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  • MRI help please - arms and legs burning and tingling

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    Old 12-19-2014, 05:47 PM   #1
    JohnUF
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    MRI help please - arms and legs burning and tingling

    Hello,

    I was diagnosed with a herniated disc at L5-S1 two years ago, and had the usual symptoms - low back pain and sciatica. But.... recently, my arms and legs (sometimes even my face) and all my joints have been burning and aching. Its to the point where I will take opiates if need be. I have been MRI'd and been to all sorts of doctors testing for Fibro and Arthritis - nothing! I believe its related to myelomalacia in some form. The orthopedic surgeon says theres nothing he can do, but I'm confused, because my MRIS says I have spinal cord compression representing myelomalacia. I am thinking, if I can just convince a neurosurgeon to operate to free my spinal cord, some of these symptoms will resolve and I wont be paralyzed someday. Please take a look at this snippet from my MRI and let me know what you think.

    Thoracic spine:
    The alignment is normal. There is multilevel disc desiccation in the mid thoracic spine. The vertebral body heights are within the normal limits. The marrow signal is within the normal limits for the patientís chronological age. There is no abnormal cord signal.

    There is a focal central disc protrusion at T5-T6 causing mass effect on the cord anteriorly with a punctate focus of increased T2 signal in the cord, representing myelomalacia.

    There is a focal central disc extrusion at T6-T7 causing mass effect on the cord anteriorly without abnormal cord signal.

    There is a broad based left of central disc protrusion at T10-T11 causing mass effect on the cord anteriorly on the left side without abnormal cord signal.

    Otherwise, there is no significant canal or foraminal narrowing.

    Lumbar Spine:
    The alignment is normal. There is disc desiccation at L5-S1 with disc protrusion. The vertebral body heights are within the normal limits. The marrow signals are within the normal limits for the patientís chronological age. The conus medullaris terminates at L1. The visualized distal cord demonstrates no abnormal cord signal. There is multilevel facet arthropathy in the lower lumbar spine.
    L4-L5: There is R>L disc bulge and bilateral facet arthropathy with facet joint effusion and causing mild right foraminal narrowing. There is no significant canal narrowing.

    L5-S1: There is central and R>L paracentral disc protrusion contacting the exiting right S1 nerve root. There is no significant canal or foraminal narrowing.

    IMPRESSION:
    Mild degenerative disease of the cervical spine without significant canal or foraminal narrowing.

    Multilevel degenerative disease of the thoracic spine with disc protrusions/extrusion at T5-T6, T6-T7, and T10-T11 causing mass effect on the cord with a punctate focus if increased T2 signal in the cord at T5, suggesting myelomalacia.

    Multilevel degenerative disease in the lower lumbar spine with disc protrusion at L5-S1 contacting the exiting right S1 nerve root. There is also mild right-sided foraminal narrowing at L4-L5 with bilateral facet arthropathy with joint effusion

     
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    Old 12-29-2014, 02:36 PM   #2
    JohnUF
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    Re: MRI help please - arms and legs burning and tingling

    Anyone? Please, I am so confused as to what to do!

     
    Old 12-30-2014, 01:27 AM   #3
    ChuckStr
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    Re: MRI help please - arms and legs burning and tingling

    The impression section of the report has good information. Disk bulges at t5/t6, t6/t7, t11/t12 are compressing your spinal cord. At t5 there is an increased t2 signal which is indicative of myelomalacia. The compression on the cord and the myelomalacia can cause symptoms like you are mentioning in segments at or below below those enervated by the affected cord segment. So, I don't think that would explain symptoms in your face. I know with cervical compression you can get referred sensory symptoms in your face but I've not heard that with thoracic issues.

    You also have a herniation at l5/s1 that is contacting the s1 nerve root. That may cause sciatica kinds of w if the is impacting the nerve or does so in the future.

    The issue with spinal cord compression is that it is difficult to predict the course. Symptoms often progress over a time span that can be many years or much shorter. With true myelomalacia, it can be a sign of cord compromise that may be irreversible. Surgery for these issues tends to be a little more of a crap shoot than surgery for nerve root impingement. Often drs will state the goals of the surgery as stopping the damage and relieving the compression rather than to alleviate symptoms. That said, a pretty good portion of folks do get symptom relief. A small minority actually have worse problems after the surgery.

