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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Good afternoon, all.
After the last 3-4 years of being treated for arthritis, rhematologist referred me to a pain management doc who sent me for cervical & lumbar MRI. Results were suprising. Having worked my way through denial, I'm now researching like a madwomen. Have had no previous dx'd back injuries but in retrospect have done plenty to cause such. The following is the impression from MRI results:
"Multilevel degenerative disc disease and changes of cervical spondylosis as described. There are changes of central spinal canal stenosis @ C4-5, C5-6, C6-7, and to a less extent @ C7-T1. Posterior disc protrusions/disc estrusions are present @ C5-6, C6-7, and C7-T1 that contribute to the spinal stenosis. The spinal stenosis greatest @ C5-6 and C6-7 where there is a moderate flattening of the spinal cord. See description above."
Information included in this report contain information/verbage like "annular posterior bulging", uncoverterbral joint spurring", significant aquired central spinal canal stenosis", and "anterior extradural defect on the thecal sac".
This is greek to me. My primary care doc delivers his information w/ great flourish & drama & had me scared to death by the time I walked out of his office w/ an Rx for pain meds & a referral to a neurosurgeon for surgery within the next 6 months. At 54 years old, I'm constantly reminded that I am not, nor never was superwoman, but would sure appreciate if any of you with experience w/ back pain/injury/surgery/follow-up what your interpretion of the above is. I see the referred-to neurosurgeon tomorrow & plan to get at least 1 more 2nd opinion.
I have significant pain w/ this problem & have for quite some time. Is this usual or am I a weinie? The opinion that surgery is needed soon concerns me as does the possibility of further damage as I have a visual of all the wires & gadgets in my neck hanging out & misfiring, like a bad electrial connection. I know all recovery is individual but what can I expect if surgery is in my future. The doc mentioned incision at front of neck instead of starting in back where it seems back surgery would be done. Is this the norm.
I have so many questions & admit that I'm scared to death. Any info sites or boards that you know & respect are appreciated, also.
Thanks to all of you for any & all info.
Cindy in SA

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