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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

""The saving grace for me is that it never goes down both legs at the same time.""

I had to chuckle when I read that. Clearly, you are a person who's learned to deal with pain. OK, lemme see what I can do with the MRI's...

"Uncarthrosis" is a new word to me, but clearly it means "arthrosis of the uncinate process", and I'll go slightly out on a limb and say that's probably the same as what most radiologists call "uncovertabral joint osteophytes". That is, you have ridges on top of your cervical vertebrae that help stabilize the cervical spine, preventing unwanted slippage. With time - and a lot of use - these can become arthritic and lay on extra bone, which can intrude into the neuroforamina, which are the holes in the front/side of the spine through which pass the spinal nerves. If that excess bone grows too far, it can pinch those spinal nerves (radiculopathy), and cause a whole galaxy of symptoms that APPEAR to come from the areas serviced by those nerves (shoulders/arms) but in fact are happening entirely within the spine.

This is happening to you at C3-4 and C4-5. The radiologist does not sound any alarm at these levels, but he does say that the right C4-5 is worse than the left, which would make me wonder how much worse.

At C5-6 you have a small disk bulge which is indenting the spinal canal a little (the thecal sac surrounds the canal). The arthrosis is much worse at this level. Radiologists usually employ minimal/mild/moderate/severe to describe levels of severity, so you can see that anything that's "moderate to severe" is probably trouble. Your C6 nerves - which go down to the thumbs - are in jeopardy of impingement on both sides, more so on the left. You can look up C6 nerve to see everywhere it goes.

Same arthrosis problem at C6-7 (the C7 nerve ends up in the middle fingers), but a little worse. You also have bone spurs from above and/or below the disk growing backward into your spinal canal (perhaps accompanied by the C6-7 disk?). He says this creates mild "spinal canal compression" but does not say that the CORD (inside the canal, with a cushion of spinal fluid) is being affected (unless that's what "no mass effect" means).

As for surgical options.... if you were in the right city in the right country, you might get a laminoplasty with accompanying foramintomies done. That is, they'd decompress the spinal canal from behind, and at the same time try to trim back those arthritic uncinate processes. I suppose that most spinal surgeons, though, might recommend ADCF's (if they recommend surgery at all). That may be because most surgeons only know how to do ACDF's.

What's this waiting 12 months all about? Where are you?

BTW, I understand that you can get a standing MRI, if you think that really matters.

I may be able to blather a little about your lumbar, but I have to get back to my day job, for now. Please keep in mind that I'm an amateur expressing pretty-much-uneducated opinions.

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