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    Old 06-02-2009, 03:23 PM   #1
    sk84life
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    update C1-2 arthritis

    First, Jenny you better report in tomorrow (not tonight as I am sure you will be exhausted!) Hope you didn't tangle with any moose on the trip - they are in CT now too. My prayers have been with you all day.....

    Secondly, for any who have followed a little of my neck saga.....my balance issues have gotten a tad more. Enough that I finally told doc last week and he wants an MRI as soon as I can get it scheduled.

    Added to the annoying balance issue, the past week I have noticed my right leg feels just a tad numb, like wearing a stocking. But my gait has changed as maybe 50% of the time I find myself swinging the leg forward when I walk. Sort of like an amputee with an artificial leg. It makes me limp slightly. Now that leg has been a problem on and off for 30 years but never quite like this. I do know I have a long standing L5 herniated disc and mild stenosis. Then 2 years ago I had an annular tear of L4 (boy that was pain!!!) but time and eventually facet and foraminal injections speeded up the healing. I have read in some clinical reports that cervical stenosis and lumbar stenosis frequently are found together.

    While I was so focused on the unusual case of 'OA' at C1-2, I only just considered that maybe this new neck pain and balance are because the next level above my fusion (which goes from C3-6) is actually the culprit - it's the only disc left! My biggest fear is that if the C2-3 is causing cord compression and we know I have 'significant OA C1-2' that doc may recommend more surgery for both problems, or technically it would be very difficult to just address C2-3. Drats! My mind is doing mental gymnastics!

    So I hope Jenny is okay and everyone else is getting the help they need in a 'timely' fashion!!! These are the times, frustrating as they may be, that I am glad to have a job, can still work, have good health insurance unlike Canada and the UK people....

    I'll post back when I finally get the results of the MRI....I'm sure I will have more questions and need support

     
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    Old 06-02-2009, 04:43 PM   #2
    jennybyc
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    Re: update C1-2 arthritis

    Hi there, my dear. My trip to Boston is tomorrow....the 3rd. You are starting to sound a lot like me, you know. So if I get some answers tomorrow perhaps that will give you some ideas as to what can be done. Apparently the fusion of C1-2 together is quite successful but what do you do if that disk at C2-3 goes???? I haven't been able to find a thing. Have you?

    The car is packed and ready for the drive. Hubby is getting his punishment for not driving me. He's in R.I. and coming down with his 3rd case of Lyme disease and the doxycycline is here. That'll teach him!

    I've made chocolate dipped strawberries for the doc's staff for tomorrow. Figured I've bugged them so much since February they deserve a treat. I got the leftovers....I deserve a treat too.

    Call me late tomorrow or Thursday if you want the latest but I will be posting my news here.

    Hang in there.

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

     
    Old 06-13-2009, 04:59 AM   #3
    sk84life
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    Re: update C1-2 arthritis

    Does it never end??? Over the past week I have had 4 almost pass out episodes. I finally figured out that the same sequence precipitates it. I am leaning slightly forward, arms forward to pull on something (weeds, bed sheet), neck is forced forward, chin up so back of head is pushing downward, face is forward, not turned to side. There is compression going on. There is no other symptom except sudden weakness, not really 'lightheadedness,' no eye or ear symptoms, but have been able to sit right down and it passes within seconds. The last time was Thursday and ironically it occurred in front of my spine doc. I remember leaning to the left to move something, neck like I just described, and I started to look up....next thing I knew I was standing upright and he had grabbed my scrub shirt. I heard him asking 'are you going to drop' twice but I was just dazed and couldn't answer him for a few moments. It all passed quickly and then I just brushed it off and said I was just lightheaded.

    I see him on Tuesday for his interpretation of my MRI which the written report was basically the same as usual.

    I'm wondering if somehow I am compressing the veterbral arteries for a few moments, just enough to make me blank. Neck hyperextension can cause kinking - but what can be done about this???

