Hi all -
I've been posting a lot recently on the MS board regarding recent concerns that may be MS related. However, my discussion and questions ultimately seemed more appropriate for spinal cord disorders. So hopefully you can help me understand recent symptoms and my follow-up MRI observations (have not seen the orthopedic surgeon to discuss the results yet). I had a few concerns that I thought you could help me understand before my appt tomorrow to help me ask the right questions, and to learn about other experiences, treatment options, etc.
I'll try to make a long story short. History: fractured C6-7 in 1995, no problems really until 2009. Initial exam revealed positive Hoffmann's sign. While MRI did not show any noted cord compression several herniated discs, bulges and bone spurs were observed. After PT didn't help at all or any other conservative treatments, surgery was the only option.
The as quickly as the pain started, it just stopped and I didn't have the surgery.
Fastforward to Last Sunday. After approx 30 mins of waking up I suddenly had dull aching pains and pins and needles *****ling on all of my extremities. The neck pain was not made worse or lessened by any particular position. And in fact, seemed worse when I was relaxed and sitting down. Rotation didn't affect the pain at all. It hurt steadily no matter what I did. Thankfully I had some pain meds left over from a prior surgery or I don't know how I would've made it through the day. By Tuesday it had turned into more of a "crick" in the neck feeling that I had experienced in 2009. The Sunday experience was the worst I've ever felt, next to the fracture itself.
I saw an ortho who ordered another MRI. I reviewed the images and was not surprised by anything I saw, as it is very similar to the MRI in 2009. However, it is a little more advanced in some areas and I have additional symptoms that I wondered if any of you could relate to.
Aside from the bulges, spurs and herniations at C 4/5 and 6/7, which are clearly seen on all sagittal images; there appears to be compression along the same areas of the cord but only in the ventral margin (the white lining along the cord), not the dura (or gray matter). This is even more clearly seen in the axial slices around the same areas but actually looks worse on those images than the sagittal slices. Does anyone know if compression of the ventral margin is even anything to be concerned about at all? If so, is it typical that this would ultimately extend into the actual cord itself? Also, can compression of the ventral margin cause the tingling and numbing that I'm feeling now?
Finally, I have also been experiencing - now this is pretty embarrassing - "incomplete evacuation" during a bowel movements. I have a host of digestive disorders so I just assumed this latest issue was somehow related to that. However, most of the literature that I've found about incomplete evacuation during a BM talks about the "sensation" of incomplete evacuation, and my experience is in no way a "sensation;" it's for real. I didn't think really much about it until I saw that this might somehow be related to some type of neurological issue. Has anyone experienced anything like this in relation to a cord disorder or injury?
Anyway, any advice or shared experience is welcome. I like to arm myself with knowledge before doc visits so I will make sure to ask questions i may not have thought to ask, etc.
Thank you all so much!!