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    Old 07-06-2010, 09:05 PM   #1
    wrgil
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    c6/c7 elbow pain

    Hi everyone. I am curious if anyone else with c6 and/or c7 nerve compression has or has had epic elbow pain. Out of all my symptoms this is absolutely the worst and most painful. I get the burning pain down my tricep area but it is nothing compared to the elbow pain. It's right in the "funny bone" area and sometimes lasts for hours. It sometimes goes away for days or even a week but always eventually comes back. I'm curious if this is a common symptom as I haven't seen much about it during my hours of Googling.

     
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    Old 07-07-2010, 08:56 AM   #2
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    Re: c6/c7 elbow pain

    that particular area you are referring to is actually innervated by the c 8 or 'ulnar" nerve? its called the 'ulnar crease", "funny bone' area(its where that ulnar nerve goes on its way down to the hand/fingers?)? how were you actually made aware of what you have with that c 6-7 involved with nerve compression, did you have an EMG that showed some level of nerve compression or an MRI being done on the c spine? are you actually having ANY problems at all within any of your fingers with sensory affectation or fine motor problems at all?

    honestly, if you have not yet had an MRI done on at least that c spine level to actually see for certain what possible areas are being impacted up there, it seriously needs some doing now. this would just better define exactly what IS creating compression or impingment problems for you from the c spine level, only becasue your pain is up THAT high above your elbow level at all that is also creating what sounds like pretty insane levels of pain too. getting an actual contrasted MRI really would possibly show much more than having an MRI without it being used. you can be referred by just your primary doc for this. but i WOULD get that c spine much more deeply looked into right now. it would "appear' here that you just really 'do" have to have "something" that IS impacting that c 8 nerve up there right now. while that c 8 does NOT actually have its own disc or vertebrae, it DOES have that c 8 nerve that also innervates the pinkie and only half of that ring finger that sits closest to the pinkie in our fingers? but you just really DO need to find out whats going on up in your c spine right now so any possible treatment options can be tried and pain managment with the very best and most appropriate meds can also be tried too.

    has your doc tried to actually even treat this pain with anything at all yet? one very helpful thing that i have used for many years ever since damage to my ulnar and the T 1 nerves created a rather stingy hellish pain syndrome from spinal cord damge in that very same area(central pain syndrome) is lidocaine patches and the lido ointment for specific areas where i cannot fit the patch? these little wonders actually 'numb' that more outter layer pain that seriously is the ONLY thing that even comes close to actually even touching THAT level of pain at all. just something that any doc can actually rx for you. and these types of patches can also be cut so they can be made to fit in certain areas much better to get all the wierd spots? Marcia
    __________________
    3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
    11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

     
    Old 07-07-2010, 09:09 AM   #3
    jennybyc
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    Re: c6/c7 elbow pain

    Hi wrgil....I know the exact area you're talking about because I have a numb "stripe" running down the outside of my left arm right to the tip of my little finger. I had some pain develop last fall but since I have both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid, I assumed it was arthritis pain. But yes, my elbow hurt the worst of all.....I thought for sure the RA was destroying my elbow. But once it started to go numb, I realized it had to be my neck.

    Oddly enough, the cervical MRI didn't show a C8 nerve problem but having looked at the films myself and knowing what a mess I have in there with rods and screws, there most likely is a problem but you can't see it. My doc's PA will call today if she thinks I need a thoracic MRI too.

    But yeah....it's a common symptom to you and I and I bet a lot of others.

    Hope it gets fixed soon. Do you have a surgery date(I think you mentioned that in another post)?

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

     
    Old 07-07-2010, 02:07 PM   #4
    wrgil
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    Re: c6/c7 elbow pain

    Feelbad, that is very interesting about c8, maybe that's why I didn't find too much when googling c7 and elbow pain. I have had an MRI showing c6 and c7 root compression as well as spinal cord flattening but nothing was mentioned about the c8 on the report. I have all the typical c7 symptoms, wasted triceps, wrist weakness, and the list goes on. I am currently taking percocet at night which seems to help enough so that i can fall asleep. No one has ever mentioned the lidocaine patches or creams. I will definitely look into that. Thanks for the tip!

    Jenny, that's it exactly! I have never felt pain like this elbow pain. I'm on the waitlist for surgery right now. The surgeon is hoping to get some extra OR time in September and slip me in there but I don't have a date yet. I was misdiagnosed for two years so he's hoping to help me sooner rather than later. I'm curious to see if they do send you for a thoracic MRI. If so, I'm really hoping everything is okay for you. It sounds like you've had a really rough time!

