I just wanted to say "hi." I would also like to wish that everyone were well, but I know we aren't. So, I'll keep it real and hope we're at least getting some enjoyment, or holding onto a bit of hope.
I will be combing these archives for an overall feel for what to do now, how this story sometimes plays out, etc., Thank you all for sharing.
Here's me extremely abridged story. A car accident a few months ago-severe. I was alone-both airbags were deployed, the car spun around, I was hit with such force. The driver blew a "stop" sign on a left turn. He was issued a citation.
I had minimal insurance coverage, as I am not wealthy-tstl. I also could tell I was going to get hammered if I didn't have a law firm in my corner. And I was right. As it is, I have gotten slammed. Anyway~onto the medical part.
Despite complaining of numbness and tingling in June, I was not given an MRI until September. It revealed why I wasn't getting better (this "not getting better," btw, was seen as an affront to the physical therapists at the first place I went and put onto me client who just wasn't trying hard enough.
Being at the first PT place did more harm than good.
Anyway, the MRI revealed bulging discs at C3-C4, C4-C-5, C-5-C6 (it is here that it "deforms the spine"), and C6-C-7.
I have since had several trigger point injections and two spinal epidurals. In case you're wondering, the pain of these is much less than what you're dealing with right now-and it goes away. The trigger point injections were especially helpful. Anyone looking at them can PM me.
I have no one in my life to help me (not to make you sad-a fact). It's been a week since my boyfriend hit the road. I had problems before this, letting people in, etc., And now I guess I pay for that, too. I have been in PT (at the 2nd place) for a long time. It doesn't seems to be working. We have goals to make me stronger, but mostly-that isn't happening.
My car was totaled so I rely on a company to provide transportation. Twice, their taxis have just not shown up. With the possibility of paralysis on the line, and their unrelenting ambivalence, I am in big trouble.
So, yea, I guess I need to let this out. I'm also curious, if the inevitable (operation) is being ignored in my case. I am in a lot of pain. If you're reading, I know you relate. I sleep a lot. I feel like the equation of pleasure and pain is totally out of whack.
I have a follow-up with the MD who performed the second spinal epidural in a few weeks. Any advice would be most welcome.
I'm glad I found this board. Knock if you need me.
That is so kind of you. I have it in my file, which, at the moment, looks like a cyclone has hit it. I would be most appreciative of your help-what a generous and kind offer. Thank you. I'm hoping to take you up on that tomorrow, if that works for you.
I also want to let you know I'm here for you, too.
I see you're really busy here. You're quite an asset to the community. Listen, I appreciate your offer, but now I've typed it up and it seems like a lot to ask. How 'bout I leave it, and you do it when you can. It is asking a lot. How are YoU??? I hope you're doing well in So Cal. Take care.
I would post through my scanner, but it's broken.
Here's the imp. part:
Hemangioma involving the right T1 lamina is present.
. . . .. .
At C2-C3, there is no significant central canal or foraminal stenosis.
C3-C4, central disc bulge is present without significant central canal stenosis. Right uncovertebral osteophyte results in mild right formaminal stenosis.
At C-4-C-5, right uncovertebral osteophyte results in moderate to severe right foraminal stenossis. Small central disc protrusion is present without significant central canal stenosis.
At C5-C6, right paracentral disc protrusion deforms the spinal cord without compression. Right uncovertebral osteophyte results in moderate to severe foraminal stenosis.
At C6-C-7, left paracentral disc protrusion is present without significant central canal stenosis.Left uncovertebral ostephyte results in moderate to severe foraminal stenosis.
At C-7-T-1, there is no significant central canal or forminal stenosis.
Left thyroid lobe 5 mm T2 hyperintensive nodule is present.
Pardon the typing mistakes. I'm leaving the thyroid alone until this is done because I don't think it's a big deal (relatively speaking). I am so p'od that my doc. didn't go over this with me. I had to make a ruckus (I'm sure I'm flagged now) just to get a copy.
Sorry to put you off after promising a quick response (I just flew westwards eleven time zones and am kind of discombobulated), but I need one more thing. Can you list your symptoms - at least, those that you think might be due to cervical spine problems. Which side, which fingers, stuff like that?
Not at all, WebDozer! In fact, please get some zzzzs. I hope you had a good trip. Now off to bed!
Please do not do this now-at your convenience. OK?!
