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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

BINGO!!!!!!!, a BLOCKED basiliar artery and they have done NOTHING??? you do NEED an MRA done and if you like me cannot take contrast, you can get the MRA that totally would show just how your arteries are at this point, and/or can also obtain what is called a" 3T or 3 tesla scan" as well. this is what i had to do when my NS who did my cord surgery "suspectected" an aneurysm that i DID have in my superior cerebellar artery which branches off of that MAJOR basilar artery.

you have had jens spinal anatomy lesson, now i will give you a quickie blood flow lesson heather. we have two major arteries that run from 'around" the c 6 level and enter the outter spinal column thru tiny holes twords the ends of those vertebral bones. you do have two, a right one and a left one that go up into the brain and MEET AT that basilar artery that then both become one to THAT major artery to the brain, and THAT is where the beginning of your basilar starts, after the vertebrals meet to create it above themselves.. depending upon what IS blocking THAT artery and how badly could also explain some of your ongoing symptoms, ESP your bizzarre headaches.
i had just a superior branch right where that cerebellar kinda starts where there is a bend in an artery but FROM that basilar and i had a seriously really 'off" feeling come and go over time along with just insane heat flushes that would start at the very top of my head then 'flush' down into my c spine and gone. but i STILL had some good bloodflow too since what i had ballooned out from the artery and did not actually BLOCK an artery(also NOT a major one either), but with absolutetly NO actual headpain of any kind. never had a headache, but what YOU have is within the major artery that feeds the back of your brain on up to what is called the 'circle of willis" or "COW". this is what is kind of a 'crown' of all major arerteries that sit at the more top of the inside of the brain. if that whole artery is being blocked off, the blood simply is FORCED by having no other way to get to the cow, to bypass and add ALOT of pressure to an already highly pressureized type of major bloodflow to that cow, which truely IS in the shape of a circle. this little circle probably is the ONLY reason you have NOT actually had a major 'event' since it can reroute blood to compensate for your blocked basiliar. but depending upon exactly where within your basiliar that blockage is and if fully blocked would dictate alot, and also place ALOT of real pressure on whatever that blockage is, before reroute takes place just from very high pressure in the major arteries of the brain. this can create its own issues too like aneurysm(just letting you know this is a possible thats all) from constant "slamming of high pressure bloodflow aginst the arterial walls before it shifts out sideways FROM the blocked area and too the other side branches.

that numbness in your face along with at the very least here, your headpain could easily be being generated by what comes with THAT type of artery being blocked as well. the bigger arteries feed the smaller ones too, like to your face, OR this 'blockage also could be impacting the facial(cranial) nerves as well. there just are usually ONLY two real basic things that CAN create a true sense of 'numbness' anywhere in our bodies. and those two things are lack of good bloodflow to anywhere, AND/OR nerve damage/compression. whatever else is going on, it almost always would come down to those two very basic things that CAN create any loss of sensory/numbing to a body area. either ONE or even possibly a bit of both just 'could" very much BE the 'numbing generator(s)" in your L facial area, and would really NOT have much to do with the actual spinal aspect so much. while that CNS is all interconnected it still is two seperate areas that just 'do' what they do. one part interprets signals fed to it as in the brain, and the other carries those signals to all the high brain function areas as in thru that spinal cord(like the superhighway to the brain and back)where the interpreting gets done then it sends the signals back to the 'right place" that triggers whatever function is needed, then carried out by response. anything that is possible to either block the signal functions or the actual bloodflow within these key areas WILL generate symptoms of some form letting us know that 'something' is simply not working as it should, and that includes pain as well.

when you also factor in your congenital CSF flow issues due to the sac being too small, that TOO can create not only spinal issues but brain too since that dura also surrounds the brain and the spinal in one very long contained 'sac". there is a very regulated replenshing that also goes on within the brain with regards to our CSF as well. if the CSF is not 'flowing' right, that too can generate headpain. every like 4-6 seconds the brain generates new CSF. so if there is any impairment of that natural ebb and flow of it as it gets formed, sent down right thru the neck still thru dura then along one side of the spinal cord to that sacral area wayy down in the lowest of the 'back' area, then it comes back up the other side to the brain again, it could also create even MORE surrounding the brain type of pressure too which could also be a part of or also one reason at least, among the other possible of generating headpain. our CSF also has to pretty much remain at a very constant level of its own 'pressure too or problems will occur. the most common is headpain, which also could be from mild to severe depending.. so you just DO have two really solid "possible" triggers/generators of your headache issues too(but i AM leaning towards that basilar being blocked). your C 3-4 level just could be impairing that flow there too. i also just happen to be dealing with that very same level you are now actually into my cord as well. i really have no clue if it is heavily impairing or just a little. but i do now get head 'stabs" of pain like out of the blue i did not have before or just an aching usually only on one side of my head.

