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  • Myemolacia and cord atrophy

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    Old 11-01-2016, 12:09 PM   #1
    Katrob56
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    Myemolacia and cord atrophy

    I had ACDF C4-C5 last October,it did not resolve any of my pain issues. I was having left shoulder pain, numbness and burning in bilateral hands, involving the first three digits of each hand. Just had an Mri that resulted in acute cord atrophy and myelomalacia at C5 vertebral segment.Moderate C5-6 stenosis with canal measuring 6.5 mms AP. It measured 8mms on the CT myelogram before surgery last year. I have been referred to a neurologist at Duke University, appointment is not until February 2017.Should I be overly concerned. The surgeon said he did not know that much about myelomalacia, even though it was on the myelogram I had before the surgery. I am so very tired of all the medicine I take for my pain. Scared about some of the new symptoms, burning pain in wrist,headache,increased shoulder and upper arm pain. I love this site. Thank you in advance for any ideas you can give me.

    Last edited by Katrob56; 11-01-2016 at 12:15 PM.

     
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    Old 11-01-2016, 06:55 PM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Myemolacia and cord atrophy

    Welcome to the board. May I ask if you live near Duke? Also, who (what type of doctor) suggested the referral to a neurologist?

    What type of doctor did the surgery? I really cannot imagine any spine surgeon not being well-informed about myelomalacia.

    As a new member, I hope you understand that members are not doctors nor have formal medical training...but are just fellow fellow inflicted individuals sharing information and experiences. Always keep that in mind as you read.

    That being said...It seems odd that the spinal stenosis was not cleaned up when you had surgery. The spinal canal should not end up smaller than prior to surgery! This is putting pressure on the spinal cord and may be what is causing the myelomalacia. Given your symptoms, it sounds like something is compressing spinal nerves at C6, and C7 as well.

    Sometimes a surgeon will choose to do the least amount of surgery that he/she feels will resolve the issues, and it ends up not being enough. Sometimes the wrong level is operated on. In any case, it sounds like you will probably need more surgery to open up the spinal canal and to decompress any nerves that are not being compressed. At the very least, the myelomalacia will need to be monitored in a regular basis.

     
    Old 11-01-2016, 08:18 PM   #3
    Katrob56
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    Re: Myemolacia and cord atrophy

    The Doctor that referred me to Duke is the my neurosurgeon, he did the surgery back in October.. Due is about 3 hours from where I live. I thought it was strange that he did not know a lot about the myemolacia. He said he didn't know what caused it or what to do about it. I have read that sometimes this happens as a result of injury during surgery. I do not want to put blame on anyone. I have dealt with this pain for over 2 years. I was initially diagnosed with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome. I had the repair done on both hands. No relief. Then I had the cervical surgery. Again no relief. I sure have gotten a little hope from you if you think that maybe another surgery may help. From what I have read on most sites, the damage is irreversible. Thank you for your reply.

    Last edited by Katrob56; 11-08-2016 at 10:43 AM.

     
    Old 11-02-2016, 08:04 PM   #4
    teteri66
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    Re: Myemolacia and cord atrophy

    The damage that was already done will not be reversible BUT it will probably keep it from getting worse.

    It amazes me that the surgeon didn't see the myelomalacia earlier and that he referred you to a neurologist. I don't see what help a neurologist would be other than to confirm the diagnosis and sent you on to a spine surgeon.

    How long ago was the surgery for carpal tunnel? Sometimes what people presume to be carpal tunnel syndrome actually originates from compressed spinal nerves.

    I'm sure you know that members are not doctors so I may be way off base saying this, but I do not understand how your neurosurgeon could view this MRI showing the area around the spinal cord being considerably narrowed and not refer you to another spine surgeon, or propose going back in to open up this area. I wonder if he even operated on the pain generator to begin with.

    Are there any other spine surgeons in your area who are not associated with ".your" surgeon who could evaluate you? Most people have a circumference of 12mm in the spinal canal. Yours is about half that...

     
    Old 11-03-2016, 06:52 PM   #5
    Katrob56
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    Re: Myemolacia and cord atrophy

    There is so much I do not understand. I think the surgeon just wanted to get rid of me. After my symptoms remained after the surgery my husband asked him if he may have done the wrong area. He got very defensive and said if he did that would be the first time. He ordered rays of my spine and showed them to us explaining that he did operate on the correct area. He never ordered a post operative MRI or Ct. Just the Xrays. He said it may take up to a year for th area to decompress. I gave it a year. My PCP was the Dr. To order my most recent MRI. . I am just so worried about maybe more damage. Thanks for your reply. The neurologist is supposed to be one of the best on the East coast. I am trying to get in earlier. I will keep you posted.

     
    Old 11-04-2016, 09:22 AM   #6
    teteri66
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    Re: Myemolacia and cord atrophy

    I don't want to cause any disappointment, but I don't understand why you have been referred to a neurologist.

    A neurologist is a specialist in the diseases of the nervous system...diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, stroke, etc. They are not trained to do any surgery but can administer tests that determine if there is nerve damage. This is the only reason I can think of why you would see a neurologist. But at least he can refer you to another specialist if he cannot evaluate you.

    Regarding the "wrong" level, I would just say that you cannot always tell what is the pain generator by just reviewing film or images. Sometimes a huge, awful-looking disc herniation causes no pain while a tiny little bulge that presses on a nerve is very painful. In my case, everyone who tested me thought for sure my problems were coming from L5-S1 while L3 appeared to just be a small bulging disc. When I had surgery something that hadn't shown up on any imaging at L3-4 turned out to be the culprit and L5-S1 turned out to be far less bad than it appeared on MRI.

     
    Old 11-08-2016, 10:54 AM   #7
    Katrob56
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    Re: Myemolacia and cord atrophy

    Thank you very much for your reply. I think the reason for the neurologist referral is to let a neurologist there see my condition and refer me to a neurosurgeon at Duke. My surgeon says there is no one in S.C. that could do the surgery I need. Hopefully my condition will not worsen.

     
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