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  • Rhino6
    Post count: 2

    First let me say thank you to all of the great information on your forum.

    I am an active athlete and do a lot of pitching and recently was diagnosed with a herniated disk at c5-6 level. The report states the following:

    There is herniation of the disc posteriorly on the right with extrusion of a relatively large disk fragment. The extruded fragment effaces the dural sac and results in some cord flattening on the right. There is severe effacement of the C6 root sleeve. The left NeuralForeman is widely patent.

    Vertebral body height, alignment, and inner spacing appear otherwise within normal limits. No significant marrow abnormality is noted. The cervical spine cord is of uniform signal intensity.

    My arm feels like it has no explosiveness or fast twitch muscle fiber use. I do not have any pain that’s really significant mostly just the arm weakness. I have been seeing a PT which has me doing extension exercises and seems to think I’m getting stronger. I also seem to feel that way but my concern is, is this a realistic approach to get back to 100%? I’m worried that the longer I wait the higher the chance of it never coming back. This has been going on for about 2 months.

    I am still throwing thinking that if it does start coming back that my arm will be in better condition. Based on the findings what do you believe would be my best option? I am 39 but in good shape.

    Thank you for your help and any advice,


    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Post count: 8460

    A disc herniation at C5-6 will compress the C6 nerve root. This will affect the shoulder rotators, biceps and wrist extensors, all muscles that are required for pitching. The C6 nerve has resiliency from some compression and can recover on occasions without intervention. However, if you are an athlete, the depth of recovery might not be satisfactory to you without surgical intervention.

    Surgery vs. no surgery really depends upon the results of your physical examination and a critical look of the biomechanics of your pitching motion.

    Dr. Corenman

    Post count: 2

    Thank you for your reply. When should the decision be made for surgery?

    For instance, I am still getting stronger granted, not as fast as I would like, but would you recommend therapy as long as it keeps getting stronger and do you feel eventually I will plateau? Is it true the longer you wait to repair, the longer it will take to recover?

    The only exercise I’m doing is retraction extensions with 3 little turns and I’m trying to do them every hour.

    Is supraspinatus atrophy related to the c6 nerve root? Is there a way I may send my MRI to you? I live in Michigan and I haven’t seen anybody yet although I have been referred to an orthopedic but just not sure how I should select the correct surgeon.

    Thank you very much and I appreciate your time,


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