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Old 04-23-2009, 12:56 PM   #1
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Cervical Myelopathy w/burning Leg pain

Hi All--
I have reasearched this, but wondered if anyone else had this, or info about this. I had onset of right leg burning nerve pain in Nov 2008. After MRI's neck and back and because of classic myelopathy symptoms--left hand clumsiness, left leg and hand spasticity, clonus, leg hyperreflexia,left leg weakness the conclusion to do a cervical decompression with fusion--this done on 3/24.

Was started on low dose neurontin (my request since drug sensitive)-no change in leg burning. I feel this is related to gravity (loading on my spine) and also positioning--neck movement--

Asked anesthesiologist to not have my neck in hyperextension during surgery--certain this was done because I woke up with severe burning leg pain not alleviated by the morphine (post surgery). The level of pain in my leg is reduced to pre op levels.
Have not gotten a clear answer--they look at me now like I am crazy. Am told the surgery is preventative, not necessarily curative--which is the bummer.

Is the burning leg pain related to spinal cord injury--I do have myelomalacia--softening of the cord--will that potentially heal? Could it be the posterior ligament buckling into the spinal cord--if so, what do they do for that?

Otherwise my post op has been going very well. Does anyone else have these symptoms, or know of a solution?

Thanks and best of luck to all on this forum

Last edited by Lynnetter; 04-23-2009 at 01:00 PM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 04-23-2009, 04:28 PM   #2
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Re: Cervical Myelopathy w/burning Leg pain

Hi Lynnetter... I also had cervical spondylomylopathy with the same classic symptoms...numbness, loss of function, gait problems. My first surgery was a laminoplasty to reconstruct the inside of the spinal canal. It was great because it didn't involve fusion. However, I ripped the ligaments in my neck 3 months after surgery and inverted my neck from lordosis to kyphosis. So it was back to the OR and a C3 to T1 emergency fusion. It was after the fusion I had the burning pain you are talking about.

I also went on Neurontin and it did very little for me. I thought I would go nuts with the pain but it slowly disappeared around 6 months post-op. I eventually tried Cymbalta and it helped much more than Neurontin. It's advertised as an anti-depressant but is also FDA approved for peripheral neuropathy. I'd give it a try. It was just approved for the pain of fibromyalgia as well. I've been told by a therapist that it works better for pain than for depression(but let's face it...pain is depressing!).

My surgeon told me to wait a full 2 years for a full recovery. And it did take that long. Unfortunetly, I celebrated my 2 year anniversary in January by starting an aerobics class and herniated the only disk left in my neck....at C2-3. I find out in June if I'm headed for cervical surgery #3. If I do have to have another, I'll have the Cymbalta waiting for me when I get home.

So give yourself time. My neurosurgeon told me the biggest thing that patients don't realize is that any surgery on the spine is major surgery....like having a joint replaced. It takes a long time for everything to heal and return to normal. Just before my second surgery my doc warned me I would probably be paralyzed on my left side and he had no guarantees the right would be okay either. I woke up with paralysis but I worked and worked for a whole year at PT and was 95% back when I re-injured it. At least this time I'll know to be patient.....and no more aerobics!(what was I thinking!)

So give it time and consider trying Cymbalta.

gentle hugs..................Jenny

 
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:15 AM   #3
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Re: Cervical Myelopathy w/burning Leg pain

Thanks so much Jenny.

My friends have told me I am impatient--I guess since I don't have much post op discomfort, I want it all to be better. I will finish the Neurontin I have, but I will ask about Cymbalta--since I don't see much change. I looked online, and it looks that Neurontin peaks in effectiveness at about 4 weeks-but I am at a very low dose--don't tolerate drugs well.

I am not an athlete, so no need to prove myself, don't feel I am missing much other than being independent, and going for longer walks.

The information and support here is great--many knowledgeable people.

Have a happy day

 
Old 04-24-2009, 09:19 AM   #4
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Re: Cervical Myelopathy w/burning Leg pain

Gosh Jenny that is such a big fusion--you have been through so much. I hope you get some good news in June. It is encouraging to hear --though it was tough on you for a long time. Wishing you good news and good healing.

 
Old 04-24-2009, 01:41 PM   #5
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Re: Cervical Myelopathy w/burning Leg pain

Thank you! I'm hoping for good news too as I have a very impatient aneurysm that needs surgery as well but they won't do it until they decide about the neck. It affects anesthesia. If they can't tip my head back without risking paralysis then I'll either have to wait for the neck surgery before aneurysm or have the aneurysm done under an epidural(spinal). So I'm planning a VERY lazy summer. I've heard laying out taking in some rays is a very good way to recover from almost anything! Try it for your neck pain(but not the scar...sunburned scars hurt!).

Glad you are healing well......................Jenny

 
Old 04-25-2009, 09:32 AM   #6
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Re: Cervical Myelopathy w/burning Leg pain

Hi Jenny--where is your aneurysm--that's a significant concern.

I feel they tipped my head back for the anesthesia, and that's what worsened the burning pain--will remind my MD.

I have some scar patches, and am slowly desensitizing it ( PT friend showed me how to massage it).

A summer in the sun is not such a bad thing, but I do wish you get the best of care and the best results with all of this.

Thanks for your support and wisdom!!

 
Old 04-25-2009, 10:02 AM   #7
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Re: Cervical Myelopathy w/burning Leg pain

You are most certainly welcome!

My aneurysm is on the artery leading to the spleen. It also supplies the lower half of the stomach and upper part of the pancreas. It appears it's out by the spleen which would mean taking out the spleen with the aneurysm but they have yet to ascertain that for sure. If it's closer in, then it's a graft. It could be done under an epidural but I'd rather wait until I know exactly what is going on with my neck if I can wait.

Take care and enjoy the spring weather.

Jenny

 
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