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Have allogenic bone graft. MRI shows disc protrusion, neural foramina encroachment and CSF effacement. What does this mean?

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Spine Surgeon
Practicing since : 2002
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Hi. I have had acdf of c6/7 in 2011, allogenic bone graft. An MRI last week shows disc protrusion on the left side at 5/6 , neural foramina encroachment and CSF effacement. My specialist is away so I don't know what this means for me yet. Have lost left turning ability and have left sided pain, at times severe. Is surgery a likely outcome? I'm not sure what worries me more. Another surgery or it not being fixed. I am a 38 yr old female. An MRI in 2012 did not show this, it is a new issue.
Posted Fri, 2 Aug 2013 in Back Pain
 
 
Answered by Dr. Rahul D Chaudhari 54 minutes later
Thanks for writing to us.
I understand your concern. Most likely the disc protrusion is giving rise to the arm pain. However it may settle down with medicine and physio. Not every disc has to be operated. If possible upload the MRI pictures.
In case if the pain is severe and non resolving then it may need surgery. Consider disc replacement option as well to minimise the disc degeneration at adjacent levels. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Have allogenic bone graft. MRI shows disc protrusion, neural foramina encroachment and CSF effacement. What does this mean? 9 minutes later
Thank you for your fast reply. Unfortunately I do not have the MRI photos. I am on amitriptyline and will likely be for life as the Nerve root at 6/7 has permanent damage. 4/5 and 5/6 had prolapsed disks in 2011 but they were not compressing anything at that stage. I had an accident when I was 18 and the neck issues have arisen from that. My left arm has never really settled pain wise but I am certainly better off than I was 2 years ago. At the moment I cannot tilt ear to shoulder or look left, the pain is very specific at the level of prolapse and it feels like a solid mass is stopping movement, I cannot force it. I have been on and off medications for the last several years, OxyContin, codeine, dhc and arcoxia . It would be nice to one day be off them all bar the amitriptyline . Thank you again for your reply. Thank you for the disk replacement comment also. If I do need further I will ask about this.
Follow-up: Have allogenic bone graft. MRI shows disc protrusion, neural foramina encroachment and CSF effacement. What does this mean? 3 minutes later
I sent through the only photo I have. Pre surgery but showing degeneration. I knot it doesn't show nerves sorry.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Rahul D Chaudhari 4 hours later
Thanks for the information. I think you have neck stiffness and neck muscle spasm. Have you tried physical therapy? Local ultrasound or inferential therapy may help to reduce the stiffness. It will also help to relieve the arm pain. Try to reduce the medicine dosage as it can not be a life long solution. Think about alternative medicine options as well such as yoga or acupressure therapy. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Have allogenic bone graft. MRI shows disc protrusion, neural foramina encroachment and CSF effacement. What does this mean? 5 hours later
Hi, yes I have. I have had acupuncture and acupressure. I have regular deep tissue massage, physio and chiropractor. I am slim and fit and exercise. I only take pain medication when needed. I have a high pain threshold having lived this way or years. Thanks for your help.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Rahul D Chaudhari 4 hours later
I liked your fighting spirit. Please continue those measures and they are harmless techniques. on and off pain medicine is Ok.
Wish you good health. Thanks.
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