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Question...What is the difference in the 'levels'

WandtmacWWandtmac Posts: 122
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:35 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am not completely new to spinal surgery or fusion. I had L4-5,L5-S1 removed and fused in 2002, I am not going back for an issue at C5 that is causing complete numbness of the left arm. It is so bad that no treatments were given before the surgery. Pain, seen dr, had mri now off to surgery on Thursday. I trust this doctor greatly but I am still afraid of not regaining full function on my arm. They said it might be 3 to 4 months before the true outcome is known.
Any Advice?


  • sorry for the typo... I AM NOW GOING BACK... not I AM NOT GOING BACK. See typing is my life and now I can't do it so well with one good hand.
  • i see youre on line now early in the morning ... i imagine you didnt sleep. thursdays the day...heres hoping arm will return to normal...best of luck...pete
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  • i see youre on line now early in the morning ... i imagine you didnt sleep. thursdays the day...heres hoping arm will return to normal...best of luck...pete
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,349
    Problems at different disc levels in the Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar areas impact different areas of your body.
    For instance Cxx might effect your right arm and hand, Lxx left leg, etc.
    Take a look at our FAQ, there is an item that layout the spinal column and goes into detail plus provides a video to explain everything
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • As a frequent flyer of the surgical dept here in my city I like to educate myself before going under. I really have found a lot of information on this site and was just getting hung up on that term.
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  • I always find the dermatome maps to be fun and helpful to look at - at least for telling me what spine areas are affecting what areas of my body.

    ...that said, plan on some differences of 'opinion' when you compare maps.

    Just Google (image) dermatome or dermatomes

    I did find a good one that really correlates with my numb parts - my areas of numbness are almost exactly what is shown on the map.
  • Hi Tracy,
    Here is a link to the cervical radiculopathy video, which may help explain what nerve levels hit which areas of the are and shoulder. According to what I have read and what my surgeon said it can take up to a year for the nerves to heal. Good luck on Thursday and keep us posted on how it goes.

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