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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


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I will capitalize below my understanding of this. and will add a couple questions at the bottom I would ask the dr. i am just a member of the board, have worked to educate myself after suffering since 2004. I had had 2 surgeries. I am not a dr, just a really educated patient.


Findings:

1. a right paracentral broad-based disk osteophyte complex at c5-c6 ,creating moderate central canal narrowing and moderate foraminal encroachment bilaterally from spondylotic changes

OSTEOPHYTES ARE COMMONLY CALLED BONE SPURS. IT REALLY MEANS DEGENERATIVE CHANGES - ARTHRITIS. OSTEPHYTES ARE AN EMLARGEMENT OF NORMAL BONY STRUCTURES. THIS AGING OF THE SPINE OCCURS IN THE MAJORITY OF THE OLDER POPULATION, SOME WITH NO SYMPTOMS, OTHERS WITH SEVERE SYMPTOMS. IN YOUNGER PATIENTS SOMETIMES BROUGHT ON BY THINGS LIKE ACCIDENTS, FALLS, POOR POSTURE, ETC. SOME IT IS JUST GENETIC. THE CENTRAL CANAL IS WHERE YOUR SPINAL CORD IS, IN THERE YOU WILL FIND FLUID PROTECTING YOUR SPINAL CORD (SURROUNDING) IT, AND SOMETIMES THE NARROWING WILL CAUSE MINOR IRRITATION ALL THE WAY TO CASES OF MAJOR COMPRESSION OF THE CORD. THE FORAMINS ARE WHERE THE BRANCHES (ROOTS) COME OFF THE SPINAL CORD AND GO tO THE OTHER PARTS OF THE BODY/EXTREMITIES. BILATERALLY MEANS BOTH SIDES, THERE ARE RIGHT AND LEFT ROOTS EXITING OFF THE SPINAL CORD. THINK OF IT LIKE A TREE TRUNK WITH THE BRANCHES. SPONDULOTIC CHANGES MEANS ALL OF THE ABOVE, DEGERATION OF THE SPINE.



2. a small left paracentral protrusion with annular tear at c6-c7 creating mild mild central canal narrowing

THAT PROTUSION LOOKS TO BE THE DISC AT THE C6-7 LEVEL IS PROTRUDING, SOMETIMES THEY CALL THIS A BULGE. THE KEY HERE IS YOU SEEM TO HAVE ANNULAR TEAR WITH IT AND ALL THIS IS CAUSING NARROWING. THE DISCS HAVE SPONGY MATERIAL IN THEM (THINK LIKE A MARSHMALLOW), SOMETIMES THEY BULGE OUT AND DON'T TEAR AND CAN RESOLVE THEMSELVES (GOING BACK IN), BUT WHEN THEY HAVE A TEAR THEY MOST LIKELY ARE LEAKING THE SPONGY DISC MATERIAL OUT. THIS LIQUID IS VERY IRRITATING TO THE OTHER PARTS OF THE SPINAL TISSUES AND THE SPINE WILL WORK TO CONTAIN IT, BY EITHER TRYING TO SEAL THE LEAK WITH SCAR TISSUE AND/OR BUILDING UP MORE BONE SPURS TRYING TO SHORE UP THE SPINE. IF IT DOES SEAL ITSELF, IT IS STILL VERY SUSCEPTIBLE TO RETEARING. SURGEONS LIKE TO WAIT TO SEE IF THE TEAR WILL RESOLVE.

QUESTIONS/DISCUSSIONS WITH YOUR PRIMARY CARE DR.

1. Ask for a referral to an orthopedic spine surgeron or a neurosurgeon, I always use board certified surgeons.

2. Although PT might help the protrusion a bit, because you have a tear, I would go slowly in PT. It might aggravate the condition, but you won't know until you try. This would be part of the "conservative" care approach. Rest, PT, Injections. Surgery is last in line.

3. If they offer you Epidural injections as a measure to help your pain, you might get some relief and you should consider trying injections. Not only does the ESI help inflammation, but it could also help flush out some inflammation cells that you are probably building up in there from the tear.

Good luck on your quest and hope your pain gets a litte better.





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