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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Hi Everyone,

Glad to have found such a wonderful and through site and to now be a part of it. I was injured via a lifting injury at work in '08 and was informed that I had a 5mm bulge in my L5/S1 disc. However, I complained of immense pain and for 2 yrs I had gone through an enormous amount of treatments - everyone possible. I was even offered a Spinal Cord Stimulator at one time but I had refused it. Finally in mid of 2010 I met a Pain Mgmt Dr and he was one of the greatest Dr's I had seen in those 2 years. He knew that I was not lying about my pain and he could truly see it and took it to heart. To this day I am still very thankful to have met him. He sent me back to the same surgeon's office, which had dismissed me shortly after my injury and told the surgeon that my pain was no joke and I needed a spinal fusion. The surgeon ordered the PM to do a Discogram and it concluded that the fluid in my disc indeed came out when I had the initial injury. They indicated to me that "You have been walking around for 2 yrs with bone rubbing on bone and compressed nerves." Needless to say I was floored because for 1.) I had never in my life been injured in any way - no sprain, fracture, nothing - just allergies and sick here and there and 2.) I knew nothing about a spinal injury and nerve compression. I am going on year 4 now and after I had the spinal fusion it seems that everything has begun to go downhill rather than uphill. And, I am only 34 yrs old. I have two children between the ages of 5 and 11 and it was incredibly difficult to go through this past year enduring all these new onset of conditions and symptoms. I have a huge list of items and I never get any good news at the Dr's or Surgeon's offices - always seem to be worsening. I have begun to read spiritual and meditation books and be more open to friends and family about what I am going through as they have had a very hard time w/ acceptance and understanding. I can imagine they do as most of my family lives in other states therefore they don't see exactly what I am going through or see me on a daily basis and can only go by what I say and tell them.

To continue, as I mentioned, since the fusion things have completely worsened and gone downhill. I have listed my diagnosis' under the diagnosis box on my profile so you can get a glimpse of the "just under 30" items on my list. And, recently I had a Cervical and Brain MRI ordered by a new Pain Management Dr that I have been seeing. He ordered it because he said that my symptoms were beginning to sound like I have nerve compression in my neck and I started to enforce how much pain I feel spark up my back and neck, how it hurts horribly when I stand for longer than 10 mins and afterwards my legs and feet get completely numb and I start to get dizzy and off balance. If I sit for longer than 20-30 mins. then the pains go straight up my back and into my neck and arms and then into the sacral regions. It's really a lose/lose situation. With any/all activity I pay for it tremendously and the PM's PA indicated I could also have CRPS after I went in for a EMG/NCS and it flared me up completely for 5 days straight. After the EMG/NCS I had incredible pain and numbness in my left leg (always seems to worse on my left side of my entire body) and my foot and toes were hypersensitive in the means of putting a shoe on, or even having the blanket touch them, it felt as if one was holding a taser to my foot :dizzy:

I had the MRI done 2 weeks ago and I saw my surgeon this week and he said "Well I will say your cervical MRI does indeed look scary." He wants to send me to a University for help and to see a team of Neuromuscular Dr's. I will say that I am pretty scared and have no idea what to anticipate there and after this wonderful long story of mine I was hoping for some advice on what to anticipate while there as well as if anyone could assist in the reading of my MRI Report?

Here is the recent findings and MRI Report of my Cervical and Brain :confused:

Findings: Minimal leftward convex cervicothoracic curvature is identified. This may be positional. No supraclavicular masses or lesions identified. Mild mid cervical kyphosis and reversal of normal lordosis is evident without subluxation, marrow infiltration or fracture. 3mm right and 2mm left cerebellar tonsillar ectopia is identified without Chiari malformation.

C2-C3 disc is unremarkable.

C3-C4 shows minor degree of spondylosis and degenerative changes without significant foraminal or canal stenosis.

C4-C5 disc is mildly degenerated with mild annular bulging and minimal midline thecal sac effacement. This rests just ventral to the cord but without cord indentation or compression. Foramina and canal are patent otherwise.

C5-C6 level: Moderate disc degeneration is evident with broad-based posterior disc bulging and symmetric spondylotic spurring causing mild foraminal encroachment and diffuse thecal sac effacement. No cord compression or cord edema.

C6-C7 level: Chronic disc degeneration is evident with mild right-sided bulging and a shallow left central disc protrusion adjacent to the left ventral C7 rootlet. Are the patientís symptoms in a left C7 distribution? Mild left foraminal stenosis is evident.

C7-T1 and other upper thoracic discs show minor degrees of degeneration only. Cervical and upper thoracic spinal cord is normal caliber and signal. No evident paraspinal mass or muscle edema. Normal flow void within the vertebral arteries and cervical carotid arteries. Facet joints are intact. No apparent facet erosion No areas of marrow infiltration.

1. Mild reversal of the normal cervical lordosis with minimal kyphosis centered at C5. No subluxation, marrow edema or fractures.

2. Mild multilevel degenerative disc disease from C3-C4 through C6 and C7. Asymmetric left-sided shallow disc protrusion at C6-C7 appears to efface the thecal sac adjacent to the left C7 ventral rootlet.

3. Mild broad-based disc bulging and mild spondylosis bilaterally at C4-C5 and C5-C6. Thecal sac is effaced without distinct cord compression.

4. No evident underlying myelopathy.

BRAIN Findings:
10mm caliber retention cyst is seen in the floor of the right maxillary sinus. No air-fluid levels. Other sinuses appear clear. Ventricular system is normal in size, shape and position. 2 mm left and 3 mm right cerebellar tonsillar ectopia is identified without findings of Chiari malformation. No mass effect or upper cord compromise. Brainstem and cerebellum are unremarkable. Gray-white differentiation is maintained with no findings of infarction, ischemia, mass or hemorrhage. Mildly prominent perivascular spaces are seen inferior basal ganglia regions. Cortical sulci appear symmetric with no areas of focal atrophy. Orbital soft tissues are symmetric. Calvarium and skull base are intact. Normal flow within the carotid siphons and basilar artery.

Thanks to everyone and anyone who has taken the time to kindly read all of this and, ahead of time, I truly appreciate your remarks, honesty and truth :) I do feel that I have learned a mass amount of new terms since this is going on year 4 but I will say that I feel I am enduring the upper back pain due to compensating the usage of it from the fusion of L5/S1 last Aug. Is this possible or a regularity that occurs? I also endure mass pain in my left arm (bicep - under not top) and I have to wear wrist braces every night or my hands go completely numb and I get shooting pains that run down both arms which won't stop for a good hour every night. I take double to triple the time to do things that I use to do and have adjusted and am accepting this new life path. However, as I said earlier, I am scared of this MRI reading and don't fully understand what it all means, or the medical terms/word usage, and I don't know what to expect while at a University with a team of Dr's. Any help is greatly appreciated :-)

Thank you kindly and I look forward to any and all replies. Happy Holidays to ALL :wave:

Still thinking positive and hanging in there for myself, family and friends,


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