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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Hi all. Wow, just had a followup with my neurosurgeon/spinal surgeon to go over an MRI after a wreck in November 04. It was significally worse from MRI of cervical area from one year ago. Specifically C4/6, C5/6 stenosis (congenital) and disc degeneration and herniation. mild flattening fo the cord. C4-5 neural foraminal narrowing secondary to protrusion and uncovertebral hypertrophy. Radiculopathy. CONFUSING!

My doctor told me to email him questions about the surgery he is recommending which is a fusion of C4/5/6 (front the front). One comment he made really freaked me out. He said if I virtually had no spinal fluid around 3 of the disks (therefore no margin for error) and if I was in a front end collision with air bag deployment with whiplash type injury, I could be paralyzed from the neck down. Do I take that dead seriously? Anyone?

After started doing online research (including reading this board), I started thinking back to other weird symptoms which have resulted in my having a fairly thick medical folder over the last 10 years. Can any of these be related to the congenital cervical stenosis and degeneration? Here it is. Let me know what you think. (sorry its long!), Oh, by the way, I just turned 51.

1. At age 37ish I developed bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and even though the nerve conduction test wasn't conclusive, my orthopod did release surgery on both wrists.
2. At about the same time I also developed the electric pins and needles and numbing of outside of arms down into my pinky and ring fingers which indicated to him that I had ulner nerve compression, so I had 1 carpal and 1 ulner done, then 3 mos. later, had the other arm done. Seems to have worked.
3. At age 39 I suddenly developed extreme weakness in my legs (especially my left). So bad that I had trouble walking, had to lift my leg with my hands to put it in the car, drug my toes scuffing up my shoes. Also had extreme fatigue and tremors in hands. My doctor sent me to SW Medical Center in Dallas where I lived to be tested for MS. Had MRI, and other neurological tests. They couldn't figure out why I was having problems. As far as I know there wasn't an MRI done of my neck, just my head and back. I had trouble (and still do) closing my eyes with arms out and walking an imaginary line. I fall over. I can't remember exactly how long this lasted or what precipitated it. Seems to have just happened out of the blue. Probably lasted 1.5 years. I also had a chronic fatigue type component where I was so exhausted sometimes I'd have to go home early from work and go to bed.
4. Sometimes for no reason, I'd get really dizzy (loss of equilibrium). Wouldn't last a real long time and I seem to remember noting it happened after I'd been laying on my left side. Hasn't happened in a while.
5. A little bit before this happened, I started getting painful electric shocks down my left leg, through my ankle and into the outside of my foot into the 2 small toes. Went on for awhile. Again, the nerve conduction studies were inconclusive. Now, my left foot outside toes are numb (nerve died?) and I can't "spread" the two small toes apart voluntarily. Bottom of foot under them numb too. I have alot of nerve associated pain in my feet, especially if I'm on them too long, walk too much, or wear shoes that aren't totally flat.
6. I also have alot of "trigger point" pain in my body (bi-laterally). Diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 9 years ago. Alot of fatigue (though doesn't seem as bad anymore until toward the end of the day when I "hit a wall". Extreme fatigue and aching in my neck, upper and middle back, and shoulders. Feels like my head is too heavy and the knob of my neck hurts. Headaches (dull). My shoulders and upper back hurt and my left arm aches and sometimes goes a little numb.
7. I have GERD, High blood pressure and asthma all of which developed at about the same time (about 9 years ago). I went through 2 years of severe bronchial asthma with racking coughing. Hospitalized several times. Still have chronic sinusitis and do alot of hard hawking and coughing which I'm sure thrusts my head forward.
Thanks for your feedback and helping me process this whole surgery thing.

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