Hi and welcome to the back and neck support forum.
May I ask when was ur last MRI and what was covered...brain, cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine....or all of it???
I have a condition that can be congenital or from an injury.....ask ur drs to look at tethered cord or syringomyelia....
Stop by the chiari forum here on MedHelp and read thru the posts, u may find so similarities to ur symptoms.....I am not saying u have this,but u may want to rule it out.
Hi SelmaS!! Thank you for replying to my post. I have had a couple of MRIs recently. I had a Cervical and a Lumbar just in the past couple of weeks. According to the doctors, Nothing was found exept more bone growth on the facet and more spondylotic changes.
How old were you when you were diagnosed with the condition? Do you have a lot of pain?
Hi....I believe I was in my 30's when I was first dx with it.....I was having issues due to whiplash from a MVA and it was found. My cervical stinosis was dx about the same time as the DDD.
I do have other conditions that do not allow me to know where the pain is from.I also have chiari malformation, tethered cord,EDS...so u see I can not possibly know where my pain is from.But I do have pain, discomfort andbalance issues ect....
Did you have any surgery following your initial spinal cord compression? Have any of your physicians recommended surgical intervention or are they relying primarily on medication treatment?
I am asking for clarification as the extent of problems is directly related to any disc related problems that are compromising your spinal nerves and/or spinal cord.
If you do have significant spondylosis and facet hypertrophy, how are your doctors planning on treating these conditions?
It is possible that your bowel and bladder issues and your increased muscle spasticity is a complication from your initial spinal cord compression, but if the compression was alleviated, you should not be experiencing escalation of your problems. These new symptoms are more likely related to any ongoing degenerative changes that are causing further spinal nerve involvement.
If you have the results of your MRIs, please post the clinical findings and we may be able to assist you further.
Spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease are progressive conditions and treatment is dependent on the nature and extent of the spinal problems identified.
I doubt that you are experiencing any other medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
Let us know how we can assist you further ---
Thank you for the response and questions. I have a lot of MRI's that I hve done recently but will start with the earliest one for now.
MRI CERVICAL SPINE WITH AND W/O CONTRAST:
PULSE SEQUENCE: Sagittal T1 and fast spin echo T2 weighted images were obtained in addition to axial T2* images through the cervical spine. Following contrast administration , sagittal and axial T1 weighted imaging was performed.
FINDINGS: This is an abnormal examination. The cervical canal is small on a developmental basis. Findings consistent with severe congenital spinal stenosis. This is secondary to shortened pedicals. This is apparent from the C3-4 level caudad to the C6-7 level. There is a focal area of severe stenosis seen at the C5-6 level There is evidence of a cord edema with a compressed appearing cord. There is generalized loss of the normal cervical lordosis. Following contrast administration, no pathologic intrathecal enhancement nor epidural enhancing process is apparent
IMPRESSION: Severe combined central stenosis at C5-6. This is secondary to disc protrusion superimposed upon marked severe congentinal spinal stenosis. Correlation is advised. There isassociated cord adema at the level of maximal compromise.
After the doctor received the MRI results he told me I had to have surgery. (He originally thought I had a brain tumor or MS. He first had me have a brain MRI but I guess he didn't see anything significant but I read that MRI and it showed some kind of abnorality)
I had an anteriore disc fusion on C5-6 with metal plate and screws. At the same time I had a cervical laminectomy. It didn't cure anything as my symptoms were still the same with uncooridnated right side including spastic gait and uncoordinated right hand.
After 2 years I went back to the neural surgeon and I had a lminectomy of my lumbar region.
Just recently (Inthe past 6-8 months I have had bladder and bowel problems. I have urinary incontinence to the point wher I have had to go before I could make it to the bathroom. I also go to the bathroom thinking I had to go and go just a little but then continues after I thought I was done (very embarrassing).
To make things worse I have woke up in the middle of the nigh with very severe pain in my right hip. Whe I tried to get up. my whole body started spastic. I couldn't do anything until it finally settled. Since then I can hardly walk with severe spaticity particularly on my right side. I have to get up in the middle of the night 5 or 6 times to urinate.
I have a bad case of DDD and spondylosis. I don't know what to do.
This is your earliest MRI of the cervical spine? Based on these findings you have two major conditions. Much of your spinal stenosis is congenital --- you were born with a narrower spinal canal and that did put you had higher risk. The congenital stenosis was complicated by the disc herniation. The presence of spinal cord edema also indicates more significant involvement of the major nerve tissue.
The anterior disc fusion at C5-C6 was done primarily because of the contributing disc herniation at that level. This was the area of major compromise to the spinal cord.
While the herniation was dealt with, the congenital spinal stenosis remained as a risk factor,
Another factor that may be contributing to your symptoms is how long the spinal cord was compromised before surgery was done. The longer the nerve tissue is affected, the more difficult for the nerve to return to function. Unfortunately, in your particular case, it appears that you have sustained some permanent nerve damage,
The addition of further degenerative changes makes the intensity of your symptoms a complicated medical problem. Please let me know what your doctor is planning for your treatment at this time.
The bladder issues may be related to the spine problems, but depending on your age, could be related to prostate problems. As men get older, the prostate can enlarge and cause the bladder to decrease function resulting in urge to void and only partial emptying. The residual urine causes the feeling of urge to void and the cycle repeats itself. Have you had a recent prostate exam? There are medications available to control the urinary incontinence and you might wish to discuss the problem with your doctor,
Relying on medications to "get through the day" is not fun. I can understand the mental issues that make your situation even more difficult. I wish I could wave a magic wand and have all of your symptoms disappear! Getting on the right meds and coordination of dosage levels is frustrating. Adding more medications may seem insurmountable, but if it helps with symptom control, may be worthwhile.
The fact that you have osteoarthritis in your spine (spondylosis) indicates your hip pain could be related to a degenerative arthritis in this area as well. My neck osteoarthritis joins similar problems in my knees and hands. It s***ks getting old!
Feel free to message me or vent your frustrations on the forum. A lot of the people participating are enduring very similar problems and it might help to know that you are not alone.
My husband had the same diagnosis and underwent his first surgery in 2001 of a herniated disc c5-c6 which blew in and damaged the spinal cord. The damage was severe enough that he had a pump inserted that continuously feeds "baclofen" for the spasticity. He has been on Methodone for pain for 6+ years. He also underwent surgery again for c-7 in 2005. What intrigued me on your comments is the memory loss. My husband lost his short term memory about 3 years ago. He cannot remember anything hours after it happens. He underwent neuro- psychological testing and they felt the loss was due to 3 things; never really learning to manage the pain, medications, and sleep deprivation. Due to the chronic pain he only sleeps 1-3 hours at a time. Bottom line if you get any information on help with the memory loss please post!