     
    Old 07-08-2010, 07:39 AM   #5
    feelbad
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    Re: c6/c7 elbow pain

    unfortunetly what actually even will showup on any given MRI being done on any given area, even WITH a contrasting agent that just can help even seeing cvcertqain finding stoo, one HUGER thing you need to always remember weith ANy level of actual 'scan" is that it IS 'only' that,an actual 'scasn' of an area and in no way shape for form an real actual 'picture' of an area,so may things may not be realistically even seen by even the best NSs til they actually cang et into that spinal level and really just visualize things in there at all? one poster here on the sp bpoards named sammy 01 actually showed absolutely NO actual problems at her c 7 level at all,orr not abnormalities even noted either,and he NS did not see anything ewither when he looked at her hardfilms. WELL< when they actually went in to do the decomp fusion on only her c 5-6? THAT is when they saw something pretty impactful that did not simply 'show? she actually ahd a c 7 disc that ahd kind of 'fell apart' in there and fragmented and was actually even lying ON her spinal cord area,and no one had seen ANY real indication of ANYTHING being evenh remorely 'wrong' at THAT particular level. so this just really IS a possible going on at that c 8 nerve level of at least "something'Z really impacting it or even impinginf it in some way but nothing actually even showing upon your MRI there either? this 'could' alo be better defined at the actual area of real impact by doing one EMG/NCV ON that particular arm all the way up to and including that c spine area too? this test just shows ONLY very direct impingement/impact nerve flow velocitys that are slowed or not as 'good' as they should be either/ so if the flow velocity FROM your c spine level just IS showing ANY impairment, you can bet that the area of impact IS within that spinal and not anywhere along that arm to hand at all in most cases. but if you are going to be having a surgery to simply correct something at all, they would most certainly be able to 'see' the possible problem at c 8 when they go on and can finally fully visualize all areas if it just IS THST really impactful?

    mostly since you just DO have such a long wait time before this even can be fixed for you at all, i definitely would ask about at the very least here, that EMG/NCV to be done(kind of suprised it has not yet been ordered considering your areas of symptoms simply do NOT actually match with the MRI findings with that c 8 nerve being even involved in at least "some' possible way??)only to try and show whats up with that c 8 nerve and from what area of impact? this would help the NS who will be doing your actual surgery to better know what to actually even expect in there too by virtue of impact and if it IS actually IN that spinal and not somwehre else that could be down that arm somewhere between that spinal and that elbow would be the most likely.

    just what if any symptoms are you actually getting/having in the hand/ finger areas and what if any very specific fingers are being involved here? that would help alot to just know and better define the ares of real impact to since each individual nerve up in the c spine goes directly to sensory innervate each finger or fingers too? there is also the governing of fine motor functions(overall dexterity of mostly fingers?) there too, but the innervation runs a bit differently than the sensory does with only the c spine nerves. **
    __________________
    3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
    11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

     
    Old 07-08-2010, 04:57 PM   #6
    wrgil
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    Re: c6/c7 elbow pain

    Thanks for all the info Marcia! I really appreciate your helpful responses. My finger symptoms are basically that all digits are weak and the tingling is only in the thumb and the two beside the thumb. I've never felt anything in the pinkie or the one next to it. I don't know if I'll even see the surgeon again before surgery - do most people have pre-op visits or was the one consult I had it? I was really stunned by the entire meeting as I was told for two years there was nothing wrong and it was all in my head so I didn't really ask the right questions when I was in with him.

     
    Old 07-09-2010, 08:54 AM   #7
    feelbad
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    Re: c6/c7 elbow pain

    just what 'exactly' does your pain at that elbow really "feel like' to you? is it like deep and into the bone type feeling or is is more like a surfacey kind of "stinging' or burning going on or what? the more specific in the description and the actual 'areas" involved(or is this only 'the' elbow,inside(like the area where they would actually do any given blood draw on you?) the or outside and only in that 'crease" area there?

    it is also a possible that you very easily just 'could' have like two totally different and unrelated issues going on there too sincve the fingers that would be innervated by that ulnar are NOT involved at all? but it does sound like 'something' is most definitely triggering what sounds like very high levels of real pain for you there too? this whole thing is really rather mind bobbling to say the least,ya know what i mean? things that should be there with certain nerves involved are not kinda thing?

    i WOULD most defintiely see your surgeon again,ersp since whatever date for your surgery is still soo far off? ask abouyt THAT ELBOW stuff and just see if he can refer you for that EMG and see what he says? its just hard to really knwo for certain with only your description of that pain as to whether or not this is even being caused by some level of nerve affectation, ya know? esp without having ANY correlating finger symptoms(pinkie/ring?), it cannot be truely 'that' hugley impinged. it just kind of goes with the description of what is NOT being involved here?

