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    Old 04-05-2014, 05:08 PM   #1
    Strong1
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    Weird symptoms

    I have cervical myelopathy due to a bulge at C7-T1 or C7-8, depending on who you ask. Whenever I go to the doctor, I forget to ask about certain things. One is when I cough, burp, or sneeze, I sometimes feel electric shocks down my arms to my hands. I do not have L'hermitte's sign. I've read about that. This seems similar, but it is not mentioned anywhere that I can find. Does anyone have that?

    Another question. Did anyone get branded as a hypochondriac before they got a diagnosis? Almost every doctor I have gone to has made me feel like a hypochondriac. It took me two years of being called a psyche case before I got a diagnosis. I don't mean to be disrespectful to psychiatric patients. But that is not the problem I was having and I knew it. It seems that even doctors and nurses don't know the difference between myelopathy and radiculopathy, between myelopathy and peripheral neuropathy. They always say neck issues will not cause problems in the legs and feet. Once I learned about it, I started delicately educating people.

    I got a new PCP when I moved to this area last year. I gave her my history. She said I was wrong. There was nothing wrong with my neck because I didn't have shooting pain in my arms. Uggh. But, to her credit, when I asked to be referred to a neuro, she gave me the referral. I'm sure she will get the report this week, and learn something new. Maybe she will more accurately diagnose the next person. I am gong to keep her for now. The neuro she sent me to is great.

     
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    Old 04-07-2014, 07:17 AM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Weird symptoms

    Welcome to the board.

    It is unfortunate that primary care doctors have limited training in issues of the spine, although many think they know everything and are quick to tell the patient he/she knows nothing. I wasted a year in pain due to believing what mine was telling me was on my lumbar MRI. Back then I didn't know enough to ask for copies of the radiology report and the films, or I might have known that I needed to see a specialist.

    If you need a second opinion from a spine specialist, you might want to find a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon. They sometimes approach issues slightly differently from the neurosurgeons, and it can be good for comparison.

    Good luck to you.

     
    Old 04-08-2014, 04:41 PM   #3
    Strong1
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    Re: Weird symptoms

    Thank you. I am pretty certain I will end up needing decompression surgery. I've let this go too long. With something that important, a second opinion is always a good idea.

     
    Old 04-11-2014, 12:28 PM   #4
    Tim025
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    Cool Re: Weird symptoms

    Strong1, I shared your electrical shock issues caused by sneezing and strong coughs which was a result of severe spinal cord compression and resulted in a radical posterior laminectomy WITHOUT any instrumentation on Oct 25 2013.
    Today almost 6 months out of surgery those symptoms are all gone and I am about 80% back to normal including golfing again.
    Make sure you review your mri's yourself and get full explanations from your specialists, and don't forget to listen to your body.
    Good luck, Tim

     
    Old 09-07-2014, 08:47 PM   #5
    AKGIRL
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    Re: Weird symptoms

    Hi Tim! Wow I had my5 level without fusion in
    2003 and I hadn't headed of anyone else having one.
    Are you doing ok? I continue to be fine (when I do
    My body work, or myofascial massage. How are you doing?

     
    Old 09-08-2014, 10:26 AM   #6
    ChuckStr
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    Re: Weird symptoms

    I would get the electrical shock feelings down my arms with more like pins and needles into my hands. I *think* mine was due to radiculopathy as it was only really on the left side. I do have some central canal stenosis which may be causing some slight myelopathic symptoms. I get some heaviness in my legs and tingling in my feet. No neurogenic changes though on EMG, so most all the specialists I talked to suggested a wait and see with PT approach. That helped the radiculopathy symptoms greatly and nothing seems to be worse.

    Once I figured out that something was probably going on in my neck (I had insane shoulder pain so went to a shoulder ortho first), I immediately referred myself to a spine specialist (and 4 others as well for "2nd" opinions as I got very different advice from the first 2). I did keep my GP in the loop and he supported my decision but all of the best spine surgeons in the region are not in his referral network.

    Two years is a long time so it is possible that surgery might be your best course. I would definitely get opinions from a couple of spine surgeons that are fellowship trained. Regular orthos or neurosurgeons are not good enough. Like Teteri66 said, I've found that the neuros and orthos tend to look at things a little differently. Also, you may get opinions on newer, less invasive techniques that may be appropriate like disk replacement.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on...

     
    Old 09-08-2014, 07:47 PM   #7
    Kookoo4
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    Re: Weird symptoms

    Chuck - from every post I read with you replying our situations sound so much alike. I experience the heavy foot, pins and needles as well. I feel like a lunatic because every over day some symptom goes away and another comes. So your doctor has still told you to wait and see? When I had my surgical consult on Friday my symptoms we non-existent... And for weeks at that point. Of course they came back over the weekend. I was just wondering if that warranted a call to set up surgery. This whole situation is crazy confusing!

