It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-14-2012, 09:40 AM   #1
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7
Dawnazear HB User
Unhappy Hi Im new looking for advice and support:)

Hello,
My name is Dawna, I was wondering if anyone could help me understand my current MRI. A little background on me. I am 39 years old and 5 years ago I woke up with a stiff neck and intense pain, as I turned to walk my entire left side went numb and I fell. I thought I was having a stroke. well ended up it was my neck, I had emergency surgery 12 hours later and my c4-5 5-6 was fused. 2 years ago lower back pain, foot drop, I ignored it hoping it would resolve, ended up with cauda Equina syndrome, emergency surgery, with complications l5-s1, l4-l5, l3-l4. Nerves were damaged, and I ave been a paraplegic ever since.
On to my question... last week I began having severe pain in my neck, head, and arm. When I ended up in the er, I couldnt move. The MRi results state as follows...

c3-c4 mild disk bulge and uncovertebral arthrosis with a superimposed central disk herniation measuring 4x3mm indenting the thecal sac resulting in severe central canal stenosis.
c5-c6 post disk fusion . moderate right sided uncovertebral arthrosis. the central canal and left neural foramina patent. moderate narrowing of the right neural foramen.

c6-c7 mild disk bulge with mild flattening of the thecal sac and mild to moderate central canal stenosis.

I have not followed up with my neurosurgeon yet..hoping and praying this resolves, and the pain goes away on its own. but I would really love to know why my spine is falling apart. anyway any help deciphering the MRI would be so appreciated. Thank you!

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 06-14-2012, 09:57 AM   #2
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,384
WebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB User
Re: Hi Im new looking for advice and support:)

Dawna... You certainly have way more than your share of spinal trouble, and I'm really sorry about that.

It is widely believed that fusing the spine at one or more levels causes additional stress on the levels above and below ("adjacent disk syndrome"). Whether or not that's true in your case is unknowable, but it's certainly true that your adjacent levels are having trouble.

That herniated disk at C3-4 certainly looks like something that needs to be dealt with. My amateur's guess is that the only way to do so is with an ACDF. Oddly, it may be causing you no pain, and the symptoms that might show up in your legs are masked by the prior paralysis.

What MAY have caused the pain is the arthrosis at C5-6, as it might be squeezing the right C6 nerve going into your arm, down to your thumb.

I wouldn't wait and hope that a "severe" canal stenosis goes away on its own. Maybe you could go back to the doc who ordered the MRI (if he works outside the ER) and ask his opinion, or maybe you could go to an orthopedist, but I'd say that "severe" means you may want to go straight to a spine surgeon.

Last edited by WebDozer; 06-14-2012 at 12:53 PM.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to WebDozer For This Useful Post:
Dawnazear (06-15-2012)
Old 06-14-2012, 12:17 PM   #3
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,894
Blog Entries: 12
jennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB User
Re: Hi Im new looking for advice and support:)

Hi Dawna...I'm Jenny and I've had a lot of spine issues but yours seem extreme. seems like you don't have a slow build up of problems but a sudden and severe problem that develops almost overnight. Does anyone know why or have you tried to work with a rheumatologist to find out why?

The current severe canal stenosis is a big problem that will need to be fixed so that your paralysis doesn't spread upwards....at C3, you are looking at jaw down paralysis.

But I really am disturbed by the rapidity that things have happened to you. Cauda equina usually has a slow development with months or even years of bladder and bowel problems prior to paralysis setting in but I it seems that you had none of those problems. That is so weird. And sad.

I'll take a look in all the literature I have on spines as I have both OA and Ra in my spine and it has destabilized my spine quite badly. There are disorders that can destabilize the spine like this.

Get back to you after I've done some reading.

