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    Old 06-21-2012, 10:39 AM   #1
    Colabono
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    5 months post c5 c6 corpectomy leg issue

    Hello to all! Nice group of people here.

    I had c5 c6 partial corpectomy/fusion 5 months ago and recovery has gone well for the most part. I had radiculopathy in left arm with wrist drop and that has recovered about 90% with PT. I had leg pain shortly after neck injury and balance issues and was diagnosed with cervical myelopathy due to cord compression and severe narrowing of the nerural foramina. MRI showed t2 signal at c5 c6 on basis of myelomalacia. had hyper knee reflexes in knees.

    Post surgery...i still have hyper reflexes in knees...left leg has very minor pain, but right leg has pain when standing and is making it very difficult to run at all..seems somewhat weaker than left. Nuero is saying he thinks it is from cord compression at time of injury and will either take a long time to heal or I may be stuck with what i have? I did have post MRI of lumbar and cervical. Lumbar was fine....cervical still shows moderate severe narrowing of the neural foramina at c5 c6 and flattening of cord, but nuerosurgeon says all is good at this point.

    Just wondering if anyone has experienced this situation. I exercise a couple of times a week and upper body does well....just have issues with the one leg.

     
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    Old 06-21-2012, 10:59 AM   #2
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    Re: 5 months post c5 c6 corpectomy leg issue

    I had a C3-4 ACDF for severely herniated disk 16 years ago. One of the symptoms was hyperreflexivity of right knee. I don't think the hyperreflexivity of the knee has gotten any better (not that it really matters). I also have a little bit of weakness in the right hip/leg, because the myelomalacia that resulted from the disk herniation means that fewer of my muscle fibers are being used. Not that big a deal, either, as long as it doesn't get worse.

    I did not realize that myelomalacia could CREATE sensation (i.e. your leg pain). I thought it could only cause weakness and lack of sensation. Of course, the neurologist would know better than I.

    If the pain really is caused by myelomalacia, I suppose all you can do is try to wait it out and see if it gets better, but I'd suggest being a squeaky wheel about it. Maybe some other explanation will come up.

    As for the C5-6 foraminal narrowing, you can watch for symptoms, especially if the narrowing is on one side. A classic symptom would be something involving the thumb, but not the other digits.

    Last edited by WebDozer; 06-21-2012 at 11:00 AM.

     
    Old 06-21-2012, 11:09 AM   #3
    Colabono
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    Re: 5 months post c5 c6 corpectomy leg issue

    Thanks so much for your reply. I may have mispoken...I dont think the nuero said that myelomalacia would cause any pain....He just said something about the cervical tracks to the legs can cause issue with legs when there is cord compression. Pain is not that bad...just kind of achey and more noticeable when i am just standing still with weight on it. When walking for the most part it feels pretty good? Just odd to me?

     
    Old 06-21-2012, 11:15 AM   #4
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    Re: 5 months post c5 c6 corpectomy leg issue

    << just kind of achey >>

    I think I know the feeling. Happens to me if I've been walking maybe 8-10 miles. Right leg will fell tired and "beat up" while the left is fine. Right leg also susceptible to cold, although that's only until I've been moving for a minute.

    I don't know what you can do about it, but maybe someone else will have an idea...

     
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    Old 06-21-2012, 02:39 PM   #5
    jennybyc
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    Re: 5 months post c5 c6 corpectomy leg issue

    The cord compression should not cause pain but if one set of leg muscles is weak and others are not, the difference will cause muscle spasms and pain. My brother-in-law had a stroke of his cord and it left him with various types of full and partial paralysis of his legs along with some untouched muscles...and he HURT. Some muscles worked and some didn't and some kind of.

    Cord compression can takes months if not years to recover from. It can take 8-10 months for a single nerve fiber to grow to full length and reconnect and work. And there is never a guarantee that it will ever work again but it won't get any worse.

    Give it time. Took me 9 months to start moving my left arm and 2 years to get most of my motion and strength back. Legs recovered from the first cord compression very fast but after having it happen a second time when I broke my neck, it has gotten much better but I'll always have a left leg "drag"...it's tires easily and start to drag after about 10-15 minutes of walking. And on occasion, the right will drag too. But I don't let it stop me.

    Jenny

     
    Old 06-21-2012, 04:07 PM   #6
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    Re: 5 months post c5 c6 corpectomy leg issue

    Colabono - Most people posting here do not report myelomalacia, or symptoms quite like yours. It would be very helpful if you would be so kind as to briefly describe your injury, the symptoms that it caused, how long from then until your surgery, and what the radiologist's MRI report said, at least about the C5-6 level....