    it 'could' be an actual joint issue of some kind thos since just about ANY joint can develop certain types of more inflammatory types of symptoms? this too couild be the impact upon the c -67 depending upon the eact area where that dermatome ends within that area before it runs down to your fingers? i would have to double check the dermatome innervation tho. this is just a rreally "strange" type of screaming symptom that does NOT actually correlate to the finger innervation. but i am wondering, only becasue the sensory and the fine motor functions on any of the single c spine nerves with one on each side/level(the rest of our spinal blow the C actually has 'pairs" of nerves? one motor and one sensory while c spine only simply has one single 'multi' nerve on each sideand level that contain both motor and sensory components but NOT of the same nerve? there is alot of 'play' with that fine motor in each nerve.) so i would have to check THAT out too. but this really IS a strange one for me. just by possibly checking(if the NS even feels this actually IS even nerve generated pain)with that EMG from the fingers on UP theu that c spine level, it just may show the area where this nerve just 'could' be impacted at? the most likely would be c spine first, then any of the actual joint areas it runs thru til it gets to and innervates those last two fingers.

    but getting the best POSSIBLE real in depth description of YOUR actual pain and the borders it has really seriously would help tons right now to just better define its possible source? this just could be something likie a really inflammed joint? believe me, when any given joint becomes really inflammed it can throw off insane levels of pain at times. does that elbow area even feel the least bit hotter than the rest of the arm does at all?

    depending mostly upon just exactly what this pain is like for you and really how deep it is, like does it actually 'feel' pretty deep or more to the surface? does it actually radiate out or into anything else around it? anything IS a possible here as to the real underlying generator which just may NOT actually even BE related in any way to your actual spinal either? we DO tend to become somewhat 'tunnel visioned' when we simply KNOW without a doubt that any specific area IS having some type of real problems(esp when it is spinal), we do tend to seem to correlate everything and anything we may happen to feel that the area can simply affect directly to it even tho it may well be a totally unrelated type of problem? we are not the only ones who do this, trust me, many even really good "specialists" will do this as well. its just the way our brains work sometimes.

    just finding out what the heck IS creating this pain in that elbow area would really really help YOU alot since it just does 'not' really appear' to be that ulnar nerve here? if it was actually impinged, even in that little ulnar crease, trust me, you WOULD be at least feeling anything from intermittant tinlges to outright dead numbness. this is exactly what happened to mine when my arm sling for my rotator cuff repair surgery had one tiny pice of material that kept pushing that stupid nerve right directly into the crease(usually in my sleep) and it SHOWED in some big ways til my ortho fixed my sling then padded it too for me. it just does NOT truely appear that the ulnar IS the thing behind your actual pain here but the location is simply a coincidental type of thing? this just could be the actual inner joint in some way or some other completely different type of medical issue too here? just sounds more logical given everything,ya know?

    have you EVER actually had ANY real shoulder problems within that shoulder on that same side at all? i am thinking like a possible rotator issue that can impact that lower bicep area there too(just above that elbow with the upper tendons but lower rotator would impact a bit lower the with muscle and tendon)? but unfortuently WITH spinal, it can be kind of hard to even seperate certain symptoms since all c spine nerves at (i think?)5 and above? innervate thru that shoulder area too?

    i just would have that NS take a good hard looksee at what is creating that level of real pain within the elbo when the lower fingers to the ulnar are simply NOT at all seemingly involved here? he would at least have a beter understanding of what 'could' create that,ya know? sorry i could not be of more help with that. hopefully this WILL get figured out well before the surgery. have they at least tried doing a basic set of x rays on that elbow joint simply to see the real underlying joint and bone itself? it would NOT show soft tissue but it would certainly see the underlying bone within that joint where certain problems can create pain and symptoms? just a thought for ya. marcia
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    3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
    11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

     
    Old 07-09-2010, 02:49 PM   #8
    wrgil
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    Re: c6/c7 elbow pain

    Marcia, I have to say I really appreciate your knowledge here on the board. You're awesome! I have real difficulty explaining pain (which may be why it took so long be diagnosed). I wouldn't say it's a deep in the bone feeling more of a I just want to die sharp pain. It on the outside of the elbow but not the actual large joint itself. On my left arm it right at the small bone beside the large joint. Maybe that's not even my funny bone. I'm not sure what that little bone is. As you can tell I'm one of those that has great difficulty explaining things.

    I've never had any shoulder problems at all. I do agree with you about the "tunnel vision" but this started exactly when my other pain started.

    I will definitely ask the surgeon about this next time I see him - whenever that may be.

    Thanks again for your insightful help!

     
    Old 07-10-2010, 01:53 PM   #9
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    Re: c6/c7 elbow pain

    Your symptoms that involve the thumb, index, and middle fingers are more suggestive of C6 and C7 problems.