     
    Old 09-08-2014, 09:58 PM   #8
    ChuckStr
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    Re: Weird symptoms

    Basically because I'm not experiencing progressive symptoms of myelopathy, there isnt unequivocal evidence of any significant cord compression, and I have mostly resolved radic symptoms the main Dr is saying that he doesn't have much to offer with surgery and I guess I agree. There are two highly respected surgeons that I could go back to and schedule surgery at anytime but I don't want to do that if I don't have to. I get weekly evaluation by the pt who is looking for anything weird (as am I) and I have a repeat MRI and EMG in Oct. So, we'll see...

     
    Old 09-09-2014, 11:30 AM   #9
    Tim025
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    Re: Weird symptoms

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AKGIRL View Post
    Hi Tim! Wow I had my5 level without fusion in
    2003 and I hadn't headed of anyone else having one.
    Are you doing ok? I continue to be fine (when I do
    My body work, or myofascial massage. How are you doing?
    AKGIRL, I am about 85% of normal. I have been considering myofasial massage but was not sure about it, sounds as if it is working for you. You mentioned body work, could I ask what you mean by that? I have recently started Sacro-Cranial Therapy but I have not seen much change after six treatments.
    I do regular excersises for my neck strength but I still can't look down for very long without my neck getting very tired and painful.
    I am glad you are doing well, it gives my hope
    Tim

    Last edited by mod85; 09-09-2014 at 07:22 PM.

     
    Old 09-11-2014, 12:59 PM   #10
    Tim025
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    Re: Weird symptoms

    AKGIRL, did you get my message?
    Tim

     
    Old 09-11-2014, 01:02 PM   #11
    Tim025
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    Re: Weird symptoms

    AKGIRL, did you get my message?
    Tim

     
    Old 10-15-2014, 03:43 PM   #12
    powergrub
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    Re: Weird symptoms

    Chuck,

    If your problem is in the neck, it might be helpful to purchase a hard neck brace and wear it for 2 weeks 24/7 and see if any of your symptoms go away or get substantially better.

    My neurosurgeon said I needed emergency surgery due to cervical myelopathy and a spinal cord that was completely flattened in two areas in my neck. He died the night before surgery (out of the blue, not sick, just went to sleep and didn't wake up) and I was passed onto another neuro in his office.

    He put me in the neck brace for the two weeks and I was amazed at how much strength came back in my arms. The electrical pain and zaps stopped but my legs didn't get much better.

    No matter what your MRI says or doesn't say or how many spinal cord compression signs your doctor tells you you have or don't have - this two weeks in the neck brace was a real eye opener. I ended up having the surgery, a posterior lamni and fusion from C2-T1 and when I woke up after surgery I could walk and it was like a miracle.

    It is worth a try! Keep us all posted. My prayers are with you.

    Kelli

     
    Old 10-17-2014, 05:31 PM   #13
    ChuckStr
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    Re: Weird symptoms

    Hmm, I asked about a neck brace when I first had symptoms because, apart from the searing pain, my head felt like it weighed about 1000 pounds on my shoulders. My surgeon didn't recommend it because he said it can cause your intrinsic neck muscles to weaken which is exactly the opposite of what they are trying to do with PT. If it worked for you though, fantastic.

    Having your surgeon die just before your surgery must have been quite a shock!

    At this point my symptoms are really more of a nuisance than anything significant. My left arm feels tired a little faster and has slight spasms after I use it a lot. I notice that I lost some muscle there and haven't gotten it completely back. I don't really have any pain other than a slight achy feeling in my neck if I sit too long in one place. My strength is about equal to what it was before the episode started. I have some vague symptoms in my legs that may or may not be due to the compression. Overall, I feel ok. We'll see once I get my MRI/EMG on the 31st if there is any denervation remaining in my left arm. If there is, I'll be going back to the surgeon and talking more seriously about surgery.

     
    Old 02-23-2015, 07:41 AM   #14
    doglover3
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    Re: Weird symptoms

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tim025 View Post
    Strong1, I shared your electrical shock issues caused by sneezing and strong coughs which was a result of severe spinal cord compression and resulted in a radical posterior laminectomy WITHOUT any instrumentation on Oct 25 2013.
    Today almost 6 months out of surgery those symptoms are all gone and I am about 80% back to normal including golfing again.
    Make sure you review your mri's yourself and get full explanations from your specialists, and don't forget to listen to your body.
    Good luck, Tim

     
    Old 02-23-2015, 07:48 AM   #15
    doglover3
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    Re: Weird symptoms

    Tim025, was just wondering how long you had myelopathy before your surgery, also what kind of symptoms did you have. Very encouraging that you have had so much improvement. I am 4 1/2 mos. post ACDF and have seen a little improvement but positive stories like yours seem hard to find.

     
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