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spinal cord compression

Started by Strhuntrss on 02/14/2015 4:50pm

My mother-in-law has spinal stenosis, and severe vertebral compression from c3-c7.
She recently saw a neurosurgeon that looked over her Mri of her neck. He stated that she needed surgery right away as her spinal cord was as thin as a ribbon. He described putting cages in to stabilize the neck.

She said he told her that if she doesn't get her neck fixed soon, she could be paralyzed in a few months or worse die . She is 78yrs old. She has extreme pain in her shoulder, that started after she had a flu shot. They gave it to her high up near the top of the shoulder. If that didn't happen, we, she, would have never known how bad her neck was. She also isn't sleeping very well. Since November, her sleep is for 2 hours then awake for four hours, then time to go to work.

Has any one ever heard of a spinal cord being compressed that thin? She obviously is going to have the surgery. But we want her to have a second opinion. And if it the same , then we agree she should have it done. We don't want her paralyzed if there is a surgery that can take the pressure off. She also has had unexplained headaches too.

She is an extremely active woman. She works in the store that her husband started. She mows grass with her tractor, picks weeds, shovels snow, she drives her own car, walks the mall, and just enjoys life outdoors. A God fearing woman who is stubborn and has no intention of slowing down. She knows that she can die on the table too, but is willing to take the risk. She just wants to be relieved of the shoulder pain, and to get a good night's rest.

Any opinions are greatly appreciated!

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4 Responses


Just an update, my mother in law, with the help of answered prayer and her p c p , she is getting a second opinion from a world renown neurosurgeon. And she is comfortable about it. Yeah!

Her primary dr stated that she didn't need her whole spine operated on. She only has pain in her shoulder and that maybe it's just one vertebrae c5 that is causing her pain.

Yes, she still has the ribbon thin cervical spinal column but it's not affecting her otherwise.
We all have things wrong with our aging spine. But if it is not contributing to any other maladies, then don't rush into surgery when you don't have to.

We as humans tend to rush to fix everything that is wrong. When in fact we need to just leave it alone.

First and foremost we should do the conservative route first. Exercise, lose weight, medications, physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, all before having to think surgery.

Please, Don't take the first diagnosis, always ask for a second opinion. What can it hurt. An informed decision is a good one when you have exhausted all the avenues.

God Bless


With those MRI results, I would get to the surgeon as quickly as possible. It is just not worth the risk. I had cervical diskectomy and fusion last year for severe shoulder and arm pain due to degenerative disc disease. The spinal column was being pinched by herniations and bone spurs. My pain was completely relieved by the time I woke up from surgery! My headaches were also drastically reduced. I hope she gets relief soon!


Thanks Bonnie,

Mother-in-law is doing fine. Minimally Invasive surgery, Three screws, prayers and two weeks no driving and she is good to go. She is in physical therapy. She is doing remarkably well for 78. She is tough and most things don't let her down.

Thank you


Update on my Mother-in-law. After surgery and rehab my Mother-in-law was still having pain in her shoulder. Pain wasn't allowing her to sleep. Discouraged she went back to the neurosurgeon. He recommended steroid injection in her shoulder.

Two injections later and a lot of prayers later, she has no more pain.

She's out picking up sticks and tractor mowing her lawn. Don't underestimate the power of prayer. With God, all things are possible. We believe that pain in her shoulder, shed some light on her cervical soine. The neurosurgeon said if she didn't come to see him and didn't have the cervical laminectomy. She might have been paralyzed in a few months.

We are praying God and prayer and her pcp for suggesting another opinion..
God Bless you all