I had a 3 level ACDF in April for significant cervical instability and buldging discs C3-4, 4-5 (already had 5-6 done 4 years prior.) Have had bilateral CTR in the past as well. 6 weeks post-op I returned to work in the OR of a busy city hospital. On the 2nd day, I had sudden 'zingers' down both middle fingers that progressed to tingling in 3-4-5- fingers in both hands. The zingers happened 3-4 more times over the next 2-3 days, then all fingers became tingling. There are times when 1-2 tingle more and other times 3-5 tingle more - but when this happens it is equal in both hands. The tingling effects all 5 fingers. I am right handed. Ortho doc said ulna nerve entrapment but that accounts for only 3-5 fingers. What about the 1-2? Why does the intensity of the tingling happen in the same distribution in both hands at the same time? It does not wake me up - no real pain, just constant tingling. This has been going on for a month. Any suggestions as to etiology and what kind of physician should I seek? I am an active 60 yr old with no other health problems (diabetes, HBP, obesity, etc.)
personally,i prefer a neurosurgeon when it comes to my c spine crap,really.they are just a bit more knowledgeable than the average ortho when it comes to the c spine and the brain and the connections of nerve/spinal cord stuff.love my ortho tho,just not for my c spine.one BIG thing here,do you know with 100% certainty that your fusion actually ever took?the reason i am asking is i was having the very same symptoms as you after my fusion,along with theis horrid bone against bone grinding and popping noises?i KNEW i was not fused but the MRI(inconclusive and reccomended a CT) and the CT said i 'definitely"was.it took me over 9 months of repeated calls to my NS nurse(nurse ratchet?)fun lady who i desperately wanted to run over with my car by that time.just kept telling me 'you know what the CT said."
there was just no possible way that this could have been fused.my NS,who i finally was actually 'allowed' to see(another story believe me)finally just sent me for a very simple flexion and extension x ray which of course completely revealed that i was NOT fused at all.only one endplate(the bottom) ever actually fused.so i had to have hardware placement done with another flippin surgery.the fact that your symptoms are intermittant would indicate a possible non fusion.that little bone just keeps moving around and irritating/pinching/compressing the hell out of things up there.that is why it is not a constant thing?you know what i mean?if you havent done so already,i would highly reccomend a flex and ext x ray.this little wonder would show if there is a non fusion.good luck,and please let me know what you find out,K?Marcia
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.
Saw my NS this morning. Hands might be a C6 problem, which pre-op MRI did say had a slight buldge, but I did not have any symptoms at that time. He left it up to me if and when I wanted to pursue it - just give him a call and he'll order MRI and EMG (would need both.) He is a sweetie. When I mentioned a neurologist, he scoffed and said they would order a whole bunch of unnecessary tests......If it gets worse, or if I develope other C6 related issues then I will give him a call.
Ortho spine doc last week took only front and side X-rays and said the fusion looks good. My fusion was because my vertebrae were slipping in opposite directions, so I don't think at this early stage he wants flexion/extension films. And removal of the 2 discs necessary did relieve me of the line of nerve pain in my upper arm. He was more concerned with the flexion/extension significant slippages and wanted the surgery ASAP - one big bump to the head had the potential of severing my cord. I saw the X-rays and totally agreed.
hi sk84, i am also from ct. 1st time i ever saw another ct person here. i had an ortho do my c-spine fusions. at the moment, the only doc i see is a pm. the other docs say they can't really help anymore cause i now have rsd. my rsd effects my hands, wrists, and forearms up to and including my elbows. most of my pain is in the ulnar nerve area. anyway, i have no help from you, just read ur post and saw you were from connecticut and thought i'd say "hi". anyway, good luck, patti h.
I have been practicing WC law in Connecticut for 20 years and have seen a lot of neck and back cases. With all the hardware in your spine it isnt all that surprising that you are having the shockers. It would seem something is impinging somewhere and the C-spine is a good place to look. You have to ask yourself though, to what end am I going to pursue it? More sx? further fusions? I always tell my clients to go as long as possible without getting cut becuase the really good outcomes are, honestly, rare.