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    Old 02-01-2008, 07:53 AM   #1
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    Having MRI Monday to diagnosis numb toes

    What can expect to find out- if anything from this MRI. I have 2 toes , one on each foot (not same location) that have gone numb (one in Sept. and one in Nov.) that have not regained any feeling since that time.

    The dr tested my B12 and it was low at 185 and I am on B12 injections. I'm not sure if that may be the problem I have no other low B12 symptoms.

    The dr also tested my sugar and I am not diabetic.

    For ins purposes we did an xray that came out clear- we expected that.

    But they are doing an MRI monday. I do not have any back pain at this moment. I do get intermitent back pain ranging from weakness, to siatic pain, to a grinding feeling in my hip(the best I can describe it is like what I call a "hitch") When I have "episodes" it lasts several days, doesn't lay me flat out but is very uncomfotable and moderately affects my day to day activities. But it comes and goes. I did fall when younger but we do not remember what the diagnosis and there is no way of knowing if there is any lasting effects of that (parents deceased, don't recall ER)

    Would the MRI people say anything or are they not allowed to? Will they be able to see a pinched nerve in an MRI if it is not bothering me in my back right now? I still have the numbness 24/7 though so I guess that may show up?

    I've not had one before so I'd love some input.

    (I have 2 staples from gall bladder removal-7years ago-- do I need to tell the MRI people- they are inside)
    I am 40 yr old Female.


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    Old 02-01-2008, 08:34 AM   #2
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    Re: Having MRI Monday to diagnosis numb toes

    I had my first surgery and right the way i felt my toes, feet and right leg went numb. And still here since even though I had another surgery a month ago.
    Based on what exactly area is numb they can tell you right the way what nerve got involved. For example my right leg: numb outside -means L-5. On a left foot outside and 2 little toes - L-4 and so on.
    MRI may show, may not show the problem. I have severe nerve damage but only by areas and symptoms (like dropped foot, weakness and numbness) a good DR can diagnose your problems. But this I am talking only about NS or a Spinal Surgeon.
    Good luck to you!

    Old 02-01-2008, 09:39 AM   #3
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    Re: Having MRI Monday to diagnosis numb toes

    Mine is right big toe and left second toe

    Old 02-01-2008, 10:05 AM   #4
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    Re: Having MRI Monday to diagnosis numb toes

    Hi Shelby ~

    Don't be surprised if the doctor still can't tell you why you have two numb toes after you have the MRI. Numb toes are one of those mysterious symptoms that can be from a variety of problems. It is odd that you only have two, and one on each foot. It could be the beginning of some type of peripheral neuropathy or it could be a pinched nerve in your back. Hopefully the MRI will reveal the answer to your question!!

    Sometimes the technician will tell you something if you ask. More common, they will tell you they aren't doctors and therefore can't really say anything. I think you should mention the staples to the technician. It may not make any difference but just in case....

    They should be able to tell whether you have a pinched nerve, or not. There may be signs of a bulging disc or some stenosis that is causing the numbness.

    Try not to worry. The MRI is kind of an annoying test, but it doesn't hurt. Just try to relax and let your mind drift...and before you know it, it will be over.

    xx MM

    Old 02-01-2008, 01:08 PM   #5
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    Re: Having MRI Monday to diagnosis numb toes

    My husband had to take meds to get his MRI- he gets clastrophobic easily. I don't think I will have any problem with it. That kind of stuff doesn't usually bother me. As a full time teacher and a mother of 3 demanding children and a wife to a guy that works 80 hour weeks I take any down time even if I'm in a big machine.

    Old 02-01-2008, 01:51 PM   #6
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    Re: Having MRI Monday to diagnosis numb toes

    Shelby, not to discourage you but my boyfriend's toes and the balls of his feet are numb after 4 surgeries. You are lucky its just 2 toes. He certainly didn't have this problem before the first surgery but of course his surgeon says that its not from the surgeries. The MRI doesn't show anything. He isn't diabetic and its not neuropathy. He can't tolerate any of the meds given for nerve pain. The surgeon can't do anything more and now my boyfriend has to suffer. The neurologist says its a pinched nerve in his back but the surgeon doesn't agree because of the MRI doesn't show that. So now what do we do? He can't accept this and won't accept this. He is so distraught. There is a reason for this numbness but no one seems to know what that is. I have no idea where to go from here. My heart really hurts for him.


    Old 02-02-2008, 07:23 PM   #7
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    Re: Having MRI Monday to diagnosis numb toes

    Just a hint for the MRI. I am also claustrophobic but am able to get through the MRI by putting my hands above my head instead of at my sides. It isn't as tight and you feel more in control of the situation. If you want to get out you can which really puts your mind at ease. Tell him to try it. It worked for me and a friend of mine who has the same issues.

    Old 02-02-2008, 10:11 PM   #8
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    Re: Having MRI Monday to diagnosis numb toes

    Hi Shelby. I think you have a great attitude! That will help you alot through this process. Just remember to keep that up and don't let the pain take over.

    Your toes were the same ones I had issue with and even on my right side as well, and my problem was the l4/l5 disc that was torn. It wasn't bulging out or pinching any nerves. It was leaking out and when it was doing so, a chemical is released and it irritates the nerve, sending a signal to the brain and causing pain.

    I did have lower back pain with mine though. I had horrible sciatica and by the time I was at the surgery point, I could barely walk. From the time I injured my disc to the time I had surgery was almost 4 years time.

    My disc went detected/undiagnosed by 4 surgeons and 3 MRI's. The MRI's showed the l4/l5 looking pretty darn healthy and at full height. I had one surgeon say that he could see that it was just starting to show signs that it was aging (DDD). I have a bulging disc at l5/s1 that's been around since at least age 18, so everyone just assumed that was what was causing all my back/sciatica. It causes me no pain at all, as tested by doing a discogram. The discogram is actually what finally found the l4/l5 disc. The doc injected dye into it and it splattered right back out. That is how it was found.

    This is one of those times when you want to find the source of the problem, but you really dont want to find the source of the problem for what it may mean. But knowing is needed.

    Everyone gets degenerative disc disease at some point in their life. This is not a disease but a condition of aging/drying out of the discs. And most of us have a bulging disc too at some point. For some it causes nothing more than a typical ache and pain, then for some it is very painful. A bulging disc can heal itself and actually return to it's natural position too. Most require little to no medical intervention. And for those that need medical intervention, often only need medication, PT and eventually it takes care of itself. Then for others not so lucky.. it can be a long journey of pain and/or surgery.

    I had to have the fusion done at this level because the disc was nothing more than an empty exoskeletal shell, and the doctor was amazed my spine had not collapsed onto itself. They dont normally do fusions for torn disc unless there are other underlining issues to warrant it. So if you show a tear.. dont get all worried.

    The MRI is a piece of cake and I have to admit, I've fallen asleep during one or two. If they dont already offer it, ask them to put a cushion under your knees, and give you a warm blanket, so you wont be cold while you are in there. Those toasty blankets they have are heavenly! lol.

    I have been to certain groups where I get my films right then and there. Now the report is often not included as the radiologist must look at the MRI's and produce a report. And if you've had one previously, the radiologist would also provide a report on a comparison of the two.

    It wont hurt to ask. The worst is they wont tell you. But you can ask to come and get your MRI's and report when they are ready and take to the doctor yourself, AND DO ask for a copy of the report for your own file. You really do need to keep a copy of all your reports, so you can easily take these with you if you need to see a different doctor.

    Let us know how things go.
    "believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

    L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
    Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
    Solidly Fused Nov-2006
    A Success, but still improving!

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