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R Arm pain/numbness. Index Finger Numb MRI Pic Included

low_psillow_psi Posts: 3
edited 06/29/2015 - 6:14 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am new to this forum, so I apologize for my ignorance. I am not sure if any surgeons frequent this forum or not. Hoping to get some opinions....

I will start with the symptoms. I woke up one day with what I thought was a stiff/sore neck. After about 4-5 days I regained full range of motion in my neck, however my Right arm was now sore along with pain in my right arm pit. As time has progressed, the tip of my index finger is always numb (not completely, but I certainly don't have a normal sensation of touch with it), tingling and a cold feeling in my Right arm from elbow to hand, frequent muscle spasms in my Right bi-cep and general soreness in my neck.

I see a pain management doctor every 2 months as I am on MsContin and Percocet to manage pain in my lower back. I have previously had L5-S1 fusion twice. For some reason the first time the fusion wasn't successful (I am not nor have been a smoker). My last fusion surgery was 11/11/11. My surgeon has pretty much told me the pain I have now, isn't really going to get any better.... So we have been managing it thru the meds listed above. While they don't completely relieve the pain, they make it manageable. While my pain management doctor has offered to increase dosages, I have been reluctant to do so, as I don't want to increase until I absolutely can't take the pain any more. My fear is I will grow tolerance and have to keep increasing dosages until I become a zombie.. I am in my mid-40s so I have a long way to go. Anyway back to the neck...

I explained the issue I was having with my Pain Management doctor and she ordered an EMG and an MRI. The EMG did show minor interference. However at the time she didn't think it was too serious (I had not had the MRI yet). She had suggested physical therapy might be a viable solution, but we would wait until the MRI. I had the MRI on Friday, and received a CD at that time. I am by no means a doctor, but I remember seeing what my L5-S1 herniation look like. Things look very similar in my neck. It has already been suggested that fusion is ultimately needed (a friend of a friend is an orthopedic surgeon and he saw one of the MRI photos and immediately suggested Fusion). I am hoping there are surgeons that could comment or others that have had similar looking MRis can comment. I have made an appointment to see my surgeon, but the first available appointment isn't for another month and a half......

Here is a few pics from the MRI disc.


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  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 06/29/2015 - 6:14 AM
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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  • BlessedMom74BBlessedMom74 Posts: 322
    edited 07/01/2015 - 3:23 AM
    But my MRI looked very similar to yours. I had a herniated disc at C4/5 and ended up having a discectomy and fusion after 18 months of trying every conservative treatment available.
    Once inside during surgery, the surgeon also discovered I had a torn ligament which the MRI had not shown.
    I would recommend consulting with a neurosurgeon and take the CD if your MRI with you to show during consult. They will tell you what they recommend.
    Good luck to you!
  • mandyrn2001mmandyrn2001 Posts: 15
    edited 07/01/2015 - 7:49 AM
    I had right scapular, arm pain. I had numbness of my whole right arm into my index finger and middle finger. Based on your symptoms the dr should be able to do a spinal nerve block and figure out the area. My MRI report was not read as a herniated disc but the neurosurgeon saw righ away herniated disc at C6-7.
    C6-C7 Disc Replacement 06/16/2015
    Bulging Disc also at C5-C6
    "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
  • Your MRI looks similar to mine, and I was diagnosed with herniated c4/5 and 5/6. Fusion is NOT the only option (for most ppl, depending on age etc) to treat this if you end up going the surgical route. I had a 2-level disc replacement after trying many other approaches (including PT and epidural injections) and I am doing great. I'd highly recommend looking into ADR if your surgeon says you need surgery; you may need to "shop around" because many surgeons don't recommend ADR because they are not experienced with it.

    I'm not sure where you live, but I know I always get a written report with my MRI pictures. Are you able to get that? At least then you will have a better idea of what's going on so you can prepare for your appt with the surgeon.
    L4/5/S1 scar tissue removal surgery, plus unexpected L4/5 microdiscectomy #2 October 2015
    L4/5 microdiscectomy May 2015
    2-level ADR C4-6 (Mobi-C) February 2015
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    None of us are medically qualified to interpret MRI images. You may also have heard that even to medical professional doctors may see things somewhat differently.

    Keeping this in mind, its easy for any of us, including myself to look at a MRI image and state

    That looks like mine!, we probably have the same thing

    That can be misleading, especially if some member is trying to figure out what exactly is there problem. So, now, when they hear from another member, that its similar, they can put that into their minds and may go back to the doctors with a diagnosis.

    I am not saying this will happen, but it is one of the major reasons why we have these rules in place to protect all of our members

    5.06 You agree not to post information that is considered to be formal medical advice.
    5.13 You agree not to ask for any analysis or interpretation of diagnostic tests (ie MRI, CTScans, EMG, etc.),
    5.14 You agree not to respond to any request for analysis of diagnostic tests (ie MRI, CTScans, EMG, etc.)

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I certainly wasn't expecting an exact, professional diagnosis via the internet. Was just see what others thought as to the severity of the situation. I have an appointment to see my surgeon, but unfortunately it isn't for another 6+ weeks (its was the first available apt I could get). I do apologize for violating the rule on posting the MRI, I did look at the rules, however I did it quickly and (shame on me) I didn't read them as thoroughly as I should have. If you feel the need to remove my thread, please do so as my intention wasn't to directly violate any rules. I was just looking for opinion, not diagnosis....
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    From your original post, my pain management doctor and I work the same as you have mentioned, re medications.

    Our goal is just to take the edge off the pain, and to keep me out of the ER.
    Initially, I started with fentanyl patch, then year or so later, OxyContin, then back to patch and so on.

    The goal is not to become resistant to the meds and so far has been successful.
    I take my breakthrough meds infrequently, so they have remained effective, also.

    I, too, am planning for the future re pain management and want medications to remain as effective as possible.
    Best of luck with your appointment with your surgeon in about six weeks.

    Keep us posted on how you are feeling!

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • low_psi ,I'll share my tale in short..I too woke up with a "stiff neck..Well,it lasted 17 years.low grade ,aggravating kink as I called it..then after 17 years,and getting somewhat used to it,I woke up one day with numb index finger and thumb.Then,quickly,it was 10 finger tips numb..First 3 on left hand the worse..Started dropping things..Barely walk.It got real crazy,real fast..Classic signs of myopathy from arthritis causing degeneration and stenosis..Then the severe spasms in my left arm..I mean shoulder to fingers,violent spasms at rest..Scary stuff...My MRI made urs look almost normal,it was a train wreck..Now,5 months in..No dropping,no odd gait while walking..Burning in the fingers as well as the numbness are greatly improved..So,your post is VERY familiar..And hang in there,it is a long ride,but it can all be brought back to feeling like your own body and limbs again..GL
  • So now after waiting almost a month (and having another 3 weeks to go) before seeing my surgeon and I got a call from his office stating "his schedule has changed, so we have to switch you over to his partner"....... Needless to say, I am now on the search for a new surgeon/specialist in Lower Michigan.... This happened a few years ago when I was a few days away from a follow up visit with him. I received a call asking me to "reschedule". At this point, I hope to find someone who is a little more committed to his patients. Meanwhile, the symptoms really haven't changed much.......
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