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Q. about cerv. radiculopathy and stenosis

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Greetings good people,

I have a quick question about cervical radiculopathy, cervical stenosis, and other related conditions.

Is it possible to have any of these conditions and ONLY have symptoms in the extremity (forearm/hand)?

The reason I ask is because I have deep, burning pain, electrical like shocks, and a cramping/clawing of my middle and ring finger which seems consistent with the c7 dermatome (along the ulnar nerve line, from the elbow down to the fingers). I've had 2 nerve conductivity studies/EMGs in the arm and they've both shown no peripheral nerve entrapment.

The ONLY neck pain I've had is when I started seeing an orthopedic physiotherapist the last 10 weeks and he's attempted to straighten out my posture. I find that if I droop my neck downwards my neck pain starts back up!


  • Cylon, welcome to Spine-Health. I can't really answer your question because I'm not a doctor, but I can tell you about my symptoms before surgery. I never had neck pain. Never. My symptoms started as goosebumps, chills and muscle aches in both arms. Then muscle spasms in the center of my back - so bad in fact that I went to my doctor a week before I was to see her for my yearly physical. Then it progressed to tingling 24/7 in right arm and extreme weakness and tennis elbow-type symptoms in my left arm.

    After the surgery is a different story, but, anyway, I hope this helps is some small way.

  • I had nerve pain and deep aching pain from the shoulder down, but many times, just the elbow down. I thought maybe my previous ulnar nerve surgery was a failure. Had several EMG's over the years and the radiculopathy just showed up last year.

    Most of my "neck pain" was actually contraction of the traps severe and constant enough to cause the pain. I also have stenosis.

    But the short story is I think the doc giving the EMG must know exactly what he is doing. I had a few who would put the probe in and immediately take it out and some who would probe around looking for stuff. The last guy I saw was a neurologist and he stuck the needle in right where he thought the problem was and he saw it right away. It was
    coming from C/6-C/7. Was your EMG full body or???
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  • Thanks to both of your for replying! :)))

    The 2 nerve conductivity and EMG tests I've had done were ONLY from the elbow down to hand and were done by 2 different doctors.I had a cervical/upper thoracic x-rays last week and I have 2 MRIs coming up (one arm, the other cervical/upper thoracic).

    My orthopedic physical therapist tells me that my arm pain is not related to my neck even though I have what I consider to be all the hallmark signs of c7 cervical radiculopathy EXCEPT neck pain.

    Besides the upcoming MRIs, are there any other tests that people my recommend? Any comments or suggestions would be most appreciated. :D
  • I know that it's hard but be patient, have the MRI's and wait for those results before you look for other tests to do. An MRI will most likely show if you have a condition that would cause that kind of nerve symptom and then you an go from there.

    What kind of doctor is treating you for this? I'm curious because you mentioned that you are in PT- is that for another condition?

    Please let us know what the doc says about the MRI results. You have my curiosity up!

  • Had full EMG done July 1st this year turned out fine.
    legs and arms
    had lots of inflammation that came back on bloodtest
    shortly after severe pain had another MRI he says inflammation has gone down Alot....
    in Sept nerve damage, seems to had come on when inflation went away
    Alot of nerve pain 2700mgs neurontin
    cant use R hand
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  • I've had so many of them and most of them were normal even when MRI showed nerve impingement. I'll never have another one, they are severely painful for me. Anyone else have this problem? I've been told I have fibromyalgia, I'm not sure about that. But after an EMG I go into a full body flare up. Cylon let us know about your MRI, it's good that they are looking at your neck and arm. Hope you get some answers! Patsy I'm sorry to hear that you can't use your R hand, you must be in so much pain. I've been there and you are not alone in this. Like you said time is important, you are only 4 weeks out of surgery and your sick spinal cord needs rest. I had a C4/5 fusion 8 weeks ago,my thumb and index fingertips are still numb and my shoulder/neck/arm is still flaring up. I am also feeling very impatient but time is our friend. Hope you feel better soon.

    Faith M
  • Sounds like you need an EMG to check your neck down, rather than the elbow down. It has been my experience that it's best to schedule tests sooner rather than later. Good luck!
  • I wont let them do another EMG on me. I think I have many things going on and it was just July 1st I remember to the day 2008 when I had it done, they did the test and I had no nerve pain. she stuck me everywhere. less then then days later.I had what I never new this new pain - Nerve pain. so I know I wont let them stick and push that needle under my skin trying to make a noise and make marks on the machine.maybe she was ticked that things where coming back normal.I have to take 2700mgs of neurontin everyday now.
    Back couple years I had a spinal tap, (Wanna talk about being nervous)only test that came back not normal was I had lots of inflammation.
    3 years ago I had epidural, after 2nd shot noticed things did get better but swallow problems with in days, hosp. could not swallow. talk about fun all i was trying to do was get rid of neck pain and end up with patches for pain because i could not swallow. I still have problems. but have learned to live with them. I know it was from epidural
    and Doc.s new too but would not confirm it
    I wont go into any of it to much-if anyone interested about it let me know I can talk and talk.....blowing hugs Patsy
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