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I'm losing the reflexes in my left arm/hand!

ButterflyPainBButterflyPain Posts: 290
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Yesterday I went to the neurologist for an appointment, and he checked all my reflexes.

He said my left arm/hand were "Down" , then he said the reflexes are less on my left side but fine on my right side. Which makes sense given I have all my pain on my left side.

He said that this is usually the first to go, but he didn't seem too worried about it.

For awhile personally I noticed sometimes I would grab for things with my left hand like a medicine bottle and I would drop it. I thought to myself "Maybe I'm just clumsy" ... And I would wiggle fingers of both hands and my left hand would be "Much" slower than my right, so I figured "Well maybe since I'm right handed that the left one is normal." lol I didn't want to jump to conclusions, basically.

Now that the doctor has verified that it is true, I kinda don't know what to do, besides just watch it and hope it doesn't get worse.

Anyone else gone through this?
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Comments

  • Yep. I have heavily reduced reflexes in both of my arms and zero reflexes in both of my legs confirmed by both NS and my PM doctor.

    I drop things or worse yet throw things a lot. As I try to set things down they go flying.

    I try to focus and force my self to grasp things firm before I move my arm. It helps.

    Julie
  • JulieA said:
    Yep. I have heavily reduced reflexes in both of my arms and zero reflexes in both of my legs confirmed by both NS and my PM doctor.

    I drop things or worse yet throw things a lot. As I try to set things down they go flying.

    I try to focus and force my self to grasp things firm before I move my arm. It helps.

    Julie
    Sorry to hear that. :(
    So did the losing of reflexes go fast for you or over a longer extended period of time?
    Yeah, I'm right handed, but aside from writing, my left hand seems to be the one that grabs for things more often or is the one to open a jar, while the right hand holds it. Always been that way...But I find I drop something with the things that are little that I have to form a tighter smaller grab on than other things... It is so annoying.
  • Sorry to hear this is going on. Been there, done that, still there! I also go through phases where I go to grab something (say my coffee mug), and my hand cramps so bad I can't let go of it!! My left hand is starting to get weird in that it won't "do" what I tell it to do. Not too clumsy with that hand.

    My right (I am left handed) either drops things, or again (cramps) hard grabs things! The NVC portion of my electrical conductivity testing stated I had very reduced to no response on most of the sensory nerves in my right arm. Makes sense to me. I have issues going on with my fusions, plus C7/T1 is now going, so all fingers and thumb numb, plus the palm side if the hand, and top side of the forearm.

    Did your Neurologist offer any relief or plan of action? Usually when clumsy or weak comes into play, they take it more seriously...at least mine did. Unfortunately for me, mine is probably permanent damage. *HUGZ*

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Aviatrix36440 said:
    Sorry to hear this is going on. Been there, done that, still there! I also go through phases where I go to grab something (say my coffee mug), and my hand cramps so bad I can't let go of it!! My left hand is starting to get weird in that it won't "do" what I tell it to do. Not too clumsy with that hand.

    My right (I am left handed) either drops things, or again (cramps) hard grabs things! The NVC portion of my electrical conductivity testing stated I had very reduced to no response on most of the sensory nerves in my right arm. Makes sense to me. I have issues going on with my fusions, plus C7/T1 is now going, so all fingers and thumb numb, plus the palm side if the hand, and top side of the forearm.

    Did your Neurologist offer any relief or plan of action? Usually when clumsy or weak comes into play, they take it more seriously...at least mine did. Unfortunately for me, mine is probably permanent damage. *HUGZ*

    Brenda
    Man, sorry to hear about your grasping problems too. Mine aren't nearly as bad, but I have to wonder if it will get worse with the left hand.
    To some one might think "Well it isn't your writing hand , so" but we work a lot more with both hands than we realize, and I being an art major, I'm gonna need two hands...So this can become a problem.

    Well he didn't say much on how to relief it or course of action, but to watch things. I didn't really tell him that I have dropped things very occasionally with my left hand. I will when I see him in dec. Last two or three visits he has been checking my reflexes since I've been complaining of weakness or pain in the arm that feels weak. So maybe he's just waiting to see..Who knows.

    Thanks!

  • Butterfly,

    Greetings! Have they conducted official NVC/EMG testing yet? The NVC tests mainly sensory nerves, and the EMG motor nerves. I am not sure, but with the both, they can compare to *cough* come to a diagnosis of what your nerves are doing? Mod Dave knows this much better than I, but that is *my* basic understanding. I went to a Ortho spine surgeon about 6 months ago for his assessment, but his was almost a rubber stamp of what my NS said! Oh, and I didn't tell him he was a "second" opinion till after the exam. :)

    I use to be fully ambidextrous, but this nerve crap has made my right hand penmanship go to crap - it use to be even *I* couldn't tell which hand I wrote with! The only difference between them was I could draw freehand really well with my right hand, not at all with my left! (G)

    Mine is mainly neck related with damage (perm) to my Ulnar sensory and motor function in the right arm/hand. If a 're-do" is in order for my neck, it will mainly stop the progression. I hope too it stops the cramping, cuz boy o boy does that get painful!!!

