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  • New to Board w/ c5-c6 hernation--facial and scalp numbness

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    Old 05-25-2009, 10:06 PM   #1
    binx
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    New to Board w/ c5-c6 hernation--facial and scalp numbness

    i am so glad to have found this board. i was diagnosed with cervical spondylosis, a c5-c6 herniation and bulges at c4-c5 and c6-c7 in march; the herniation is compressing my spinal cord.

    after attempting to pursue physical therapy without success (the PT wouldn't touch me for fear of causing me further injury), i am resigning myself to having discectomy and fusion surgery. i see a second opinion neurosurgeon tomorrow morning.

    i wondered if anyone on this board has experienced any facial and numbness and tingling as a result of spondylosis and/or an actual herniation. i have other symptoms like insufferable headaches, pain between the shoulder blades, nausea, etc. which i understand are typical for my injury, but when i discussed the facial and scalp numbness with the previous NS i saw, he said it is not typical and may indicate a vertebral artery oclusion which scared me to death.

    if anyone else has had this type of numbness, i would be so grateful to hear about it.

    thanks in advance!

     
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    Old 05-26-2009, 04:46 PM   #2
    jennybyc
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    Re: New to Board w/ c5-c6 hernation--facial and scalp numbness

    Hi Binx. I also have cervical spondylosis with mylopathy(numbness). The problem you are talking about with the numbness in your scalp and face comes from a much higher area...C2 and C3. I know. I've herniated the disk at C2-3 and waiting to see my neurosurgeon next week. But if your having that without the nerves compressed in those areas, then it may be a blood flow problem.

    Anatomy-wise, the vertebral arteries go up through the vertebrae at the back of the neck(on both sides) starting at about C6. So any compression from C6 up on those arteries may be causing your facial problems.

    There is a new surgery for spondylosis that does not involve fusion called a laminoplasty that actually removes the bone over the back of the spine, thins it down and then puts it back in place with the additional widening of a bone graft. Think of a set of French doors in your home. First you have a plain door and it's too small to get through. The neurosurgeon/carpenter goes in and takes out that door and replaces it with a wider set of French doors and then props them open with a bar. Lots of room! See if you are a candidate.

    If not, there is still the standard laminectomy and fusion. They remove the lamina (part of the back of the vertebrae) and fuse the vertebrae in place to protect the spinal cord. At that same time they can remove bone spurs and open up the foramina and even the canal the arteries run through.

    Spinal cord compression is not good. Your cord should be at 10mm or above. I was at 6mm at the smallest with multiple areas of compression. I had the laminaplasty but due to a strange anatomical problem that I was born with, the ligaments let go and turned my neck from curved in to curved out(lumbar spine did it too). So I then had to be fused from C3 to T1. It's not that bad. Even with 6 vertebrae fused, I still have at least half my neck/head movement. And my numbness and pain was gone.

    Unfortunately it appears I have herniated the last disk in my neck at C2 and may have to have the fusion extended with a considerable loss of function.

    The tough thing about spondylosis is that it isn't an injury...it's a disease process and the possibility of more osteophytes and more herniations will still exist. So more surgery will exist. But I was partially paralyzed from mine and I can tell you...surgery beats paralysis!

    good luck and if you have any questions, ask away............Jenny

     
    Old 05-26-2009, 08:19 PM   #3
    Stonepile
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    Re: New to Board w/ c5-c6 hernation--facial and scalp numbness

    Hi Binx - Welcome aboard! It is amazing how much you will be able to learn from people like Jennybyc. I am relatively new to this board too and quickly realized just how much information and help was available just for the asking and reading. I can't imagine anyone being able to give a more understandable explanation of laminoplasty than Jennybyc just did. I hadn't read anything about that before and so thanks Jenny for the great description of the surgical procedure and also the anatomy.

