Discovery for “high functioning” adults

Cervical spinal stenosis
Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky with an adult patient

Some time late last year, I called to make an appointment with my primary care physician due to pain in my arm.  He wasn’t available so the appointment was scheduled with his physician’s assistant whom I had never met.  She examined me, gave me some stretches and stated that if the pain had not gotten better by January when I saw the PCP for my physical to mention it.  That advice was followed and neck/shoulder x-rays were ordered. Upon calling for the results, I was told by staff that nothing was alarming so I continued the stretches and my regular exercise routine.

About three months later, while gathering information to take to a consultation with Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky at the Weinberg Cerebral Palsy Center, I went to the patient portal and discovered a written report that indicated narrowing of the cervical spine.  Unfortunately, enroute to see Dr. Joe, I fell for no apparent reason.  Fractured my hip and landed in the emergency room.  Thankfully, it was repaired with pins.  When I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Dutkowsky, he enlightened me to the fact that “high functioning” adults have cervical spinal stenosis that, due to slow progression, is not diagnosed until major symptoms occur like incontinence, balance issues, arm pain or problems with hands and may be the culprit.  At Dr. Dutkowsky’s direction, an MRI was done prior to my release from the hospital revealing stenosis.  There was a REASON for the fall, after all.  This great man is lobbying for a cervical MRI to become routine for this demographic!