    I'm glad that they are keeping an eye out. Keep an eye out yourself Butterfly for weakness especially. That is motor nerves being messed with somewhere between your neck and hand. I will keep positive energy going your way. *HUGZ*

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

    Greetings! Have they conducted official NVC/EMG testing yet? The NVC tests mainly sensory nerves, and the EMG motor nerves. I am not sure, but with the both, they can compare to *cough* come to a diagnosis of what your nerves are doing? Mod Dave knows this much better than I, but that is *my* basic understanding. I went to a Ortho spine surgeon about 6 months ago for his assessment, but his was almost a rubber stamp of what my NS said! Oh, and I didn't tell him he was a "second" opinion till after the exam. :)

    I use to be fully ambidextrous, but this nerve crap has made my right hand penmanship go to crap - it use to be even *I* couldn't tell which hand I wrote with! The only difference between them was I could draw freehand really well with my right hand, not at all with my left! (G)

    Mine is mainly neck related with damage (perm) to my Ulnar sensory and motor function in the right arm/hand. If a 're-do" is in order for my neck, it will mainly stop the progression. I hope too it stops the cramping, cuz boy o boy does that get painful!!!

    I'm glad that they are keeping an eye out. Keep an eye out yourself Butterfly for weakness especially. That is motor nerves being messed with somewhere between your neck and hand. I will keep positive energy going your way. *HUGZ*

    Brenda
    They did one emg almost three years ago. At the time I didn't have weakness, just tightness or tension probably from anxiety and what not.
    I've never had a NVC test...They've never suggested that. A few months ago the neurologist PAC (who is his daughter and sometimes sees me) thought a new EMG would be an idea, but I never followed through, because I know my dad doesn't have the money to pay for it cash right now, and my insurance hasn't met the deductible, so it would cost... I think it was between 100.00 and 150.00. The neurologist hasn't suggested any further testing right now. If he suggested it, then I would push to get it .
    Sometimes I think my doctor although considerate if the test aren't really necessary, he won't suggest, because he knows I have money issues.

    I will ask him in Dec, when I see him again if I should get a new one. I'll first ask my dad if he'll give the ok, before hand then push for it , if the doctor thinks it will make the difference. I mean he pretty much tells me all the time that it's c5/c6 and c7 is being caught as well and that's what it is.

    IDK.
    hmmm
  • Sorry I missed your reply earlier Butterfly! *HUG* Here is a quote from the medical dictionary online that might help clear the NCV test up a bit for you. The NCV (sorry above I put NVC) is done on the surface of your skin. The EMG (Electromyogram) is conducted with a probe (looks like a thick needle) to test internally in the muscles for nerve activity.
    In this test, the nerve is electrically stimulated, and the electrical impulse 'down stream' from the stimulus is measured. This is usually done with surface patch electrodes (they are similar to those used for an electrocardiogram) that are placed on the skin over the nerve at various locations. One electrode stimulates the nerve with a very mild electrical impulse. The resulting electrical activity is recorded by the other electrodes. The distance between electrodes and the time it takes for electrical impulses to travel between electrodes are used to calculate the speed of impulse transmission (nerve conduction velocity). A decreased speed of transmission indicates nerve disease. A nerve conduction velocity test is often done at the same time as an electromyogram (EMG) in order to exclude or detect muscle conditions.
    The NCV & EMG studies are only as good as the examiner. Myself, I only allow the Neurologist to conduct that part. They then compare the two to come to a diagnosis and or a probable cause to what is going on. Since it seems that your doctor already knows what levels are affected, this would afford them and you the knowledge of how much your nerves and their functions are being affected.

    I hope the money issues can be worked out. If he really cares, *I* would think he could work some sort of payment out with you. I hope all of this helps. Gentle Support *HUGZ*

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • quite compromised for me. Mine has always been weaker side, when I began the DDD journey back 20 yrs ago it was my left hand that would go numb, when holding the phone, writing, etc. then when it was both hands as C-3/4/5/6 bone spurs progressed and discs went into more advanced stages, my left hand was more severe than the right. My issues also had scoliosis above those levels with malformed vertebrae and curvature for C-5/6 into 6/7 (S-shape scoliosis) thruout the spine.

    As far as how long the deterioration lapsed with reflexes different and just beginning to drop things - - mine with the above DDD was always numbness, and cramping in shoulders fromneck, no dropping, just slight. My surgery was done 12 yrs into DDD progressing beginning to end, osteophyes encroaching spinal cord space, whole left side of my body would go numb. ACDF stopped numbing problems in hand and left side of body 6 months post op until ....

    further DDD fused C-5 and C-6/7 more osteophytes and trauma from motor vehicle accidents brought on progressive hand/arm left side primarily, weakness in arm/hand, more severe numbness to moving into actual nerve muscle spasms in later phase with pending surgery this past year, dropping things, losing dexterity, muscle wasting, loss of ulnar nerve damaged two fingers all in 5 months.

    Your existing spine conditions and issues of trauma, falls, motor vehicle accidents all factor in to how it progresses. Just be sure to be monitoring your c-spine as things progress into radiculopathy symptoms and into neuro-muscular nerve/muscle compromises with updated scans with those bone spurs (osteophytes) possibly causing nerve compression and spinal cord narrowing.

    Was wondering if you have noticed progressive symptoms with you hand numbness, weakness in arm, dropping things as steadily getting worse over a short period of time? It would certainly warrant getting NCS / EMG test and be sure to monitor your symptoms closely with your doctor.

    Because of costs of tests being an issue, you can pretty much rely on MRI CT scan to show what's happening with you C-spine levels, narrowing, spurs, etc. and you having concern with regard to treatment, diagnosing and progression of your left arm/hand; things pretty much are dictated by it depending on how incapacitating is = your function and severity of symptoms in doing a spine surgery.

    Hope this helps give you a sense of your own path you may have.

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