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Syrinx or Prominent Central Canal - Help

Started by AM2011 on 09/02/2011 4:00am


Four years ago I started experiencing back pain, numbness down my left side, pins and needles, spasms in my fingers, twitching in my eye. After several visits to the NHS doctors they said there was nothing wrong with me.

I went private back in Jan-11 and after some MRIs and an EMG I was told I had a syrinx in the T9 region. Over the past 4 months I have also been experiencing neck ache, difficulty breathing after eating, headaches.

I went back for a follow up check on the NHS in Jul-11- as I cannot afford to go private in the long term. After another MRI I was dismissed by the team stating there is no syrinx I have a 'prominent central canal' and not a syrinx. -Can this have the same symptoms?

The pain is getting worse, my quality of life has changed so much, I used to go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week and also walk 10-15 miles. Now I can barely walk up 4 flighs of stairs. It scares me when I cannot breath and do not want to eat large meals anymore.

Has anyone had a similar experience ?
Are there any syrinx specialists in the London area that could advise?


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4 Responses


I'm in the states
hi am ,,,,in december of 2008 i was rear ended in my car ..a 35 mph collision ,, they took Xrays ,nothing broken but the pain continued ,,,for months ,,, then in april of 09 they did an MRI and found the srynx between T8-T9 level , this pain continues today ,tingling and weakness in my arms & hands .cold really bothers me ".but the pain is worse & annoying ", I had been a truck driver for 30+ yrs ,,but when this acident occured I was instructing ..and asked the doctor if I could go back to driving full time ..he said I'd only last 3 mos if that ..then the pain would get worse ..
I have tried to drive a week at a time reciently but really bothers me after about 3 hrs of driving and am required to drive 11 hrs to comply with co's demands ,,now it's like some one with their knuckle in my back constantly .. my only relief is heat pads ,ibufrofen , ultram . norco at night ...

I was told this will never get any better , and will destroy the middle of the spinal canal ..
there was a proceedure to drain the fluid out of the canal but not guaranteed ,,,or apply for disability ...I'm only 54 ,, just has really made things miserable ....but well ya know how that goes !


I too have the same problem ,,after a car accident (in o8) and not being diagnosed until a yr(09 ) .later ,,now mine in in T8-T9 levels :symptoms are constsnt pain in back anf through chest (like a knife being stabbed straight through numbness in both arms & hands & pain when taking deep breath ,and weakness in stomach & legs now ..but the constant pain is the worst part ...I take tramadol but becoming inneffective ,,

the diagnosing Dr ,asked the typ of work I do then I was a CDL instructor (30 yrs OTR )he said I'd last 3 mos .back to driving ,,since I had to go back to driving ...way too much pain ...I'm seeking alternative treatment .

but the central canal expanding is the same thing as a srinx ..and they cannot tell if there is any fluid untl they use a syringe to take the fluid out ,,,this is one of the treatments possible ,another is a stint but not advisable ( paralysis is immenent then ),,this condt is permanent ,will destroy the spin cord and in extreme cases will paralize from the srinx down ,, it is inoperable ...only drain the fluid when it becomes the full " & shuts the flow of sereberal spinal fluid ..and or pain is unbearable ..thats where I am !
you can e-mail me @ zapped712 @yahoo.com


I fell on my spine really hard in 1985 while roller skating it actually took my breath away and I had to just sit on the floor for a while before getting up. It wasn't just my weight falling it was my partner soon-to-be husband that was skating with me who lost his balance and tried to hold himself up I by my arm and push me to the floor. Since then my life has changed. I begin having restless leg at night when I tried to go to sleep and many more symptoms. Now i am 56 years old going to pain management because of the constant pain excruciating. My most recent MRI says prominent Central canal versus with very small syrinx throughout the thoracic cord unchanged from prior. No doctors ever told me I had a spinal cord injury until I researched what that meant. My recent Dr says there is nothing wrong with me and I have 0 disability. Thanks to your site I found a doctor in my area that does spine surgery.


Hi, everyone--we'd like to join this discussion to share some content we hope will be of interest to you: ( What is Syringomyelia? ).

And, Casey61: We are so happy to hear you found a spine specialist using our doctor finder tool! Here's a link for others who may be interested in this resource: https://www.spineuniverse.com/locate/spe... .