5 doctors weighed in:

Does severe spinal stenosis in C5 with disk bulge and radiculopathy in arms go away by itself, or does it require an operation?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine
2 doctors agree

In brief: The symptoms can

The imaging findings will remain but the symptoms can improve or esolve with time and/or treatment.
Not everyone needs surgery. The clinical presentation is more important usually than the imaging findings and your response to non op care.

In brief: The symptoms can

The imaging findings will remain but the symptoms can improve or esolve with time and/or treatment.
Not everyone needs surgery. The clinical presentation is more important usually than the imaging findings and your response to non op care.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Dr. Thomas Dowling
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1 comment
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Agree. Someone with a narrow canal should be alert to new symptoms down the line. If you get numbness (especially throughout the hands), lose hand strength or dexterity, drop things, have trouble walking, you should see a spinal specialist.
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Orthopedic Surgery
2 doctors agree

In brief: It varies

If it is a soft disk herniation with nerve root irritation (radiculopathy) there is a good chance (90%+) of the pain going away by itself.
If the spinal cord is irritated (myelopathy) it is more serious, and operation may be the better choice. The severity and duration of the symptoms, findings on your examination and the imaging help your doctor counsel you on the options.

In brief: It varies

If it is a soft disk herniation with nerve root irritation (radiculopathy) there is a good chance (90%+) of the pain going away by itself.
If the spinal cord is irritated (myelopathy) it is more serious, and operation may be the better choice. The severity and duration of the symptoms, findings on your examination and the imaging help your doctor counsel you on the options.
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Thank
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