Just diagnosed with cervical stenosis

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Hi I'm 64 years old and I've had tingling/numbness/odd feelings in my right leg and right hand little and ring finger for the last 3 years, recently spreading to the little finger of my left hand and further up and down my right leg. I went to a chiropractor about 15 months ago but when they told me I would need at least 6 months treatment and the cost (I'm retired) I decided to ask the GP to refer me for physiotherapy. Instead however, she sent me to an orthopedic consultant, as a result of which I have today been diagnosed with cervical stenosis / compression of nerves at the C4/C5 vertebrae. The consultant says I can live with it but it will gradually get worse, possibly suddenly a lot worse cumulating in paralysis. He is advising an operation. My initial reaction was no surgery, I can live with it as it is, and I'm in more discomfort than pain. However the thought of it worsening does concern me, as does the possibility that the condition itself might lead to vascular dementia at a later stage (only just discovered that possibility reading on here!). Has anyone on here had experience of this type of surgery, was it successful, can anyone give me any advice?

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  • Posted

    Hi there if there is compression to the spinal cord then surgery should be an option available to you there is a great site called myelopathy org also there is a Facebook called myelopathy support hope this helps and gives you some answers to your questions
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    • Posted

      Thanks Iwan I checked this site and read your story - I feel very lucky to have such mild symptoms in comparison to yourself. Just over a year on, how are you doing? An update on the site would be great. 
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    • Posted

      Yea I'm ok thanks I'm left with most of my symptoms but it could have been a lot worse I get regular checkups so they can keep an eye on the degeneration of the other levels unfortunately surgery speeds up degeneration due to the hardware keep an eye on your symptoms and if they concern you get them checked out

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  • Posted

    I would say you should start with regular PT before considering surgery. Did they give you an MRI? That can tell a bit more about the severity.

    I'm not sure I agree with the statement it will only get worse. Mine has gotten significantly better after a year and my PT guy (sees people all the time like this) told me many people have stenosis and arthritis but don't have symptoms. Most of his clients recover after 3-6 months if they follow the regiment.

    I'm going to make an assumption you don't have excellent posture (few do). He explained the first job is to correct that so you head is aligned over your neck which will reduce the strain and allow the neck to recover. You can YouTube 'forward head position's exercises and get most of the same instruction he gave me.

    Good luck

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    • Posted

      Thanks I will read up about the exercises. I was expecting to be told to try more PT first. I have had an MRI scan via the consultant and an earlier xray at the chiropractic.
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  • Posted

    I have CS and numbness in my right hand pinky and ring finger for about 7 months. I've had an x-ray, MRI, and nerve conductions study. The doctor's consensus is that I have ulnar nerve compression either in my C7-T1 cervial spine or in my elbow. Five months of PT and needling focused on my C1-C7 did not improve my situation. The doctor's are now focused on the ulnar compression in my right elbow. They gave me an elbow pad saying to wear it during the daytime; at nighttime I am to reverse it and wrap a towel around the pad/elbow to keep my arm straight while sleeping. In several weeks I'll start PT focused on the elbow. For me this is a long, drawn-out process. Everything I've read says to avoid surgery unless you are severe pain, as non-reversable surgery can make it worse.

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  • Posted

    Hi, if left untreated spinal cord compression can lead to claw hand and foot deformities. The earlier the surgery - the better the outcome. The longer you leave it the greater the chances your neurlogical symptoms will remain permanent. I joined a group with over 1,400 members who have the same condition. Talking to others with the same condition helps. Its on Facebook its called 'Cervical Myelopathy Support Group, ACDF, all Bone, joint and muscle' conditions.They are so knowledgeable on the subject

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I,m just diagnosed with this also, I am 60 yrs young, and was suffering pins and needles up my arms.  Followed by weakness and pain in my legs and hips.  MRI scan and consultant diagnosed cervial spondylosis with osteophytes on C3/4 C5/6 & C4/5 & C6/7 level. Pluseevidence of cord oedema in c/6 & 7 level.,

    As i already have CFS/M.E. with pain in joints and muscles etc, it is a bit difficult to tell which is which.  However my health has really gone down hill, with legs weakening etc.

    I am waiting for a physio referral, and she mentioned an operation later also..

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    • Posted

      For more information regarding Myelopathy check out the myelopathy org website it's very informative

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  • Posted

    I had cord compression at c3, c4, and c5. If you choose not to do surgery, please keep the conversation flowing with your doctor. Within in a matter of just a few months (starting with tingling fingertips), I was barely able to walk and when I did I was using a cane, purely exhausted within a couple of hours from getting up in the morning. My neurosurgeon literally told me I was on my way to being paralyzed if I choose not to have the surgery.

    Please keep a record of your symptoms, keep the conversation flowing with your doctor and try PT.

    Best of luck to you!

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    • Posted

      Hi Michelle, how did your surgery go, are you happy to have had it? I have more or less decided that I will have the operation, partly because of stories like yours. My symptoms are very mild and haven't progressed a lot over the last 3 years, and I have little or no pain, so I have been very lucky so far.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Michelle,

      I am awaiting a p.t. appointment.  Also seeing my gp today to report back on what the neuro said, and update him for my records on my increasing symptoms.  A year ago i could walk a couple of miles with the dogs now its like 10 - 15 minutes.  I also have M.E. but can see the difference in my fatigue levels, being an expert on managing them.

      I,m up for surgery just have to convince somebody to send me down that  route. x  Thanks for your advice x

       

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