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iSpine Discuss Finally got MRI radiology review notes on neck in the Main forums forums; So, today my MRI of cervical spine radiology notes came in the mail. And, my SI Joint Fusion doc said ...

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Old 04-14-2009, 07:29 PM
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Default Finally got MRI radiology review notes on neck

So, today my MRI of cervical spine radiology notes came in the mail. And, my SI Joint Fusion doc said he really did not want me to have a steroid injection. (he called me before my results came in mail) I asked him if I could have a rhizotomy instead, and he said yes. So now I am waiting on the phone call to see if my neck doctor thinks that procedure would help relieve my pain. I called the neck doctor's office, but he is up in St. Cloud today, and she wasn't sure when he would start returning phone calls. Knowing my luck, I'll probably miss him when I step out to get my INR lab work done.
Well, bad news on my MRI report. It reveals severe foraminal stenosis at the right C6-7, the side of neck and shoulder that is hurting me. Also severe foraminal stenosis at C4-5. At C4-5 there is left sided foraminal stenosis. Facet arthropathy is seen at multiple levels. I'm just hoping that the rhizotomy will be enough to do the trick to relieve me of the pain. I'm down. Just when I feel like I'm getting my life back.....I gotta get out of the house. I feel like I am about to start wailing.
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bicycle accident 6/01: 2 compression fractures @ T12-L1; vertibroplasty; 4/06: right hip labral tear & arthroscopic repair; 4/07: lumbar prodiscs @ 3 levels, L3-6 by Dr. Bertagnoli; 7/02/08: ALIF L6-S1; 7/30/08: reopened to remove bone cement, leaked onto S1 nerve root; 8/08: pulmonary embolism, double pneumonia, collapsed left lung, pleurisy, pleural effusion; ALIF fusion complete; 3/10/09: SI Joint Fusion by Dr. Stark; Jury still out.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:05 PM
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Cindylou,

So, so sorry. Why don't they want you to have steroid injections after fusion? Will have to look up rhizotomy - so much to learn .

Does a trip to the ice cream store help! Call some gal pals and have lunch. You have to do things to keep that misery in the background. It ain't easy. You've been thru so much, please hang in there.

You're in my thoughts and prayers. Sandy
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**Accidents, active life-style, always some back/neck pain controlled w/ibuphrofen
2004 excessive pain, x-ray, PT, MRI diagnosis cervical DDD
**PM recommended, meds, PT, massage therapy, chiropractor, injections
**Dec. 2007 numbness and weakness in left arm/thumb, x-rays, MRI, discs at C4-7 pushing on spinal cord, fusion or ADR out of country
**April 7, 2008, discogram at C3-4, surgery 4 levels, Prodisc-C, Dr. Bertagnoli, Germany
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:32 PM
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CL,

I know you're in pain and feeling lost. I'm so sorry. Maybe the rhizo will do the trick.

So you don't miss the call, maybe you can forward your calls to your cell phone. Don't know the specifics but...

As for the blues, do whatever makes you feel better. You're so very much worth it. Personally, I like shopping for something I really don't need. If you can't get out, use the internet!

Wishing you better days, Dale
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Severe nerve damage in left leg, still working on it
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:42 PM
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I second the going shopping, then finish with a yummy dinner. I love to shop for kid clothes (hence why my girls have way too many clothes), don't know how you can't smile when looking at all the cute stuff. You have a new grandbaby to shop for, oh how I love newborn clothes, so tiny. I hope you get to feeling better soon, you have been through so much.
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34 years old-
1/06- In wreck with 18 wheeler
Numerous MRI's, PT, chiropractic, accupuncture, TENS therapy, massage therapy, facet injections, epidural injections, Nerve study, Discogram, confirms pain in L4/5, IDET, decompression, Bi-lateral neurotomy L3/4/5, denied by insurance twice, in Active L clinical trial, had surgery March 17, 2009 in Miami, FL- received Active L disc
Had Baby #3 after ADR!
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:16 PM
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Gosh CL,

I'm sorry about the MRI results hopefully the rhizo will help. Not to fret at this point--I know you're ready to punch me in the face.