     
    Old 06-13-2009, 05:49 AM   #4
    trychocolate
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    Re: update C1-2 arthritis

    sk84life--your symptoms seem to be changing rapidly, don't they? No better place to experience the problem then at the dr's office.

    I don't understand why the MRI's of some are not showing some serious blockages and nerve impingements when they have so many signs and symptoms, which would be the most disturbing part of this whole thing. Do you get your MRI with contrast dye?

    Those positions/activeties you mentioned; I have to keep my chin tucked down or I have no strength to do task and shots of pain in neck and skull. Many other positions are causing loss of feeling too and just feeling like passing out but not. Feels pretty weird, spacey and scary, doesn't it? It helps remembering the further away your arms are from your body, the harder the task is. The strength I have left is right at the 'core' --I hope this makes any sense at all.

    I hope someone will post to help you at least have some info. for your appointment. Did dr. take all your vital signs at the time to rule out other problems as well?

    enjoying life and staying calm,
    (how's that for positivity?),
    choc

    Last edited by trychocolate; 06-13-2009 at 05:53 AM.

     
    Old 06-13-2009, 12:01 PM   #5
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    Re: update C1-2 arthritis

    sk84life- Do you not feel sharp pain when you lift your chin like that? (I almost hate to even ask as both of you know soooooo much more than I do about all this, but it's more just out of curiosity than trying to diagnose.

    Stonepile

     
    Old 06-14-2009, 04:48 AM   #6
    sk84life
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    Re: update C1-2 arthritis

    I think there are several issues going on here. First, I am not having nerve impingement symptoms. The only time I get sharp sudden pain in the back of my neck is when the spinous processes jam together if I am arching my neck, head backward, and am stressing my muscles. I'm sure that is just the arthritic bones hitting each other. While that sounds like the same position that is giving me my current problems, there are subtle differences. Sometimes my anterior plate C3-C6 aches a little too from the stress. I did notice Friday that I had one high spot (C1-2?) center nickel size knife like pain most of the day - Advil took the edge off so I could work...

    I've done a lot of research and the best I can come up with is that there is (and it is a known condition) vertebrobasilar insufficiency or kinking of the vertebral artery due to spondylosis. I even saw one great example of an osteophyte within the atlantoaxial joint (where I have significant arthritis) pinching the vertebral artery as it courses through that area.

    I think my doc will recommend one of several diagnostic tests; MRA, doppler ultrasound of neck vessels, possible an angiogram....I would need to go to some major center for the 3D MRA which is showing great ability to diagnose abnormalities. I guess I am not too surprised that basic MRI with contrast didn't show anything, and literature does say it is frequently normal in my scenerio, as it is done supine with head in neutral position. The difference with my events versus a lot of the literature is that I am looking forward, this is not happening when I have strongly turned my head to the side.

    So far I haven't experienced a true 'drop attack' from compression, but came the closest last Thursday. But now I have a few specific questions to ask him about the future - tests, surgical unroofing of area of bone compression over arteries, risk of stroke, if I 'drop' will he fix my broken hip

    So will let you all know after Tuesday's appt. As one doc told me several years ago 'you never present in the normal way!'

     
    Old 06-14-2009, 06:34 AM   #7
    trychocolate
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    Re: update C1-2 arthritis

    Thank you sk for explaining all this to us. I think I am clearer now on more of an artereal problem which is far more dangerous, from what I know. I'm glad you are really doing your research with regards to your symptoms and informed on diagnostic procedures and possibilities.

    I just get a little disturbed when I read posts about MRI not showing what needs to be seen for our serious conditions. It's all I have to rely on and if my problems are not defined on this procedure, I will know that my 6 years of dealing with a worsening situation is going to get even more difficult to deal with in trying to find answers. But I'm working on it.