    I wanted to be able to encourage you by letting you know that I had very similar problems with my spine as you have described with the exception of the facial and cranial numbness/pain. I had ACDF with a plate surgery about six and a half weeks ago. Prior to that my major symptoms were severe neck, shoulder, and arm pain where I could actually trace the pain of the nerve from my neck all the way to my index finger. My tricep often quivered uncontrollably like a bowl of jelly until I started taking a muscle relaxer and pain med. My index finger was completely numb and part of my thumb and middle finger. Anyway, as soon as the surgery was over all the pain in my arm went away and fortunately for me, so did the numbness. I have no pain even in my neck. There is some pain after surgery but it is controlled with meds. (At least it was for me.) So, if your ns tomorrow recommends surgery I just wanted you to hear a positive outcome to help with the fear factor.

     
    Old 05-26-2009, 08:26 PM   #4
    Stonepile
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    Re: New to Board w/ c5-c6 hernation--facial and scalp numbness

    Hi Binx - Welcome aboard! It is amazing how much you will be able to learn from people like Jennybyc. I am relatively new to this board too and quickly realized how much information and help was available just for the asking and reading. I can't imagine anyone being able to give a more understandable explanation of laminoplasty than Jennybyc just did. I hadn't read anything about that before and so thanks Jenny for the great description of the surgical procedure and also the anatomy.

    I wanted to be able to encourage you by letting you know that I had very similar problems with my spine as you have described with the exception of the facial and cranial numbness/pain. Jennybyc's discussion on the anatomy and possible cause for that numbness and pain sounds reasonable to me. I had ACDF with a plate surgery about six and a half weeks ago. Prior to that my major symptoms were severe neck, shoulder, and arm pain where I could actually trace the pain of the nerve from my neck all the way to my index finger. My tricep often quivered uncontrollably like a bowl of jelly until I started taking a muscle relaxer and pain med. My index finger was completely numb and part of my thumb and middle finger. Anyway, as soon as the surgery was over all the pain in my arm went away and fortunately for me, so did the numbness. I have no pain even in my neck. There is some pain after surgery but it is controlled with meds. (At least it was for me.) So, if your ns tomorrow recommends surgery I just wanted you to hear a positive outcome to help with the fear factor.

    Best wishes for your appointment tomorrow. I hope the surgeon is able to build your trust and confidence in whatever his recommendation is for you.

    SP

     
    Old 05-27-2009, 01:49 PM   #5
    tata616
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    Re: New to Board w/ c5-c6 hernation--facial and scalp numbness

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by binx View Post
    i am so glad to have found this board. i was diagnosed with cervical spondylosis, a c5-c6 herniation and bulges at c4-c5 and c6-c7 in march; the herniation is compressing my spinal cord.

    after attempting to pursue physical therapy without success (the PT wouldn't touch me for fear of causing me further injury), i am resigning myself to having discectomy and fusion surgery. i see a second opinion neurosurgeon tomorrow morning.

    i wondered if anyone on this board has experienced any facial and numbness and tingling as a result of spondylosis and/or an actual herniation. i have other symptoms like insufferable headaches, pain between the shoulder blades, nausea, etc. which i understand are typical for my injury, but when i discussed the facial and scalp numbness with the previous NS i saw, he said it is not typical and may indicate a vertebral artery oclusion which scared me to death.

    if anyone else has had this type of numbness, i would be so grateful to hear about it.

    thanks in advance!


    Hi Binx welcome to the board and thanks for your post. I have a C5-6 herniation with attendant shoulder pain numbness in my feet. Three weeks ago my NS said surgery ASAP he scared me quite a bit. I now have gathered my courage and will see him tomorrow to fix a date. I have a second opinion that says definitely surgery but no rush but lately my condition has deteriorated to the point of fixing this surgery date. Your post gives me courage all the best.

