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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


Hi everyone. I am new to this particular board. For the last four years I have experienced a slew of "issues" and it all started with some spells of lightheadedness that became more constant. I do not have the typical spinning vertigo. I usually feel very off balance. For instance, just sitting here typing this I feel like either my head is going to just fall off of my shoulders, or that I'm going to fall out of my chair. I also have sensations like you would feel when you are in an elevator and it starts to go down. I will feel those either sitting or standing. I'm usually OK if I am moving around, but sitting in a chair without being able to rest my head on something is absolute torture for me. Grocery stores, malls, or any large buildings with flourescent lighting make it worse. I have been to so many different types of doctors trying to get this resolved and no one can help me. Most just treat me like I'm totally crazy. I have since developed horrible anxiety - mostly revolving around my health. Lately I've become obsessed with my heart and I won't even go into my saga on that. I am convinced, however, that my CNS and SNS are messed up due to whatever is going on with my neck.

I had been going to a neurologist for the lightheadedness problem back in 2004. He did neck and brain MRIs and could not explain my diagnosis. He said I had bulging discs in my neck but that was "normal for someone my age". I'm 31 - was 28 or 29 at the time of that MRI. I finally gave up on it and just decided to live with the lightheadedness. For a while it hasn't been that bad, but it has intensified so much in the last week I don't know how to just live with it anymore.

I have been having problems with my left arm going numb, so my PCP just recently sent me back to the neurologist that couldn't help me. He sent me for an MRI and today I went for EMG testing. The EMG showed that I have cubital (sp???) tunnel syndrome and he said there is nothing that can be done, but that is what is causing the tingling in my arm. He said my MRI showed bulging discs, but nothing real bad and nothing we can do about it. He also assured me that this was not causing my lightheadedness/off balance feeling. I'm no doctor, but I just find that very hard to believe. I know that this is already very long, but I would like to post my MRI results and get opinions from those of you on this board. I have read several posts by "Feelbad" in the past and she seems very knowledgeable with all of this.

I thank anyone in advance that can offer me any comments or suggestions. I am so sick of feeling this bad. I had a doctor tell me once "it's just a little lightheadedness...deal with it!" Well, I am sick of "dealing" with it. Most people have no clue what this feels like. I cry at least once a day because I feel so "off" all of the time.

Here are my MRI results: (this was done with and without contrast)

FINDINGS: The ultra-high resolution MRI scan demonstrated the following: There is loss of the normal cervical lordosis. The vertebral bodies of the cervical spine are otherwise grossly normal in size, configuration, and signal intensity. Note is made of posterior osteophytes extending off the inferior aspects of the C3, C4, C5 and C6 vertebral bodies. The prevertebral soft tissues are normal. The cerebellar tonsils and 4th ventricle are in normal anatomic location. There are posterior extensions of the C3-4, C4-5, C5-6, C6-7 and C7-T1 intervertebral discs. On the T2-weighted sagittal and axial pulse sequences, there are disc/osteophyte complexes extending from C3-4 through C6-7 encroaching on the anterior subarachnoid space. At C7-T1, there is a small central protrusion as well as signal intensity changes consistent with a small tear in the posterior annular fibers. The cervical cord and nerve roots are normal in size and signal intensity. After intravenous injection of Gadolinium-DTPA, the only pathologic enhancement is that associated with the small annular tear at C7-T1.

IMPRESSION:
1. Mild cervial spondylosis extending from C3-4 through C6-7, with disc/osteophyte complexes encroaching on the anterior subarachnoid space.
2. At C7-T1, there is a small central protrusion as well as signal intensity changes consistent with a small tear in the posterior annular fibers.
3. The cervical cord and nerve roots are normal in size and signal intensity.
4. There is loss of the normal cervical lordosis.
5. After intravenous injection of Gadolinium-DTPA, the only pathologic enhancement is that associated with the small annular tear at C7-T1.
6. When compared to the patient's previous MRI scan performed on 05/18/2004, there has been a slight increase in the posterior extension of the C7-T1 intervertebral disc. There is also a small tear in the posterior annular fibers at C7-T1 which was not present on the previous study.

Thanks to any of you who are still reading this! Please let me know what you think.





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