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Old 11-23-2010, 08:15 AM   #1
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Scary, has anyone else experienced this?

Yesturday morning at 4:30am I woke up on my right side. I went to turn as my hip was sore only to discover I could not move. My lower back felt like it was in some kind of vice & I was sort of stuck in a semi fetal position.
Any attempt to roll or move felt like my back was going to snap in half. My husband got up & helped me to roll onto my back, we waited & he quickly rolled me onto my left side so I could attempt to get out of bed.

I have cervical & lumbar problems. There is herniation at L1-2 with mass effect on the thecal sac & exiting of the left L2 nerve root.
Mild bulging at L4-5 & again at L5-S1 along with facet joint disease. This was found in the summer of 2009.

I felt the problem was towards the lower portion of the back more centered. The night before I was really sore in the center right where the back meets the buttocks. Not sure if this has anything to do with it but I don't often have any major problems in the lumbar. In the last several months Ive had problems with my right foot swelling & some pain in my big toe.
have hip pain, lower back & my knee wants to give out at times. Not even sure if its related. My cervical problems have always been far worse then the lumbar.

That same morning my small toe was really hurting on the right foot, more throbbing type pain. So its all kind of strange how one thing occured after another that day i& into the following morning.

My husband was pretty shook up, he said I looked like I was paralized but I explained that is not the case I just could not move my lower extremities because I was so fearful of the pain. We don't realize how much we use our back until something like this happens.

I was extremely upset as I was really hoping my Cervical was causing the foot problem. To much to think of major problems in both the cervical & lumbar.

Anyone ever go through anything like this? I know people speak of their backs sort of locking up on them so I'm thinking this is kind of what happened. Have an MRI to schedule of both Lumbar & Cervical.
Thank you in advance to anyone who has any input.
Sammy

Last edited by sammyo1; 11-23-2010 at 08:20 AM.

 
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:56 AM   #2
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Re: Scary, has anyone else experienced this?

Sorry you are experiencing more issues. I can't comment on the "locking up" you mentioned, although I have heard people say that also. Whenever I've heard of something coming on suddenly, it is often a disc that has herniated. Many years ago my husband went to bed with something he thought was a tightness in his hamstring. He is a runner and just felt like he'd pulled a muscle. But one day when he woke up, he went to get out of bed and couldn't move. Turned out he had ruptured either L4-5 or L5-S1 (can't remember now!). He could have moved, but it was just so painful that he didn't want to try.

I'm glad you are getting a MRI soon. Hopefully that will show what or if something has happened. Hopefully this is just an isolated incident and you will be feeling better soon.

Some of the issues you describe do sound like L4-S1 issues -- anywhere below the waist is often effected when there is nerve involvement...the L4 dermatome runs right over the knee and down to the big toe (on most people). I used to get an electrical sensation; sometimes it felt like warm water trickling down my leg; my toes are numb and it spreads somewhat up into the ankle.

Last edited by teteri66; 11-23-2010 at 09:02 AM.

 
Old 11-24-2010, 07:33 AM   #3
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Re: Scary, has anyone else experienced this?

Thank you so much for your reply. I have the MRI scheduled for this Saturday. I have a feeling something has changed but don't completely trust these tests to show everything going on in there.

I remember having a problem not long ago, almost had to call for help to get out of bed for for the life of me I can remember exactly what happened.
You would think with something like that I would but goes to show how much I have floating around this head of mine .
I'm a little scared as I have so much pain & problems with my cervical I don't know how I'd handle both. What a mess, I pray most of this is coming from one area & not both. I have heard you can have problems in the legs, feet & balance with the cervical but I doubt that pain was from the cervical.
Perhaps it was a nasty muscle spasm. Thats what I'm hoping but yet I know my pain & symptoms are increasing in my lower back.
Thanks again & God bless, Sammy

Last edited by sammyo1; 11-26-2010 at 07:02 AM.

 
Old 11-24-2010, 01:57 PM   #4
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Re: Scary, has anyone else experienced this?

Are you having both the cervical and lumbar areas done at the same time? That can be quite a bit if you have any trouble lying on your back for that long.

I have not had cervical issues that are causing any pain...but I have read about some issues causing leg pain. I'll keep my fingers crossed that your problems are confined to the cervical spine area....I agree, one section at a time is plenty to have to deal with!!

