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  • Numbness question. Is there hope? Dr. appt scheduled.

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    Old 06-20-2003, 08:22 AM   #1
    j_f_2003
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    Question Numbness question. Is there hope? Dr. appt scheduled.

    Went to bed last night and couldn't sleep to well. Woke up at midnight took 2 benadryl. I couldn't get in the right position without having numbness. I have left foraminal stenosis, cervical stenosis, spondyolitis and history of bulging and herniated cervical disc. The only side I can sleep on comfortably is the left. If I sleep on my back I wake up with headaches. I called three dr's today. Unfortunately when I have called in the past no one did neck or were on our insurance. I've had chiro, p.t. twice, injections, and non-stop muscle relaxers and I am now dependent on pain killers. I have three appointments but I will cancel one. Dr #1 I called a spine dr. that was recommended to me but found he retired and they gave me an appt with another general orthopedic dr. for Monday(I was told none of the dr's in this group do surgery) in the same group that the rehab dr. I saw was in. However I am cancelling that appt because he is not a surgeon and I'm afraid there won't be anything he can do for me except prescribe more p.t. which the pm dr. doesn't want me doing now anyway.

    Dr. #2 I got an appt for late next week with an ortho who did knee surgery on me and the receptionist said he will see any problem of any request. I asked if he does surgery on the neck and she said yes anything by request. (his specialty on the website list knee) I wanted to try a spine dr. but no one specifically did the neck in that group.

    Dr#3 I also got an appt in two weeks with a spine dr. who worked on a friend of mine. This friend told me her dr. said that if she just let the numbness go she was risking paralysis. They specifically wanted to know what type of problem I had.

    It seems like my numbness is not only coming and going now but sometimes stays there for a long time. Has anyone had permanet numbness and got better after surgery? I'm worried about paralysis and numbness never going away. My hand and finger movements on the right side are also slower now. I hope it gets better. I see pm dr. next week. I wonder how long is to long to have irreversible numbness. It's been numb for the last week and a half. I will ask pm dr. if there is anything more he can do for me to get this numbness and severe pain to go away since I'm not supposed to have anymore injections.

     
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    Old 06-20-2003, 09:04 AM   #2
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    I would ask the pain management doctor for a referral to a spine doctor (be it neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon). That is who gave me the name of my ortopedic surgeon. I also asked my knee doctor about who he would refer me to for neck problems and he gave me the name of the same doctor. After making the appointment I called my primary doctor and when I told him who I was seeing he told me I had made a good choice because that is who he would refer me to also. So I lucked out with three different doctors that I trusted all referring me to the same one.

    So go with the suggestion of who you trust - with regard to the knee doctor I think I would inquire how many he has done before I let him work on my spine.

    Good luck with your decisions and your appointments.

     
    Old 06-20-2003, 09:42 AM   #3
    KeithEugeneW
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    The ortho who does knees primarily may have something to contribute, but I wouldn't let him touch my spine. You don't want someone operating on your spine who is a part time spine doctor. You need a full time spine doctor, whether it's a neurosurgeon or othapedic spine surgeon. Don't settle for less, and make sure it's one who comes highly recommended and has a good record of success. There's too much at stake to risk anything less. If it was your child, you wouldn't risk it, so give yourself the same consideration. If it was me, I'd want at least two opinions from experienced spine surgeons and then make the decision on how to proceed. You are definetely in need of help, just don't be so desparate that you will accept it from just any doctor, that can only make things worse for you. Keep in touch with us here on the board and we'll all help as much as we can with advice, heck it's free at least!
    I wish you the best on this journey to get better!
    Keith

     
    Old 06-20-2003, 06:58 PM   #4
    melanie dawn
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    Hi,
    I think I would stick to a spinal specialist. With stenosis and nerve issues, the rule of thumb is that the sooner you address the problem and find a solution , the better the chances of a full recovery. If it is the peripheral nerves that are affected, they do regenerate, but slowly. However if the issue is from the cord itself , if left too long , the problems have a higher risk of being permanent. Spinal cord does not regenrate.
    I know that the numbness and pain can be very overwhelming. And you certainly need to be proactive and seek medical attention. In saying that, take the time to find the best Dr that you can, and back that up with a second opinion from another reputable Dr.
    I hope you get the care and answers that you need, as well as relief from your symptoms.
    Mel

    ------------------
    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
    __________________
    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 06-20-2003, 09:47 PM   #5
    jdog
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    j_f

    Do yourself a favor and make sure that you consult a Neurosurgeon on your troubles, no matter what. Think about it this way, what's the use of having a good house (bones, muscles) if it doesn't have any electrical wiring (nerves).

