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  • vjenison
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    Post count: 1

    My husband has been having increased neck and arm pain during physical activity (mainly while working. The family doctor did an xray and noticed significant bone spurring so he sent him for a mri.

    His summarized mri impression/results are as follows:

    1.Herniated discs at the C5-C6 and C6-C7 levels result in severe spinal canal stenosis with spinal cord compression and frank cervical spinal cord myelomalacia at these levels
    2. Degenerative changes result in narrowing of the intervertebral foramen at C5-C6 and C6-C7
    3. Diffuse cervical degenerative disc and spondylosis
    4. Straightening of the normal cervical lordosis

    He also has hypertroph spurring from C3-C6.

    I’m thinking this is pretty serious from my research. He has been referred to a NeuroSurgeon, but still waiting on the appointment.

    Now for my question. Is surgery usually the recommended course of action here? He is only 43 years old, physically fit for the most part. I am wondering if we should try a conservative treatment for about 4 months to see how he feels instead of jumping into surgery? His occupation requires a lot of heavy lifting so i am extremely worried he may make it worse. Please advise. We our both worried about living expenses during the recovery time it may take.

    And oops. I apologive for not etting it posted in the corect topic area. will try to move it.

    Sincerely,

    Vjenison

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8459

    Your husband does have a significant problem. “Herniated discs at the C5-C6 and C6-C7 levels result in severe spinal canal stenosis with spinal cord compression and frank cervical spinal cord myelomalacia at these levels” is something that needs to be addressed surgically in my opinion.

    The spinal cord is compressed and according to the radiologist, is injured from this compression. Myelomalacia is injury to the cord. What happens with narrowing of the canal is that extension (bending the head backwards) narrows the canal even further and pinches the spinal cord. After months or years of this pinching, the cord becomes injured and malfunctions.

    In my opinion, he needs surgery and this should not wait too much longer. He should avoid any activity that can put his neck in danger (mtn biking, water skiing, horseback riding, basketball, football or others) to prevent further injury and a potential central cord injury (see website).

    It very well might be that he only needs an ACDF at C5-C7 (see website) but a further workup needs to be completed to determine the problem levels. In general, recovery is less problematic than you might think. See the website under “Recovery information by surgery” to understand what recovery is necessary.

    Dr. Corenman

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