     
    Old 06-21-2012, 05:56 PM   #7
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    Re: 5 months post c5 c6 corpectomy leg issue

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WebDozer View Post
    Colabono - Most people posting here do not report myelomalacia, or symptoms quite like yours. It would be very helpful if you would be so kind as to briefly describe your injury, the symptoms that it caused, how long from then until your surgery, and what the radiologist's MRI report said, at least about the C5-6 level....

     
    Old 06-21-2012, 06:21 PM   #8
    Colabono
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    Re: 5 months post c5 c6 corpectomy leg issue

    Thanks to both of you. I will do my best here... I had fallen pushing furniture and had instant major neck pain and left arm went cold. Pain in left scapula area was just horrific for almost 3 weeks. Had emg of left arm that showed radiculopathy c5 c6 an had wrist drop....I had normal grip, but the wrist would not bring them up any higher and thumb and 1st digit were a bit numb. started having balance issues and legs felt heavy it seemed about a week or 2 after injury. I had gone to a chiropractor....never had gone before and he felt he could help me out. finally had MRI done and it showed disc bulge at c5 c6 with bilateral moderate severe narrowing of the neural foramina at c5 c6 and something about effacement of the thecal sac and cord compression. There was a light t2 signal at c5 c6 on the basis of myelomalacia. It said there was cervical spondylitis at almost all levels and moderate and mild disc bulges above and below c5 c6. I dont think going to chiropractor was a good idea as he was adjusting my neck a couple of times a week and once I received the MRI I just did not think it was a good idea. I went to the neurosurgeon and he said there was no fluid at all around the cord at c5 c6 and said based on my symptoms (brisk lower reflexes, left arm basically had very little reflexes with the radiculopathy) and compression it was cervical myelopathy and surgery was basically the only option or possibly face further damage. He made it clear to me that the surgery would only stop progression and not always improve symptoms but he was hopeful i would see improvement. It was only a little over 2 months from the day I injured my neck til the day of surgery. Balance came back immediately and left leg felt totally normal. wrist was still very weak, but with physical therapy it is almost back to normal at this point....not 100%, but I am happy with that. both legs still have brisk reflexes, but right leg just seems somewhat weak. As long as I am walking it seems pretty good, but when I just stand still it seems to get achey with weight on it.

    Most recent MRI still shows moderate severe narrowing of the neural foramina and ventral flatenning of the cord at c5 c6. I wish I had the print out in front of me to be totally accurate and get the words spelled correctly. Nuerosurgeon said the neck had a lot of arthritis in it and it took him longer to do the partial corpectomy.

    Thanks so much for your input.

     
    Old 06-21-2012, 06:22 PM   #9
    Colabono
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    Re: 5 months post c5 c6 corpectomy leg issue

    Thanks to both of you. I will do my best here... I had fallen pushing furniture and had instant major neck pain and left arm went cold. Pain in left scapula area was just horrific for almost 3 weeks. Had emg of left arm that showed radiculopathy c5 c6 an had wrist drop....I had normal grip, but the wrist would not bring them up any higher and thumb and 1st digit were a bit numb. started having balance issues and legs felt heavy it seemed about a week or 2 after injury. I had gone to a chiropractor....never had gone before and he felt he could help me out. finally had MRI done and it showed disc bulge at c5 c6 with bilateral moderate severe narrowing of the neural foramina at c5 c6 and something about effacement of the thecal sac and cord compression. There was a light t2 signal at c5 c6 on the basis of myelomalacia. It said there was cervical spondylitis at almost all levels and moderate and mild disc bulges above and below c5 c6. I dont think going to chiropractor was a good idea as he was adjusting my neck a couple of times a week and once I received the MRI I just did not think it was a good idea. I went to the neurosurgeon and he said there was no fluid at all around the cord at c5 c6 and said based on my symptoms (brisk lower reflexes, left arm basically had very little reflexes with the radiculopathy) and compression it was cervical myelopathy and surgery was basically the only option or possibly face further damage. He made it clear to me that the surgery would only stop progression and not always improve symptoms but he was hopeful i would see improvement. It was only a little over 2 months from the day I injured my neck til the day of surgery. Balance came back immediately and left leg felt totally normal. wrist was still very weak, but with physical therapy it is almost back to normal at this point....not 100%, but I am happy with that. both legs still have brisk reflexes, but right leg just seems somewhat weak. As long as I am walking it seems pretty good, but when I just stand still it seems to get achey with weight on it.

    Most recent MRI still shows moderate severe narrowing of the neural foramina and ventral flatenning of the cord at c5 c6. I wish I had the print out in front of me to be totally accurate and get the words spelled correctly. Nuerosurgeon said the neck had a lot of arthritis in it and it took him longer to do the partial corpectomy.

    Thanks so much for your input.