    Just an opinion due to a friend who let an OSS do her ACDF and the m*ron put in screws 1 mm (.0039") too long and totally hosed her. They had to go back in and remove the hardware and she's permanently disabled.

    jdog
    __________________
    L3/4 Lam. 2/2001
    ACDF C5/6/7 8/2002
    L4/L5 Herniated 1/2003

     
    Old 06-21-2003, 03:13 PM   #6
    j_f_2003
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    I goofed. I don't have cervical stenosis. It's mild central stenosis. I couldn't find any neuro on my plan that was recommended. I am keeping the appt to see if another ortho knows of a good neuro.

     
    Old 06-22-2003, 12:51 AM   #7
    Wayne in TX
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    Just don't wait too long. I was misdiagnosed for a year before I was given an MRI.Surgery went well but I still have some problems with my legs. If it had been done sooner I may have completely recovered.

    ------------------
    Diagnosed with Cervical Spinal Stenosis with Myelopathy in early March 2003. 3 level[C-4 through C-6] ACDF with donor bone and instrumentation Surgery done on March 26 2003
    __________________
    Diagnosed with Cervical Spinal Stenosis with Myelopathy in early March 2003. 3 level[C-4 through C-6] ACDF with donor bone and instrumentation Surgery done on March 26 2003

     
    Old 06-24-2003, 07:18 AM   #8
    j_f_2003
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    Saw pm dr. and he prescribed the pain patch 25mcg/hr He says the pain and numbness is from the injection and I just need to give it time to get better. He says the MRI is normal. I don't understand that one but he says not to worry about the numbness or pain as it should go away in a couple of weeks. I'm happy about that. He says going to a spine specialist is not necessary so I cancelled my appointment. I tried tape for the patch after it loosened up during the night but it itched so I took it off and am just wearing the patch alone hoping it won't come off. s/o wants me to go in a friends hot tub between patch changes on the third day to see if a hot tub would help me. We are considering buying one but don't want to waste the money if it doesn't help. He says I could remove the patch the day before it's due to come off and then put a new one on after I am finished in the hot tub the next day. I don't think it's recommended but if I take it off and put it on my arm and just keep my arm above the water I should be fine? I will check with dr's office. Having a side effect of urinary retention. Maybe I can't tolerate the patch.

     
    Old 06-24-2003, 07:51 AM   #9
    Orchrid Man
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    . Time out here.
    Before I would cancel the spine specialist appointment. I would have required the MRI report for myself. I then would fax or hand carry the report.I would also hand carry the MRI film to the appointment remember he/she is a specialist


    ------------------
    ------------------
    Orchid Man τΏτ
    Just a pasting face

    C2-3, disc protrusion which contacts but does not compress
    C3-4, disc protrusion with bone spurs, neural foraminal narrowing.
    C4-5 large disc protrusion with bone spurs compressing the cord, severe canal stenosis
    C5-6 disc protrusion with bone spurs compressing the left cord, severe stenosis
    C6-7 disc protrusion with bone spurs but does not compress the cord, neural foraminal stenosis.
    C7-T1 is normal
    T2-3 disc protrusion which contacts but does not compress

    Conclusion:
    Severe canal stenosis secondary to disc protrusion at C4-5 and C5-6 with mild cord volume loss at these levels.

    -Surgery -NOT Advised waiting second opinion
    __________________
    ------------------
    Orchid Man τΏτ
    Just a pasting face

    C2-3, disc protrusion which contacts but does not compress
    C3-4, disc protrusion with bone spurs, neural foraminal narrowing.
    C4-5 large disc protrusion with bone spurs compressing the cord, severe canal stenosis
    C5-6 disc protrusion with bone spurs compressing the left cord, severe stenosis
    C6-7 disc protrusion with bone spurs but does not compress the cord, neural foraminal stenosis.
    C7-T1 is normal
    T2-3 disc protrusion which contacts but does not compress

    Conclusion:
    Severe canal stenosis secondary to disc protrusion at C4-5 and C5-6 with mild cord volume loss at these levels.