did the report or ANY actual doc ever tell you just what that 'blockage' consisted of? is this a form of congenital malformation such as an AVM or any other "type" of possible vascular malformation that just IS possible to even be born with(like i mentioned above, any congenital crap CAN also be in other places as well)? i had a vasc malf in my actual cord at the c 8 level that i did not even have a clue was there til i (thankfully) herniated my c 6 7 and was forced by symptoms to finally get a good look at my c spine with an MRI. never knew anything was "inside" my cord BUT cord, til that one very revealing MRI just showed this high signal intensity 'glob'(it was a 4x6x8mms sized lesion) of what was stated in my MRI as whats called 'AVM(arteriovenous malformation, and very high arterially fed pressure) but it was MANY months after when i FINALLY could get in to even see ANY actual NS that he ordered a very much needed angiogram done that it did not 'light up' the glob with the dye that we knew it was a venous fed lesion and thank god not the arterial fed AVM. but it still had bled at least once pre Dx, so i ended up getting it resected back in 03 up at the U of MN here which thankfully IS close by, by like the ONLY flippin NS who actually could tell me EXACTLY what these little suckers were and could do to me(the other two NSs i saw had had totally opposing opinions but did NOT really 'get" these things either. simply NOT ENOUGH actual experience) and he also had over thrity years of experience dealing with these little suckers(this NS was the head of NS at the U). if it was left in, i and it bled one more time, i would have become paralyzed from that bleed from the chest on down if we had not gotten it out. it was just taking up soo much of my cordspace that the 3mms i had left would have closed off my entire cord with the engorgement then bleed. it was 'an active bleeder' which none of the two NSs had ever "bothered" to even tell me either. but i paid a huge price which i am dealing with right now with pretty messed up spinal cord damage. but i still think i did the best possible thing for me.

if you simply cannot have the contrast then see about getting those two scans that i had that do not require contrast to simply 'see' within your brain as a whole with the 3 tesla scan(this magnet they use just goes into our bodies at three times the depth of a 'plain" MRI so it CAN see things without contrast), and also the MRA which even without contrast simply WILL show the arteries really well. my aneurysm did NOT show up on only a plain MRI i had had done only about a month before on my brain, but DID, even tho it was thankfully still pretty small, on that tesla AND the MRA since that MRA takes everything else BUT the arteries out of the picture. so they simply CAN better see the arteries as a whole MUCH much more clearly. this is an absolute NEED heather. you HAVE TO find out just what is going on with that blockage, esp since it was already Dxed years ago? that basiliar is just such a high pressure area that is in the kind of the back of your head on up area(those vertebrals up to basilar feed the hind brain, or posterior while the carotids feed the front or anterioer brain)? this seriously 'should have' been looked into MUCH more in depth when it was originally found heather and i cannot believe they simply let this go on you at all. having years go by could also unfortuently have created a much more complicated issue up there as i said above, with that slamming of right where two other major spinal arteries meet at to create that basilar one at all? luckily all of our arteries only, but not the low pressure veins have three pretty strong layers or walls within them. so even if there is/was some bulging out from what simply 'is' the norm flow up there, there ARE little 'safety backups' up there too. which includes that COW and the ability the brain has to reroute blood when a particular area gets blocked. but it can only compensate that higher pressure for so long before intervention IS a NEED to fix what is ever blocking up there too.

this is usually done all from within the actual arteries by what is called an "interventional neuroradiologist"(it truely IS amazing in what these types os specialists can even do from just within just arteries alone). they go in thru the femoral artry in the groin and run all the little microtools up thru the arteries to where your problem is located. this is how my neuro rad coiled my annie too, all from starting in that femoral artery on up to it. but how this all can even be fixed or cleared is kind of up to just what that actual 'blockage' is from itself. if you actually have that report that mentions that basilar blockage, could you post what it stated about that area and the actual 'blocking of' that artery? word for word from that report directly is the best way for us to see it since the way any interpretting rad simply states things including any specific terms used really DOES matter.

