Although I don’t post a lot, I have been a part of Spine-Health for almost a year now. For those who don’t know me, I’m Amanda. I’m 21 years old and suffer from chronic lower back pain, neuropathy and weakness of all extremities, etc. I’m usually in chat, but thought I could get a little help from some people that don’t use chat very often.
About 2 years ago, after my bilateral laminectomy, foraminotomy, discectomy at L5-S1, I started having increased arm, hand and finger pain and weakness, along with some visual changes, including photophobia (light sensitivity). I went to see a neurologist and mentioned that my aunt had Multiple Sclerosis. She immediately ordered an MRI of my brain and cervical spine and after reviewing the films found nothing more than a deviated septum and a few bulging cervical discs. There were no lesions, or visible ones, at least. So, she said that doesn’t mean I’m necessarily out of the clear, but just began treating me for my neuropathy.
For the past 2 years, I have had the arm/wrist/hand/finger nerve pain, and occasionally weakness. My hands will just stop working sometimes and I’ll drop whatever I’m holding. Since about a month or so ago, the wrist and finger pain has gotten almost unbearable at times, but I make do. I have also had a weakened bladder and occasional bouts of mild, intermittent incontinence. I think that has more to do with my reherniated L5-S1, but who knows.
I just moved back up to New York from Florida, so I had to find new doctors, get back on insurance and all that stuff. I finally had an appointment with a neurosurgeon on 3/24 and he was also concerned about a possible MS diagnosis even though there were no lesions 2 years ago. He said that he wouldn’t really consider it if I hadn’t grown up and spent most of my life in Buffalo, NY, and because my aunt has it it’s a pretty big risk factor. It’s great to know a place you grew up in/are currently living in is a hotbed for cancer, MS, lupus and a multitude of other autoimmune diseases. But, I guess when Buffalo was a huge, booming industrial city, they didn’t take into consideration what the consequences would be in the long run.
Anyway, the NS ordered another set of brain/cervical MRIs along with a lumbar X-Ray to compare to my recent lumbar MRI/CT to determine if L5-S1 needs to be taken out. I’m not too worried about the possible MS diagnosis because I know that it could just as well be that a bulge or two herniated in that time. Not that herniated discs are much better, but I feel like I shouldn’t be worrying too much when there is other stuff going on as well.
So, I guess the purpose of the post was to ask how many of you have gone through MS testing in determining what was causing arm pain? Are any of you going through testing currently? Does anyone here have MS and how was it diagnosed?
I really appreciate everyone’s input and I hope that I can shine some light on what I might have to endure in terms of testing.
Thanks in advance,