    -Surgery Set for- 18 Sep 03-4 Level Lamin. with plating

     
    Old 06-24-2003, 12:15 PM   #10
    j_f_2003
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    I did cancel both appt's but I rescheduled the one with the spine dr. for a later date just a week later to give the patch a chance to work. I'm only supposed to wear the patch for about two weeks to get myself out of pain. I tend to not take enough pain meds or they don't work well enough for the pain and that has prevented me from having the muscles completely relaxed. I think the increase dose of the muscle relaxer is also helping. If I am not better in three weeks I will take the MRI with me to the specialist. I won't be having anything drastic done as we are leaving for a month of vacation but at least I can get the spine dr's opinion and think about option during vacation. I want to give myself a chance to see if I will get better. Thanks for your concern. It can't hurt to get a specialists opinion.

     
    Old 06-25-2003, 11:58 AM   #11
    j_f_2003
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    ;

    [This message has been edited by j_f_2003 (edited 06-25-2003).]

     
    Old 06-25-2003, 11:59 AM   #12
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    Forgot to add that I do have both MRI reports and the results from the NEW one done two weeks ago are left foraminal stenosis due to bony spondylosis, and mild central stenosis. 1st report from 10 months ago was bulging discs and one herniated disc. The new MRI states no disc pathology so that must mean my disc are no longer herniated or bulging? One p.t. said this second report is actually good and normal. I'm guessing the pain is from the epidural like the dr. said. I hope this settles down because I have to start a new job in the fall and can't afford to be out of work.

     
    Old 06-30-2003, 10:43 AM   #13
    j_f_2003
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    I have another question. My right arm has been jumping off and on since August. Usually after I take a muscle relaxer or pain killer it slows down or stops but I notice it jumps more when I'm in pain or having muscle spasms in the shoulders. One ortho dr. said he didn't know why my arm was jumping, another said the same, and pm dr said it was a pinched nerve. Has anyone else heard of an arm jumping or have this happen. The ortho(one dr who's main specialty was shoulder replacements -went to him because of shoulder pain, and the other ortho dr was a rehab specialist) dr's seemed unknowledgeable about this and really didn't know what to say. My pm dr. didn't want me doing anymore p.t. because he didn't want me reaggravating the nerve. Since I've been on the patch I've felt much better but I've noticed my arm has started jumping again and the pain patch isn't working like it used to. I go off of it next week to see if the nerve healed and not looking forward to going back on pills or going through the ups and downs of pain. I wish I hadn't cancelled the dr's appt. The pm dr. said it was just the nerve being irritated.

    [This message has been edited by j_f_2003 (edited 06-30-2003).]

     
    Old 06-30-2003, 11:44 AM   #14
    melanie dawn
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    Hi ,
    well in regard to the jumping arm, i also get the arm jumping,along with my legs kicking etc. For me , this happens more often when I lay down, relax. This is related to the spacticity. Because the nerves are constantly firing, there is increased muscle tension and activity. In the same way that a persons muscles will twitch as they are falling asleep due to chemical reactions ( normal), this activity can be greatly exaggerated with hypertonicty/ spacticity.
    I have the cervical stensois, so my legs and arms have very tight , spactic muscles. This is the reason that with myelopathy you get the shuffling walk,from the stiffness. I cannot imagine the reaction would be any different with a nerve impingement to the arm. You could have exaggerated muscle stiffness from constant firing of the nerve,therfor , there would be an increase in the chemical release of the muscle.
    This normally happens as you go to sleep ,( small muscle twitches) because while awake there is a certain amount of tension in your muscles at all times , for posture etc. When you truly relax to go to sleep , the chemicals are released from the muscles causing fine twitches. The jumping is the extreme of this.
    I hope this helps , Mel

    ------------------
    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
    __________________
    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 06-30-2003, 01:22 PM   #15
    j_f_2003
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    So how long does it take for this spasticity to go away? I sure don't want to live with this forever. It's been 11 months now. It stopped for awhile, restarted, stopped again, and now started again. Will surgery correct this? I was told seeing a specialist was not necessary so the only dr. I've been seeing since Oct is pain management.

     
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