     
    Old 06-21-2012, 06:30 PM   #10
    Colabono
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    Re: 5 months post c5 c6 corpectomy leg issue

    Jenny, thanks so much....you have been through A LOT!! I sincerely wish you the best! The two of you are so knowledgeable and helpful. I think the Nuero had said that it is not the compression but something about tracts all go through the cervical area including the legs and can then affect the legs. He said just like you that it can take a LONG time and there may be little change or it could all eventually go back to near normal. He felt somewhere in the middle is more typical. He was very pleased to see the wrist come back so quickly and said that was a good sign.

    Thanks again and please take care of yourself!!

     
    Old 06-21-2012, 07:00 PM   #11
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    Re: 5 months post c5 c6 corpectomy leg issue

    Thanks for taking the time. Two months from injury to surgery doesn't seem like very long. Supposedly, the longer you wait, the more likely damage is permanent, but the time threshold I've been given is more like six months.

    No, going to a chiropractor wasn't the right thing to do, but pretty much no one knows that. At the least, the chiropractor should have had the MRI report before he did anything.

    I don't understand the persisting foraminal stenosis. If the C5-6 DISK was narrowing the foramina, and it was removed, then what's narrowing them now? If it wasn't the disk, then it was probably osteophytes, and the surgery likely did nothing about them.

    I would want to get an understanding of that, and what can be done....

    Last edited by WebDozer; 06-21-2012 at 07:01 PM.

     
    Old 06-21-2012, 07:27 PM   #12
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    Re: 5 months post c5 c6 corpectomy leg issue

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WebDozer View Post
    Thanks for taking the time. Two months from injury to surgery doesn't seem like very long. Supposedly, the longer you wait, the more likely damage is permanent, but the time threshold I've been given is more like six months.

    No, going to a chiropractor wasn't the right thing to do, but pretty much no one knows that. At the least, the chiropractor should have had the MRI report before he did anything.

    I don't understand the persisting foraminal stenosis. If the C5-6 DISK was narrowing the foramina, and it was removed, then what's narrowing them now? If it wasn't the disk, then it was probably osteophytes, and the surgery likely did nothing about them.

    I would want to get an understanding of that, and what can be done....

     
    Old 06-21-2012, 08:17 PM   #13
    Colabono
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    Re: 5 months post c5 c6 corpectomy leg issue

    I so wish i had he report in front of me. I was a bit surprised to see the post MRI still show what it did. I have the post cervical disc and when you look at the axial view you can clearly see that the white matter disappears around the c5 c6 area. My neurosurgeon who I truly respect and found to be the easiest to talk to said there is nothing he would do at this time. I just did not understand the cord being flatened in that area ect? post surgery? The neurologist looked at the disc and said he would base further action on symptoms. He said that all levels of my cervical spine have at least some degree of issues. I honestly regret going to the Chiropractor....I was just so desperate for some kind of relief.....to be honest...he looked at the MRI and told me that if I did not continue seeing him that he was certain the neurosurgeon would recommend surgery. I just did not think that having my neck cracked with cord compression made any sense? When I mentioned it to my family doctor he just looked at me and said I was NUTS to be going to a CHIRO with cord compression and to stop immediately. He told me he was going to mess me up. I am still so concerned about the MRI findings....i just did not expect to see the word "SEVERE" and "flat cord" in the report. This MRI was done with and without contrast on a 3.2 tesla MRI as was the 1st one. On the 1st MRI, the dent at c5 c6 was very obvious. I do not like tight places so those are NO FUN for me....I really wish I had the actual reports in front of me....they are in a folder at my office. The Surgeons assistant talked to me at one time and said the Myelomalacia is permanent but she expected to see improvements over the next year or so. I only WISH I had known about sites like this with WONDERFUL people such as yourself here to give their knowledge to those in need. I truly respect the nueros of the world, but I have seen 2 of them and both were incredibly difficult to communicate with...they seem to just ask a question and cut you off half way through your answer?? One Nuero is the Chief Nuero at a local hospital and the other has 38 years and is well respected so i do indeed trust them, but they just do not want to answer questions.....they literally tell you what to do and walk out the door. Kind of frustrating. I would NEVER have gone to a CHIRO had I gone to a site like this first as I am certain the advice would have been to stay away. I have gone to medical sites and even those sites say that Chiro manipulation is NOT an option with compression.

    I am going to TRY and discuss the current results when I see my Nuero again so I can figure out what the road ahead might hold??

    Your time and input is so appreciated!

     
    Old 06-21-2012, 09:05 PM   #14
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    Re: 5 months post c5 c6 corpectomy leg issue

    Well, if you feel like it, you can post the pertinent parts of those reports, but it sounds like you have a pretty good understanding of it all, already. Good luck talking to the docs....

     
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