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Old 03-11-2007, 01:46 PM   #1
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hand stiffness???

Hi eveyone, I was kind of curious about something that has recently been going on with me. I am a post-C4-7 fusion, and not completely well. My last surgery was 10.5 months ago. I never had mylepathy symptoms, just radicular pain, so I don't know is this is something like those symptoms you get with cord compression. I still have central canal stenosis issues so I guess this could be something new.

The past couple weeks, my hands have been developing a real stiffness, ache and pain like arthritis. I don't notice any weakness, but just real stiffness. It didn't come on slowly it just started one morning when I woke up. It is on both sides, but one side more than the other. I am going to keep an eye on this, but was curious if this is something others have either pre-acdfs or post??

 
Old 03-11-2007, 08:27 PM   #2
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Re: hand stiffness???

Hello neckpatient:
I also am fused from C4 to C7 - I had two ACDFs, first in 2004 and the second in 2005. I had both radiculopathy and myelopathy. I am much better than I was, but don't feel entirely well yet - still some chronic pain in my neck and shoulders, and from time to time I get pain and twitching of muscles in my arms & hands, and around the scapulas on both sides - but much better now than before.

I share your experience of stiffness in both hands, left side more than right. I don't know how much this is related to the nerve damage in my C-spine, and how much is because I am not as active as I was before. The pain, twitching, and stiffness can come or go very suddently, which makes me think it is not something like arthritis or other inflammation. I'm learning to make the most of the better days, and to take it easy when things are acting up.
Bob

 
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Old 03-12-2007, 07:15 AM   #3
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Re: hand stiffness???

hi neck,you know,having the central canal stenosis could be a possible issue,or it could be something that is affecting the fused areas themselves,its really hard to say.i have both actual spinal cord damage bt also have one heck of a screwed up c spine from alot of different issues.i know exactly what type of pain you are describing as i now have this in my R hand,the whole hand,not just certain areas where you could actually trace it back to a dermatome or something,it actully feels like a small toothache type pain but it is over the whole hand area.it is not hugely painful but just a constant dull ache?i don't understand it either and don't know what exact area is actually causing it.but just to maybe play it safe,it may not hurt to have another MRI with contrast done on your c spine to see if anything new is different with the fusion sits and to get a really good look at how that stenosis is within that canal.if it is affecting your actual spinal cord,you may need to discuss options with your neurosurgeon.you may need to also obtain a CT just to really get the best clearest look at the bone areas within the fusion sites if you happen to have any hardware since hardware tends to really blurr any areas with MRI.to actually really see the bone,a CT really is much better than MRI,but on the other hand,the MRI is best to really see the spinal cord level.but this should be evaluated,espescially if it is new or you are having any other symptoms.you just need to know whats going on in there.good luck,marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
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.

 
Old 03-12-2007, 12:46 PM   #4
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Re: hand stiffness???

You guys described it well. Its a dull ache not that horrible nerve pain, and just a general stiffness. Next follow-up I will talk to the doc about it. I don't like to bring up every little ache and pain, but when a new symptom comes on and stays, it makes me notice. Thanks for your replies.

 
Old 12-05-2007, 06:05 AM   #5
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Re: hand stiffness???

Hi NP
I know this is an older thread--so I don't know if this will help, but I have cervical myelopathy, herniation at c5-6, and osteophytes at several levels...I've not had any surgery yet...my left hand has the stiffness being described here....I can only open and close it about 1/2 as fast as my right, and my index finger, is the slowest finger on the left...whtat's wierd is that after I'm laying down for a while, and especially just before I get out of bed, the left hand is fine...rapidly opening and closing like the right........the one neuro I mentioned this to wasn't too concerned or impressed.....

 
Old 12-06-2007, 03:55 AM   #6
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Re: hand stiffness???

hi,
you might also what to get a emg because i have some of your promblems however i have verylittle movement with my hand,wrist,finger,came on sudden still here after 3 weeks i though(and it still be from my bad stensosis and other disk ,spinal cord troubles,but nelogology says they are 2 different things,now my other hand is going .keeo us posted,good luck,kelsey

 
Old 12-06-2007, 09:27 AM   #7
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Re: hand stiffness???

Thanks all, looks like this old post got bumped up.

Mine started back in early part of the year. It's stayed about the same, it didn't keep progressing. Just stiffness and a tightness - no numbness, other than a "perceived" numbness in my right middle finger. It feels to me like it is numb but when they do the ***** test I feel it fine. I have a little loss of strength but nothing significant. Just left over stuff they can't fix.

Thanks Kelsey1 all my stenosis can't be fixed, I just pay attention and make sure when symptoms start progressing that I alert my docs.

 
Old 12-08-2007, 07:30 AM   #8
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Re: hand stiffness???

