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Thread: Severe Spinal Canal Stenosis?

  1. #1

    Severe Spinal Canal Stenosis?

    Ok, so I had an MRI done after having weekness and numbness in both legs a feets after having a severe back spasm episode. The MRI came back as follows:

    -At the level of L3-4, there is mild bilateral facet and ligamentum flavum hypertorophy abutting the posterior margins of the thecal sac. The disc is desiccated and bulging. There is asymmetric disc extension to the right lateral location consistent with a component of broad based right lateral disc protrusion. This narrows the right neural foramen moderately and causes mass effect ont he exiting right L3 root. the left neural foramen is patent. there is no central canal stenosis.

    -At the level of L4-5, there is bilateral facet and ligamentum flavum hypertrophy. the disc is desiccated and there is a large central herniation of disc material which extends 7-8 millimeters in anterior posterior extent causing significant compression of the thecal sac and severe spinal canal stenosis. Bilateral neural foramina are mildly narrowed at this level, more so on the right.

    At the level of L5-S1, the L5 vertebra is transitional and partially sacralizied. The disc at L5-S1 is small. There is asymmetric disc bulging and prominent osteophryte formation from the adjacent margin of the L5 body laterally one the right and the upper aspect of the sacrum. This complex narrows the right neural foramen and contacts the exiting right L5 root. The left neural foramen in patent. there is no central canal narrowing at this level...

    Ok, the one i'm most worried about is the second one....Should I seek Immediate Medical attention and get surgery....Is this a reason for emergency surgery...I have severe pain in lower back and numbness in both legs and feet...and some numbness in groin area....and have a hard time walking with leg weekness...have to walk with a cane. on the next page it says:

    1. Large central disc herniation at L4-5 causes sever spinal canal stenosis and thecal sac compression.

    2. Broad based right lateral disc protrusion at L3-4 causes mass effect on the exiting right L3 root within the neural foramen which is moderately narrowed.

    3. Partial sacralization of the L5 vertebra on the right. Vertebral osteophyte formation and some degree of asymmetric disc bulging to the right lateral lacation results in moderate stenosis of the right neural foramen and contact of the exiting right L5 root.

    Please give me suggestions on what I should do....and if i do go to the emergency room...would they do an emergency surgery.

  2. #2
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    sounds like mine, but in different places.

    and no on the ER unless you called your dr and told him you lost bladder and bowel control, and cant feel anything.

    Otherwise, they refer you to a surgeon, and you visit that dr they evaluate you, and set up a date for surgery. if they decide surgery can help you.

  3. #3
    I can't use the restroom for 5 days now....Could this be loss of bowel control....and feet, and legs are numb and week

  4. #4
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    id try something like dulcilax or miralax powder you can get at the pharmacy, and get things moving.

    they can't really diagnose like a dr does.

    who ordered the MRI test? if there is some change, you should call that dr.

  5. #5
    The doctor ordered it stat....and he said that the hernation is pressing on my spinal cord and to him is an emergency surgery....and could cause paralisis....he a family phisician...he said he was going to refer me to a surgeon which can take up to 6 weeks..but it need immediate attention and advised me to go to the emergency room for imediate attention...i was wondering if i show them my paperwork from the doctor and tell them what going on with me, if they would perform an emergency surgery....instead of me driving 250 miles one way to a surgeon that accepts the medicaid card..which is going to be 4-6 weeks from now and by then, i could have permanant nerve damage, and possibly paralisis

  6. #6
    He advised you to go to the ER but you came here to ask if you should go?

    http://www.spine-health.com/ http://www.eorthopod.com/adult-spine...patient-guides <<<< read up on your conditions there

    Be cautious with stretches but do try some mild stretching to ease discomfort. Mild traction can help relieve some of the stress on the discs, but you have to find a chiropractor or PT who can perform in office traction or inversion table therapy.

    I don't think that an emergency room will do anything aside from have you wait to see a specialist. PT won't get rid of the stenosis but properly done with the MRI results they should be able to help relieve some symptoms.

    It's a 250 mi drive to find a neurosurgeon where you are? 6 weeks is about average time to see a neurosurgeon. If you primary care physician feels it's an emergency can he not put in a good word to see if they can get you a quicker appointment? Have you made the appointment or did you hear "6 weeks" and not make it? The wait won't lessen and the situation will get worse if you do nothing.
    CCS/Walker C6...it's a long story

  7. #7
    You need to go to the Emergency Room.

    Of course, it would be wonderful if there was a neurosurgeon near you that your primary care doctor could refer you to, if you could be seen in clinic today.... but it sounds like that is not an option.

    A sudden pain/spasm led to new symptoms of numbness/weakness a few days ago and you haven't been able to go to the bathroom since? This is an EMERGENCY and your doctor is absolutely right that you must be seen immediately. Go wherever he told you to go.

    Call a friend and ask them to go with you, and bring a few basic things in case you get admitted. Ask your primary care doctor if he can call the Emergency Room ahead of time to warn them you are coming. If you get to the ER and the doctors there are stalling and tell you to come back later for a clinic appointment, refuse to leave and call your primary care doctor and ask him to talk with the ER.

    Do not do any stretches. GO.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by hlh View Post
    You need to go to the Emergency Room.

    Of course, it would be wonderful if there was a neurosurgeon near you that your primary care doctor could refer you to, if you could be seen in clinic today.... but it sounds like that is not an option.

    A sudden pain/spasm led to new symptoms of numbness/weakness a few days ago and you haven't been able to go to the bathroom since? This is an EMERGENCY and your doctor is absolutely right that you must be seen immediately. Go wherever he told you to go.

    Call a friend and ask them to go with you, and bring a few basic things in case you get admitted. Ask your primary care doctor if he can call the Emergency Room ahead of time to warn them you are coming. If you get to the ER and the doctors there are stalling and tell you to come back later for a clinic appointment, refuse to leave and call your primary care doctor and ask him to talk with the ER.

    Do not do any stretches. GO.
    This is excellent advice. I'm guessing you came here for advice because the situation is scary and confusing, but it sounds like your family doctor has your best interests at heart and is giving you good advice to get you immediate help. Like hlh said, if they try to shrug you off, call your doctor and recruit him to advocate for you . Because this might be necessary it's a good idea to get to the ER early enough that you're seen while your doctor is at the office. If not, have his after-hours number on hand. If he will have someone else covering for him after hours call his office to speak to him while he is in the office and explain the situation and ask how to reach him personally if you need him to be your advocate with the ER docs.

  9. #9
    Thanks guys...I had to line of babysitters for my kids and am going to the er monday...hopefully they will perform the surgery for me....my husband has been a great help in assisting me with everyday living....I have went to the restroom but involuntarly...this is driving me nuts and hopefully will be fixed soon..thanks everyone for there replys

  10. #10
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    Ashley, just one more thing cause your story sounds very similar to mines. Make sure your neuro surgeon has done this procedure several times and that he knows what to do if he encounters calcification attached to dura. Ask him a lot of questions and make sure he is having eye contact with you. I understand there is more than one way to remove such calcification and if they don't do it right you could end up paralyzed. That's what happened to me. Good Luck!

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