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  • Double crush syndrome

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    Old 08-17-2004, 09:17 PM   #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date: Aug 2004
    Location: Seattle wa
    Posts: 17
    bozzie HB User
    Double crush syndrome

    I have spinal stenosis and herniated discs at several places in the cervical spine. My third opinion neurosurgeon suggested that I may have carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists causing many of the pain and numbness symptoms. He said it was double crush syndrome. After reading several posts on the subject I am pretty confused. Does this mean that I should avoid cts surgery since it is my cervical spine causing the trouble or does it mean that I truly have cts now because of the spine injury. I am scheduling an mri soon and have already at an emg showing cts several years ago and a more recent one that showed improvement. The Dr. said he has seen soom pretty severe cts show up on mris that did not have a positive emg. This surgery would put off any spine surgery for a while to see if it would help. This appeals to me since I am in no hurry to have a more serious surgery.
    Is it just wishful thinking that there is an easy way out or is there truly some hope?

    Any ideas?

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    Old 08-21-2004, 08:11 PM   #2
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: USA
    Posts: 67
    boxer_dog_luv HB User
    Re: Double crush syndrome

    You have the same presentation that I had (see my old posts). Started w/ a "crink" in neck that felt like a good massage would work it out on the spot in 11/2000-saw a chiropractor (big, huge mistake-who made an erroneous dx & was a vampire on my wallet for two years). Back then, surgery was unthinkable. My symptoms progressed to pulling, numbness & tingling in certain positions - like stretching. Only presented to family MD in 5/2003 who ordered MRI and saw cervical disc problems & ref. me to neurosurgeon. My gyn on annual exam was pleased with the choice of neurosurgeon & called him "the reluctant surgeon" and said he would be open to all interventions unless surgery was abs. necessary.

    Saw NS in 5/2003 who ordered EMGs and due to my history known personally by the NS of medical transcription in that hospital, he first diagnosed CTS and also his PA also described my clinical picture as one of a "double crush injury" just once. He said that nerves attaching to the spine & running to the wrists could cause pain and symptoms at any location so it was logical that CTS presented as neck pain. I had symptoms of CTS years ago & self-treated and ultimately disliked the sedentary nature of med. trans. and since I had a teaching degree I transitioned to the classroom (thinking that CTS would no longer be an issue & I have been asymptomatic x 7 years). So, I had CTS in July 2003--extremely simple surgery, my incision is tiny (1/2 inch) and I had no neck symptoms until March 2004. The neck symptoms returned 10 times worse with all day numbness and by May it was so much worse that I could not feel my left hand keying the password on the keyboard. I returned to the NS who ordered a 2nd MRI which showed bulging discs C5-6 and C6-7 (worse on the right, although my complaints were only left sided). My doctor couldn't explain this and said he had seen worse MRIs. He ordered a month of conservative treatment with a nonsteroidal, muscle relaxant and the first narcotic pain med I had ever taken (which did little-only blunted). By this time I was not sleeping and in 24 hrs. a day agony. By my June 10th appt. I was begging for a definitive plan inc. surgery so my NS operated based on my symptoms on 6/30. As soon as I returned from recovery, I was a new and improved person - I am almost 8 weeks postop. & have felt abs. great! Any postop pain has been minimal to the all day agony which I described as being like a "bur under the saddle." It never abated from March 2004 until surgery.

    Even though you are in pain and that in itself brings one down mentally, be your own advocate. (I felt a lot of times that no one believed me, that maybe I was just getting old and expecting too much, all kinds of crazy things.) Get a second, third opinion until you find a NS or someone who listens and you feel is making the best decision for you.

    Old 08-21-2004, 08:19 PM   #3
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: USA
    Posts: 67
    boxer_dog_luv HB User
    Re: Double crush syndrome

    Anyhow, my conclusion: Back in July 2003, there was a chance that CTS surgery would alleviate the neck pain. Simple surgery, less risk. My NS wanted to start simple. I knew I had CTS so I understand his correctness in proceeding that way. To my family & lay friends, they sorta feel like it was a mistake to proceed this way. Acc. to my NS, if he had plunged into the more major problem last summer and addressed the neck, I would still be complaining afterwards & then how would we know if it was the CTS or another disc problem. Hope this helps, that it seems good medical practice to start with the smaller, minor, fixable things that could be causing the same (neck) symptoms.

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