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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  Neurosurgeon - Brain, spine, and peripheral nerve surgery
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I am a 78 years old male with some time ago diagnosed disc

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I am a 78 years old male with some time ago diagnosed disc narrowing C6 -C7. Just 6 month ago after a lifting a heavy table I started with many symptoms of spinal stenosis as mentioned at (i.e. urine control) and they become slowly severe. I spoke about this wih my general practitioner and my neurologists. They ????? so I have to decide by myself.
My question ; On my age (78) is it wise to get neurosurgical treatment or have I to wait and see?

It is hard to make a determination about whether or not this requires "action" without seeing your MRI.

The key distinction in terms of whether or not "action" is needed is if you have cervical stenosis -- or pressure on your spinal cord as a result of disc narrowing at C6-7.

The disc narrowing itself is a sign of degenerative changes in the cervical spine, and not necessarily any indication of "stenosis" - which is the pressure on the spinal cord. If you have not had a MRI, then this is certainly something to discuss with your doctors. If you had a MRI, which did not show cervical spinal stenosis - then I would tend to say that the C6-7 issue is not a cause of a loss of urine control.

Of course, getting a neurosurgical opinion is helpful, since they can tell you yes or no about if surgical intervention is needed.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Till now I have not had a MRI but there are more symptoms. I feel also pain in the shoulders and neck, outer part of the upper and lower arm, tingling sensations on the back, difficult to control walking in the morning.

So without MRI let us conclude a "stenosis" or as you mentioned a pressure on the spinal cord. In both cases it sure will end in surgical intervention. And that is my problem - on my age (78) I suppose a surgical intervention will be very risky and burdensome.

I have seen what in both cases surgical have to be done and I hesitate to start the whole procedure.

I suppose also your answer will be : ??????

If you are a healthy 78, surgery is not out of the question. Of course, in your case, this will depend on your overall health, heart and lung condition, medications, etc.Pain that radiates into the shoulders, arms, as well as tingling also do point to the possibility that the nerves are being compressed in the neck area as well.I would still discuss with your primary care doctor about getting a MRI for evaluation. I have operated on 78 year olds (and slightly older) with legitimate issues, with good success, so do not let your age deter you from proceeding with further evaluation.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My health is not "super" - heart and lungs are of an 78 old – estimate 70% of standard.
And the results of surgical are at best stabilization of the situation..

Also after surgical like revalidation etc. will last for months and the chance I will be hospitalized for a long time at an awfull " revalidation house" for more care is great.

The fact: I am in an awful dilemma and speaking with my pc doctor and neurologists gave also no clear answers. I am pessimistic of a realistic solution and have to make a decision by myself. Pffff.


Regards an thanks.




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