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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Hello all-

I have been seeing about a billion different docs over the past 6 months (it sure feels that way, anyway! :) for what started out, I thought, as some innocuous tingling in my hands. 2 months in wrist braces and an EMG later, they started questioning if it was my neck and not my wrists or elbows. They finally ordered an MRI last month and this is what they found:

A 33-year-old female with neck pain and bilateral hand numbness.
Sagittal T1, T2, inversion recovery, and axial 3D and gradient-echo
T2*, and T1 MR images of the cervical spine. No comparison.
Cervical alignment and marrow signal are normal. There is cervical
cord abutment and increased T2 signal within the cord from C3
through C5 compatible with cervical myelomalacia secondary to disk
degeneration and ventral abutment as detailed below.
Craniocervical junctional anatomy is unremarkable as is C2-3.
C3-4 has moderate central canal stenosis with a mild posterior disk
bulge abutting and flattening the ventral aspect of the cervical
cord. Uncovertebral spurring encroaches the neural foramina.
C4-5 has moderate posterior osteophyte-disk complex and mild
uncovertebral spurring with ventral abutment, and flattening of the
cervical cord, and moderate central canal stenosis. Neural foramina
are mildly encroached.
C5-6 has mild uncovertebral spurring and mild posterior disk bulge
causing mild central canal stenosis. No cord abutment or
C6-7 and C7-T1 levels are unremarkable.
Paraspinal soft tissues and musculature are unremarkable.
Visualized posterior fossa is unremarkable. Cerebellar tonsils are
normal in position.
Moderate C3-4, C4-5 and to a lesser extent C5-6 degenerative disk
disease. Mild to moderate posterior osteophyte-disk complex and
disk bulging cause moderate central canal stenoses, primarily at C3-
4 and C4-5, with signs of cervical myelomalacia.
I suspect there is underlying degree of short pedicles and
congenital narrowing of the central canal.

I have had years of neck pain following a whiplash injury to my neck - most of the time, the pain is not unbearale, though i do always have some degree of limited range of motion, but about once a month i have an episode that lasts for 7 or 8 days where i can't move my neck or sleep. My dr had been prescribing me 5mg flexeril tabs 1x per day and 800 mg ibuprofen, neither of which did much for the pain. I also get pain that radiates down both my arms, along with periodic severe pain in my hips and low back (where they discovered a herniated disc) and pins and needles in my legs and feet - because of all this pain, I was slapped with a fibromyalgia diagnosis years ago and everyone has ignored me when I said I had pain until now. I saw my orthopedic surgeon after the MRI and he said I had a lot of damage but that it could be vitamin deficiency or thyroid issues causing the pins and needles and sent me for a neurology consult.

So today I saw the neurologist and he said my symptoms were certainly from my neck and that I definitely need surgery soon and that with the bruise on my spinal cord if I were to sustain a whiplash injury now I would likely be completely paralyzed - he also said that the discs in my neck in combination with the congenital stenosis is actively da,aging my spinal cord and if I don't have surgery I could wake up and be partially or fully paralyzed at some point, just from living.

I am trying to get my GP to make a referral to a neurosurgeon but she seems to be dragging her feet. This is all happening very quickly for me so I am looking for some advice/support from people who have been there before.



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