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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

I have a long history of cervical bulging disks, and more recent history of low back issues. Over the past couple of months, I have been getting more severe symptoms, including weakness in the arms, disruption to my gait (stumbling, "catching" my foot on the ground), increased numbness/pain shoulder arms and hands (more right than left), inability to do anything requiring arms at or above shoulder height for very long.

Had MRI day before yeseterday -- lots of bulges -- most no big deal, but here are the salient findings:

C4-5: Mild decrease in disc height. Spondylitic protrusion with presence of foraminal disc-osteophyte complex that results in biforaminal stenosis, right greater than left. Centrally, the spondylotic protrusion mildly effaces the ventral cervical cord, primarily on the right.

C5-6: Broad based central/left paracentral HNP having an AP dimension of approximately 4mm. This mildly effaces the ventral cervical cord. Extrusion of the disc inferiorly is noted. The protruding disc also encroaches into and narrows the neural foramina bilaterally. The degree of disc protrusion has increased since the previous examination.

L5-S1: Disc dessication. Disc height narrowing. Approximately 8 mm anterolisthesis of L5 relative to S1. Broad-based pseudobulge. Bilateral spondylolysis. Facet arthropathy. The findings result in severe biforaminal stenosis with compression of the exiting L5 nerve roots. The facet arthropathy on the right effaces the lateral border of the thecal sac. Ligamentum flavum hypertrophy contributes to central canal narrowing with narrowing of the transverse dimensions of the central canal. Arthropathic cysts are noted in the face joints.

OK, does not sound good from here, as I have enough background on some of this to understand what is involved. I have had prior epidural injections, without effect, and mountains of PT. From those experienced with such things, what's next? How likely is surgery? Any info would be helpful.


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