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feedback on EMG ,CT and MRI needed.Am I crazy???

grandmesamomggrandmesamom Posts: 181
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am in desperate need of input from anyone who has experience with my cervical problem. I am so confused and upset that i don't know what to do.
I will try try to get to the point.I had a successful ACDF o C6/C7 in March of 07. Did well until June of 08 where I was having neck pain and noticed progressive Left arm pain and weakness, An MRI showed a bulging disc at C5/C6 with mild spinal stenosis. The CAT scan showed C5 C6 herniation with rt spur narrowing of the Rt neural foramen,Also a a spur at left anterior canal C6,a bulge at C7-T1and a questionable left bulge at C6-C7(I had a ACDF at that level)
Anyway,I get a call by my NS one night at 10pm and he tells me that all of the tests were normal and I didn't need to follow up with him. He kept stressing that the surgical site was healthy along with my spine. He stated my symptoms are not supported by my xrays.I asked him if he saw the reports and he said yes that they were normal. I told him I have the reports and they are pretty scary to me. He still stuck by his opinion that I was fine. He was really nice about it and I was speechless. Most importantly I had an EMG the next day and the results are as follows,evidence of severe left sided C7 root level involvement with associated denervation at rest indicating an ongoing time course.Severley decreased recruitment patterns seen in left tricep and left flexor carpi radialis muscles. I have searched the web for hours and don't understand the meaning of this test. I now have lost all confidence in the NS. My PCP wants me to see the NS on Monday. Its obvious to me that he thinks I am crazy and wants me to believe it also.
I am now having trouble with the Rt arm and severe cramps in my legs(not sure if that is related)
Does anyone have any thoughts on this?Any reply would be appreciated . The more thoughts and ideas I receive should help put me on the right path. I don't know what to think. I really respected this NS and he is highly acclaimed.Thanks for any ideas as i am confused totally!!


  • I'm sorry that you are having so many issues at the moment. The hard part here is to try and keep your stress level from adding to your symptoms and throwing everything off.

    Is there anyway that you can be seen by another NS or a spine specializing OS. At least to get them to look at your films and your EMG report.

    Why would your NS be calling you at 10pm? I know these guys work long hours at times and do call backs in the evening, but 10pm sounds just plain wierd.

    One of the sad things about "most respected" neurosurgeons, is a lot of them don't like to admit they might have made a mistake, let alone fix it. Also if the mistake is someone else's, (someone they know) they will avoid working on it.

    It just doesn't sound right. If it were me, I would gather up the images and take them to another surgeon for evaluation.

  • Thank you C for your reply. This is the NS who did my surgery. I in no way implied that he did anything wrong but he did tell me that he performed a flawless surgery on me. He is the only NS at this hospital. I have HMO insurance and don't know how this will all play out. I feel horrible about this. I really liked him! Bethy
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  • You do need another opinion....your case sounds a lot like mine...my revision surgery was done Feb 07...C4-C7 corpectomy....I suffer from the arm pain and weakness and also have had a EMG/NCV test done that showed denervation at C5C6 along with radiculpathy. Also I have no right knee reflex...not sure where that is coming from. The way I understand it...you can herniate where there is fusion because there is no disc there.....I don't see my surgeon again until October and I have a lot of questions. My surgeon is also great in his field and intimidating....I have also been told that no other surgeon will ever touch me because of the metal in my neck....not a good feeling. Wish I could help you more....strange but we sound the same.

  • Thank you Sharon for your reply.Did the same surgeon do your 2nd surgery?
    Did you seek a second opinion? also,I don't understand what active denervation means pertaining to theEMG. Do you know what it means?
    thanks, bethy
  • Google "denervation"...the way I read is that it is dead and not sending signals....I also have muscle atrophy which I presume is from the denervation. Yes I have the same surgeon....I was told by the neurologist that did my emg/ncv test that it would be highly unlikely another surgeon would treat me with the metal in my neck. My surgeon is an ortho spine specialist....I took it on my own to make an appointment with a neurologist for the testing.

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  • Bethy,

    Denervation can be caused by multiple reasons. It can be the nerve is compressed, the nerve could have been severed, vascular injury, RF ablation ...

    Basically denervation can lead to muscle atrophy, depending upon which nerve is effected. Muscle atrophy can be partial, complete and if caught early enough may even be reversed.

    I have lost two muscles on the left side of my neck from denervation and it has caused a vast amount of problems for me.

    I highly recommend a second opinion on this entire mess of information.

  • Thanks C, I am going to ask for a second opinion. I have an appt tomorrow with the NS. It will be interesting to hear what he will say. He did mention some atrophy the last visit but stands by his statement that everything is fine.My faith in this DR has fallen greatly. My biggest problem now is the HMO I have and if they will insist I continue with someone that I do not have faith in.Maybe my perception is off.
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