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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

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I found this site a couple of days ago and have been throughly impressed with the posts and the amount of info contained in them. Has truly been a help. Here's a rundown of my scenario and any input is greatly appreciated.

MRI results verbatim: The examination demonstrates reversal of the usual lordotic curve. There is very prominent lateral disc herniation at C5-6 on the right side. There is severe compromise of the right lateral recess and the right lateral neural foramen. There is mild spur disc protrusion into the canal at C4-5 and at C6-7 without significant compromise of either lateral neural foramina or the lateral recesses. There is some compression of the right side of the cord at C6-7. The cord has a normal appearance.
IMPRESSION: There is prominent right lateral disc herniation at C5-6. There is minimal broad based spur/disc protrusion at C4-5 and at C6-7.

For the last 4 or 5 years at least would wake up several times per year with pain in my upper back/muscle spasm. It would radiate into my neck but not arm and would go away within a week. I lived with it, thought nothing much of it other than I must be sleeping wrong on it/stress, etc. It was mildly painful and really just annoying.

Last month (June 16th) I woke up with it again. No big deal, here we go again right? Wrong! I played golf 4 days later with it still bothering me which I had done several times in the years prior. This time, the two days after golf were almost unbearable pain. The next day it was taking 15mg of hydrocodone every 4-5 hrs to get 40-50% relief. The next day I woke up and couldn't even put my right hand to my mouth to take a pill. I had to toss it in. The most comfortable position was standing (as it was unbearable to anything else, i.e. sit or lay down) and I paced the house for 5 hours until I was able to take 10 mg of percocet with allowed me to sit comfortably. As soon as I moved, sharp pain in upper back area that made me wince.

It has been over 5 weeks since now and most days run between a 2 and a 4 on a scale of 10 with 10 being that one very bad day. Last Friday though, was another bad day being a 7-8. I'm assuming the pain is from the muscle spasm. Maybe nerve? I have seen an ortho spine surgeon 3x during all of this. He has downplayed it, saying the herniation is not that bad and he doesn't see severe compromise of the right lateral recess at C5-6. He thinks the radiologist made a mistake and didn't look at the right slice in the MRI???
I have been to PT 1x per wk since this began doing traction every time. I know I need to increase this to 3-4x per week and will do so soon. PT doesn't seem to help or hurt.

During the last week though, I have noticed some right arm symptoms that had not been there previously. Slight tingling a few times per day but mostly just an overall weird weak feeling under armpit running down to elbow. Not numb, but just a weird feeling - like less sensation/light burning type of deal.
I have also noticed those same symptoms/feelings in my right leg. Slight tingling in the outer toes, weird burn/numb in upper hamstring/lower buttocks.

I am seeing a spine specialist today and a NS next Tue. Any input again would be greatly appreciated. The ortho downplayed it and the spine specialist saw my MRI films and wanted to see me ASAP opposed to keeping my appt in 2 weeks. (This kind of freaked me out. I have a friend who knows him, the spine Dr, and my friend was kind enough to take my film over to him on Tuesday - that's when he read the MRI and said I need to see this guy ASAP!) I will f/u with more info as my appointments come and go. Mike

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