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how can you tell if you have nerve damage

beaverbbeaver Posts: 190
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Waiting for the operation but am wondering about nerve damage. Sometimes, if I have had a really bad day, my foot goes numb but, after lying down for a bit, the feeling returns. I never have the pins and needles feeling that others have. So how do you know what is nerve damage?
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  • Greetings Beaver,

    This is just me talking here - non medical trained type! Going by what I have going on, I pretty well knew my C7 nerve root was hurt. The disk slapped pretty hard when it went, and I never got the feeling nor most of the strength back along that route - median and triceps down. The way my NS confirmed it was sort of 2 fold. His own physical exams of my feelings, strengths, dexterity etc., then he sent me for and EMG, one that included the upper extremities and too the upper spine. Had one 3 weeks earlier for the lower spine and legs.

    If the EMG is conducted by a Neurologist, *I* feel the odds are more likely the test will reflect correctly what is going on. This test also confirmed I pretty much lost most of the Ulnar as well. With me, I got tingles only for a day or so, then numb, then loss of strength with no return. You are getting yours back and forth, so short of a problem when they go in, I would hope you are still okay on the nerve department. Can't say for course for sure as we are all different, but your post gives me hope your nerves are good - just being beat on right now!!

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Aviatrix36440 said:
    Greetings Beaver,

    This is just
    me talking here - non medical trained type! Going by what I have going on, I pretty well knew my C7 nerve root was hurt. The disk slapped pretty hard when it went, and I never got the feeling nor most of the strength back along that route - median and triceps down. The way my NS confirmed it was sort of 2 fold. His own physical exams of my feelings, strengths, dexterity etc., then he sent me for and EMG, one that included the upper extremities and too the upper spine. Had one 3 weeks earlier for the lower spine and legs.

    If the EMG is conducted by a Neurologist, *I* feel the odds are more likely the test will reflect correctly what is going on. This test also confirmed I pretty much lost most of the Ulnar as well. With me, I got tingles only for a day or so, then numb, then loss of strength with no return. You are getting yours back and forth, so short of a problem when they go in, I would hope you are still okay on the nerve department. Can't say for course for sure as we are all different, but your post gives me hope your nerves are good - just being beat on right now!!

    Brenda
    I, too, am not a physician...I'm speaking only from personal experience. My spine surgeon sent me to a neurologist to have the NCV/EMG testing done, which found nerve damage to my right leg and foot. I agree with what Brenda said about a neurologist performing the test. I'm NOT saying that other qualified health personnel wouldn't do it right--- it's just my opinion. One plus of having a neurologist do it is that they generally will give you your results immediately (mine did, anyway).
  • my_sharona said:

    - Snip -
    One plus of having a neurologist do it is that they generally will give you your results immediately (mine did, anyway).
    Thanks Sharona,

    I completely forget that excellent tidbit, yes! When the Neurologist does the test, they DO give you a "pre-report" report!!! What is funny Sharona, is that this is another *plus* I do enjoy (did I say that with an EMG??) of this test. No waiting 2-5 days to see the report! Thanks for catching my oops! :)

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Our neurosurgeon said that there was no nerve damage when he examined my hubby but that was several months ago. His back has deteriorated quickly since then and we are praying that it did not cause nerve damage. Just wish they would call and give us the exact date.
  • beaver, are you saying you, or your husband, or you BOTH have problems? Your first post you say *I* and talk about leg pain but never mention your husband. Your last post talks about your husband, but not about the gas or bowel symptoms. Does he also have leg symptoms, or is that you?

    Just getting confused, you started another thread about your husband and his bowel and gas problems but didn't talk about leg problems I don't believe.

    I hope it's not both of you who are having problems, that would be a lot to deal with.
  • I am not a professional so this is just from my experience. I will be having an EMG at the end of July(can't believe that was their first opening) to check for nerve damage. During my first few surgeries the numbness went away after surgery. But on my 5th surgery I had to go about 11 months with a huge rupture(pregnant) so I have numbess my big toe and the top of my foot that has not gone away. It was a very large rupture and I had to go several months so I guess it just couldn't recover like the other times. I'm sure it's different for everyone and there are a lot of factors that play into it. I wish you the best!!
  • Waiting and worring is NO fun! I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. If this is your believe also, maybe focusing on that will help pass the time until you get a date!

    I had flucuating numbness in my right foot. It is too soon for me to know what I will be left with after my surgery, but,....so far so good!

    I also was had significant weakness in my left leg and "brisk" reflexes which is very worrisome. My legs are definately getting stronger! Yay!

    Tomorrow will be 13 weeks post 360 L4-5 fusion.

    Hang in there! Wishing you the best!
  • beaver said:
    Our neurosurgeon said that there was no nerve damage when he examined my hubby but that was several months ago. His back has deteriorated quickly since then and we are praying that it did not cause nerve damage. Just wish they would call and give us the exact date.
    1st post said:

    "Waiting for the operation but am wondering about nerve damage. Sometimes, if I have had a really bad day, my foot goes numb but, after lying down for a bit, the feeling returns. I never have the pins and needles feeling that others have. So how do you know what is nerve damage?"


    Are you and your hubby posting as one? Your first post was written in the first person, and now this one reference your hubby? Sorry, a little confused. It wouldn't be the first time spouses shared and posted under one name, we just need to know so we understand and can help. :)

    I hope you hear something soon.

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • This gets confusing for me also as sometimes I am just looking for info and sometimes he is sort of dictating and then I write in the first person. He is the one with stenosis,has leg pain and numbness and lately some problem with his bowel control. I want to know everything I can find out about this- he just wants the doctor to fix him so he can get on with his life. So yes, it can get somewhat 'interesting' at times. I'll try to be clearer from now on as this site is just wonderful for info and support.
  • Beaver
    you mention that your husband now has bowel problems.
    Have you told your doctor as that is a red flag issue that needs dealing with quickly.
    Please let us know what they say.
    We are here, supporting you :-)
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