Dear NP,

Yes, yes and yes. I had C6-7 fused, March 2007, cord compression. Pre and post surgery I had and still get the stiffness described, sometimes with numbness as well. Sometimes the stiffness is such is almost makes my fingers feel swollen, though they don't appear swollen at all. Same thing, not progressing, some days/hours better than others. Sometimes really no hand symptoms at all; this nerve stuff is so crazy and weird. I am so thankful for this board so I can chat with others who understand. To look relatively "normal" yet have so many varied and strange symptoms....I often don't even tell my family of some of my symptoms anymore as I'm sure it gets a little mundane and just almost impossible for them to understand or relate. Take care NP...let us know how you're doing. Mona

 
Old 12-09-2007, 02:31 AM   #9
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Re: hand stiffness???

Hey Feelbad........I am not sure if my hand issues are like yours but....and it sometime depends on how much pain medicine I take at night before. When I wake up during the night or in the morning for sure my hands feel like I have tight latex gloves on. Worse somedays then others. My hand feel very arthretic. My joints in the fingers are achy and I have to open and close my hands over and over to get the ache out. I still have it in the fingers and get shooting pains in the hands and fingers at times. I am guessing it is from the nerve compression at C6/7. The left, well that is as you know from the cord compression I had.

 
Old 12-09-2007, 08:36 AM   #10
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Re: hand stiffness???

hey bits,you know i finally found out the real source of the right hand achy crap.i now have a torn rotator cuff in the right shoulder.things got knifelike jabs into my shoulder area about a month ago and everytime i went to lift something,only with my arm fully extended,i got sooo much pain i just had to drop whatever i was actually trying to lift.it got that bad so my primary sent me for an MRI on my right shoulder and sure enough,i now have a full thickness tear of the supraspinatus tendon.the one that attaches to the very top of the shoulder?it does suck but at least now know what THAT area of ickyness was all about.so now i am waiting to see my ortho about surgery(this will be #7 since 02?)yuck!

i just wanted to mention to you bits,i really truely think given that alot of the more pronounced areas wherre you are describing haveing strong symptoms in what appears to be the front chest area,that what you are actually feeling here IS very much the more 'perceptionary' type of what i call "painsations" from just the actual spinal cord damage.the big difference between sensations of radiculopathy type of pain and neuro weirdness that you get from a spinal level nerve issue and what i feel from what i KNOW is my SCI are very very different.anything that you 'percieve" like a 'feeling of' something?is usually more cord related.you just can get an amazing amount of things that just 'feel' like they are there or are being done to your body in some strange way directly from just having your cord affected or damaged to a certain degree.i 'feel' some really insane crap every single day from just the cord damage alone.i can usually tell right away just what is stemming from my nerve damage in my c spine and what is being generated by the cord crap.its that different sometimes.i really do think that what you have been describing 'like' something is there,in reality IS from the perceptionary type of crap you get from cord damage.living with this stuff is a bit insane at times,mostly since nothing is actually really going on there but you just percieve/feel it that way,you know what i mean?JMO,and based on what i have been living with since 03 when my cord damage occured.marcia
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
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.

 
Old 12-10-2007, 01:20 AM   #11
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Re: hand stiffness???

hi i agree,
i woke up now in the middle of the night with left foot trouble.limb by limb i loosing them all!!!!!i need a ns for everything yesterday, everything feels like it is way out of control my life is turn up side down is there a light at the end of the tunnel ,it feels like now i just keep finding things in a blind tunnel if that makes any sence(SP?) anyways i will post later about this ,take care,kelsey

 
Old 12-11-2007, 08:04 AM   #12
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Re: hand stiffness???

Thanks again Marcia. I guess you are right. The weird pain sensations or as you call them "painsations" in my chest, ribs, throat and tummy are just that. The pain I get like jolts of lightening, stabbing, shooting pains are nerve related and the ache well, I think that is both. The hand thing is subjective to my meds at night I think. When I am good there I have some shotting and stabbing pains. Really bad the past week. My hands feel really arthretic.

Kelsey me too. I started having foot pain in my left foot a week or so ago. I have had pain in my right foot since 2005. My cord was compressed during that time so I figured it was part of that. But still have it. Most days I have to kick the shoe off and rub it and it comes and goes. And sometimes hurts horrible. I wonder what I would really feel like if I wasnt so drugged. I too feel like I am falling apart one limb or digit at a time.

Im going for lumbar MRI tomorrow. Had one done about 7 years ago and it showed damage but nothing surgical. Just herniations and tears. I am not going to have back surgery anyway just want to know why my legs hurt from the front of the thigh to the feet.

I really wish we were all someplace face to face. I do not have any real support other then boards. It is hard for anyone to understand how we feel no matter how hard they try. I am starting counseling next week for just a few sessions to vent some anger instead of always being angry at my husband. And I am going to start the paperwork for retirement. All scary and hard.

 
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