Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Forum newbie; ACDF "oldie" - 6/94; having symptoms again!

allicat623aallicat623 Posts: 45
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello all.....

I feel like I have hit the jackpot with this website and these forums. I've been lurking for the past few days. Just came back from my neurologist and felt the need to go ahead and register and introduce myself.

I'm 46; married 25 years; two kids - DS18 and DD14.

In June 1994 at the age of 29, I had a ACDF on C4-5 due to herniated disc. Was very young and naive then, but was told that surgery was necessary as part of disc was nearly torn off.(????) Had horrible pains in right arm for two months. Once I had surgery, I was pain free! Wore soft collar for a while. Went back to work in 6 weeks; all good!

Fastforward to Oct. 99; whole right side went numb at work after weeks/months of hands and feet getting numb. Dozens of MRIs, EMGs, other tests to rule out MS, etc., was told I had fibromyalgia. Yet cervical MRIs showed continuing degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, osteophytes, lateral recess impingements, etc.

Company put me on LTD; got approved for SSD. I also have Crohn's disease, along with all the above!! (Getting SSD was a blessing from God. I can't explain it any other way.)

Over the past five years, I've done fairly well. I just have to rest after too much exertion and make sure I get good sleep.

The last two to three months, I've noticed increased numbness, tingling in both right and left arms, hands, and particularly ring and little fingers. I also noticed tingling sensations down both arms when I cough!! This scared me so I went to my neurologist. He initially thought it was just an ulnar nerve issue. We did an EMG today and now he's scheduled an MRI because he things its more than ulnar nerve. He said he things it's spinal; C8/T1 related.

I'm waiting to schedule my MRI and I have to go back to neuro in two weeks for results.

I know there's nothing I can do until we get the results of the MRI....but I'm scared that I'll need surgery again or worse that I'll become completely immobile or something. But, I've read many of your stories and feel reassured by your them and by your courage!!

Thanks for the reassurance. I'll keep checking things out and will post updates when I know more!!



  • Welcome to Spine-Health. I'm glad you found us. You'll find a lot of great people here who are knowledgeable, helpful and friendly.

    I'm sorry that you're having problems and I know exactly how you feel with the numbness and tingling - I also had those symptoms along with a lot of other junk. I'm curious: have you been having any muscle spasms in your back/shoulder/neck region?

    I know how terrifying it can be to think you might be facing surgery, but honestly, if you could have an ADCF in 1994, it shouldn't be so bad now. They've come a long way since then and maybe there are even some non-invasive things to try that could help.

    Be sure to let us know what the neuro says about your MRI.

    Take care and feel free to PM me if you have questions or just need to talk.
  • Thanks for the welcome!!!

    My shoulders stay stiff and tender! That is where I feel the achiness most as far as the fibromyalgia goes.

    Also, this neuro told me that I don't have fibro! He said the tender points test they use for fibromyalgia will always be sore for me because of all the physical issues with my neck.....

    Also, I'm noticing more and more tingling when I move around the house, like just bending down to put something in drier....I feel tingling/burning down neck and both arms. I'm starting to freak out that I might be making things worse by moving, but I can't be a zombie for two weeks until my next appointment and the MRI results!!

  • Hi Allison -

    Welcome to the Spine Health Forum and after reading through your post, it certainly seems as though you're on the right track in regard to getting your issues addressed.

    I would only recommend that you be sure to get prescriptions for meds that will ease your pain, which you may already have but I didn't see any mention of that in your posts. I'm sure you're in a great deal of pain and living with that is only going to hamper your ability to repair and recuperate after any procedures and/or surgeries.

    Take care and best wishes -

  • Thanks Jeff!

    My neuro gave me samples of Lyrica to try....two different strengths: 50mg and 75 mg. He said to start out with the 50 mg once at night for several days and if no relief go to 75 mg. It's only been a few days....not really seeing a big difference yet.

    And the pain is manageable right now....It's about a 4 or 5 on a scale of 1 to 10.

    What's scaring me is all of the tingling/buzzing sensations. I've been getting them more and more as I go through my day: bending over to put clothes in drier, getting up from a chair and using both hands, etc. I'm not working out of the house right now as I'm on disability and can just rest when I need to....

    I'm assuming that I'm going to need surgery and getting my head --and family -- ready for that!! So anything less would be great!

    My MRI is next Tuesday, 6/17, and my followup with the neuro is 6/23. So I've got a little less than two weeks to get the news.

    If radiologists see something on the MRI that would indicate an emergency type surgery is necessary, wouldn't I get a phone call before the appointment to come in earlier??
  • Hello Allison -

    Being that Lyrica and meds like it treat what's called "Neuropathic" pain...the amount of time in which it begins to work consistently can vary greatly from patient to patient. So, it's definitely one of those "give it some time" meds but most people do find a decent amount of relief from it in the end.

    It certainly sounds as though you are experiencing Neuropathic pain, since you report having buzzing, tingling and sharp/stabbing pain versus the dull/deep ache type...but if you're like me, you experience both to varying degrees and that too is entirely possible.

    Regardless of what the Radiologist reports on your MRI, emergent surgeries are usually reserved for cases where there's a significant degree of "loss of use"...either in one or both arms, or one or both legs due to complete nerve compression somewhere along the spinal column. With me, it was my left arm that I pretty much lost complete strength in...surgery was done 2 and 1/2 weeks later. Also, some people lose complete bowel or bladder function (incontinence) due to severe compression, and that also would warrant an emergency decompression type surgery.

    I would say it best that you always prepare for the worst, but expect (and hope for) the best...that way there's no disappointments when an unexpected surgery or procedure is strongly recommended/encouraged.

    Take care Allison and hang in there, take it each day as it comes and oh yes...no "bending" anymore for anything, learn to squat when doing stuff (like laundry) instead and start thinking in terms of "what's the best ergonomic way to be doing things now" in everything you do.

Sign In or Register to comment.