Some time ago, I had an MRI scan (see blog 98); in fact, it was last July! Wow, it’s taken 9 months to see a neurologist. Anyway, the reason for all this that I have cervical spinal stenosis; in the case of the C5 and C6 vertebrae, ‘severe stenosis’. This is mainly affecting my right arm and hand.
So what does this all mean? Well, the MRI showed that the C5and C6 have developed ‘spurs’ (calcified bony growths) which are encroaching on the spinal cord. It looked pretty bad on the MRI. The operation required to deal with this problem would involve the the surgeon going in from the front of the neck, inserting a ‘cage’ (not sure how big or what it is made of) and ‘drilling’ out the spurs; drilling!!!
He then went on to tell me that there are potential risks involved post-op, including; difficulty swallowing (okay), paralysis (uh?) and death (what!); he’d already lost me at ‘drilling’. Fortunately, he thought this operation would be premature at this stage. I have to wait until I get intense and unmanageable pain before he would consider the operation with all of the associated risks; albeit with a less than 1% chance.
Things would have to get seriously worse before I would consider this type of operation; it sounds like something from the dark ages.
Be happy, be safe.
Graham Coutts, 25th April 2018