    So thank you for posting all this very helpful info and I hope that you get those answers and help that you need. You sound like you know what's what.

    choc

     
    Old 06-16-2009, 03:27 PM   #8
    sk84life
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    Re: update C1-2 arthritis

    I guess this will be my final update.....MRI cervical spine fine, have script for some PT, but since doc witnessed event on Thursday and I told him about the previous 3 that week, he really thinks this is vertebral artery stenosis when my head is in extension. His office booked me with neurologist for July 1st......not what I wanted to hear!

     
    Old 06-16-2009, 08:39 PM   #9
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    Re: update C1-2 arthritis

    sk84life- I am glad that it is not your spine, but understand the worrisome thought of it being vertebral artery stenosis. I will be thinking and praying for you until then. I don't know much about it, but I'll do some looking it up. I would tell you to "keep your chin up" but I don't suppose that would be good advice!

    SP

     
    Old 06-17-2009, 03:10 AM   #10
    sk84life
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    Re: update C1-2 arthritis

    Thanks everyone for all our informative discussions and support.

     
    Old 06-18-2009, 05:28 PM   #11
    gooseberry
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    Re: update C1-2 arthritis

    Hi Jenny and everyone else,

    I am quite new to these boards. My medical background is that I have cerebral palsy and after a laminectomy in 2001 to C2 - C3 (which saved my life) I was left with a slipped vertabrae, which unfortunatley kept moving slowly but nearly indetectably (the wrong way) and when I went for my yearly checkup in 2007 they discovered I had developed a slipped disc at C6 - C7. Because I have a hideously narrow spinal canal it was decided after seeing three doctors (two neurosurgeons and the last a spinal reconstructive surgeon) that a fusion from C2 -T2 was required to fix all the problems.

    Aside from all the risks the main thing I was concerned about was the loss of range of movement because the fusion was so high, especially because I have balance problems due to CP and hence rely more on my sight and looking down than the standard person. I am not sure if this is what you are concerned about jenny but I can say that I have 50% rotation - am able to get across the road safely etc. My surgery was a year ago, and I do have to say the recovery was really hard hard work but I am happy that I did it - I think I recovery will be a part of the rest of my life :-).

    My spinal reconstruction surgeon said to me that 25% rotatation comes from the first level c1 and the c2 takes you to 50% from c3 - c7 you get 10% per level - from the range of movement I have now I would say this is accurate. I hope this might be helpful to you and if not excuse my babble on!

    Have a lovely day everyone.

    GB

     
    Old 06-19-2009, 02:50 PM   #12
    jennybyc
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    Re: update C1-2 arthritis

    Thanks Gooseberry. That was exactly what I've been looking for but not too many people have fusions that include C2.

    Turned out my problem wasn't the C2-3 disk(it was strokes) but I know I'm in constant danger of herniating that disk. C3 to T1 is enough for me!

    But now I know I'll still have a good 50% movement even if I do herniate it and have to have the fusion extended.

    Gentle hugs........Jenny

     
    Old 06-19-2009, 07:53 PM   #13
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    Re: update C1-2 arthritis

    That was great information, wasn't it Jenny??? Hope you are doing well.
    SP

     
    Old 06-21-2009, 04:31 PM   #14
    gooseberry
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    Re: update C1-2 arthritis

    Hi Jenny,

    Really glad I could help. My surgeon has always said to me that its important to keep you neck moving as much as you can once the fusion has taken, to help out with arthritis etc ie moving your head from left to right over your shoulders as far as it can go and putting your chin up to the ceiling and down to your chest. Because of the slipped vertabrae he didn't think I would get 50% rotation after the surgery but those gentle exercises help me keep lose, extend my range and help with any tightening up. I actually think, if I wanted to I could drive in a modified car with additional mirrors, but I think I'll give that a break for a while :-).

    Can I ask have you been on a plane since your surgery, I still have both my braces from after the surgery (soft and hard collar), is it a good idea to take it on the plane for support - i havent worn my brace since it came off six weeks after the surgery.

    Have a lovely day.

    GB.

     
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