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    My husband needs help and is not getting it.

    My husband had a spinal fusion two years ago, with a titanium "claw" put in at C3/C4 after an impact injury at work.

    One year later, last January, he was in a serious car accident. He has not worked since, almost a year. His pain has gotten progressively worse, today being the worst yet. It hurts to see a strong, plumber/gas fitter, "man's man" sit on the couch and cry in pain, pain that even Vicodin is not touching.

    Our health care system is abysmal in cases like this! He has been waiting for his neurosurgeon to call him to give him his appointment time for 5 months. His GP has made repeated referrals.

    He has had two MRI's. The last one was on both neck and lower back, the latest on lower back. I have researched the lingo in both and it seems to me the lower back has gotten worse.

    He suffers from numbness and severe pain in both arms and through his back and neck. He cannot carry a jug of milk. He has no strength at all in one arm. His face is starting to go numb. His legs are constant electrical-type pain and weak and sometimes do not hold him up. He has lost all muscle tone in his legs and arms. Not a day goes by that he is not in excruciating pain. I want to do something to help him!

    Could someone help to understand his MRI report? I'm literally on my knees BEGGING for any insight anyone can give. He has not worked in a year, we lost our home, our car, our savings but worst of all is to see him so depressed from the pain and agony and not being able to live his life that he talks of ending it.

    First, the latest MRI states:

    L3/L4 Disc is moderately narrowed and desiccated. [...] In addition to a "pseudo bulge" there is also a moderate real diffuse disc bulge. Combination of factors results in moderate bilateral neural foraminal canal narrowing worse on right with some mild compression of right L3 nerve root. The anterior thecal sac is flattened and there is contact with the bulging disc and the traversing L4 nerve roots bilaterally.

    L4/5: The disc mildly narrowed and moderately dessiccated and a small diffuse disc bulge is identified.


    In the neck MRI it states the following:

    C4/5 At the fused segment there is a significant magnetic susceptibility artifact which precludes optimal assessment of the disc level. There is posterior what apears to be disc/osteophyte complex resulting in minimal central canal encroachment.

    At the level below the fusion at C6/7, there is posterior disc complex resulting in mild to moderate central canal encroachment and mild indentation of the cord anteriorly.


    I think this means they can't see properly because of the metal "claw" in his neck to see if there is more wrong. I think it also says he has a dent in his spinal cord...this can't be good?!

    If anyone can interpret this or help and let me know if you think we should just drive into the city to the best hospital there and go into the ER so a neurosurgeon will see him....this is all I can think of to do.

    Any help is appreciated, thankyou for taking the time from your own life to read all of this and help.

    EDITED TO ADD: By the way, you are all so amazing and inspiring and I am awed at the positive attitudes that all of you express in your posts here when you are dealing with so much more than even what I just posted. I struggled with even posting this, after all, my husband can still walk and move. However, my worry is that he is getting worse and if nothing is done, that he is heading towards that kind of loss.
    Last edited by PleaseHelp; 12-18-2010 at 02:42 AM. Reason: add

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