Yes, the symptoms I feel are mostly on the right side. This makes sense since it's the right that took a hit-both hits-the airbags (driver and passenger) both deployed when the car crashed into me. For a while, I was getting numbness, as well as pins and needles at my right wrist. I was also not able to write any clearer than a seventh-grader. My wrist felt weak and heavy at once. Hard to explain. A few times, my right foot felt numb, experienced pins and needles- and once, it just gave out on me. I'm happy to say that I am feeling a lot better (this is happening a lot less). I think it's due to the spinal epidurals, maybe the trigger point injections. A few months ago, my gait was off, but I'm OK now. Thank goodness.
It's so kind that you've offered to do this for me. Please don't worry about when. You need to take care of yourself, too.
So-please do so. Be well and we'll talk when you can. I'm off to PT.
Thanks for your concern, but while my clocks say it's 7:30 AM, my mind thinks it's 6:30 PM, so either way, I am awake now
<< At C-4-C-5, right uncovertebral osteophyte results in moderate to severe right foraminal stenossis. Small central disc protrusion is present without significant central canal stenosis. >>
Your cervical vertebrae have a ridge on the edges of the top side that the intervertebral disks can fit partly into, like a sort of saddle. This is called the uncovertebral "joint", and helps to stabilize the cervical spine. Since it's an area of pressure/friction, it can develop bone overgrowths (osteophytes) that can push backward into the spinal canal or diagonally backward into the foramina, which are the openings in the spinal cage through which pass the peripheral nerves after leaving the spinal cord.
In your case, the osteophytes are causing possibly "severe" narrowing of the right C4-5 foramen. This could mean that your C5 nerve is being pinched. The symptoms could be pain at the point of impingement (the neck) or referred symptoms downstream. Referred just means that the symptoms APPEAR to come from the shoulder/arm, but the PROBLEM is in the neck. Your C5 nerve does not go down to your hand (that's C6-C8), but it does supply the deltoid and biceps. When my C5 was pinched, I lost maybe 3/4 of the strength in those two muscles.
<< At C5-C6, right paracentral disc protrusion deforms the spinal cord without compression. Right uncovertebral osteophyte results in moderate to severe foraminal stenosis. >>
At the next level down, the disk protrusion is bad enough to BEND the cord. The radiologist makes the distinction that the cord is NOT COMPRESSED, though. This can happen because the cord - situated within the spinal canal - is surrounded by spinal fluid, and thus has some "leeway" for moving away from intrusions. I don't know how important the deformed-but-not-compressed distinction is. You still have enough pressure on a bunch of very sensitive nerves to bend them.
Same problem with the right foramen at this level. The C6 nerve may affect the triceps muscle (among others, the nerves actually combine and diverge at this level), and also goes down to the thumb.
<< At C6-C-7, left paracentral disc protrusion is present without significant central canal stenosis.Left uncovertebral ostephyte results in moderate to severe foraminal stenosis. >>
Disk protrusion not so bad at this level. Foraminal problem is on the OTHER SIDE (go figure). The C7 nerve would particularly affect the two big fingers.
I could well be wrong about this, but I doubt that the uncovertebral osteophytes were caused by the accident. They would take too long to form. Maybe a borderline condition that the accident pushed over the edge? Something the doc could tell you. The bulging disks could have been caused by the accident, or possibly not.
As for your symptoms, common sense says that symptoms will be downstream from nerve impingements. Therefore, foot trouble must be caused by cord deformation (unless you have lumbar issues, as well). The foraminal stenosis cannot cause a foot problem, only neck pain and shoulder/arm symptoms. My amateur opinion is that you have - or had - symptoms resulting from both cord deformation and foraminal stenosis.
I suspect that most docs would not recommend surgery - at least, not based on what the radiologist says, although many surgeons routinely ignore the radiologist's report. The gait problems are very much a red flag, but if they've GONE AWAY, then docs will be encouraged that all the symptoms will eventually go away. Some surgeons might want to do ACDF's (disk removal and vertebral fusion), at least at C5-6. Others would take an intermediate approach and recommend foraminotomies - less invasive surgeries that come in from behind and try to just shave off the osteophytes. Whether or not foraminotomies can access uncovertebral osteophytes is something I'm not sure of, but you could certainly ask.
My last guess is that, while your symptoms may improve, you have reached the point in your, um, "development", where you are now AT LEAST borderline for cervical spinal problems, and that this is a permanent condition.
Last edited by WebDozer; 11-21-2012 at 08:34 AM.
The Following User Says Thank You to WebDozer For This Useful Post: Hemlock07 (11-21-2012)
I should add that trauma like a car accident can affect muscle as well as bone, e.g. whiplash. This can be very painful and, unfortunately, sometimes intractable. It's also something I'm wholly unqualified to discuss. Something to talk about with docs, though...