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  • Spine-less
    Member
    Post count: 3

    Hello,

    I had an MRI that I’ve literally been begging for since January of 2011. My symptoms started as facial numbness on the left side of my face. I thought I was having a stroke, but my blood pressure and heart rate was fine. This continued to happen and has been more consistent over the last 18 months. I also had visual disturbances in my right eye, where my eye would suddenly go blurry for hours or for days at a time. i had an eye exam by an optho who said that there was blood vessel restriction in the back of my eye. I have had increase in pain midline back of the neck below my skull radiating to the top of my head. This pain has been excrutiating at times. I’ve had pain to the left and right side of the back of my neck, and between the shoulder blades. I have restriction of my range of motion with my head on both the right and left, that was noticed upon exam by a Rheumatologist who ordered an x-ray. These findings indicated that I had an degenerative issues at C5-6 and C6-7. I have had pain in my legs on and off for many years that felt like a constant burning pain, but would come and go. I have fibromyalgia and it was blown off as that. The last year, I have had new pain in this area that is much more severe: Going from my lower back through my hips (aching/lightning like pain in right hip), through my buttocks and down my legs to my heels. It is painful when standing, or sitting. I have noticed the last two months that I have heaviness in my legs, as well as a deep pain from the top of my legs all the way down to my feet, making it feel as if I am carrying concrete pillars. walking for long stretches, which i use to enjoy doing now brings on excrutiating pain for anything longer than ten minutes and standing in check out lines is nearly intolerable. This is inconsistennt with the pain, but the heaviness AND weakness, is scary. This happens inconsistently as well. The last several months, I have felt off balance. I’ve nearly fallen several times. I feel like I’m going around the world to my left. I have trouble grasping small items. I at times experience vertigo as well. These symptoms are totally frightening and also come and go. I feel like this is all in my head as it all started so subtly for me. I have become greatly limited the last year and a half, but yet keep pushing anyway and get through with pain medications and trying to move slower while I wait for my insurance company to get me to a neurosurgeon.

    My MRI read as the following. I also need oral surgery to remove all of my lower teeth, i wonder if having this done is dangerous with the conditions I am currently dealing with related to C spine.
    Anyway, MRI results. I won’t get into them all, but am wondering if this could be contributing to these wild, wacky and increasingly obvious symptoms this last year and a half. What is interesting to note is that on the x ray taken in February C 4-5 showed no involvement, but by June, when I had the MRI done, it was now involved. How rapidly can these things progress? I am really scared but thinking no one takes it seriously.

    MRI:

    C4-5-There is a mild central disc osteophyte complex which normally effaces the ventral thecal sac but causes no significant canal stenosis or cord flattening. There is no significant formaninal narrowing.
    C5-6-There is a central disc osteophyte complex which effaces the ventral thecal sac and flattens the cord with moderate canal stenosis. Uncovertebral hypertrophy results in mild right foraminal narrowing. The left foramen is patent.
    C6-7- There is a central/right paracentral broad-based disc protrusion which effaces the ventral thecal sac and results in moderately-severe canal stanosis. Uncovertebral hypertrophy causes mild to moderate right foraminal narrowing. The left foramen is patent.

    Lower lumbar

    L3-4 there is minimal circumferential disc bulging and mild facet degenerative changes.
    L4-5-there is mild circumferential disc bulging and mild facet degenerative changes.
    L5-S1- There is a small central disc protrusion with an associated annular tear. This results in no significant canal stenosis, formanial narrowing or definitive root impingement. There is mild facet degenerative changes bilaterally.

    Then why are my legs this way? Why am I feeling such pain? why am I so off balance? I also have lighthing like sensations and my arm goes numb on my left side. I have numbness and tingling in both hands. sometimes, my right hand toward the pinky up to where my wrist begins will go completely numb. My legs also fall asleep easily, as when I’m driving. I have literally gotten up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and fallen directly to the floor because I could not feel my legs at all. I’m clumsy and stumble alot, having bruised myself up quite a lot this last year.

    Is this dangerous? The condition of my C spine and could these symptoms be contributing? Currently, i am awaiting a referral to a neurosurgeon. thank you.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8409

    You have significant narrowing in the canal in your neck “C6-7- There is a central/right paracentral broad-based disc protrusion which effaces the ventral thecal sac and results in moderately-severe canal stenosis”. The MRI noting disc degeneration but the X-ray being normal is typical. X-rays do not reveal early degenerative changes.

    This condition (stenosis) can cause myelopathy (dysfunction of the spinal cord) which can cause imbalance. See the section regarding myelopathy on the website to see if your symptoms match. Your complaints of “why am I so off balance? I also have lighthing like sensations and my arm goes numb on my left side. I have numbness and tingling in both hands. sometimes, my right hand toward the pinky up to where my wrist begins will go completely numb” do coincide with myelopathy. You do have to be careful as fibromyalgia has some matching symptoms.

    A thorough physical examination would help to differential those two conditions.

    There is nothing in your lower back MRI which would cause “heaviness in my legs, as well as a deep pain from the top of my legs all the way down to my feet, making it feel as if I am carrying concrete pillars. walking for long stretches”. Those symptoms could be from your fibromyalgia.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    Spine-less
    Member
    Post count: 3

    Thank you, Dr. Corenman,

    I have an additional question. It mentions cord flattening, as well as foraminal narrowing. What is cord flattening? And what symptoms can this cause?

    Thanks you so much!

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8409

    Cord flattening is the same as canal stenosis or narrowing of the canal. This condition deforms the normal “bean shaped” cord and flattens the rounded corners of the spinal cord. The symptoms are under myelopathy on the website.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    Spine-less
    Member
    Post count: 3

    Is cord flattening the same as cord compression? I’ve seen the terms used interchangeably…

    Thank you for your response. I hope to have an appt. with a neurosurgeon soon.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8409

    Cord compression causes cord flattening. They are essentially the same disorder.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
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