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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

I am so thankful that I found this message board! To give a brief (ish) history, I have had neck fatigue and pain leading to daily headaches for 10+ years. Have been in 5 car accidents - (2 being pretty serious, 3 were fender benders). First one in 1978 - I was only 18, got thrown around a lot in the inside of the car and pretty much walked away unscathed from a serious wreck, but I'm sure this accident has been one of the factors that have lead to my physical problems today. In the next 10 or so years after this accident, I rear ended cars 3 times (yikes) with no medical followup. My most recent accident was in 2004, a heavy duty truck rear ended me going 55mph when I was at a dead stop for a construction worker on a 2 lane highway. After 6 months of worsening problems with my neck after this accident, I had the ACDF at c6-c7. Although it seemed to strengthen my neck, I still continued to have headaches even after the surgery and up to this day. My neck "catches" when turned a certain way, I get tension headaches, and getting in a comfortable position when laying down is almost impossible. I had an MRI done, not only on my neck, but also on the rest of my spine because I'm basically having problems all the way down now.
I was hoping to get some clarity for my neck MRI -I am really concerned about doing something (like turning my head) to bring on paralysis. I have done a fair amount of internet researching on a lot of these terms, but I don't know how concerned I should be- #5 is what makes me the most nervous.. Here it is:

1. Mild reversal of usual cervical lordotic curvature center at c5-c6.Cervical AP vertebral alignment and stature within normal limits.
2. Anterior cervical disc fusion procedure has been performed at c6-c7. Anterior metallic plate and vertebral screws partially obsures c6-c7. c6-c7 intradiscal implant noted.
3. Bulging discs and tiny osteophytes cause mild ventral thecal sac deformity at c4-c5, and c7-T1, and moderate ventral thecal sac deformity at c5-c6. Mild disc bulging also noted at T2-T3 level.
4. Cervical spinal cord appears normal.
5. Neural forminal stenosis: Moderate on right at c4-c5. Mild bilaterally at c3-c4, c5-c6, c6-c7.
6. Noted also is localized mucosal thickening at the floor of the splenoid sinus.

I have tingling in my foot/toes, and my left leg feels numb from the knee down. My hands and fingers sometimes go numb when I type a lot. Weakness in both arms...fatigue, headaches.....right wrist and elbow pain. No bladder problems etc.

I have other issues in the lumbar region - stenosis and thecal sac encroachment here and there, spurs, disc bulging at all lumbar levels, active inflammatory facet arthropathy, bilateral facet joint effusions..... but I guess I need to save that for another section of the boards.

My job requires standing and walking for 8 hours, and a lot of that time is spent with my arms out in front of me (I compound IV fluids at a hospital pharmacy under a sterile hood), so all of the problems I am having are FAR worse after a few hours at work, and by the end of my shift I can hardly walk to my car. I've been working for 36 years doing much the same thing, and the past 2 years have gotten increasingly hard. I know the body ages, but I'm only 53 for heaven's sake!

I have a follow up with my doc April 9. He is a pain clinic doctor and he is the one that ordered the MRI's. Should I go see a spine specialist? Before I even had the MRI's he set me up with a physical therapy appt on the same day that I go to the follow up with him on April 9 before the appt with him - he did this is without any MRI results because I hadn't even had the MRI's yet.....does this sound right?
Any advise you can give me would be greatly appreciated. To know that there is a community of people that understands is very comforting to me -my husband and family try to understand, but haven't walked in those shoes so I'm sure it's hard for them.

I just read all of this, and it's so much longer than I wanted it to be - sorry about that. Thank you!

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