Please let us know how the imaging goes! Hope you can enjoy your Thanksgiving. (I served Christmas dinner to my husband as he was lying on the floor! His episode occurred on Christmas Eve morning!)

 
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Old 11-26-2010, 07:09 AM   #5
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Re: Scary, has anyone else experienced this?

Yikes, that's bad timing. Hope your husband enjoys this Christmas much more then last year.

I've definantly had an increase in pain in the lower back the last couple days. Still hoping its nothing much.
I would not want both done as Ive already have one fusion & heard if you have to have a second its more difficult. I can't imagine not being able to move your head & your lower back at the same time, not to mention the pain. I'm not that tough,lol.
Sure not looking forward to getting on that hard MRI table either.
Hope you had a nice Thanks giving & thanks for take the time to reply.
Sammy

 
Old 11-26-2010, 11:28 AM   #6
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Re: Scary, has anyone else experienced this?

Actually my husband's was about 18 years ago....and he never ended up having surgery and has had no further problems. He does his "back" exercises faithfully every single day. I joke and tell him a tornado could be about to hit the house and he'd say "Wait a minute -- I haven't "stretched" my back yet."

I've had two fusions but they were both lumbar. I am now in the process of fusing three levels, from L3 to S1. For some inexplicable reason, the second fusion, which ended up being major reconstruction as well as the fusion procedure, was a lot easier than my first one level fusion. Even though I had more surgery, over the same incision (3rd time) my biggest problem was trying to keep myself from doing too much too soon. I was off all pain meds at ten days, whereas the one level I was pretty much knocked out for eight weeks.

I cannot explain the difference, nor can my surgeon. I think he is a magician....

Anyway, my point is to not make the mistake of assuming that any subsequent surgery will be similar to the first or other surgery. You never know....I hope you do not need lumbar surgery, but don't be fearful if you do. And, by the way, I do not find that the 3 levels have made much difference in mobility, flexibility, etc. I am really not aware that I have all those screws and longer rods....I am almost six months out and am fused, but the bone is not yet "hard."

If you did any bending over the holiday, or any lifting (like a turkey....) it is enough to increase back pain...running the vacuum is just about the worst activity for a person with lumbar issues....and it takes surprisingly LITTLE to set it off.

Good luck with your MRI. I hope the technician is speedy and you won't be on the table too long. But just so you know, it is pretty much like having two separate MRIs. I thought as long as they were doing the lumbar, they could also do the cervical...but that wasn't quite the case.

Last edited by teteri66; 11-26-2010 at 11:35 AM.

 
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:38 AM   #7
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Re: Scary, has anyone else experienced this?

Thanks your sharing means a lot to me.
I had the exact same problem doing too much too soon. I was sent away from home for 2 weeks because I could not behave myself. My sister called & said I'm coming to pick you up so be ready. Your not resting enough. I have OC problems with my house. Then again if I'm stuck in it I want it to be clean.

Not doing well today so I hope my back feels better before the MRI. Actually feels like a ton of pressure much like I can feel in my upper back at times.
Had problems last night with sharp burning pains when I would attempt to twist or turn. Also pain in my side not sure if the back can cause that. I'm confused over that one. Had it for a few days now. A stitch like pain in my side but with the lower back hurting I feel like the entire area can hurt. Don't know much about the Lumbar. My cervical pain can radiate around the front & I have not clue whether the Lumbar can do the same?

My BF does the same, anytime she feels twinge of pain she'll stretch. I'll have to see if I can learn some stretches, as long as nothing aggravates the Cervical. Everything triggers headaches or pain in that area.
I'm majorly frustrated as this is hard to deal with both. I coud always ingore the lumbar but not lately & it all started with pain in my toe & then foot, there are times I can't put pressure on my right foot. I thought perhaps it may have been coming from the cervical because I have a lot or problems with my right hand also but its now spreading to the left hand as well.
Now that its engufing the lower back I have no clue whats causing what.
I had a major melt down when I woke up & could not move because of my lower back. I felt myself panic wondering how was I going to deal with both areas. I still am hoping the majority of this is coming from one area & not both. Ive also been constipated & I know that increases my back pain.
What a mess! I can't wait to get this MRI over with & pray it shows whats causing what. Don't fully trust tests as Ive alway had more going on then any test has revealed.

Thanks again your sharing has helped.
God bless & tell your husband to keep on stretching .
Sammy

 
Old 11-27-2010, 11:00 AM   #8
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Re: Scary, has anyone else experienced this?

