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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


Thank you so much for your quick reply! I am kicking myself for not having the report with me - GRRRR! As far as my symptoms, they are many. I have simultaneous right face-neck-arm-fingertip paresthesias (tingling, numbness, weakness) for several years that come and go. The pain is also intermittent, and is more of a stiff crick in the neck that comes suddenly and can last for weeks or months. When the neck hurts, the paresthesia symptoms go crazy. I start getting these shock-like sensations that happen for about 1-2 seconds, but they can happen repeatedly up to 100x per day, driving me totally insane. They seem to come with ANY movement of my head. The stumper is the face tingling involvement. No one can seem to figure out why my face would be involved, but it is. I also have some motor dysfunction also, such as hyper-reflexia, tremors, spastic movements in my head and hands, inability to control certain movements when holding my head up, stuff like that. But the MRI shows no MS lesions or stuff that could indicate some underlying illness (I had an MRI of my brain too, mostly normal). Ugh, who friggin knows...

I have something noted on just about every point on my cervical MRI except for C1-2, C-2 on down to C-7 seems to be all jacked up. I do remember a mention that there "do not appear to be any signal changes", but that is only noted on my C-1-2. There was some mention of osteophyte protrusion around C-3 at 3.5mm? Something like that. There was no mention of herniation anywhere, but several things were stated about dissection at all levels, narrowing, deformity, osteophytes, bulging, impressions on the cord, AP dimensions, kyphosis, thecal sac, etc. I wish I had the dang report!!!!

What's strange is that every doctor that looks at my cervical MRIs is surprised that I'm not in MORE pain than I am. While I do have pain, it's really the numbness, weakness and tingling that's making things difficult to deal with. My concern is permanent nerve damage. This Friday I went in and had a C-6 nerve root block and who knows what happened there. I woke up in more pain than ever before, and NEW pain on the left side. One thing the anesthesiologist said after the procedure is that "it looks really bad in there..." and sent me home with a bunch of pain meds. He also said I had what sounded like a strong reaction during the procedure where my body seized up while I was unconscious and that he had already reported to my orthopedic surgeon about it before I even woke up. What stinks is that is about all I know. My OS is out of town, my OS's PA doesn't have any calls from the anesthesiologist noted in the system from the call, and he was surprised that I have MORE pain than less. So far I haven't heard back from anyone about anything, as they said on Monday that they were "looking into it." What the heck???

Also, I'm a little confused as to what AP dimensions they measured. Does it mean the dimensions of the spinal cord only, or from front to back of the whole spinal canal? I read that the average "AP dimensions" are 12-17mm, but I guess that's for the whole thing. If the spinal cord itself was measured, it doesn't seem that bad to be at 6.7, but the other AP dimensions at the C-7 level are 9.5mm but still mentions narrowing. However, according to your averages, the 9.5mm goes outside of the highest range. Wouldn't that indicate that it's a larger space than normal? I guess my confusion lies in what the heck they measured, because it could make a difference in the severity of the narrowing. Know what I mean? If the spinal cord itself was 6.7mm that doesn't seem so bad. But if the spinal canal or whatever the larger measurement average was only 6.7mm, that seems pretty bad. Ugh, I hate not having answers. I know you guys can only help so much with such limited info...but your knowledge about such things is greatly appreciated.
I dunno... your MRI sounds pretty bad to me. "Stenosis" and "narrowing" mean the same thing, and something can't be "impressed" without being "compressed".

Even so, you might want to send your MRI to another radiologist. I'll give you the name of the guy who did mine, if you want. I don't know if he takes mail-in's, but I don't see why he wouldn't.

<< I have simultaneous right face-neck-arm-fingertip paresthesias (tingling, numbness, weakness) for several years that come and go.>>

Always simultaneous? Which fingers?

<pain is also intermittent, and is more of a stiff crick in the neck that comes suddenly and can last for weeks or months.>>

Where, in relation to your hairline?

<< When the neck hurts, the paresthesia symptoms go crazy. I start getting these shock-like sensations that happen for about 1-2 seconds, but they can happen repeatedly up to 100x per day, driving me totally insane. They seem to come with ANY movement of my head.>>

Where does the "shock" go? Arm? Leg?

<< The stumper is the face tingling involvement. No one can seem to figure out why my face would be involved, but it is.>>

I suppose the C2-3 level might be involved in that. Look up "dermatome + C3" and you can see that both the C2 and C3 nerves could be at fault.

<< I also have some motor dysfunction also, such as hyper-reflexia >>

Knee? Elbow? Both sides?

<< tremors, spastic movements in my head and hands, inability to control certain movements when holding my head up, stuff like that. >>

You mentioned kyphosis. Do you have a kyphotic cervical spine?

<< I have something noted on just about every point on my cervical MRI except for C1-2, C-2 on down to C-7 seems to be all jacked up. I do remember a mention that there "do not appear to be any signal changes" >>

That's good....

