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  • Cervical Stenosis and arm cramps?

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    Old 07-04-2006, 09:01 PM   #1
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    Cervical Stenosis and arm cramps?

    My C4-C5 stenosis stabilized a few years ago to a mild level after a whiplash-wreck. Never opted for surgery. Symptoms are: no pain, left leg and left arm 20% weaker than right, ocassional sub-occipital mother headaches, ocassional mild vertigo, both lower legs feel heavy and tight. Within the last year when I bend my left arm at the elbow toward my bicep, my forearm muscles cramp up quite viciously. When I hold my left hand as in cupping a harmonica, it cramps up. None of this occurs with my right arm. Question: is cervical stenosis known for causing cramping in the extremities? Any experience or advice on this? Thanks.

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    Old 07-05-2006, 07:31 AM   #2
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    Re: Cervical Stenosis and arm cramps?

    hi thing you need to keep in mind with regard to stenosis is that it IS progressive.from what you stated you have already had this for a few years already now and since that time,i can almost guarentee you that it has progressed much further since your last MRI?I am assuming you have not had one since you mentioned you were stabilized a few years ago?

    the thing about nerves,when they are being irritated or encroached upon or even compressed,they will show that with a variety of possible symptoms,luckily for you,it is not the biggie here,PAIN.this is usually the way this will present in most people.another way it shows is with the weakness and cramping/spasms numbness tingling.again,you are really really lucky that this has not yet turned to pain.

    your current cramping situation could very well be related to the stenosis or any new issue that may have decided to just take up residence in your c spine.with me,i know its been one thing after another as far as new and exciting things that keep popping in to make my life just suck more than it already does.I would speak with your doc about maybe getting an MRI since it has been probably a while since the last one was done??just guessing just need to monitor things every few years in a situation like yours.just to see how the stenosis is doing and check for anything new that may be causing this to occur.

    from what you stated these are merely little cramping/spasming episodes without pain?unfortunetly there really isn't a whole lot that can be done about long as they are staying just annoying and not painful,i really wouldn't opt for having anything real invasive done at this point.but it wouldn't hurt to just take a peek in the c spine area to see how things are going in there.this really would be considered a "mild' problem from a neuro standpoint,but it would appear that these are stemming from a nerve related you have any other symptoms at all that could be related to your c spine?

    I am glad you decided to hold off on the surgery.most people will opt for the "quick fix" and that sometimes will cause many more problems than if they had just left things alone.unfortunetly i made this mistake myself and regret it every day.but i no also have major problems from another unrelated c spine problem that required a very invasive spinal cord surgery that left behind a ton of damage to alot of things within the cord itself and the surrounding nerves and my sympathetic nervous really has sucked.

    i hope things are still stable in there but you really should take a look in there to see how things have changed or progressed over the past few years.please let me know how things are going.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 07-05-2006, 06:34 PM   #3
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    Re: Cervical Stenosis and arm cramps?

    One of the most significant symptoms I had pre-surgically (ACDF 5/18/06) was arm pain. Often felt like a pulled muscle and/or 'charlie horse'
    Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

    Old 07-05-2006, 07:11 PM   #4
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    Re: Cervical Stenosis and arm cramps?

    Hi Bob,

    I've had 3 surgeries (C3 thru C7) Since my last surgery in 2004 I have had a problem with cramping in both forearms, mainlythe left. When I twist my left hand in a certain way, my inner left forearm almost always cramps. I also get cramps in my left hand. My left ring finger and pinky occassionally cramp and lock up. I have to massage them with my right hand. I've come to learn to deal with it for the most part. I've had stenosis for a while. I just hope that I won't need any more surgery since that will take me to my "T" levels.


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