If it ever comes to the point of needing to do something about your neck:

The good news is that foraminal stenosis can be treated with minimally invasive procedures (it's great to hear that you don't have wide herniations or the like). You should get in touch with "wilsonrob" on this forum, as he had issues with foraminal stenosis (lumbar spine) and was able to open them up with relatively quick, twilight sedation surgeries at the Bonati Institute in Florida. It doesn't specifically state they do foramenoplasty on the cervical spine, but it is something worth inquiring about.

The Bonati Institute

Keep your head up ...and like the others said...treat yourself to something like a manicure/pedicure or a facial, etc. I know my wife loves it when I schedule these for her when she is having a rough week.

Be well trooper,
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1994 Football Injury
1997 Snow Skiing Injury
Laminotomy L4/L5 (3.7.97--17 years old)
1999 & 2003 MVA (not at fault both times)
Grade V Tears L4/L5 & L5/L6
2-Level ProDisc® L4/L5 & L5/L6* *lumbosacral transitional vertebra (11.15.03--23 years old)
Dr. Rudolf Bertagnoli -- dr-bertagnoli.com
Pain-free for the last 4.5 yrs.
5.14.09 DSS with Dr. B.
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:28 PM
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Cindylou,
I cannot believe you continue to have so many problems, it is more than frustrating and you do not deserve this. It would be great if you could be treated with less invasive procedures. I hope the rhizo helps. Will it address the problem? Have you tried ice? I am sure you have tried everything. I know that feeling of having to get out I hope you go for a little while but don't overdo it, you are still recuperating and you don't want to make anything worse.
Phylly
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Fall on tailbone causing sciatica and back pain April 05
Conservative Treatment and PM for 2 years
Discogram concordant pain @L4-S1 Aug. 07
Prodisc ADR's at L4-S1 November 2007
Foraminotomy July 08 for Sciatica
Continued problems and back pain worsened
Prodiscs removed and discs fused at L4-S1 Feb. 09
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Old 04-15-2009, 03:32 PM
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Thank-you all. I finally heard this morning from my neck doctor, and he stated that the rhizotomy is really not going to address my cervical issues. That, at the very least, I need that steroid injection. So......back on the phone to the SI Joint fusion office, and Betty was with a patient, so hopefully, she will call me back in a timely fashion. I didn't argue too much with the fusion doc the other day, because I thought for sure I could have the rhizotomy. Clearly that's not indicated for my problem. This time I am going to tell them I REALLY need that injection to calm things down. Hopefully they'll agree. I feel like a yo-yo. I didn't do anything indulgent yesterday after I posted. My husband had a client dinner, so I didn't really want to go out and eat by myself. Fortunately, the kids called and wanted to come over for a visit and pick up an area wool rug I was giving them for their new place. Just holding Tully did the trick. Of course, she slept the whole time in my arms, but no matter. She filled up my cup till it runneth over.
Thank-you Justin for some of that information about potential procedures, that are much less invasive. Hopefully, I won't have to go there yet. But I'm certainly tucking that good information in my back pocket. Perhaps today I will treat myself to that mani/pedi if I get the go-ahead!
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bicycle accident 6/01: 2 compression fractures @ T12-L1; vertibroplasty; 4/06: right hip labral tear & arthroscopic repair; 4/07: lumbar prodiscs @ 3 levels, L3-6 by Dr. Bertagnoli; 7/02/08: ALIF L6-S1; 7/30/08: reopened to remove bone cement, leaked onto S1 nerve root; 8/08: pulmonary embolism, double pneumonia, collapsed left lung, pleurisy, pleural effusion; ALIF fusion complete; 3/10/09: SI Joint Fusion by Dr. Stark; Jury still out.
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:26 PM
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CL, I am so sorry that you are having such a difficult time finding some help for your neck. I am sure that you are beyond frustrated. I hope that you can have some kind of procedure to help with the pain.

