Q. Can cervical disc bulge lead to arm numbness?

Answered by
Dr. Piyush Jakal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 06, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jan 10, 2020

Hi doctor,

My right arm is numb from the elbow to the wrist and sometime I feel like getting electric shock inside. About 29 years ago, I got my C4/C5 lower disc removed. I have neck and back pain too and for which I am taking Lyrica now. I had an MRI and the report is as follows. Tight cervical spinal canal at C5/C6 disc level and posterior disc herniation seen indenting the ventral aspect of the cord. In C3/C4, C4/C5 and C6/C7 mild diffuse posterior disc bulges seen. Please guide me.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • I request you to kindly attach MRI images.
  • Most likely it appears from your symptoms that you will need surgical decompression but nothing can be conclusively said without MRI images.
  • Please mention your diabetic and cardiac profile too.

The Probable causes:

Degenerative changes.

Treatment plan:

Surgical decompression.

Preventive measures:

Avoid lifting weight and use cervical collar.

Regarding follow up:

Revert back with MRI report to a spine surgeon online.---> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/spine-surgeon

Hi doctor,

I have attached the MRI photos and blood work. Thanks.



Welcome back to icliniq.com. Thank you for providing images (attachment removed to protect patient identity).

  • Your MRI shows that the disc which had prolapsed is causing compression on your nerve roots. No need to worry. We have few modalities of treatment at our disposal.
  • First, I would like to know few things from you. Do you have any weakness or loss of power in your arm?
  • Did you feel any difficulty in holding a pen or a spoon? Have you undergone any conservative treatment?
  • Conservative treatment includes cervical traction, physiotherapy, short wave diathermy, cervical collar, analgesics and muscle relaxants.
  • I would like to give you a course of 2 weeks of conservative treatment and observe your response. Even if there is 10% relief, I will continue with the same treatment.
  • I have many patients who had similar complaints and have improved with conservative treatment.
  • Your blood reports are within normal limits so even if you need surgery you can proceed.
  • Surgical procedure involves removing disc and it has excellent prognosis. Recent trends are towards keyhole surgery with minimal incision.

Revert back with the answers for the above questions to a spine surgeon online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/spine-surgeon

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