as far as the actual swelling goes heather, i really do think it could be one of two possibles here, but i am NOT in any way a doc. you just could have some level of sympathetic nervous system impact going on since our symp nerovus systems just also DO not only run thru the length of pretty much the full spinal cord in a 'chain" that goes in and out of the spinal cord at every single level. it also runs inside the neck area(the stellate ganglion OF the SNS also sits on both sides of the neck kind of up against that trachea) too that stays inside til it gets down to that c 8 level where it THEN starts that chaining downward. this just 'could' possibly be impacted in certain areas considering all you have going on. the other would have do do more with like a 'backflow pressure" within the arteries that feed the arms, or the flow not being able to simply go thru the full arterial structures in the normal ways because of your brain blockage in that major artery just 'being there' at all kinda thing? so the 'back pressure it would kind of generate COULD be forcing the water/fluid out of your blood vessels, hence that swelling you have going on. do you get what i mean? do you have ANY level of above normal higher blood pressure going on? if you just DO have significant swelling tho at the time they just 'do' your pressure attempts, it can in some cases kind of mess up the 'true' number readings since you just would have to really sqeeze down ALOT of fluid with that BP cuff to even GET to the artery to GET a proper read in the first place. but alot would depend on how your swelling just IS when they do that BP on you too. it just CAN skew the reads the cuff/sphyg(the thing that simply shows your numbers) is trying to get when there is no real place for all that fluid to go to have a nice 'clear' artery to read from. but that swelling IS tired to your vascular situation i think. the thing is,and whay i even mentioned the sympathetic nervous system here is that that IS what simply governs the dilation and constriction of all of the blood vessels too. so there just 'could' be a tie in too. and with losing your hair? that too is possible when you have symp impact which i also have ended up with too when they also damaged my sympathetic right at where it comes out of the cord to form that chain during my spinal cord globby resection among other damage. and i have lost a TON of my hair since the SNS also does govern our hair and nail growth too. so you just DO have "some' things that are possible from SNS being "impacted' in some potential way here too. do you have ANY really odd sweating at all going on? i only ask since the SNS also does govern how we sweat as well.

just some stuff that you really DO need to know up there heather. i would seriously tho, ask your current primary or if you are seeking out another, to do that quickly and get that brain rescanned using what i mentioned above that CAN still see any arteries very clearly here and not have to use contrast. but you will eventually need to have an angiogram done as well at some point too. i am not too certain, but i DO think they have a different "type" of dye they can use that you would NOT react to too. i am sure they ahve run up against this before and have alternatives. but this one blocked area up there that you have just could also be generating so many of your particular symptoms right now hon. and it NEEDS a new look at just to see what you have there now since yaers have passed since dx took place. someone DID drop the ball on you here in soo many different ways heather. did you own mother not see the need for SOME level of interventuion when she was into all your private business when you went to that uni? a blocked major artery in our brains just IS a big deal hon. hopefully they can get this unblocked, by possibly a stent or some other things they use for particular issues within arteries. then it will be interesting to see just what symptoms go and what stay. but i WOULD make this arterial blockage my main priority right now since this IS a 'life threat" issue for you right now. if that basliar was not such a major artery in on up to the whole cow of the brain it would not be as impactful, but it IS just carrying alot of pressure that is not going thru the 'exact' and normal route, but having to hit it, and with the overall pressure of those two vertebrals into that one single artery and then bypass thru the other arteries to the cow. alot of what can be done depends upon exactly where that artery is blocked and by what specifically that just CAN also be congenital in even how your particular vascular structures were initially formed in utero too. it would NOT suprise me at all given the congenital crap i ended up with which includes my liver and kidney disease which the kidney disease set off my glob(a lovely birthmark in the middle of my cord) and eventually my annie too. go figure.. but get this looked at asap hon. i am sooo glad you mentioned this to us as it seriously is so very important and critical to now have looked at and intervened upon by the people who know arteries the best. good luck hon. marcia

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