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Had discectomy. Having neck, shoulder pain, headache. MRI shows disc bulge causing displacement of CSF. Is it the cause?

I had a disectomy of C-4-5 in 2008, then in 2010 I ended up having ACDF for c 4/5 and 5/6 as the one level collapsed. I am still having neck pain , shoulder pain, pain into shoulder blade, down arms and into hands besides bad headaches almost daily. I had an MRI done showing a mild disc bulge in c 6/7 which causes some diplacement of CSF anterior to cervial spine but does not result in cord compression. I have never had one of my MRI s mention CSF. Could htat be the cause of these headaches? Is this going to be a ripple effect of all my vertebrae now?
Asked On : Sat, 24 Nov 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  34
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Spine Surgeon 's  Response
Thank you for your question to HCM.

You are suffering from an entity called adjacent segment degeneration. Discs above and below the level of previous fusion tend to degenerate faster because of increased movement.

A disc bulge at C6-7 which does not result in cord or nerve root compression is not likely to be the cause of your symptoms. Atlantoaxial(first and second vertebra in neck) joint degeneration occurs in elderly individuals and causes headache as well as neck pain but is commonly underdiagnosed. A CT scan of the cervical spine will demonstrate this as well as show the status of bony union at previous ACDF levels as even nonunion can cause neck pain.

Hope this is helpful. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Answered: Sun, 8 Sep 2013
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