I'll be thinking about you. Please let us know how the MRIs go....I hope it will give your surgeon the answers as to what is causing all your pain.

It took me several years between surgeries to figure out what was going on, and even then, the surgeon had a surprise when he opened me up. We thought my worst problems were at L5-S1, but when he got inside, the facet joints at L3-4 were basically worn away to little nubs, allowing a great deal of movement where my back was not designed to move! None of this had shown up on MRI even though I had a "positional" (sitting and standing) one, in additional to several prone ones....

Good luck. Hope the time goes by FAST.

Last edited by teteri66; 11-27-2010 at 11:01 AM.

 
Old 11-29-2010, 07:29 AM   #9
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Re: Scary, has anyone else experienced this?

I'm not surprised as I had shoulder surgery & cervical & both surgeons found additional things wrong that the MRIs did not pick up. Yours is a pretty big problem to miss but then so was mine. It amazes me how much these tests can miss yet doctors put a huge amount of faith in these tests.
Did your surgeon say anything about how it could have been missed on the MRI?

My vertabrae was shattered & pieces were in my cord along with the C4 & C7 wearing but no test had shown it. I kept going in before my surgery with the worst headaches you could imagine & both my PM & surgeon said it was not coming from my herniated area. when the surgeon went in there he told my husband it was a mess & it very well could have been causing all my problems.

Had the MRI Sat evening & woke up Sun in so much pain I slept most of the day. My head hurt to high heaven with pain going down my right side from the neck to the arm & could not stand on my legs, pins & needle pain like crazy. Woke up this morning with pressure in my upper & lower back, my legs hurt pretty bad. I"m clueless as to what is causing the upper & lower at the same time. If it gets any worse I wont be able to stand it. Heck if it gets any worse I wont be able to walk. Hopefully it gets better through the day if not I'll call & see if I can put rush on my results.

Its pretty interesting how many people find additional problems during surgery not found with diagnostic testing . My first MRI revealed a small herniation & the doctors all stated it could not be causing my problems yet I had hardly any use of my left arm & chest pain that sent me into ER several times. 2 doctors thought it was cardiac so I spent 2nights in the hospital on 2 different occasions. Yet all the time it was in my spine. Took approx. 2yrs to find it through MRIs.
Crazy, I wonder how many people go through something like this.
I can't stand it anymore so I pray something is found or I'll be in for more testing. There is no way all of this is occuring & without something going on in there. I wish I would have had the entire spine done & with contrast.

Once again thanks for sharing & thank ou so much for your time. I'll be on pins & needles until the results are in.
I'll let you know.
Sammy

 
Old 12-05-2010, 09:45 AM   #10
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Re: Scary, has anyone else experienced this?

Hi Sammy,

Just thought I'd check in and see how you are feeling....

Do you have any new information yet? Did you recover from the MRIs? I know from experience that is a long time to lay perfectly still.

 
Old 12-06-2010, 06:49 AM   #11
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Re: Scary, has anyone else experienced this?

Thanks for checking in. The newest & greatest MRI shows no changes.
I went to a new place through my PCP this time around & now understand why my PM has one MRI center & Radiologist he prefers. Compared to my last MRI this one is so vague & mentions very little compared to the one last summer. Ive never had luck with MRIs so if this continues to progress my husband wants further testing done. I need a break for the holidays if I can get one so I"m letting it go until then. Very disappointing & makes me feel like I"m back at the beginning when the first MRI I ever had did not indicate any reason for all my pain.

My husband came home the same day as my PM appointment & told me a co-worker of his has had back surgeries & CTs have revealed more then any MRI for him. Not sure why that is.
My PM was a little peeved at this report vs the last report.
He reminded me there is a lot going on that an MRI cannot find such as nerve problems. He also believes the majority of my lower pain may be facet joint related & I more then likey have problems with scar tissue. He mentioned a lot of people have higher pain levels when the cold moves in & we under estimate just how much the weather can impact our pain levels.
Put up my tree yesturday & sore as sin this morning. My neck is so sore it hurts to hold my head up. Yet nothing in that MRI, go figure.
I'm bummed & concerned but trying to get through the holidays.
How reliable do you feel MRIs truly are?
Thanks again for asking & god bless. Sammy

 
Old 12-06-2010, 08:44 AM   #12
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Re: Scary, has anyone else experienced this?