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

 
The Following User Says Thank You to jennybyc For This Useful Post:
Dawnazear (06-15-2012)
Old 06-15-2012, 04:22 AM   #4
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7
Dawnazear HB User
Re: Hi Im new looking for advice and support:)

Thank you both for your quick replies. I never expected such support. Webdozer, & jennybyc the thought of another ACDF scares me so much, especially after my lumbar disaster. However, I know I can not live many more days like I am. I cant even function, and the neck pain and stiffness is so severe. I am actually thinking of going to the er today. I have 4 children and feel like I am letting them down in so many ways, especially my 7 year old. I did contact my neurosurgeon yesterday, and all I got was, he hasnt reviewed the er report yet, and he will call me. The er told me to have my doc admit me, when I called my pc he said the er had to admit me. Its like no one wants to give me any direction. So they tell me to go back to the er, where the last trip was 6 hours, and I only saw a doc once. but I got a little relief. I hate using the er when I know there are more people with life threatening illnesses there. But I am so afraid I am going to lose more function somewhere at the same time.
Thank you so much for explaining some of the MRI results. They are so confusing. I was hoping maybe this was something that would ease up on its own, but as each day and long night go by, It is not looking too promising.
Jenny you said something that surprised me....about jaw down paralysis? I never mentioned it to the docs, because i figured it was unrelated, but my jaw and ear have really been aching, i just figured it was the muscles all connected and tense attributing to it. I also recently went for an upper Gi scope due to swallowing problems, and spasms in the throat. They thought i may need my throat stretched, they found a hiatal hernia, but not enough to cause those problems. Also weakness and pain in the right arm and hand, sent me for a nerve test and said I had carpal tunnel. I wounder if this ALL could be related to my cervical spine? I dont think any of my doctors are looking at the whole picture. and honestly neither did I until just now.
Are there certain things that certain areas of the c spine control? specifically c 3-4 and 5-6? Maybe all of the issues are connected
I would love to know why or if there is some disorder that causes this rapid degeneration, I have never gotten any answers, and I am so afraid this is going to continue and i will lose what independence I have left. This bothers me even more knowing that all I can really physically do is push a wheelchair, and I still herniated disks?
O.k. ...Im sorry , done rambling. Thank you so much for listening, and helping me find some answers and direction. I have not yet decided what I am going to do as far as another er trip today, but I will keep you posted.

 
Old 06-15-2012, 06:51 AM   #5
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,384
WebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB User
Re: Hi Im new looking for advice and support:)

<< Are there certain things that certain areas of the c spine control? specifically c 3-4 and 5-6? >>

"Dermatomes" are areas of skin that are innervated by specific spinal nerves. You can look up dermatomes in general, or for your specific nerves (C4 and C6). In the arms, it can be a little confusing because the nerves come together and split apart again. It's probably accurate to say that FEELING in the thumb comes from the C6 nerve, but MOVEMENT of the hand may be driven from higher up.

BTW, is the pain in your neck/arm one-sided?

 
Old 06-15-2012, 08:13 AM   #6
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7
Dawnazear HB User
Re: Hi Im new looking for advice and support:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by WebDozer View Post
<< Are there certain things that certain areas of the c spine control? specifically c 3-4 and 5-6? >>

"Dermatomes" are areas of skin that are innervated by specific spinal nerves. You can look up dermatomes in general, or for your specific nerves (C4 and C6). In the arms, it can be a little confusing because the nerves come together and split apart again. It's probably accurate to say that FEELING in the thumb comes from the C6 nerve, but MOVEMENT of the hand may be driven from higher up.

BTW, is the pain in your neck/arm one-sided?
Definitely more on the right side. Although the tense spastic muscles are causing pain throughout the entire neck. the intense pain started and originates on the right side.

 
Old 06-15-2012, 08:22 AM   #7
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,384
WebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB User
Re: Hi Im new looking for advice and support:)

I suspected as much. My amateur's guess is that the PAIN is coming from the right C6 nerve being scrunched. This pain caused you to get an MRI, which discovered the much more serious cord problem at C3-4, the symptoms of which may not have been enough for you to seek help.

An orthopedist could likely tell you if it's C4 or C6 just by you pointing to the origin of the pain.

So you were "lucky", in a way, or at least less unlucky than you might have been... (I'm sure there's a pony in here somewhere!)

Last edited by WebDozer; 06-15-2012 at 08:25 AM.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to WebDozer For This Useful Post:
Dawnazear (06-15-2012)
Old 06-15-2012, 08:25 AM   #8
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7
Dawnazear HB User
Re: Hi Im new looking for advice and support:)

Im also getting burning sensation on the right side in the front clavicle area, which is new today.

