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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Hi, sorry if this post is long, I will try and summarise as best as possible.
I'm 28, play soccer twice a week and go to the gym 3 times a week for the last 10years.
6 weeks ago I woke up in agonising pain that made my neck and back stiff for around 4 weeks in total, with symptoms changing throughout. Into week 3 I started getting throbbing pains in my arms, and shooting pains when I moved my neck in certain positions. I also got some shooting down my upper legs when my neck was tilted backwards. I went to A&E and to my doctor a few times and they kept saying it was a pulled muscle in my back until I was insistent with my GP that I needed an MRI so he sent me to a specialist.

Here I had a CT scan and MRI, the CT scan came back fine but the MRI showed a disk herniation at c5/c6 and early signals of myelomalacia. He phoned me out the blue to inform me that I needed urgent surgery and that this would be needed in 2 weeks. This would be an ACDF operation. Its fair to say I was shocked as by time of seeing the specialist (week 6)I felt 99% better. I have seen an osteopath and chiropractor for their opinions and they both said that if I feel better that they would potentially monitor the situation before proceeding with surgery. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO? Below is my radiologist report.

There is reversal of the normal cervical lordosis. At C5/C6 there is a large central disc protrusion tracing both proximally and distally over a total craniocaudal distance of around 18mm. the disc causes significant compression of the spinal cord which does look to show intrasubstance signal change in keeping with myelomalacia. There is no other focal disc protrusion shown. there is no evidence of central spinal stenosis or exit foraminal stenosis. no sinister bone marrow signal shown. no abnormality shown at cranial cervical junction.

ANY help would be great. Thank you
Welcome to the board. Sorry no one responded to your post. I hope I am not too late and you have had surgery already! While I have no reason to question what one surgeon has told you, I would highly recommend you get at least one more opinion from either a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine or neuro surgeon -- just be sure their practice is limited to neck and back cases only.

Particularly at your fairly young age, you do not want to have surgery unless it is absolutely necessary and there are no other good options. Of course where there is cervical cord compression it must be very carefully monitored. Myelomalacia is not something you want to ignore...but whether you need to rush into surgery without getting another opinion from a spine surgeon is the question.

Something to consider is whether you can continue to play soccer in the future. I hope you have discussed this topic with your medical advisors.

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