Hi Sammy,

Good to get an update, but sorry you are in pain and have no new information. All my "spiney" friends are complaining about the weather...first the damp, rainy weather and now the cold. Even though most studies say there is no scientific proof that the spinal joints are affected by the weather, people's complaints say otherwise.

General rule of thumb: X-rays and CT scans are best for showing bone; MRI shows the soft tissue and thus is good for showing disc problems, nerve compressions, etc. One of the problems with the MRI is that there are images of slices of tissue. Sometimes the slice is too thick and doesn't show enough detail. Also, often a radiology is reading MANY of these a day. He/she pulls out a couple slices that are "representative." And this does give the doctor a general idea of what is going on...and then he looks at the films himself to see if it confirms what he suspects is going on with the patient.

My most recent 3 level fusion was initially denied by my insurance carrier, deemed "medically unnecessary." My surgeon's office had sent the MRI reports which were in very generalized terms. In my appeal, I had someone go through my entire MRI and pull out the images that best showed the instability that was not even mentioned in the radiology report. As soon as the review committee saw those images, my surgery was approved.

But the interesting thing was that we all thought my major problem was at L5-S1. When the surgeon got in there, he found that I was mess at L3-4, and he ended up having to do extensive reconstructive surgery at that level. The facet joints were completely degenerated and were just little nubs. This had not been visible on the MRI and he had not ordered a CT scan...so this came as a big surprise!!

I need to leave for PT right now -- I'll finish my thoughts when I return....

Last edited by teteri66; 12-06-2010 at 08:47 AM.

 
Old 12-06-2010, 08:50 AM   #13
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Re: Scary, has anyone else experienced this?

had this happen in april. out of the blue. no disc problems just a spasm. so bad i could not mvoe either. had to be lifted out on a backboard then i almost got dropped on the ground. so bad that they finally gave me a morphine shot. could not even pee! glad the muslce unspamsed. i now walk walk walk more than i did before. but the key is do do whatyou can even with thel legs to strengthen tummy muscles. i have a disabled daughter nad i was panicing since i was alone with her. i was like you could not move left or right. iried and made it worse. scary. a big hug to you. hope it is a one time deal.

 
Old 12-06-2010, 09:52 AM   #14
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Re: Scary, has anyone else experienced this?

God bless you for sharing all this.

Makes me really think here. My PM mentioned at times the Rad reading the films will not mention what they feel is minor & he does not like this when it comes to his patients. It makes sense that any area showing the slightest problem should be documented.

First of all there is the patients history to consider & genetic factors the Rad may not be aware of. I'll stick the to center my PM uses in the future. At least I know what areas are at risk. How can one report mention mass effect on the nerve with herniation & the next state protrusion & thats it? I was led to believe from all Ive learned that herniations do not go away. Bulges can & this report states its a shallow protrusion.

Perhaps that is why my MRI done before my surgery missed the bone fragments in my spine. Maybe a CT would have picked it up.
So I'm wondering if a CT would show a pinched nerve a long with the degeneration of the discs?

Your story is unreal, makes you wonder how holds the radiologist accountable? Ive heard a lot can depend on who reads those films but my goodness in a case such as yours that report must have been way off from what the actual condition you were in.

Ive never actually had a determination of whether my fusion took. My PM said from what he can see in the xrays while doing the ESIs it looks good but I'm not sure if that is anything like the flex xrays used. Its all so confusing & after reading your story a long with others makes me wonder how many are walking around with some serious problems & risking serious damage by not having the correct findings or not having the right diagnostic testing done you know? I would love to take a poll on this as too many doctors tend put entirely too much faith in MRIs.

Thanks again amazing by hearing others stories what you can learn.
Let me ask your opinion on something, Do you feel anything problems in the spine can cause swelling on the bottom of the foot? I'm really concerned about this & have yet to get any answers as to the possable cause. I do know when one area is flared the foot seems to be worse & the mornings are the most painful. Sometimes finding getting any asnwers can be like pulling impacted teeth.
God bless & hope you PT goes well. Sammy

 
Old 12-06-2010, 10:04 AM   #15
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Re: Scary, has anyone else experienced this?

mris cannot see all the things with muscles. that is the problem it is always a process of elimination. i feel your pain. one min you are fine the next ouchie! for al the technology we have it cannot always see or detect everything.

 
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