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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


Felix - it's great to hear a success story. Debysu - I hope you're on the upswing.

I'm an Oregon native, currently in Atlanta, that loves the outdoors too. I climbed a mountain a few summers ago (non-tech hiking, pack weight on the hips), but now, even low-impact, mild exertion causes the blood vessels in my spinal canal to pump up enough so that the cord is compressed even more, so it and/or the nerve roots and the nerves, & apparently the blood vessels also, go through the vicous cycle of inflammation & compression. The nerves & the vessels are inflamed down both arms, & get compressed again at several places, including at the thoracic outlet/brachial plexus (I have bilateral cervical ribs - o yes it's wonderful to be in that special 0.5% of the population), at the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and anywhere that my arm rests, like on the bed.

I can't do stress reducing activities - at least not my normal hiking, water sports, painting, playing the piano...

I'm new to this board - could sure use some help.

I was diagnosed with what were considered 'mildly bulging' discs following my FIRST auto accident 10 years ago (rear-ended @ a red light) & since then have developed severe multi-level spinal canal stenosis bone from bone spurring /calcification around these disc bulges. The docs finally figured out why i couldn't get rid of the neck & back pain for the last 10 years, despite LOTS of conservative treatment(I wish it really was my imagination like others so persistently concluded). Now, after being rear-ended again in '00, and sideswiped in Jan '02, my neck & arms are so messed up - major burning pain -& I'm losing so much function that I'm searching desperately for a couple of GOOD surgeons to at least discuss the risks of waiting & having more permanent damage vs surgery risks. Any arm &/or neck movements flare me up pretty badly.

I'm afraid that the surgical approaches that have been mentioned to me (by non-surgeon doctors) & that I've found on the net won't resolve the issue. The laminectomy-type approach would take bone off of the back of several vertebrae, so that the spinal cord can move away from the spurs, but the bone spurs look pretty jagged to my untrained eye (in MRI).

I've been doing a lot of net research, but have a lot to learn. If anyone can recommend a good neurosurgeon with a lot of cervical stenosis (from osteophytic growth) experience, I'd appreciate it. The surgeon my neurologist finally referred me to turned out to be a breast surgeon, so I took a pass on that. NOT my priority, though I am overdue for a mammogram. Maybe should'nt have blown the # out of my cell phone... When I asked for a more appropriate specialist, i was told to look in my insurance book & find a neurosurgeon that was in there...Shall I just throw a dart?

Are there any surgical options that don't include fusion? The extra stress on adjacent discs...the domino effect concerns me because I have multiple level issues already.

I've seen some references to micro surgery techniques for cervical discectomy, but disc* alone won't address the stenosis now that the calcification & adjacent spurring has progressed so far. My cervical spinal canal is down to 8mm, 10 mm & 11mm. Less than no room for the cord. It's starting to look like link sausage.

I've tried multiple kinds of drugs. Narcotics dim a portion of the pain, but can't take enough to help. The first epidural hasn't helped, even though I was fortunate enough to find a pain dr/anesthesiologist that is very skilled and effective by popular opinion. Of course I've tried the PT. Still have the chiropractor adjust my back - but we mutually agreed - no more cervical adjustments.

SOrry for the long post. Take care ya'll. Brena





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