Cervical Spine -C5/C6 Nerve compression / entrapment.

by John
(Brisbane, Queensland.)

After presenting to neurologist for review with right brachialgia and arm weakness noting # radiologically showing multilevel cervical spondylosis with forminal stenosis, most marked at C5-C6 but also at C4-C5 to the right.
Review Summary
There is evidence of acute denervation involving C5 and C6 myotomes (and not readily encompassed by a single segmental level).
The periphheral nerve studies are essentially normal.

The above situation has been going on for approx 2 months with slow
progress with physical therapy i.e. arm weakness about the same - noticing atrophy of bicep and shoulder muscle - deltoideus posterior, shoulder muscle feeling better i.e. not as numb -feels sensitive.
Neck movements -right side when stretching is still sore at or near end range, no other pain, and have good sleep pattern.

Question # How long ( approximate time frame ) if persistent pressure is upon nerve roots for permanent damage to nerve / muscle group i.e. is nerve related muscle atrophy reversable ?
Is surgical decompression the only option ?

Comments for Cervical Spine -C5/C6 Nerve compression / entrapment.

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Oct 11, 2013
Many Thanks for Reply.
by: John

Many Thanks for your Reply regarding my
neck issues.Your remarks and advice will be acted upon , albeit in Brisbane at this point in time.
I do appreciate your time and comments in responding.
Best Regards,

Oct 10, 2013
muscle atrophy with nerve impingement
by: Sarah

Dear John,
Apologies in getting back to you and I hope my words will be of some use.
Although on the face of it, it is rather worrying that you have atrophy of your arm and shoulder muscles, it is no reason to despair. The fact that your neck movements are improving and that you are sleeping better at night is the best indication of all that the problem is resolving itself. Impingement of the nerve can come just as much from local oedema (swelling) of the soft tissues around the joints in your neck, just as much as disc prolapse ~ and is very much more reversible. This seems to be happening.
Obviously the joints in your neck are far from healthy but this is no reason, especially in the light of the progress you're making – albeit slowly – and I would not be hurrying into any surgery. Nerves do come back to life after being compressed although the rate of this is very much dependent on the degree of pressure they have suffered and the duration.
You need to find yourself a good manual therapist who will get her fingers into your neck and loosen off the jammed cervical segments. Then you need to be doing exercises to keep your neck fully mobile so that this does not happen again.
It goes without saying that we would be happy to see you in our Sydney physiotherapy clinic, 'Key Physiotherapy'. Better still, why not think about coming to see me at the next Back-in-a-Week? It might change your life!

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