<< There was some mention of osteophyte protrusion around C-3 at 3.5mm? Something like that. >>

That ain't small...

<< There was no mention of herniation anywhere, but several things were stated about dissection at all levels, narrowing, deformity, osteophytes, bulging, impressions on the cord, AP dimensions, kyphosis, thecal sac, etc.>>

But no gremlins? Something to be thankful for. And that's "dessication", and is par for the course if you are over 50.

<< What's strange is that every doctor that looks at my cervical MRIs is surprised that I'm not in MORE pain than I am. While I do have pain, it's really the numbness, weakness and tingling that's making things difficult to deal with. >>

It's good that you're not in much pain, but doesn't mean that much. I've had three different surgical operations, and none was preceded by any pain worth mentioning.

<< My concern is permanent nerve damage. >>

I'm afraid that's an appropriate concern...

<< My OS is out of town, my OS's PA doesn't have any calls from the anesthesiologist noted in the system from the call, and he was surprised that I have MORE pain than less. So far I haven't heard back from anyone about anything, as they said on Monday that they were "looking into it." What the heck??? >>

Just be glad you aren't in Canada, or the UK. These interactions that are frustrating you would have MONTHS in between, not days.

<< Also, I'm a little confused as to what AP dimensions they measured. Does it mean the dimensions of the spinal cord only, or from front to back of the whole spinal canal? I read that the average "AP dimensions" are 12-17mm, but I guess that's for the whole thing. >>

yes

<< If the spinal cord itself was measured, it doesn't seem that bad to be at 6.7, but the other AP dimensions at the C-7 level are 9.5mm but still mentions narrowing. However, according to your averages, the 9.5mm goes outside of the highest range. Wouldn't that indicate that it's a larger space than normal? >>

if the canal is 9.5, I think that's rather narrow...
Thanks again for your quick reply!!! I feel badly that I have all these questions without the report. But I'm remembering bits and pieces of the stuff that confused me the most, so at least it's not a total waste of time to discuss :-) So let me run through your questions for me so we can have a meeting of the minds and talk about it.

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I wouldn't mind at all. I'm scheduled to see a great and highly recommended neurologist in town, but I can't get in until Sept 17, which by UK and Canadian standards is a dream, I'm sure.

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If I have the facial paresthesia (always on the right maxillary part of my face), it's always accompanied by simultaneous tingling in the right arm, affecting my ring and pinky fingers, but has happened in my thumb before too. On the other hand I have had the arm and finger tingling without the facial paresthesia.

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Usually on the right side at the base of my neck in between my shoulder blades. Sometimes it is accompanied by shoulder pain on both sides.

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The shock feels like a burst of tingling on the right side of my face, neck, arm and fingers and only lasts for a second. While it feels like it happens simultaneous because it happens so fast, it seems more like it goes from my face down my arm if anything, rather than from the bottom up. The facial paresthesia is in the maxillary portion of my face only, under eye, cheek, and upper lip, down the right side of my neck to my ring and pinky finger tips, all in a matter of seconds but repeatedly and sudden. It stuns me more than anything.

<and you can see that both the C2 and C3 nerves could be at fault.>>

I'll look it up for sure.

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I'm hyper-reflexive at wrist, elbow, knee and ankle on both sides, but more prominently on the right.

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Yes, clearly noted on my cervical MRI as one of the first things mentioned. However, oddly it's not mentioned on the impression. (sigh)

<< I have something noted on just about every point on my cervical MRI except for C1-2, C-2 on down to C-7 seems to be all jacked up. I do remember a mention that there "do not appear to be any signal changes" >>

That's good....

<< There was some mention of osteophyte protrusion around C-3 at 3.5mm? Something like that. >>

<>

I believe that was noted on my C4-5


<And that's "dessication", and is par for the course if you are over 50.>>

I'm not, I'm only 39 :-(

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I know, and even worse would be an AP dimension of my canal at 6.7mm. The problem is, of course, is if that's my canal or cord measurements. (ugh) Stupid radiologist...

So in the end you would feel confident that I have spinal stenosis and some cord compression? That's kind of been the criteria by which I've used in the past to determine whether or not I'll consider surgery since my pain isn't unbearable. The nerve and spinal cord damage has always been the utmost concern to me in making that decision. And it appears to be getting worse. My 2009 cervical MRI didn't seem this bad at all, and there definitely wasn't any stenosis or cord compression noted at that time. The bad part is is my husband just quit his job to go to dental school and I am the only bread winner. We have a two year old also. And I just found out that the HUGE corporation that I work for does NOT pay for FMLA! They only guarantee your job back, the minimum the law requires. So if I had the surgery I wouldn't get paid during recovery. Ugh. In that case, I may not even be able to have the surgery if I wanted to :-(





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