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    Old 03-17-2012, 04:45 PM   #1
    griff82
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    disc rupture c4-5

    About 2 weeks ago I ruptured a disk at c4-5 which is now pressing into my spinal cord. My pain seems to be getting a little bit better in my arms and the tingling seems to have faded in my hands. However, I have been having pain in my thumb and pointer finger on my left hand for a long time; months before the acute symptoms of the rupture came about. It really only hurts when I'm grabbing something, or pressing against something with the affected hand. I now think this thumb pain was probably due to the disc bulging before the rupture. I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this kind of pain in their hand? And if so, maybe you have some information that could help me?

    Thanks!

     
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    Old 03-17-2012, 05:31 PM   #2
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    Re: disc rupture c4-5

    You say you ruptured the disk 2 weeks ago? Did something happen at that time, or is that just when you found out about it?

    I assume you got an MRI. Can you share the particulars?

    In answer to your question, I have my doubts that your current thumb/finger problem is due to the disk, just because symptoms usually are not related to motion or usage. I'm not entirely sure about that, though...

     
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    Old 03-17-2012, 05:38 PM   #3
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    Re: disc rupture c4-5

    Hey dozer, I don't really think I did anything in particular to rupture the disc. My neck had been tight for a long time before my symptoms really showed up, and I had been trying to stretch my neck, so that could have caused it. I also had a cold at the time, and it could have been a violent sneeze or something. I really don't know.

    I did get an MRI and it showed a central disc protrusion. I have symptoms on both sides of my body, but mostly on my left. When it first happened I was having pretty intense upper arm, neck, chest and back pain along with shooting pain in my left hand that quickly be followed by numbness and tingling. Now I'm not really having much numbness or tingling. My left arm/hand feels a little weaker than my right, but I think the amount of strength lost on the left side is negligible. The pain has also pretty much confined itself to the aforementioned thumb and upper back between my shoulder blades and neck.

    I hope you're right about my thumb/pointer pain not being related to my neck, it just feels like that pain is never going to go away since I've had it for so long. It also seemed to come about when my neck first started getting tight, so I'm kind of putting 2 and 2 together. Thanks for the reply!

     
    Old 03-17-2012, 10:12 PM   #4
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    Re: disc rupture c4-5

    Who ordered the MRI, and what does he have to say about the results? Have you seen a neurologist? Have you lost any dexterity, particularly in your left hand? How, exactly, were you trying to stretch your neck? Have I asked enough questions?

    The reason I think the pain in your thumb is not caused by a spinal problem is just that a spinal problem would be exacerbated by something happening in your neck, like bending or twisting it a certain way. Putting pressure on your thumb in no way affects your cervical spine. One of my symptoms was a sore shoulder that I thought was a rotator cuff problem, but my doc correctly diagnosed it as referred spinal pain. Another was when I would bend my head down and to the left and an electric current would shoot through my left leg. Obviously, nothing was wrong with my leg.

    Still, I wouldn't rule out your cervical spine causing the thumb pain. There's more that I don't know about this subject than that I do know...

     
    Old 03-18-2012, 12:59 AM   #5
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    Re: disc rupture c4-5

    An orthopedic surgeon ordered the MRI, and he said that I had the centrally herniated disc. I don't think I've lost any dexterity. The neck stretching... well I had been stretchign my neck for about a month, lots of different ways. Kinda wish I hadn't been stretching now.

    I've also noticed the muscle near my thumb, you know that fatty part of your hand between the index and thumb, has gotten thinner. I can easily feel the artery in that area and I can't feel it at all in my other hand. I don't know if this is because I'm just not using the hand as much because its painful and the muscle has atrophied or if there is some other reason.

     
    Old 03-18-2012, 12:17 PM   #6
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    Re: disc rupture c4-5

    If the nerves that ennervate a muscle are damaged, some of the fibers will no longer work and will atrophy from lack of exercise. That has happened to some small extent with my left leg due to left-side cervical myelomalacia.

    A neurologist (or maybe even an orthopedist) should be able to conduct a nerve study to see if/where nerve impulses to your thumb are being interrupted...

     
    Old 03-18-2012, 05:21 PM   #7
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    Re: disc rupture c4-5

    Hey Griff...glad you made it over here.

    Jenny

     
    Old 03-18-2012, 06:02 PM   #8
    griff82
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    Re: disc rupture c4-5

    Thanks Jenny. Ya I'm feeling a little better lately. Really the only bothersome symptoms I'm having now is the pain in my upper back and the pain in my hand that I mentioned. Though, I'm not sure if the hand pain is related to my back at this point. My triceps has also been spasming like crazy, but that's not really that bothersome, maybe a little annoying, but I can deal with it. I'll probably make an appointment with my hand surgeon this week to see if he can tell my why my hand has been hurting. God, I'm only 26 and I'm already referring to a doctor as "my hand surgeon". He operated on my other wrist two years ago... I swear I'm falling apart.

    Last edited by griff82; 03-18-2012 at 06:03 PM.

     
    Old 04-03-2012, 05:10 PM   #9
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    Re: disc rupture c4-5

    So it's been about a month since the major symptoms of my ruptured disc appeared. Lately I've been feeling a bit worse. I've been having more pain behind my shoulder blades and I've noticed that my left hand has begun to atrophy quite a bit. No real weakness, but the atrophy is definitely apparent. The pain in the hand is also worse. Also starting to have a little pain in my right hand as well. In addition to this, I've been having spasms like crazy. Last week my bicep spasmed for an entire day. Today my knee has been spasming since I woke up.

    I've started physical therapy, but after about a week and a half of it, I don't think it's helping at all. If anything it's making my pain worse. I'm beginning to think surgery is inevitable.

    Last edited by griff82; 04-03-2012 at 05:13 PM.

     
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