Neck OA

GraceB
GraceB Member Posts: 1,598
edited 8. Jun 2016, 17:15 in Living with Arthritis archive
Well my MRI results are back. As I expected this has shown up issues.

Quote from report says: "Degenerative changes mainly around the C5/C6 level. Osteodiscal bar formation is seen, mainly at the C5/C6 level where a small focal disc prolapse is also noted causing narrowing at the adjacent right intervertebral foramen, effacing the exiting right C6 nerve root. Changes to the C5/C6 level are seen to contact but not compress the adjacent cord". It also refers to C4 being affected.

My GP tried to explain this in plain English:- I have OA in C5/C6 with C4 also joining in the party. The disc between C5/C6 has a small prolapse causing pressure on the nerve root. At the same area there's a narrowing of the spinal canal. This all explains my recent issues with nerve pain, pins & needles, numbness, loss of grip in my right hand and being unable to sleep on my left side.

I have a copy of the report to give to my physio next week and my GP said he's to see me again and then send his own report to the GP and we'll then know where I go next with this.

This is a new area for me as up to now all my OA has been lumbar spine, both knees and left ankle, with degenerative disc disease in my lumbar spine.

Any ideas welcome re what I should expect next please. I know from what the physio said to me two weeks ago that surgery isn't possible here in Kent due to the risks involved. He said Kings in London may operate but it's risky and he felt that it was more likely to be a neurologist referral for steroid injections.

Does that sound right to those of you with "necks" please?

Thanks.

GraceB

Comments

  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Just read this. I will send a proper reply this evening
  • rayray
    rayray Member Posts: 115
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Grace,

    I have just had a disc replacement for a large prolapse and degeneration at the same level as you C5/C6. I started having a few symptoms about eight years ago, had a dramatic worsening five years ago although the symptoms sometimes improved for a few weeks here and there. Then about twelve months ago there was a step change and the pain was constant.

    I know that both neuro and spinal surgeons deal with this problem and I sought out a spinal surgeon who had experience of disc replacements. I also knew her history from the wonderful way a friend had been treated by her after breaking his neck in three places.

    I was first offered a steroid into my neck to 'prove' that the right disc had been identified. I was told this would only be done once although I had it twice due to a three year interruption for shoulder surgery.

    I was told that the fusion and disc replacement ops are broadly similar but the replacement is much quicker to recover from as the disc is secure immediately. I have had no restrictions whatsoever and have been told not to take it easy but to do as much as possible. This is because they don't want the disc to fuse while I am healing which it can do.

    Before the surgery I was warned that if they couldn't get the disc in due to the osteophytes then I would have a fusion instead. I was lucky and the three hour surgery resulted in a shiny new disc!

    I have had a few blips but I am feeling better today.

    I had a lot of physio before I went for the surgery option as quite a few necks can improve with this and the numbness, tingling and pain can be much better controlled. Unfortunately this didn't happen for me but that is unusual.

    One thing I would say is to not leave surgery too long if physio can't help as I have had a miserable few years and wish now I had pushed for a solution much earlier.

    I hope that my story helps. I had surgery in not so sleepy Somerset - we have a good spinal department and excellent hospital here.

    Any more questions and I am happy to answer them.
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for the replies. I'll have a look at the links tomorrow. Your explanation rayray was very helpful. I intend to take pen and paper with me to my physio appt next week with some of the words written on it so I can have them translated into plain English.

    My gut reaction at the moment is to ask for a referral as here in Kent nothing happens very quickly and it's best to get an expert to look at all of this - and me!

    GraceB

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