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  • CourtneyS
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    Hi Dr. Corenman,
    I am a 39/F who has been experiencing numbness in my right arm and hand for over 6 months now. Along with the numbness, I have neck stiffness and pain that radiates down between my shoulder blades and right shoulder. I also experience daily headaches in the back of my head right above my neck. At times when I look down, I experience an electric shock sensation that travels down my spine. The neurosurgeon that I see ordered a cervical MRI and when I went for my follow-up appointment to go over my MRI he did not even show me any images or tell me any of the results. He basically said I’ll see you in 8 weeks. Do I need any kind of treatment?

    The following are my MRI results I was mailed from the imaging center.
    Disc space narrowing is moderate at C4-5, and mild at C3-4 and C5-6.

    C3-4: 4 mm focal disc protrusion slightly indents central cord. Minor abutment of right C4 nerve root in the recess. No substantial foramen stenosis.

    C4-5: Bilobed disc osteophyte complex with focal 3mm right recess disc protrusion slightly indents right more than left lateral cord and compresses right and abuts left C5 nerve roots in the recess. Severe right foramen stenosis due to facet and uncinate hypertrophy.

    C5-6: 2mm central disc protrusion minimally indents the cord and touches both C6 nerve roots in the recess. No foramen stenosis.

    C6-7: 2 mm central disc protrusion is noncompressive. No recess or foramen stenosis.

    Thank you in advance!

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8140

    Your symptoms sound like a C5 nerve compression syndrome (“pain that radiates down between my shoulder blades and right shoulder…I experience an electric shock sensation that travels down my spine”). This is confirmed by the MRI reading at C4-5 (“Severe right foramen stenosis due to facet and uncinate hypertrophy”). Your other levels have some mild degenerative changes but probably could be left alone.

    See:
    https://neckandback.com/conditions/radiculopathy-pinched-nerve-in-neck/ and
    https://neckandback.com/conditions/symptoms-of-cervical-nerve-injuries/

    Now why your neurosurgeon gave you no information about your condition and especially no treatment pathway (physical therapy or nerve injections) is inexplicable.

    Do you have any idea of his plans?

    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.
    CourtneyS
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    He did not mention any plans to treatment my symptoms. He just told me he would see me in 8 weeks. I left so confused.

    The only reason I could think of was maybe because I’m getting an injection in my L5 to treat my right leg radiculopathy.

    Thank you for your response!

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8140

    I cannot comment on his thoughts or plans. Did he perform a complete physical examination with deep=tendon reflexes, sensory examination and motor strength assessment? Especially strength of the deltoid muscle which lifts up the arm from the shoulder level.

    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.
    CourtneyS
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    He did not complete a physical at all in my upper body. He tested my reflexes on my lower body.

    Do you think I should go to another doctor for my neck issues?

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8140

    Sounds like he did not pay attention to your neck disorder. I can’t put my mind into his to know what he was thinking but if he was serious about your neck disorder (and it sounds like he was interested or he wouldn’t have ordered an MRI) then an accurate physical examination was in order. If you feel like he was cavalier about your neck, you have every reason to ask for a second opinion.

    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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