Egoscue Clinic.  It worked!  My spinal cord was no longer in jepordy after three months of 'menus.'  I no longer needed  my neck fused.  Years later and continuing with Egoscue, my discs are back in place, normal height and normal hydration.

I recommend this method to anyone in pain from posture/skeletal problems.
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Avatar_n_tn
Just want everyone to know that one week ago today I went to CA and had a 3 level cervical endoscopic discectomy by Dr. Schiffer.  I went into surgery crying in pain and woke up from anesthesia completely pain free.  The surgery was to be 1 1/2 hour but took 3 because I had many calcium deposits that he has taken care of.  I am being very careful to let my neck and discs heal but the restrictions aren't much.  I am sooooo glad I went to him.  I have no plates in my neck and feel like my old self again.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have 6-7 disc herniation.My Neurologist said he had seen worse but also seen better. I dont know what he wants to do next. I also have no bicep reflex in my right arm and extreme pain in both hands when using them for any reason,thus resulting in the loss of work and income. I also have carpul tunnel syndrome in my right wrist. Does any one have an idea whats causing the great pain in my hands? I also have been dropping nearly everything I hold in my right hand.I am right handed.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same problem with dropping thins and numbness,both on my right side.My 6-7 is herniated and also my 5 and 6.The 5 disc is supposedly the cause.Have you had any luck resolving your problem.If so please post it so I and other can get an idea of future therapies.Thank You
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