I have just had my second cervical fusion two months ago. I'm a 53 year old male, who up until 2009 was relatively healthy, happy and very active. In 2009 they fused C6/7 and in October they fused C5/6. They almost did C4/5 too, an MRI done just before surgery suggested that disc had improved so they did not remove that disc too. I have been told I have Disc Degenerative Disease, Spinal Stenosis and of course, prior to the surgeries , two ruptured discs that were causing some compression on my spinal cord.
I have had the following symptoms, not in any order; Chronic Pain, Numbness and Tingling of left arm and hand, leg and foot and even the left side of my face and lips. I have both mild resting tremors and lately some shaking in my right hand which has gotten worse. My coordination is bad as is my dexterity in both hands. I drop things a lot and have trouble handling small objects. I have had a limp in my left leg and find it hard to walk very far. I must add, I have Sleep Apnea for over two years and use a CPAP for a few hours every night. I was diagnosed with a serious an Anxiety Disorder four years ago too. I know, quite a mess aren't I? Many of my symptoms over the last 18 months had continued to get worse and unlike the previous fusion, I haven't seen any improvement.
Anyhow, on the Conversion Disorder. I started seeing a new General Practitioner 6 months ago as my previous Doctor is no longer practicing. This new Doctor obviously had a lot to deal with, but he did slowly get all of my records and determined that indeed, another surgery was necessary. I have had a lot of other tests to rule out things like Stroke, MS and Movement Disorders although many Doctors still think a Movement Disorder may be involved. I just had a follow up with this new Doctor who has seen me about 5 times and has performed a 2 physical exams just as the Neurologist and Pain Management Doctor had done. He shocked me at this appointment. After asking how I was doing and checking me out again, he sat back and told me he thinks I have Conversion Disorder. He went on to briefly describe what this is and I looked it up myself. Naturally, I was shocked at what I learned and interestingly, many of the symptoms are the same, but then, so are many other medical conditions.
Well, just yesterday, I get a letter notifying me he noticed that there were some lab work on my blood that had not been checked out to see if I have Peripheral Neuropathy. This is a condition that I've heard my Doctors mention, but nobody has given me a diagnosis. They all agreed that the Cervical issues were causing most of my symptoms. I am certain he is wrong about the Conversion Disorder. Has anyone else been told they have this? (Basically, he's saying it's in my head.) Information is available online.
I mentioned this to my pain management doctor who disagreed with this diagnosis and suspects an undiagnosed movement disorder.
Again, thanks for your input.
Heres to better days.