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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Hello all,

I have been told by a surgeon that I should get a four level cervical fusion (C4-C8 I think). The primary reason for surgery is they are concerned with atrophy in my left hand. I have about 65% of normal strength and a significant loss of muscle mass in my left hand. The strange thing is the pain I experienced when this came on is no longer there and at this point I should be getting better. They have no way of knowing if I am losing more strength either. I worked hard at physical therapy over two months and it got me out of the pain stage. I do continue to have numbness and tingling at the bottom part of my left hand and my neck muscles get extremely tired but that is it. It is pretty annoying.

I am 36 years old, have already had a disc removed at L5-S1 and am in farily good shape. I recovered from that surgery very quickly. Since I am so young I am thinking of doing the four level fusion as the condition will only get worse over time and I don't want to lose more strength.

I actually have time to take off from work and I want to start having children in 6 months.

Thoughts? Insight?

Here is the summary of my MRI results.

At C2-3, there is a mild right uncinate spur causing mild neural foraminal narrowing.

At C3-4, a left paracentral posterior bulge is identified likely representing an osteophyte. This causes mild impingement upon the
anterior surface of the spinal cord. There is also bilateral uncinate spurring with mild narrowing of both foramina.

At C5-6, there is left uncinate spurring causing significant neural foraminal narrowing. Uncinate spur also mildly indents the left anterolateral aspect of the spinal cord.

At C6-7, there is bilateral uncinate spur formation causing moderate to severe bilateral neural foraminal narrowing, left greater than
right. There is also impingement of the left anterolateral aspect of the spinal cord at this level.

At C7-T1, bilateral uncinate spurring is also identified causing mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing.



In your case,mostly because of the fact that the actual cord is being affected,I really would get this done.the cord impingement/compression will only get worse without surgery to remove what is actually accumulating and growing there.believe me,what you are experiencing right now,is nothing compared to what will occur once the actual cord becomes damaged.i am living with that right now and quite frankly,it just sucks!if the damage occurs to the tracts running through it,those will be permanent.My spinothalamic and spinocerebellar tracts are both significantly damaged,along with my C 7-8 and T 1 spinal nerves and last but not least,my sympathetic nervous system.let me know what you decide.if I were you,i really would get this over as soon as possible as once that actual damage takes place,you will be most likely living with THAT part for a very very long time.i was able to get back 'some" of my lost function to my leg and my hand but that was with acute rehab done immediately withintwo weeks of the damage.i have gotten all back that will most likely ever least I can still walk and am thankful for that,really.good luck,marcia

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