 
Old 06-15-2012, 08:28 AM   #9
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,384
WebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB User
Re: Hi Im new looking for advice and support:)

That, unfortunately, would be more of a C4 thing. However, by now you have inflammation and spasms and who knows what else... and, if you're like me, your mind is starting to get involved.... so talking about specific nerve origins probably is not worth the time.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to WebDozer For This Useful Post:
Dawnazear (06-15-2012)
Old 06-15-2012, 08:44 AM   #10
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7
Dawnazear HB User
Re: Hi Im new looking for advice and support:)

Your right...my mind is definitely on overdrive. Pain seems to consume a person, and after being paralyzed from lumbar complications, knowing that there is a whole lot more below the neck that can go wrong I guess I am about as neurotic as I can get right now. lol Family is begging me to go back to the er today. But I dont want to get forced into a rash decision, with whatever surgeon is on call. Scary stuff, and decisions Im not ready for I guess.

 
Old 06-15-2012, 08:49 AM   #11
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,384
WebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB UserWebDozer HB User
Re: Hi Im new looking for advice and support:)

FWIW, I think you are worthy of the ER. No doubt they have more urgent cases than yours, but they also have a lot of less urgent ones....

 
The Following User Says Thank You to WebDozer For This Useful Post:
Dawnazear (06-15-2012)
Old 06-15-2012, 09:15 AM   #12
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7
Dawnazear HB User
Re: Hi Im new looking for advice and support:)

I think I will get cleaned up, and make that trip, before the 5:00 happy hour at the er begins Transferring from my wheelchair to bed/ ect. has been increasingly difficult due to neck spasms, and stiffness. its amazing how much the neck muscles influence. I dont want to risk a fall due to it on top of everything else You have been so nice and helpful, and I thank you. I will update when I return.

 
The following user gives a hug of support to Dawnazear:
kenzibenzi (06-15-2012)
Old 06-16-2012, 04:17 AM   #13
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7
Dawnazear HB User
Re: Hi Im new looking for advice and support:)

OMG!! That was the worst experience of my life! I have never felt so stupid, and judged! I went to the er, they were not busy, so I got in pretty quickly. I explained my situation to the triage nurse, and before I could explain, there was a report on my history, and a recent MRI in their file. She coldly said, "so your neck is stiff". and put me in a room. I went in and another nurse, came in. I was having spasms so bad my arms and shoulders were shaking, I was having trouble pushing my wheelchair. When I got into the room, she just told me to roll over by the chair, and sit, the PA would be in shortly. 1/2 hour later, skinny very young "boy" came in, and promptly said, I really dont know what you want us to do for you. I told him I had an appointment with the surgeon on Wednesday, reexplained why I was there, told him there was a report on me..and tried to explain, I needed something to relax the muscles as I was in terrible pain and spasms. I suggested an anti inflammatory, or steroid injection to try and get me through until Wednesday. He left the room, saying he was going to see what he could do. I still was sitting in my wheelchair, no one offered me a bed, ice pack, pillow. after an hour, the discharge nurse came back in with papers to discharge me. I just looked at her, and said, "Im being discharged? They didnt do anything yet" Just then the PA from the hall called in to the nurse, and said, "come here...and they whispered in the hall" A nurse came in,( by this time Im bawling like a baby) and gave me a shot, and said I could leave. I asked if it was an anti inflammatory, or steroid, or muscle relaxer. She said, no, its a pain med. and walked out. As I gathered my presigned discharge papers to leave, I read the notice that has never been on any of my discharge papers before, about abusing the er for chronic pain, and drug seeking behavior. 2 pages of it! As I rolled out, still crying, the nurse had the nerve to ask how I felt. I told her, i felt no better, and humiliated, I told her, If I wanted narcotics, I could have just opened my medicine cabinet, I already have IM demerol at home, for breakthrough emergency pain. I needed something more preventative for the spasms. The young Doogie Howser, came around the corner, and said, well we can give you another pain shot. I told him, I didnt want another pain shot! How about a steroid, or anti inflammatory. ...he said , oh ok, get her a steroid inj. . They shot me in the hallway, and I left. I will NEVER go back there again.

 
Closed Thread




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:28 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!