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  • ? about numbness & loss of temp. sensation along w/bulging & narrowing discs

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    Old 03-29-2009, 12:19 AM   #1
    stitcher8
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    ? about numbness & loss of temp. sensation along w/bulging & narrowing discs

    I have bulging and narrowing at c5/6 and bulging at c6/7. Tonight when my husband was putting lotion on my back and shoulders, I noticed that it was cold on the left side. But when he put it on the right side, I didn't even feel it. I also noticed that I didn't feel cold in my right hand yesterday. But I didn't think anything of it.

    Does anyone know if this might be associated with the disc problems? I have an appt. with a neurosurgeon on April 10th. But I'm wondering if I need to try to get in earlier.

     
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    Old 03-29-2009, 01:11 AM   #2
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    Re: ? about numbness & loss of temp. sensation along w/bulging & narrowing discs

    I'd wager it has everything to do with your disc issues. I doubt you'd have to speed up your appt though.

     
    Old 03-29-2009, 04:53 AM   #3
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    Re: ? about numbness & loss of temp. sensation along w/bulging & narrowing discs

    You could call them and let them decide, but I doubt they will think it is an emergency. I found myself feeling more and more of my defict in the few weeks prior to surgery almost like my body was warning me not to chicken out.
    I think it is related. You may have some other issues related to the not so good discs. If you lose control of your bladder or bowels than it becomes an emergency.
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    Old 03-29-2009, 08:18 AM   #4
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    Re: ? about numbness & loss of temp. sensation along w/bulging & narrowing discs

    Thanks girls. I'm just really worried because when I had my GP put in the referral for the MRI, he didn't do one for the Neurosurgeon at the same time. When I asked him about it, he said he wanted to wait for the report to come back to see if the radiologist suggested seeing neuro. He said that if they didn't, that he could send me to a pain management. But my issue at that point wasn't even with the pain. The pain was being controlled with a TENS unit. My issue was the increasing numbness especially on my right (dominant) side. So I had the MRI on a Thursday. They said they should have the report the next day. No call. So Monday I called them. They waited till they were walking out the door to call me. I accidently sent them a busy signal (cell phone) and when I tried to call them right back they were gone. So I called on Tuesday and they finally got back to me sometime Tuesday afternoon. But through it all, they only ever mention the pain. That didn't really start being an issue until a few days ago.

    Anyway, then it took the referral nurse a couple more days to get the referral done. But I don't know if it has been related to the neurosurgeon that I have increasing numbness. My thumb has been going numb for over a month now. And from things I've read on the internet, if you are having numbness and tingling it is important to get it dealt with as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage. Since everything is happening in my dominant side, it is going to be a real issue if permanent damage is done.

    So am I just freaking out for no reason? Or am I right to be concerned that the neurosurgeon is not being told about the numbness?

     
    Old 03-29-2009, 09:03 AM   #5
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    Re: ? about numbness & loss of temp. sensation along w/bulging & narrowing discs

    Loss of sensation is a problem but loss of function is more of a problem. Can you still use your thumb? Your fingers, your arm? Numb is a sign of a nerve that is more than just hurt, it is injured to the point of interrupting chemical signals. Loss of function means a bunch of nerves are now involved so keep an eye on whether you can use the affected areas. Even then, it can take quite a while to kill the nerve cells. I was a klutz, dropping things and having trouble typing and writing for a full 2 years before I found out I had a spine problem. I never had any pain. Mine was all cord compression and so I was slowly becoming paralyzed and never knew it. And I got it all back after surgery!

    Hang in there...............Jenny

     
    Old 03-29-2009, 09:21 AM   #6
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    Re: ? about numbness & loss of temp. sensation along w/bulging & narrowing discs

    just how severe is you level of involvement at the areas you mentioned? is there ANY direct compression upon your actual spinal cord? do you have a copy of your MRI results in your possession right now? if you do, if you could please type out exactly what the summary at the very end of your report states? the way it is worded by the interpretting rad really does make a big difference in how any particular finding actually is or how it could be affecting you right now.

    i am also wondering about the temp loss you mentioned? is this all the way down your body on the affected side(have you checked it with like using a cold washcloth all the way down?) or is this just a very isolated area up there on your back? if it is just in the back area,do you actually still have the ability to "feel" but just cannot actually feel hot or cold? your answer is kind of important here. Marcia
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    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

     
    Old 03-29-2009, 09:39 AM   #7
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    Re: ? about numbness & loss of temp. sensation along w/bulging & narrowing discs

    I've got the CD of the MRI but not the report itself. The only thing that the nurse told me was that I had narrowing and bulging at c5/6 and bulging at c6/7. I have numbness, tingling and/or burning in my hand, shoulder and leg on the right side. It isn't all the time. But whenever I try to use my hand itnormally goes numb fairly quickly. Whenever I drive more than 20 minutes or so at a time, my leg starts to go numb.

