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Back Problems Message Board

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How far does a herniated disc have to impinge on the spinal cord before it causes symptoms? I have had another cervical MRI (3rd one now) and my C4/5 is clearly pressing (if every so slightly) on the spinal cord. It is not quite central (more to the right) but not far enough right to compress the exiting nerve. My condition has become worse, as it is clearly not just indenting the thecal sac, it is actually slighty touching the spinal cord.

I've read everything I can find in terms of studies online and it seems there are so many with cord impingment and no symptoms. And of course I read over and over how many people have herniations on MRI's and are asymptomatic. BUT I AM VERY SYMPTOMATIC. And I'm getting tired of surgeons and neurologists dismissing this finding as asymptomatic when I am clearly not and they can offer no alternative explanation for my balance problems. I have read over and over that cord impingement can cause balance problems. I'm at a loss now.

So how far does an impingement or indentation have to go to cause problems? And while you are at it - what about thecal sac impingement - it would make sense to me that anything that altered the flow of spinal fluid could cause some kind of problem.

Please advise and if possible quote a source where I can further my research.

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