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Could i have spinal stenosis?

Hi. Im new to this forum. My name is Brenda Zamarron and im age 20. Ive suffered with neck pain since middle school. It bothered me a great deal in school and i missed so much school due to my neck pain. I really don't know what started the pain. It just happened out of nowhere. The pain started getting overwhelming in high school that i decided to see a chiropractor. They told me i had kyphosis of my neck and mild scoliosis in my back which i've been told recently that i do not have. I was seeing the chiropractor for three years and they basically lied to me. I was betrayed. Just this last year is when i started experiencing all these other symptoms that came along with my neck pain. I have extreme pressure in the back of my head that i feel i cant hold my head up and i use my hand to support the weight, my vision has got worse, i have tingling and numbness in different parts of my body, i get weakness in my arms and legs, my legs shake a little when standing, i have stiffness in my joints, trouble swallowing food, my fingers and toes close in, and i also have bladder and bowel dysfunction. Multiple sclerosis has been ruled out by an MRI i had. Glad that's not the case. I've been to two rheumatologists already. One said that i don't have arthiritis and both diagnosed me with fibromyalgia which i don't think is the case. I really suspect that i might have spinal stenosis. Its really starting to take over my life. Im going through depression everyday and i hole myself up in my room due to my pain. I just recently seen a orthopedic surgeon to get his opinion and he was very shocked and suprised with my symptoms and how long ive been suffering, especially for my age. He has ordered an mri of my neck and im hoping that the insurance doesn't deny me like they have before. But bottom line is, if anyone has spinal stenois and you have any of my symptoms that i've described, is it possible i could have this? I really don't know what to think anymore. Any opinions or feedback on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 11/09/2013 - 10:06 AM
    Darling . you have what could be serious symptoms, When you go to the ortho surgeon again please take someone with you - one of your family or a friend who can explain how much pain you are in. He/she may refer you to a neurosurgeon. after the MRI. No wonder he/she was surprised that nothing has been done because of your symptoms.

    Write down all your symptoms and you can do a pain diary - just - activity every 30 mins then pain level from 1 to 10. Do it for a week - rule up and exercise book.

    If you bladder and bowel are effected this can be serious.You need to tell them about your toes curling in as this can also be serious. They normally run a piece of metal under the bottom of your feet to see which way your toes curl. You need to tell them that your vision is getting worse. Don't wait too long as there are a few people here who waited and their symptoms got worse. Try and have the MRI as soon as possible please so they know what is going on. You might be able to call the orthopeadic surgeon and tell him/her about you bladder, bowel, toes curling in, and he/she might be able to arrange an MRI sooner.

    I don't have spinal stenosis so someone else here who has it should be able to better advise you. Think most people in the states will be asleep so you may have to wait for them to wake up.

    If you have constant pain depression is natural. Don't give up , I think you are going in the right direction seeing an ortho or neurosurgeon. I hope you get a fast correct diagnosis soon. Good luck. Someone with spinal stenosis should be able to advise you better than me.

    I also take the posts I have written on SH about myself so I don't have to explain everything all over again.

    Read the posts on the spinal stenosis forum - if you search spinal stenosis on this site you will find a lot of information as well. Good luck - don't give up they should be able to diagnose you.

    There are quite a few people here with it and I'm sure they wouldn't mind you sending them a Personal Message (PM) under their name. Stenosis Rose and Sandi are very up to date with this condition so I'm sure they wouldn't mind you sending them a personal message.

    Hope everything works out for you.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,372
    edited 11/09/2013 - 11:58 AM
    I am glad that your orthopedic surgeon has ordered an MRI of your neck.
    Your symptoms do sound like they need attention.
    I have spinal stenosis and had/have some of your symptoms but not all of them.

    Once your surgeon views your scan he will be able to give you his expert opinion about what could be causing your many symptoms. Without examining you, taking your history and seeing your scan, no-one can really advise you as to why you have these symptoms. There is information about spinal stenosis on the site in the 'Conditions' section. Have you read that?

    Please do come back and let us know how you get on. While you are waiting to get the results, do hang around and get to know us better. :-)