    I would suggest you need to go to a spine specialist for further evaluation and treatment. These specialized Drs are neurosurgeons or ortho surgeons that have specialized training in treating spine issues and have limited their practices to spine issues only.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes...

     
    Old 01-02-2015, 03:31 PM   #4
    JohnUF
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    Re: MRI help please - arms and legs burning and tingling

    Chuck,

    The neurosurgeons I've seen are all adamant in saying that since my cervical spine has no issues, the symptoms I'm having in my wrists and arms/elbows CANNOT be related to my back. Is this true?

     
    Old 01-02-2015, 08:14 PM   #5
    teteri66
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    Re: MRI help please - arms and legs burning and tingling

    Did you post the report from the cervical MRI? I don't see it.

    If there are no issues in the cervical spine, the arm and wrist issues are not coming from a spinal issue. Symptoms are generated from the level of the spinal "issue" and sometimes will run down the spine. In other words, if you had stenosis at C4-C5, the nerves from that level on down the spine might be affected...but if you have stenosis at L4-L5 it will not affect anything above that lumbar level.

    If the cervical spine is all normal, the pain in wrists and arms may be coming from some rheumatic issue that is affecting the joints. Have you seen a rheumatologist?

     
    Old 01-05-2015, 01:26 PM   #6
    JohnUF
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    Re: MRI help please - arms and legs burning and tingling

    I have seen a rheumatologist. He says I do not have rheumatoid arthritis. Most of the burning and tingling in my arms was off and on over the past year, but then I got a nerve ablation in my thoracic region and since then both arms, ribs, neck, and back have been burning. Maybe the ablation triggered something? Here is my cervical MRI. Everything looks normal I believe:

    Cervical spine:
    The alignment is normal. The anatomic relationship between the dens, the anterior arch of C1, and the foramen magnum is unremarkable. There is mild multilevel disc desiccation. Otherwise, the disc space heights and vertebral body heights are preserved. The marrow signal is within the normal limits for the patientís chronological age. The cord signal is within the normal limits. The visualized posterior fossa is unremarkable. There is no significant foraminal or canal narrowing. The prevertebral soft tissues are within the normal limits.

     
    Old 01-05-2015, 09:19 PM   #7
    teteri66
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    Re: MRI help please - arms and legs burning and tingling

    The cervical spine MRI indicates that this is the healthiest section of your spine.

    In the first post you speak of joint aching, etc. but after that you talk about pain in terms of burning and tingling.

    What are your current symptoms that give you the most concern?

     
    Old 01-07-2015, 08:02 AM   #8
    JohnUF
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    Re: MRI help please - arms and legs burning and tingling

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teteri66 View Post
    The cervical spine MRI indicates that this is the healthiest section of your spine.

    In the first post you speak of joint aching, etc. but after that you talk about pain in terms of burning and tingling.

    What are your current symptoms that give you the most concern?
    There is an explanation for the intense back pain and, to some extent, the right leg pain because of the L5-S1 herniation. I said that my elbows and wrists hurt and that my shoulders, arms, and hands burned. I am rolling those symptoms into one because I think they're probably being caused by the same thing. That being said, the arms are my most concern only because I do not know why it is happening.

    In addition, when I'm sitting in the car driving for awhile, my butt, ribs, legs, and arms all start to burn. Its bizarre. I'm going to see about seeing an immunologist - maybe its something I hadn't yet considered.

     
    Old 01-07-2015, 03:54 PM   #9
    teteri66
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    Re: MRI help please - arms and legs burning and tingling

    Do you feel stiff? After sitting awhile, does it take awhile to get moving again?

    Before my spine issues I had Polymyalgia Rheumatica which took over a year to diagnose. The major symptom was terrible aching in my joints...and stiffness.

     
    Old 01-07-2015, 04:15 PM   #10
    JohnUF
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    Re: MRI help please - arms and legs burning and tingling

    Teri,

    Nope. No stiffness at all. Just terrible aching and burning in shoulders, elbows, hands, wrists, arm. Its the nerves, I know it. Thing is, it doesn't start till I bend my elbow. Is it possible I had nerve impingement in my shoulder/elbow and it got aggravated with the thoracic ablation?

    Last edited by JohnUF; 01-07-2015 at 04:16 PM.

     
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