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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


For the lumbar, consider that the disks are protruding into the spinal canal from in front. The facets are laying on extra bone and thus intruding from the sides, and the swollen ligamentum flavum in coming in from the back. I'd guess you naturally have a healthy amount of space in your spinal canal, or you'd have a serious canal stenosis (narrowing) problem.

To some extent at L2-3 and more so at L4-5, the protruding disk is pushing into the foramina, the openings in the side of the spine through which pass the spinal nerves. The radiologist does not indicate that this is serious, but then he doesn't indicate that it isn't, either.

He does say the disk protrusions are "probably acute". I guess that means he thinks they were caused by the accident, and will likely get better on their own, or with conservative treatment? The orthopedist or physiatrist you're seeing would know.

As for the cervical, he thinks you have disk bulges at three levels, but only stresses the C3-4. That's intruding far enough into the foramen that it's compressing the right C4 nerve root (radiculopathy). This may show itself as pain in the right side of your neck, or referred pain/soreness in your right shoulder. IF there is trouble in your left shoulder/arm, it would be due to the C4-5 disk bulge.

Your cervical spine should start with a forward inclination at the shoulders and then curve back to come upright at the top of the neck (lordosis). He thinks that the accident has caused muscle spasm which is pulling the spine straight (so that the forward inclination at the shoulders is maintained more than it should be). The muscle spasms themselves could be very painful, and the loss of lordosis also means that your muscles have to fight to keep your head erect.





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