My friend said to thank you guys very very much for your interest in her problem.
I'm back with some more details and answers to your questions.
Where is the arm pain? Down to the hands? If so fingers, which ones? Any issues with her lower extremites, i.e. weakness, numbness, spasms/spasticity? Bowel/bladder incontinence?
The pain is in the right arm (the left is completely ok) and it's only a slight pain. What she feels in her right arm is severe weakness and a burning sensation. She also has no pain in her fingers. No issues with lower extremities, bladder or bowel.
A simple disc bulge can be a 'herniation'. A disc extrusion can be a 'herniation'. Does the MRI demonstrate any canal stenosis, cord compression, neuroforaminal narrowing?
She is having another MRI next week so we will have some fresh data. I told her to give me her last MRI and I hope I'll be able to post it here tommorow. The surgeons say she has 1 disc extrusion and 2 protrusions. The C5-C6 disc is pressing on the spinal cord. She has spinal narrowing there.
As for the cause of her condition, the first time she felt something was wrong was a year ago. She felt pain while whenever she tried to turn her head but it only lasted a few days and she thought it was because she slept in a wrong position. Couple of months after that she had severe pain in her right arm but that also went away after few days.
The surgeons she's been to suspect that this could be genetic, although no one in her family ever had similar problems.
I think it's worth mentioning she had a very hectic lifestyle for the last ten years and ate as poor as one can possibly eat. She worked long hours and simultaneously attended college, slept maybe 3-4 hours a night, and ate like a bird, with minimal amounts of protein. Also, for the past 5 years she slept on a hard surface, without a pillow and on her belly. She can't do that anymore because it hurts too much. The only position she can sleep in now is on her back. Could that be one of the causes ?
Most surgeons she's been to recommend tractions but one is terrified by that idea saying it is too aggressive for her condition and will do more harm.
BBB, her coming to England seems like a good idea to me. She invested alot of time and resources into doctors and clinics here in Croatia with no improvement at all. I've been reading these forums for couple of years now and I got the impression you're really good in what you do, so when she told me about her condition, I immediately remembered you.
I haven't talked to her about coming to England yet, but I plan to after you see her medical reports and have enough info to give a rough estimate is that even the proper way to go. I agree that it's very strange for someone her age to suffer from such a condition. Can it be genetic if there were no similar cases in her family history ? Or is it possible that her lifestyle was the cause ?
She speaks fluent English.
I'll get that MRI here as soon as possible.
Big thanks again,
Edit: She just told me some more details. When it all started, 15th of August this year, she didn't go to the doctor straight away. She was at a friends house babysitting the friends' baby, which weighed 30lbs. She carried him around and played with him for the next 5 days although she was in unbearable pain (she thought it was the flu).