    As far as the temperature thing... I can feel things. I just don't feel cold on my hand and right side of my back. I didn't check other areas though. I realize it would be more urgent if I wasn't feeling anything. My concern is that things seem to be progressing everyday and if I have to wait two weeks (April 10th) to see the neurosurgeon, how far is it going to be at that time.

    As you can probably tell, I am a worrier. It is to the point that between this and my husband being diagnosed with colon cancer and all that entails... I have started breaking out in hives.

     
    Old 03-30-2009, 08:49 AM   #8
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    Re: ? about numbness & loss of temp. sensation along w/bulging & narrowing discs

    you REALLY do need to track down that report. all you have to do is ask the ordering doc to make a copy,or just go to where you had that MRI done and ask for one which they will give you after you just sign the release of info. this really would be the quickest way to get it.

    the main things you just need to find out are how severe those bulges actually are and just exactly WHAT IS narrowed. unfortuently,when it comes to the spinal areas, there are a few different areas there that are possible to actually have "narrowing'. location in this case just DOES matter,espescially if that narrowing is IN that spinal canal. you just really do need that report so you know what is being affected right now. that narrowing could be within one of the foramen that the nerves run thru to or from the cord, or in that canal,or even both. you just need that info to give a rough idea of whats being affected the most.

    once you get that report, PLEASE type out that summary for us if you can, this is where all the hard findings are listed for the doc to read. it really is the best way for us to help you right now. honestly,it really does sound just from that pesentation of that hot/cold but feeling things still,really sounds like possible cord involvement. i have this too. really fine touch can be felt all down my right affected side,but for the life of me, i just cannot feel hot cold or the pain of a needle being stuck into my skin(tho i CAN feel the sensation of it being done,pressure?) from my level of cord injury on down. but can feel something as light as a feather being stroked over my skin. it IS insane to say the least.

    try taking a very cold washcloth and start from where you feel this from the upper torso and then go down to your foot with it just to check how far this runs on you(front AND back too). my area i ONLY R side and from the c 8 nerve level(right under my R breast,but front and back)) on down to my toes. your findings are important right now.just check that when you have some time,K? but get that report as soon as you can. 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 03-30-2009, 02:36 PM   #9
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    Re: ? about numbness & loss of temp. sensation along w/bulging & narrowing discs

    Okay. I went and got the report.

    1. Osteophytic ridging with bulge eccentric to the right at the 6-7 level. There is mild right hemicanal narrowing with effacement of the right hemicord. No myelomalacia is seen. There is foraminal narrowing bilaterally.

    2. Minimal central canal narrowing with patent foramen at the 5-6 level.

    3. Reversal of the normal cervical lordosis, particularly to the 5-6 and 6-7 levels. Cord signal and morphology are normal.
    ---------------

    I also have a history of x-rays and CTs not showing the true extent of problems. I wouldn't think that would be an issue with an MRI. But it still concerns me.

    As far as the loss of sensation to cold things. I have only found one area on my back and sometimes my right hand (on the thumb side) that I can't feel the cold.

    It is all a moot point right now though. I called the doctor's office this morning and they are totally booked until my scheduled appointment. I would still be interested in hearing your take on what the report says.

