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Arthritis questions

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Old 03-03-2008, 03:51 AM   #1
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Arthritis questions

Hello! I have just a few quick questions that I know I should ask of a doctor, but I've been passed around and around. I'm 31 years old and my family has a history of early onset arthritis and fibromyalgia. Back in December, I had tingling hands and feet for about a month, followed by pain in hands/feet/thighs/back. I do have a herniated disk and bulging disk in my cervical spine along with stenosis. My neurosurgeon is now shuffling me to a neurologist to check for MS (I had a few white matter changes that did not meet the criteria).

Just wondering if arthritis can cause burning pain throughout the body in various places (arms, thighs, etc.). They are quick, sharp bursts. I also have bursts that feel like a pin pricking.

Also, would this have been picked up on my MRIs of the c-spine? I did have a vitamin D deficiency which I am being treated for.

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Old 03-03-2008, 05:30 AM   #2
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Re: Arthritis questions

Hi, most certainly a herniated disc and stenosis can cause all sorts of pains and symptoms in different areas of your body, depending where the problem is located. If it's in your cervical spine, it can definitely affect your arms and hands and if there is compression on your spinal cord, it can even affect your legs. If I were you, I would see that Neuro as soon as possible b/c you especially dont want to mess around if you have actual cord compression.

Also if you have enough degeneration in your spine it can cause bone spurs to form on your spinal joints. Over time, as they get larger, they can press into surrounding nerves, which can cause lots of pain & parasthesias, etc. I suppose if your doc told you about the disc & stenosis, then it must have been on the MRI report. Do you have a copy of that report? If not, get one from your doctor. Then you can tell us what is says and we can try to decipher some of it for you. Of course we're not docs, but many of us have alot of experience with this. Does your doctor not think that any of your symptoms could be due to your cervical spine issues? I know MS can cause things like that , but it seems almost clear that you probably have nerve compression in your spine. Plus when you lay down for an MRI, the laying down takes alot of pressure off your spine, so your issues could be a little worse in reality than what the MRI report says. Either way, definitely see that NS asap. Not to scare you but, cord compression can lead to many things you would never want, including paralysis. Thats not to say that would happen to you!!! Just to let you know of what is possible if the compression gets bad enough.

I had a co-worker who started having a problem with her right hand and after a few weeks couldnt even use it anymore. She thought it might carpal tunnel. She also has diabetes, so when she went to the doc, he thought it was diabetic neuropathy. She wore a brace, and tried all sorts of meds, but it kept getting worse. Then all of a sudden she was having a problem walking. It all started spreading to her lower limbs, numbness, weakenss, pins/needles, etc. FInally she had MRIs of both her lumbar and cervical spines and it was found she had a very large disc herniation in just one level of her cervical spine. Had she not kept goign back to her docs and telling them something more was wrong & to look into it...she could be paralyzed by now. Thankfully it was caught before much damage was done to her nerves & cord. SHe had to have that disc taken off and a fusion in that level. Now shes prettty much back to normal except she still has trouble with her one hand.

Old 03-03-2008, 01:36 PM   #3
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Re: Arthritis questions

Thanks so much! I've been shuffled around so much. GP sent me to NS after I complained of tingling in hands and feet. My MRI report said:

At the C5-6 level there is a left foraminal disc herniation causing left neural foraminal stenosis. At C6-7 level there is a small disk bulge.

He saw it and said "the report says there is no stenosis (which he later retracted), and the herniation wasn't that bad. He said "let's rule out MS, and it looks like you could have a chiari - brain malformation). My MRI of the brain said:

A few scattered nonspecific white matter changes filling none of the McDonald criteria for multiple sclerosis and with no evidence of a chiari malformation.

When I went in, he wasn't even going to tell me the results! He just said "you need a neurologist, not me."

My symptoms now are mostly:
Muscle pain and nerve pain (pin pricks). Burning. Some tingling, but that is mostly gone. The pain seems to be symmetrical. If my upper left thigh burns for an hour, the next hour (or day), it is my right thigh. I also have back/shoulder pain, which is helped by the cervical spinal exercises I was given by PT (I went for a week, then we held off due to not knowing if it was chiari).

I have had all bloodwork done and it was normal (including SED). I feel like crying. Now it's another 2 months to get into the neurologist. I wish someone would at least treat the herniated disk! Thanks for your feedback

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