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  • Spinal Cord Compression

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    Old 01-17-2003, 07:27 PM   #1
    Renee016
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    Post Spinal Cord Compression

    Hi, I just found this - I was looking at back problems. I'm hoping I'll get more info here. I just found out that I have three herniated discs in my neck. One of them is totally ruptured and pressing on the spinal cord. My neck pain started 4 years ago out of nowhere - I just woke up one morning and could not move my head or lift it off the pillow. Since then its been on and off every few months - pain in neck and right shoulder. The last episode happened in early November. I woke up again and could not move - the day before I had been raking leaves. After two visits to the emergency room and a "trigger point injection" from my orthopedist, I started to develop severe weakness in my legs with tingling and numbness in my toes. CT-scan showed nothing, EMG showed nothing. Finally an MRI showed the discs. My doctor thinks I will eventually need surgery in the near future but he also thinks its odd that most of my symptoms are in my legs (not my arms) so he wants me to keep seeing the nuerologist to rule out other things. In the meantime, I've had a blood test for Lyme disease, a visit to the endochrinologist with more blood tests and an ultra-sound on my thyroid. Everything comes up negative.
    What I don't understand is why I have to keep getting more and more tests when we already know whats wrong. The weakness is getting worse - to the point where I don't know if I can keep my job. It feels like there is lead in my legs. Is there anyone else out there with cervical disc herniations experiencing weakness in their legs?

    Thanks in advance for your advise.
    Renee
    __________________
    1982 Fusion surgery for scoliosis with stainless steel Harrington Rod (T5 - L3) using pelvic bone for grafting
    1999 Neck problems began
    2001 Cervical Kyphosis
    2002 Diagnosed with Epstein-Barr (level was 7+) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    2003 3 Herniated Cervical Discs - C4 thru C7. One disc (C5-6) pressing on the spinal cord (no nerve root compression) causing leg weakness, tingling, burning and numbness - diagnosed with myelopathy and ACDF recommended.
    2/24/03 One-Level Anterior Cervical Discectomy with donor bone and titanium plate (C5-6)
    Post 2/03 - Symptoms returned and worsening. Weakness in my legs is like walking against a 50 mph wind - pain in lower back and all the way down my right leg to the ankle - vertigo, muscle spasms in trunk and legs
    7/03 EEG, BAERS and MRI of brain all normal
    7/03 MRI of lumbar spine showed mild herniated disc (L4/5) with moderate to severe DDD and edema in the endplates. HOLDING OUT FOR ARTIFICIAL DISC REPLACEMENT!

     
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    Old 01-17-2003, 07:36 PM   #2
    Debbie2
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    Renee,
    I think its long past overdue you make an appointment (and take your MRI) to a neuro surgeon. Four years is a long time to suffer all these symptons. Surpised you were not advised to see one just for a second opinion? Keep us posted.
    Debbie

    ------------------
    Debbie2
    ACDF fusion (c5c6) with titanium plate and screws using donor bone -
    September 4, 2002.
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    Debbie2
    ACDF fusion (c5c6) with titanium plate and screws using donor bone -
    September 4, 2002.

     
    Old 01-18-2003, 05:08 AM   #3
    Tefkat
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    I have leg problems but I assumed that was beacause I have a lower back problem that predates my neck injury.
    Maybe not then.

     
    Old 01-18-2003, 07:00 AM   #4
    melanie dawn
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    Hi There Renee,
    I agree you need to see a neurosurgeon with your MRI. There are many of us on here who get the heavy legs and other symptoms. You need to know that compression in the neck ,can definately start with symptoms in the legs. It is known as the sensory march, and means that symptoms can start at the bottom and move up or vice versa .
    I was also told by a family doc. that the legs do not have anything to do with the neck. How ridiculous.
    I can get really bad symtoms after vacuuming etc.
    Also make sure you learn as much as you can , to protect yourself and and provide understanding of your symptoms.
    Take care Mel

    [This message has been edited by melanie dawn (edited 01-18-2003).]
    __________________
    Congenital Cervical Stenosis,complicated by:
    Paracentral Disc herniations ,bone spurs C4/5,C5/6,C6/7
    loss of lordotic curve
    Advanced myelopathy inc. walking difficulty, loss of gag reflex with swallowing problems, neurogenic bladder, occipital neuralgia, spacticity

     
    Old 01-18-2003, 11:15 AM   #5
    Niki47
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    Hi Renee,

    Melanie is right! (Hi Mel!) There are also other symptoms that may seem unrelated to you, but if you have them... could mean something more to your doctor.