     
    Old 03-31-2009, 08:34 AM   #10
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    Re: ? about numbness & loss of temp. sensation along w/bulging & narrowing discs

    so glad you got the report,it does help tons in just reading what your true findings are. the bigger thing here is the hemi canal narrowing that is effacing the R hemicord. this IS in that spinal canal area i mentioned? i am wondering about just what they considered "mild' only because they also mention that there is no myelomalacia going on,but that is a good thing for you. the reason they mentioned that is because there is enough contact with your actual cord on the right to possibly produce it, so i am just wondering how truely impacted that is or they would not have mentioned the "no myelomalcia" finding,ya know what i mean?

    what myelomalacia is is a softening or granualizing of the actual cord tissue itself. its an actual 'process' that kicks in and only occurs when there is enough compression or damage that kind of "kills off' good tissue,so like i said,thats a good thing for you.

    the thing here is that no MRI really truely always shows the real extent or severity of any given finding. sammy went thru this with her surgery just recently when there was alot more going on in her spine then showed on her MRI. it is just not a true real picture of an area, only a scan of it, so you cannot always tell, just roughly at most with certain findings. this is where all of your ongoing symptoms really come into play. any good neurosurgeon would be able to tell real involvement just based upon what a patient tells them as their ongoing symptoms. the symptoms can just speak volumes more than the scan can in some cases, so you DO need to be making certain that you are keeping track of your ongoing symptoms and how and when they presented themselves, the surgeon will need this info. the more symptoms, even tiny or small changes in them would truely show the doc what may be involved a bit more clearly.

    your biggest issues among the findings really all appear to mostly be in that c 6-7 area. when is your appt? have you asked to be placed on their cancellation list? this is what i have had to do with certain surgeons just to get in much more quickly when things were hitting the fan with certain issues. i actually did this with my knee surgery too since i was going to have to wait well over two months otherwise(my RSD knee was a mess inside and i felt horrible)? my ortho is a great wonderful guy and is always booked up, but i ended up getting my knee surgery like within the third week after i asked to be placed. someone actually cancelled a surgery. worked out great for me. just a suggestion if you really want to get in earlier than scheduled. ya just never know.

    are you going to be seeing a neurosurgeon i hope? this most definitely requires that level of knowledge and experience to be able to truely clear. just keep track of all and any strange wierd or anything that is not 'normal' types of symptoms. between the findings in that report, and the second read that your surgeon will just do since they know a heck of alot more than a mere interpretting rad about what 'they see' in the films,and your symptoms will dictate just what he feels needs to be done for you. and don't forget you can always obtain second opinions too. believe me, second opinions in some cases are just very much needed. i actually had three when i needed help with my cavernoma inside my cord. i do hope this helped. please keep me posted,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 03-31-2009, 09:02 AM   #11
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    Re: ? about numbness & loss of temp. sensation along w/bulging & narrowing discs

    Thanks Marcia. I didn't ask to be put on the cancellation list. I was told that both doctors in the office had been on vacation and were trying to play catch up. My appointment is April 10th (about two weeks away). I guess I am going to try to wait it out unless things get worse. I am seeing a neurosurgeon.

    At this point the TENS unit is helping during the day for the pain. At night I take a muscle relaxer and Tylenol PM. I tried just extra strength Tylenol and that didn't even touch the pain and discomfort that I had. Although last night, the PM didn't keep me asleep all night and when I woke up, the pain was there. But that is better than living on Vicodin. I was also taking two Aleve twice a day for inflammation. I stopped taking that though. I couldn't remember how far in advance of surgery that you were not supposed to have that. And I want the doctor to be able to do surgery asap if that is what he thinks is going to help.

    The numbness in my thumb and hand is driving me insane. Of course I still have other stuff going on. But the thumb thing is really bothering me.

    What do you make of the reversal of the normal cervical lordosis?

    You have been very helpful. Thank you.

     
    Old 04-10-2009, 02:56 PM   #12
    stitcher8
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    Re: ? about numbness & loss of temp. sensation along w/bulging & narrowing discs

    I went to see the neurosurgeon today. He gave me four options.

    1. Live with it.
    2. See a pain management doctor and have him give me steroid shots. He said there is only about a 20% chance of that working. He has had one patient end up partially paralized from it.
    3. Go back to physical therapy.
    4. Surgery (ACDF) with 80% chance of it working.

    I told him that living with it was not an option. The idea of someone sticking a needle in my spine has never sat right with me. And physical therapy won't do much more than what I have already been doing and definitely won't "fix" the problem. So I am going with the surgery.

    His nurse will call me on Monday or Tuesday to schedule it. He offered to give me pain pills to get me through. But I told him that it wasn't really pain as much as pressure, pulling and numbness that was bothering me. He did give me a prescription for Flexeril. So between that and Tylenol PM I may be able to sleep better.

     
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