     
    Old 05-28-2009, 09:43 AM   #6
    binx
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    Re: New to Board w/ c5-c6 hernation--facial and scalp numbness

    thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond to my original post.

    i wanted to post a follow up and say that my appointment with the second opinion neurosurgeon--who happens to be the chief of neurosurgery at one of the major medical centers here in our metropolitan area--went well, but he did not recommend that i have surgery. he said, "if you were my daughter, i would not indicate surgery at this time."

    he has scheduled me for a super high-powered MRI just to make sure there aren't any changes in cord signaling, and if that all goes well, he wants me to see a specialized PT to help with lifestyle management. he said that in some cases like mine, the herniation can actually recede from the spinal cord.

    this is all very exciting since i have been quite apprehensive about surgery, but now i am facing a much more open-ended recovery process. who knows how long this may take. i know surgery is painful and difficult, but from what i have read, it seems that once the healing is complete, many people resume their normal routine. i just want to feel better again!!

    as far as the vertebral artery issues are concerned, the 2nd opinion NS did not see any changes in the arteries in my MRI, but i am going tomorrow for a transcranial doppler test just to make sure there aren't any oclusions in the cranial vascular system.

    will keep everyone posted. thank you again for your support and the super valuable information. it is great to not feel alone.

    binx

     
    Old 05-28-2009, 04:55 PM   #7
    jennybyc
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    Re: New to Board w/ c5-c6 hernation--facial and scalp numbness

    That is great news, Binx. Stick with this neurosurgeon...he seems to covering all the bases. I also work with a physical therapist who specializes in spines. She is great. And yes, herniated disks can recede. My first one was 25 years ago and after a lot of PT it did recede and I avoided surgery until 3 years ago.

    Keep us updated.

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

     
    Old 05-29-2009, 03:07 PM   #8
    Stonepile
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    Re: New to Board w/ c5-c6 hernation--facial and scalp numbness

    I'm so impressed! Thanks for the update and it sounds like you are in great hands and that the second opinion was definitely worth having. I can understand the appeal of surgery with a potential for a relatively instant fix compared to the patience required for physical therapy and time to resolve the problem. Maybe you'll feel a little more comfortable with it when these other tests either confirm his thinking that surgery is not necessary, or indicate the need for it.

    Wishing a great recovery!
    SP

     
    Old 06-20-2009, 07:56 PM   #9
    binx
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    Re: New to Board w/ c5-c6 hernation--facial and scalp numbness

    it has been a while since i checked in and just wanted to post my most recent findings.

    i had my transcranial doppler--all was well, thank goodness. i had the 3T MRI last week and went over the results with the neurosurgeon earlier this week and he still feels that the "wait and see" approach is best for now. he said he wants to give it 6 months to a year, and i'll go back in 3 months to see him again. i have also started gentle PT which has helped with my headaches. i am still feeling fatigued and just not right, but i hope that things will gradually improve over time.

    jenny--i wanted to know if your herniation that receded was anterior in nature. was it compressing your spinal cord or did it touch the root nerves? what led you to finally having surgery? sorry to be so nosy, but i am so desperate to wrap my head around this process that any information i can get from those "in the know" like you is worth more than gold at this point.

    thanks!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jennybyc View Post
    That is great news, Binx. Stick with this neurosurgeon...he seems to covering all the bases. I also work with a physical therapist who specializes in spines. She is great. And yes, herniated disks can recede. My first one was 25 years ago and after a lot of PT it did recede and I avoided surgery until 3 years ago.

    Keep us updated.

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

     
    Old 12-13-2011, 01:03 PM   #10
    StayGolden
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    Re: New to Board w/ c5-c6 hernation--facial and scalp numbness

    I don't know if anyone is still posting on here ince this is from 2009 but I have a right c7 c8 radiculopathy bilateral L5 radiculopathy and mild bilateral carpal tunnels and I am experiencing numbness and tingling of my left side face and my scalp and left arm. Doctor says its not from pinched neck nerve but I think it is because all these symptoms happened at once after I had a weird temple headache that lasted 2 weeks. Then came weird twitching.

     
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