Have you asked why they don't want you to have a steroid injection?

If a rhizotomy isn't going to help, then that means that it isn't a specific nerve(s) that is causing problems (or isn't a nerve that is able to be destroyed, some of them are needed of course). A steroid injection would help if it is inflammation that is causing your pain (that is my understanding of how they work). Has the neck doctor told you what he thinks is causing the pain, and why he thinks a steroid injection will help?

I like to understand why they want to do things, if you can't tell.

I'm glad that you were able to hold your grandbaby last night.
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Cathy

46 years old. 12-15 years of intermittent pain, 2 years with constant pain.

DDD, L4-5 and L5-S1, pain confirmed by discogram.
PT, ESI's, Facet injection and block, Acupuncture - all no help.

2-level (Prodisc-L) ADR surgery with Dr. Bertagnoli, May 26, 2009.

Currently taking Opana-ER (tapering off) and oxycodone
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:55 AM
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Default MRI report

CindyLou,
I know that maybe when things have settled in for awhile and you at least get some temporary relief you'll be able to think about a more permanent solution to the cervical concerns if they're being offered. I'm sorry to hear that there's as much going on there as there is and hope there will be a solution that isn't going to be super complicated/involved and yet will provide adequate relief of pain and most of all keep things healthy cervically.

Hang in there CL
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:12 AM
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You know, I don't honestly know WHY the rhizotomy isn't indicated. I only received this information from the neck doctor's medical secretary, not himself. I do know the MRI report says severe foraminal stenosis at C6-7 and C4-5. To me, that describes a nerve (or more) pinching, especially when I feel it going down into my hand. I see the SI Joint fusion doctor tomorrow, and I am going to demand the steroid injection due to my pain levels. Period. Hopefully, that is all I will need to calm things down. Will keep you all posted. Thanks for the advice and concern. I really do appreciate it.
__________________
bicycle accident 6/01: 2 compression fractures @ T12-L1; vertibroplasty; 4/06: right hip labral tear & arthroscopic repair; 4/07: lumbar prodiscs @ 3 levels, L3-6 by Dr. Bertagnoli; 7/02/08: ALIF L6-S1; 7/30/08: reopened to remove bone cement, leaked onto S1 nerve root; 8/08: pulmonary embolism, double pneumonia, collapsed left lung, pleurisy, pleural effusion; ALIF fusion complete; 3/10/09: SI Joint Fusion by Dr. Stark; Jury still out.
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cindylou View Post
You know, I don't honestly know WHY the rhizotomy isn't indicated. I only received this information from the neck doctor's medical secretary, not himself. I do know the MRI report says severe foraminal stenosis at C6-7 and C4-5. To me, that describes a nerve (or more) pinching, especially when I feel it going down into my hand. I see the SI Joint fusion doctor tomorrow, and I am going to demand the steroid injection due to my pain levels. Period. Hopefully, that is all I will need to calm things down. Will keep you all posted. Thanks for the advice and concern. I really do appreciate it.
Hey CL, I would see if you can talk directly with your doctor. The ancillary staff often answer questions that are best answered by your treating physician. Good luck with SI fusion surgeon/steroid injection.

Keep us posted!
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-Justin
1994 Football Injury
1997 Snow Skiing Injury
Laminotomy L4/L5 (3.7.97--17 years old)
1999 & 2003 MVA (not at fault both times)
Grade V Tears L4/L5 & L5/L6
2-Level ProDisc® L4/L5 & L5/L6* *lumbosacral transitional vertebra (11.15.03--23 years old)
Dr. Rudolf Bertagnoli -- dr-bertagnoli.com
Pain-free for the last 4.5 yrs.
5.14.09 DSS with Dr. B.
I'm here to help. Only checking PMs currently.
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