  • BzamarronBBzamarron Posts: 15
    edited 11/10/2013 - 8:24 AM
    Thank you for both of your responses. I'm still waiting for the MRI of my neck, and from there hopefully i can get some answers as to whats going on. Thoracic spine pain, I haven't kept a diary of my symptoms but I have wrote a list and showed them to my Dr. But a diary does sound useful, so thank you i will do that. As for the spinal stenosis posts, i have read and researched about it. Which is how i came up with the idea that I could have cervical or spinal stenosis. I probably shouldnt be making assumptions until i get the MRI and an actual diagnosis. But thank you for both your responses, i will update you guys on what comes up.
  • Hi - I have severe spinal stenosis and severe ddd. Mine started in my early 20's and I'm now 45. I ignored so many symptoms because at time there were too many to keep mentioning to my doc. Now, here I am and my body is a complete mess. I had a double discectomy and fusion because it was so severe. As far as an MRI showing MS, it takes years to come to that diagnosis because the disease mimics other diseases. If you read up on it, you will find that everyone is different with their symptoms. A neurosurgeon is what you need not an ortho. Stenosis will show on an MRI I'm pretty sure. Be proactive, as you are the only one that can find the answers. Don't let doctors downgrade your symptoms. Sometimes they throw out Fibro too quickly because they don't have answers. If you get your problem treated earlier the better the outcome. Trust me! I wish I had done more and said more when I was 20 years younger. Depression is very common with chronic pain. Nobody knows the hell it is unless they have been through it. If they can't see it, or have a name put on it they find it hard to believe it's there. Try to stay positive and take a day by day approach. Listen to your body and don't let it get you down. I feel like that at times when I can't walk or do even little things with my kids. I just try to muster up the strength to move on even when all I want to do it lock the world out. Keep us posted on how you make out.
  • Thank you for your response. According to my MRI on my head it was completely normal. The neurologists are pretty much done with me. There's nothing else they can do as of now. I heard of a brain disorder called Arnold Chiari Malformation, alot of my symptoms add up to it, but i need someone to look at my MRI who specializes in Chiari. Im hoping whatever it is thats wrong with my spine is not serious, but with the neck pain that I've been struggling with for years, and the pressure in my head, nothing seems to have helped and im getting worse. :( For over a year now ive been trying to figure out what's wrong with me, ive been back and forth to doctors, and so far not a real answer. I'm just hoping to get one soon and awaiting approval of those MRI's. ecmay, can you tell me, does spinal stenosis, or any other spine problems cause neurological problems? Another thing on my MRI that concerned me was that it said that there wasn't enough blood flow to two arteries in my brain. I guess it wasn't serious enough for them to tell me..but it raises questions as to why.... I'm sorry for your spinal stenosis and your pain. It really takes alot out of your life...i wish i could be a full time college student, but unfortunately one class is all i can handle..barely! I feel like my life is slipping by and there's alot i want to accomplish for myself...but my health is getting in the way. I do try to stay positive on a daily basis and not think about it.
  • why are they doing an mri on your head in stead of your neck area? or are they doing both and coming up empty? When my neck was horrible before my surgery i had severe stenosis and a flattened looking spinal cord on the mri. I had severe pain in all four extremities, muscle weakness, everywhere. Constant headaches, twitches in my hands, electric sensations going down my spine, i used to fall all the time. Probably twenty times in total. My right side of my body would just go limp on me out of no where. The symptoms just go on and on. So the feelings you have aren't surprising. Keep searching docs. until your happy with what there doing for you ,that's all i can say. Be proactive for yourself because no one else will do it for you.
    Good luck!
  • Summi1408SSummi1408 Posts: 176
    edited 11/18/2013 - 6:31 PM
    Have you been tested Myasthenia gravis ,Lupus and Lymes disease? Some of your symptoms fit with those as well.
    I hope someone will be able to give you some answers. You may want to go to someone for a second opinion as well. Since some of your symptoms could be very serious.
    Acdf C5 C6 12/13/12
    Laminectomy and Discectomy L5 S1 12/12/13
  • The did an MRI on my head because there was clinical suspicion that i might of had MS, but i don't so I'm glad. I finally got the two MRI's this weekend, of my neck and lower back. I'm hoping that they find something and can give me answers. I've been searching for a diagnosis for soo long. And may i ask, has surgery really helped you? I'm thinking if there is something wrong with my neck and back, and since chiropractic and therapy never worked, if surgery would be worth it considering I'm getting very worse with my symptoms..? and thank you for your kind response(:
  • I haven't been tested for any of those... Would my primary be able to test me for those?
  • Was supposed to see my doctor today and hopefully get a diagnosis on my mri's but he had jury duty. I've been awaiting this day for soo long but i will see him thursday...
  • Bzamarron said:
    I haven't been tested for any of those... Would my primary be able to test me for those?
    Primary can order blood work to check for lupus and Lyme's. They probably would also refer you to a rhumetologist for the lupus. And a lot of people with lupus also have fibromyalgia and most have problems with bowels. I hope you get an answer soon. Let us know when you get some answers. Do your hands and feet feel extremely cold most of the time?
    Acdf C5 C6 12/13/12
    Laminectomy and Discectomy L5 S1 12/12/13
  • Yes..well my hands and feet are usually only cold when its cold. Not all the time though. But yes i will let everyone know what my doctor found..
  • BzamarronBBzamarron Posts: 15
    edited 12/08/2013 - 4:09 PM
    I found out i have slipped disks in my neck and lower back. Doctor wants me to try therapy. I get the feeling therapy will not help. Ive been in too much pain for so long. I cant hold my head up and my legs and arms are weak.
  • I had severe stenosis of thoracic spine and had to have surgery due to severity. Most doctors will send for therapy. And if it does not help or makes pain and symptoms worse than call your doctor and tell them. Like other advise if you can get a parent or someone you trust go with you. Don't let them keep putting you off. You know how bad your pain is and you just keep after them until someone helps.
    I am sorry you are suffering at a young age. Mine started at age 20 while pregnant with my first child. I did all my ortho said to do and was able to put off my first surgery until age 29. Then had ESIs, PT and was able to put off next spine surgery for 14 yrs but have had 3 in 4 yrs. So if you can get problems taken care of while young perhaps you can stop further damage.
    Depression and anxiety seem to just be part of pain especially when no one seems to know what is wrong. So you can't handle full time school now that's ok. Just taking that one class means you are hanging in there not giving up. You will get through this and also through school and even if it takes longer that's okay. Just hang in there sweetie. Please keep in touch and let us know your progression :)

  • BzamarronBBzamarron Posts: 15
    edited 12/10/2013 - 1:51 PM
    I'm sorry to hear of the many surgeries you had. I guess others really do have it worse...:( For me, i feel like my body is falling apart...I've had neck pain since jr high..it wasn't as severe. Over the years it slowly started progressing and now i feel like i can barely hold my head up! There's extreme pressure in my head, i have muscle weakness and my vision changed. Nobody seems to know what's wrong. Could my disk issues really be causing all this? My doctor didn't seem to think so..not even my neurological problems...I'm really thinking i should push for surgery...I'm just getting no better with my body. Would surgery my age be a bad thing? And i plan to not attend school anymore after this one class due to my progression...:(
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