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  • Herniated Disc-Weakness

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    Old 07-21-2014, 10:33 AM   #1
    amundsondan's Avatar
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    amundsondan HB User
    Herniated Disc-Weakness

    Hello All,

    I have been dealing with a herniated disc in my neck for the past year and I was hoping to get some advice from a relating individual on how long I can expect symptoms and if I need to seek medical attention at this point.

    last November, I fell on my upper back while snowboarding. A week later my pointer and middle finger started tingling/going numb and I started developing uncomfortable knots around my right shoulder blade. I went into the gym one day to find my right tricep and my right lat lost almost all strength. I could not do a simple pushup or pullup.

    I ended up going to several doctors but were of no help. I went to a neurologist and receive an MRI to find I had a herniated disc. I was still not offered any type of help. He basically said do you want to do nothing or get surgery?

    It has now been almost a year and I still do not have full strength. I can especially tell I can't fully contract my lat muscles(which affects almost every lift). The trivial aspect is that I never experienced any pain besides my neck being stiff throughout the day.

    If I do not have full strength does that mean the nerve is still be pinched or could it mean that it's still healing?

    My main concern is the knots in my back. I have read many forums and have not found somebody who has knots correlating to their disc herniation. I have been told that the nerves do not go from my neck through my lat and they couldn't possibly be related. The knots are very tolerable now but a half a year ago they were inflamed and extremely uncomfortable. Could the muscle knots be causing my weakness and not be related to a disc herniation?

    Any input would be greatly appreciated. I have not heard a success story for someone with disc herniation so I'm a little worried I'll never have full strength.

    Thanks in advance!

    Last edited by mod85; 07-22-2014 at 08:38 AM.

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    Old 07-22-2014, 07:22 AM   #2
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    Re: Herniated Disc-Weakness

    Welcome to the board. I normally post on the "back problems" board, but happened to notice your post.

    I am really surprised that the neurologist did not refer you to someone who could aid your recovery. Did he refer you to physical therapy at least?

    When people have symptoms stemming from a back problem, a neurologist is of limited usefulness. That specialist's training is in the diseases of the nervous system and is trained to diagnose and treat nervous system disorders.

    It is the fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon or the neurosurgeon who have the most education and training in the mechanics and diseases of the spine, the back and neck.

    People often assume since the name "surgeon" is in the title, if they make an appointment with someone in that specialty, they will end up having surgery. While that may have been the case years ago, most are very conservative and will explore all other options prior to concluding that surgery is necessary. It is the best place to go for an accurate diagnosis and plan for treatment.

    One might just have a initial appointment with the spine surgeon, and then would be referred to the appropriate resource for treatment...perhaps a course of physical therapy or to a physiatrist or pain management doc for a series of epidural steroid injections...or, a neurologist for nerve testing like an EMG to see if there is nerve compression.

    It would be difficult for me to say whether the herniation has healed or whether the nerve is still "pinched." Since you still have weakness either the nerve is still compressed or there is some nerve damage.

    If this continues to cause you problems, I would suggest you make an appointment for a consultation with a spine surgeon. Take your old MRI with you to the appointment.

    When a nerve has been compressed for a period of time, it can become damaged so that it no longer fully functions. For example, I have numbness in both feet that is left over from lumbar spine nerve compression that was eventually relieved by surgery 4 years ago.

    Last edited by teteri66; 07-22-2014 at 07:25 AM.

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    Old 07-22-2014, 07:27 AM   #3
    amundsondan's Avatar
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    Re: Herniated Disc-Weakness

    No He didn't refer to anybody.. Kinda weird. But anyways thanks for your input! I am going to see if my symptoms lessen in the next few months and if not I will definitely make an appointment with a Spine Surgeon. Thanks again for the help!

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