    However, hand weakness is either C8/T1 or ulnar nerve issues.

    So it is possible you have two overlapping things going on here.

    As discussed here, you'd best be helped by getting a EMG and nerve conduction study to help differentiate from a nerve root issue versus a peripheral nerve compression issue.

     
    Old 07-10-2010, 04:20 PM   #10
    wrgil
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    Re: c6/c7 elbow pain

    Thanks neuroguy. I'm on the waitlist for a c5/6 and c6/7 ACDF and I'm really hoping those are the only problems. Those are enough for me, thanks. The MRI shows c8 and T1 as normal. I'll talk to the surgeon about the elbow when I see him next.

     
    Old 07-11-2010, 07:19 AM   #11
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    Re: c6/c7 elbow pain

    remember what i mentioned about the actual 'play" ONLY the c spine and the first T spine nerves have with the one single nerve within that mostly c spine having BOTH fine motor AND sensory in one nerve vs the "pairs" that contain two nerves on each side beyond the c spine and the T1(from c5 thru T1 IS called the brachial plexus). from what i have been trying to even recall with my own damage that occured in my hand during my spinal cord surgery and my lumbrical muscles or intrinsic muscles(these fall right kind of AT the area where the fingers begin and are the "push pull" types of muscles?) only becasue where they had to go into my actual cord, the 'bundle" of what becomes the radial, median and ulnar nerves(peripheral nervous system and the brachial plexus there too) that branch out to their proper spots AFTER they leave that cord area, was hit hard during that surgery and kind of took out alot by one hit on that bundle at all there(this WAS unfortuently expected), i lost 8 of my fine motor function nerves along with heavy sensory loss of the pinkie and the ring finger and for a time the middle finger too(median nerve)? BUT as far as the fine motor damage to the thumb alone, it was very extensive. i simply cannot really rotate that thumb and have lost that muscle too right at the base where we all have that nice "cushion' of muscle and tissue? mine is flat now. but my lumbricals which ARE right befroe those fingers really were slammed the hardest with alot of seperate losses too(i had to wear a "lumbrical brace" for over a year to keep the fingers from clawing up, which they HAD started to do) which was attributable to the median(which IS what you are dealing with with YOUR c -6 7 here but in the more sensory way? and ALOT of the ulnar nerve too but in the fine motor way is also contributing to this as well) so while you DO have that c 6-7 issue going on in a more sensory way, the ulnar IS being impacted with the fine motor here too if i am remembering all this correctly. its been awhile, lol.

    i would actually do just a bit of research on the peripheral nervous system, and the brachial plexus as far as the "mixed nerves" go to try and better explain this to yourself? this is just how insane our c spine nerves actually are having sensory that DOES follow the basic 'dermatome" chart as far as sensory goes? but when you get into just what c spine nerves actually innervate our hands/finger fine motor muscles, they simply do NOT match up with the same exact nerves anymore? its that huge amount of 'play' that goes on up there when only one nerve on each side is forced to have to perform both senory and fine motor innervation? they simply DO NOT match up in that very same way. for the fine motor innervation? look up what are called 'myotomes' instead of the sensory dermatome charts. that may help alot in explaining the ulnar involvement and the overall hand weakness from having the c 6-7 involved up in the spinal.

    but i sure would love to know just why that one area around that elbow is screaming with so much deeper pain. pain is usually connected with only sensory innervation? thats what does not make sense from the c spine innervation standpoint, but it IS a definite connection with the fine motor aspects? just do a little research on this stuff, its pretty basic once you start looking into certain things. but getting that EMG certainly would help to simply pinpoint what just IS and is not actually being impacted overall with both sensory AND the fine motor of it all? they would run it(the EMG/NCV) from the c spine all the way down to what innervates the fingers too. and in most cases, the person perfomring the test would be able to tell you right away what just IS being impacted there? my EMGs have always been done by what is called a 'physiatrist"? these are just very highly trained types of physical medicine docs, with mine being the amazing rehab doc i had at the rehab facility i got sent to post op cord surgery to learn how to walk again? they simply KNOW all muscle/nerve connections like the back of their hand. my L leg and my L hand(hence the wonderful typing i do here, lol?) got hit the worst during my surgery.

    but simply ask your NS about referring you for that EMG or even your primary can refer you too(most neuro facilitys actually do the EMGs on a very regular basis), just to really see what IS really being impacted and what possibly can be creating that elbow nightmare too? it would narrow things down or even possibly rule out that c spine all together even as the underlying real generator? it just could be caused by many other things too. the more real solid info your surgeon simply has going into your surgery the better for the both of you. **
    __________________
    3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
    11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

     
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