Stenosis question

This is probably a dumb question, but I know nothing on this subject so here goes:

Is cervical spinal stenosis completely different from subacute combined degeneration?

So far I grasp that subacute combined degeneration is caused by B12 deficiency and that some research has shown B12 deficiency to frequently co-exist with spinal stenosis. But I'm guessing the two things are different and I don't really grasp how. Can someone explain?

5 Replies

  • From what I can tell the two conditions can have similar symptoms, but different causes. SACDC causes problems with the nerves themselves. Spinal stenosis is a problem with the spine, which results in contraction of the , otherwise healthy, nerves.

    I've not been able to find anything to suggest that the two commonly occur together, but when they do the B12 deficiency can be missed when the stenosis diagnosis is made as the doctors assume they've found the one, and only, cause of the symptoms.

  • Thank you.

    I haven't been able to read up much on either condition so, right now, I find them both confusing. I know I have neck problems but I am pretty sure they are unrelated to my B12 issues. I think my stenosis is caused by bone spurs, so at least I can mentally separate the two things in my mind. :)

    Doesn't the end result cause nerve problems in both conditions? Maybe the cause of the damage is different, but, if I'm understanding correctly, the symptoms that are the end result are due to damage to the nerves.

    The bad news for me is that stenosis is progressive. There's nothing I can do to halt the problem. I will probably end up needing neck surgery at some point. :(

  • Hi Galixie. Have you been diagnosed with spinal stenosis? How was that done? With MRI, by any chance? Usually, with any NHS hospital diagnosis, you get a few explanatory leaflets about the condition, and go from there. What symptoms do you believe it is causing? I am interested because I am awaiting a diagnosis myself (it having been decided that I don`t have a B12 def.... but something is going on...) I was in the scanner for over an hour (+ with contrast) so I jolly well hope they come up with something. I get so wobbly when I`m tired, I keeled over and smashed my wrist on Mon, to add to my many other problems.

    Hope you get some answers soon. One handed ((hug)) to you.

  • I was in a car accident in 1998 that caused me problems. Maybe 15 or 20 minutes after that accident I started getting this weird feeling down my right arm and things sort of worsened from there (including my entire back going into spasm). After years of chiropractic treatments, I had been doing ok, but I was in another car accident last November so they did a CT scan of my neck where they found moderate degeneration, bone spurs, and mild stenosis. Thanks to the second accident I now have constant neck pain. Nerve pain down my arm tends to be intermittent and is worse when I have to tilt my head back (such as when I need to look up at anything).

    I'm in the US, so no pamphlets of any kind were even offered to me. In fact, if I hadn't personally requested a copy of my results and handed them to my naturopath, I would not have realized the stenosis had been reported. I had noticed the part about the disc degeneration and the bone spurs but had not even registered the stenosis until my naturopath pointed it out.

  • Marz might be able to advise you - she mentioned on the forum some time ago about having an op for spinal stenosis. I think there was a link in her case with B12 deficiency, but I might be wrong... :-)

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