    Do you have bowel or bladder "urgency"???
    Do you have blood pressure problems?
    Heart palpitations or wierd chest pains?
    Sexual dysfunction?

    Vitually all functions of your body are controlled by nerves that run thru your neck. So there may be more compression on the cord than is currently realized.

    Read all you can... knowledge is power! Smile.

    Good luck!
    Niki47

     
    Old 01-18-2003, 12:47 PM   #6
    angelfan
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    Hi Renee,

    I, too, had severe stenosis with cord compression, and my symptoms where all over my body, my left leg feeling as if it were full of lead. Felt like I was constantly off-balance because of it. My family doc, while doing my pre-surgical medical clearance, scratched his head and said "the problem is in your leg and they think it's your neck???" Can you believe that!!! Anyway, I had a four level laminectomy, fusion, titanium rods/screws, and my leg is almost perfect again. When I overdue it, I still feel a slight weakness. 90% of the time, I feel great, with almost all my symptoms gone. Hope this helped.

    Angelfan

     
    Old 01-18-2003, 10:24 PM   #7
    rockymtn
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    Hi Renee,

    I had a ruptured disc c 5/6 with compression of the spinal cord. I had problems with my right shoulder/arm/hand. As it progressed, I began having problems with 'heaviness' in my right leg. I was terrified! I told the NS - enough! I cant take it anymore - Do something! He said the heaviness was due to the spinal cord compression and the only way to bring relief was surgery. I had the surgery the following week. All my symptoms disappeared! My right side returned to normal!!! I had some discomfort from the surgery - but it was soooooo worth it to be relieved of the pain and fear! The leg part was even scarier than the arm pain for me - but it is gone now! I hope that you find a solution soon - it's not fun to live with the symptoms that you have! Good luck to you!

    ------------------
    ACDF - 10/29/02 - c 5/6 donor bone with hardware
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    ACDF - 10/29/02 - c 5/6 donor bone with hardware

     
    Old 01-19-2003, 11:38 AM   #8
    mothmin
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    Red face

    hey reneee, I'm 5 weeks post-op, my story is similar to yours. I'm really starting to loose respect over the arogance of these docotrs. I also had some foot pain, and they said "impossible" I wish they would start listening to patience insted of presuming they know all the secrets of the universe... it's obvious they don't! I've talked to so many people on this board with similar problems. I hope my nightmare is finally over, and yours ends soon. good luck.

     
    Old 01-19-2003, 08:05 PM   #9
    PsychLea
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    Hi

    I have been lurking on the spinal board,but posting on the "back board"

    I have large HNP at C6-7 and I have left sided chest pain, left shoulder pain, burning pain down to my elbow and wrist(radial nerve) and burning pain down the outer aspect of my left leg. It was amazing to me when my PCP told me he thought I had herniated a disc and he was right. Thank God I have such a competent family doctor.

    When I stand for long periods of time, my left leg is stiff and heavy and I literally have to pick it up to get it into the car. Don't you hate all the concrete you have to walk on in stores?

    I also have what looks like spinal cord compression at the HNP site, it's very clear on the MRI films with a pronounced narrowing pushing on the spinal cord.

    I see the NS this week and can't wait to get some pain relief. I am on Valium (can't take very often)Ultram, Naprosyn, and use heat on and off. The pain is really starting to interfere with my functioning, and the meds are making me feel foggy headed and . . .well . . . stupid http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/dizzy.gif

    So the C spine is a very interesting place to have problems.



