Please help. C6-C7 herniation w/ Radiculopathy

///Please help. C6-C7 herniation w/ Radiculopathy
Please help. C6-C7 herniation w/ Radiculopathy
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  • AvatarCvedral
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    Hi, im 33 years old and i compete in bodybuilding and powerlifting. Ive been weight training for the past 15 years.

    About 7 weeks ago i noticed that seemingly overnight i had lost about 60-70% of the strength in my left tricep. These percentages are based on one arm tricep pushdowns when comparing my left arm to my right arm. The only other muscle that is effected seems to be left pectorals. I can not seem to flex them very well. Basically any pushing movement is effected.

    Its been about seven weeks and i think im noticing just a smidge more strength coming back. The triceps feels like its starting to fire a little better but i can tell it still has a ways to go.

    In the last seven weeks pain was very minor, most of it was in the forum of a very bad ache/tightness across the upper back. It almost felt like i was being hunched over.

    Tricep feels like it “might” be improving but pain is getting much worse now,where as before i didnt seem to have to deal with this. I dont understand why this is happening.

    I also dont understand my MRI results very well, my ortho didnt do the best job of explaining them.

    At seven weeks i want to know if its okay to do some light weight training as long as i avoid anything that causes pain. Is it okay to try and lightly train the tricep as well? Any other info would be great.

    c2-c3 The thecal ask has normal configuration. There is no evidence of disc herniation or spinal canal stenosis. The neural foramina are patent billateraly.

    c3-c4 There is mild uncovertebral joint hypertrophy resulting in mild right sided neuralforaminal narrowing.

    C4-c5 Uncovertebral joint hypertrophy resulting in mild bilateral neuralforaminal narrowing.

    C5-c6 Broad based posterior disc osteophyte complex and Uncovertebral joint hypertrophy resulting in moderate left side neuroforaminal narrowing.

    C6-C7 Broad based disc bulge and Uncovertebral joint hypertrophy resulting in mild bilateral neuralforaminal narrowing.

    C7-T1 No epidural impressions seen.

    Pleasr help me understand this a little better. I just want to make sure I’m on the right track to getting better.

    Is it normal for my symptoms to be changing seven weeks later like this?

    AvatarDonald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 6907

    The triceps muscle is supplied by the C7 nerve root which originates from the C6-7 level. This does not match exactly with your MRI which notes ” mild bilateral neuralforaminal narrowing” at C6-7″ but notes “moderate left side neuroforaminal narrowing” at C5-6 which would affect the C6, not the C7 nerve.

    The radiologist probably was given a history of “arm pain” which was not specific and he or she did not know to look more carefully at the C6-7 level (it happens on occasion).

    If you have pain that increases with extension (bending your head backwards and to the left side), that would fit with radiculopathy. You might be a candidate for a selective nerve root block at the left C6-7 level.

    You need a consult with a spine specialist.

    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.
    AvatarCvedral
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    My entire left arm lights up like a Christmas tree when the spurling maneuver is done. That’s why the ortho had thought i herniated a disc and that it was pinching the nerve causing my tricep weakness.

    Im just trying to understand. When it says broad based disc bulge at c6-c7, isnt this the herniated disc that is pinching the nerve causing the tricep weakness? Or is what your saying that nerve is on a different level?

    The very first symptoms i felt were pins and needles in my left forearm and head when i would be seated and slouch forward slightly. I was also getting pretty severe tricep spasms. Then i noticed the significant loss of tricep strength. I would get this tightness going across the top of my back.

    That all seems to be improving which makes me very happy because I feel like i can train a little bit. Unfortunately the pain is getting pretty severe. It feels like a burning right in the spine about four inches down from the neck. Like right between the scapula.

    My ortho actually even recommended that i see a some specialist. He really didn’t seem that comfortable with the results. Which is why I’m here. The problem is I’m self pay, and I’m pretty much out of money at this point.

    So my question to you is do you think based on my mri this could heal itself with some time. Other then the pain the nerve issues seem to be improving slightly which is good.

    AvatarDonald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 6907

    Can it “heal itself”? It is possible to have the nerve root calm down over a period of time as long as you don’t irritate it by doing extension maneuvers (being backwards). This would compress and irritate the nerve. You can ask your primary care provider for an oral steroid to see if this will take some of the pain and paresthesias away.

    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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