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new numbness/tingling right before surgery

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Old 07-02-2009, 07:08 PM   #1
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new numbness/tingling right before surgery

Hi all,

I'm scheduled to have a posterior fusion on Monday morning (C5/6). I have arm and elbow pain on the left side for about the last 8 months. I have never had any lasting numbness or tingling anywhere. This morning I woke up and just got ready as normal, but when I went to wash my face, I noticed that the fingertips on my left ring finger and pinkie were numb. I do sometimes get numbness in those fingers, but it always goes away right away when I move my arm. Today, the feeling lasted for about 6 hours, and is still there a little bit. This is different from the normal numbness, which normally just feels like the circulation got cut off. This is a very distinct "pins and needles" feeling. It is also just at the tips of my fingers. I have never had this before.

I am concerned because my doctor had said that he didn't think I had a pinched nerve, so he was just going to do the fusion, but now I'm wondering if that has changed. I would absolutely hate to have this surgery, and then end up still having a pinched nerve and need to get something else done. On the other hand, I don't want to delay the surgery for more tests. I have already delayed it for about a month. I don't know if I should call the doctor tomorrow or if I should just not worry about it and tell him on Monday morning before the surgery. I don't even know if C5/6 can cause numbness in those fingers. I do have disc tears in 6/7 and 4/5, so I supposed one of those could have herniated. My mind is going crazy!

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Old 07-02-2009, 07:50 PM   #2
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Smile Re: new numbness/tingling right before surgery

Hi Toonces,

I think you should let your doctor know before the surgery of the new syptoms so that he/she can do the relevant investigations and then proceed on a fully informed basis. I had all my disks removed during the fusion procedure (c2 to t2) so I am aware that it can be done at the same time.

the most important benefit though is it will be a load off your mind as well.

my best wishes for you on monday.


Old 07-05-2009, 08:28 PM   #3
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Re: new numbness/tingling right before surgery


Good timing for the new symptoms - just let the doctor know the day of the surgery (which may be tomorrow?). The surgeon can then look further to see what has occurred. It is possible that the nerve was not impinged when any imaging studies were done (CT, MRI, etc) but now there is some nerve involvement.

Let him know exactly which fingers and which part of the fingers are numb/tingling.
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

Last edited by SpineAZ; 07-05-2009 at 08:29 PM.

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