    ------------------
    God bless,

    Lea
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    God bless,

    Lea

     
    Old 01-20-2003, 10:50 AM   #10
    mothmin
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    Wink

    Lea, I'm 5 weeks ost-op for blown c-7. In the begining I had tight chest and breathing probs. I actually thought I had sleep apnia because I would "choke" in my sleep sometimes. I found out that not sleeping on my stomachstopped the breathing/chest problems, as well as waking up with dead hands. the surgery seems to have worked...so far. good luck. P.S " what that boggy creek monster like?"

     
    Old 01-20-2003, 05:08 PM   #11
    Renee016
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    Thanks, everyone for sharing your stories and advise. Nikki, I do not have any of the other problems that you mentioned but the last time I had my blood pressure taken it was very low, even for me. It was like 105 over 60 or something like that. I don't know if this means anything. Also, I finally made an apt with a nuerosurgeon for next week. Anyway it's somewhat comforting to know I'm not the only one who's experienced this so I thank everyone for your replies.
    Renee
    __________________
    1982 Fusion surgery for scoliosis with stainless steel Harrington Rod (T5 - L3) using pelvic bone for grafting
    1999 Neck problems began
    2001 Cervical Kyphosis
    2002 Diagnosed with Epstein-Barr (level was 7+) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    2003 3 Herniated Cervical Discs - C4 thru C7. One disc (C5-6) pressing on the spinal cord (no nerve root compression) causing leg weakness, tingling, burning and numbness - diagnosed with myelopathy and ACDF recommended.
    2/24/03 One-Level Anterior Cervical Discectomy with donor bone and titanium plate (C5-6)
    Post 2/03 - Symptoms returned and worsening. Weakness in my legs is like walking against a 50 mph wind - pain in lower back and all the way down my right leg to the ankle - vertigo, muscle spasms in trunk and legs
    7/03 EEG, BAERS and MRI of brain all normal
    7/03 MRI of lumbar spine showed mild herniated disc (L4/5) with moderate to severe DDD and edema in the endplates. HOLDING OUT FOR ARTIFICIAL DISC REPLACEMENT!

     
    Old 01-20-2003, 06:38 PM   #12
    Debbie2
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    So glad you have an appointment next week. He will hopefully be able to answer all your questions and give you some direction. Make sure you make notes of all the questions you have, you finally get in to see a neuro and some of us just drew a blank. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    Debbie

    ------------------
    Debbie2
    ACDF fusion (c5c6) with titanium plate and screws using donor bone -
    September 4, 2002.
    __________________
    Debbie2
    ACDF fusion (c5c6) with titanium plate and screws using donor bone -
    September 4, 2002.

     
    Old 01-21-2003, 12:16 PM   #13
    Niki47
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    Glad to hear of your impending appt., keep us posted!!!

    Be well!

    Niki47

     
    Old 01-21-2003, 03:33 PM   #14
    Eartha
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    Hello Renee,
    I too, have leg pains with my C5-6 steniosis, compression. I am having more and more difficulity with my left arm. Pain is almost unbearable and I have to use my right arm to move the left arm alot these days.
    I have an appointment on 28 Jan to schedule surgery.
    With the knowledge I am finding here on the boards,
    I have decided it is time for surgery.
    I also have sleep apnea? Wonder if that will improve after my surgery? Hope so!
    Wish doctors would tell their patients more info,
    but thank heavens we patients have these message boards.
    Good Luck!
    Eartha

     
    Old 01-23-2003, 06:52 PM   #15
    eraskas
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    I was diagnosed in the last two weeks with 2.6 year progession cervial myleopathy with an MRI that showed a level 4 (1-6) herniation into my spinal cord. My fingers on both sides of my hands had suffered numbness since onset and more recently my legs and finally my torso began losing sensation. surgery was performed last thursday to remove the disk and fuse the 5-6 vertabrae successfully. I suggest that if your MRI's depict similar you need to find the right neurosurgeon/spinal surgeon in your region immediately!


     
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