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Getting scared

jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,111
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
To those that do not know my story I had c4 thru c7 fused with corpectomy at c5 and c6,cage plate and the works. I am 5 months post-op and have began to have new symptoms. The one that concerns the most is about 2 weeks ago my right hand(the top of hand only)is numb and now the left hand is now doing the same. I called the surgeon who ordered emg and x-rays. My emg is not until dec 7th and my follow-up with surgeon is is the middle of dec. I am going to go crazy waiting that long. I am scared that something is seriously wrong. Has anyone else dealt with this issue? Any input would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Susan
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Comments

  • I can't help you figure out the problem, but I've been reading your posts and know that you're having difficulty so I just wanted to send you a big gentle hug. I know how scary it is and unfortunately I doubt there will be anyone in the forums that can help. It would all be speculation.

    I told someone this in another post - I think waiting is one of the hardest things we spiney go through. We have to wait for the tests, wait for the results, wait for the doc appointment, wait, wait, wait. Hurry up and wait.

    I'm really anxious to see what your doc says. Hang in there, Susan, we're here for you.
    Cath
  • jlrfrye said:
    To those that do not know my story I had c4 thru c7 fused with corpectomy at c5 and c6,cage plate and the works. I am 5 months post-op and have began to have new symptoms. The one that concerns the most is about 2 weeks ago my right hand(the top of hand only)is numb and now the left hand is now doing the same. I called the surgeon who ordered emg and x-rays. My emg is not until dec 7th and my follow-up with surgeon is is the middle of dec. I am going to go crazy waiting that long. I am scared that something is seriously wrong. Has anyone else dealt with this issue? Any input would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Susan
    Howdy Susan!

    Please see my signature line for my time lines. I was great after the C5/6 - C6/7 started to become an absolute nightmare around week 5 or 6 post op. Now, if I don't take the Lyrica (like going to and at work), I am in misery! I have pain now on the left instead of the right (pre-surgery most symptoms were to the right), but... now my right pinkie and ring fingers are numb, the bottom side of my right arm (picture arm out, palm up) just below the elbow and up most of the triceps is numb. I have started getting "tingles" in my left index and middle finger and occasionally the base of my thumb. I had follow up, and that is when I was put on Lyrica (which after work I take it - great stuff!!!).

    So far, the top portion of my C6/7 fusion has not progressed beyond "interim", and in the MRI you can see it has separated. My Doctor feels that might be the cause of my issues with my index and middle finger - status - bone growth stimulator - meds - waiting to see if the fusion takes.

    MRI and x-ray doesn't show much concerning the C7/T1 - but I had surgery over a year ago for my Ulnar (see sig) and it was great. I lost the pinkie and ring finger quickly, so I am waiting to see if the C8 nerve group is now being pinched! I am now retiring due to the deterioration since my last surgery. I have been prescribed to start PT, but he (like me) is not too optimistic this will be a major fix. You might have some issues with an adjacent level.

    What part of your hand is numbing? Where mine is numb is "easy" to identify what nerve area is having issue - they just haven't found where yet!!! Without knowing "what" part of your hand has issues - hard to help. Details please?

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • Hi Susan,

    Sorry to hear you are having all these issues still. It is very hard to wait when you know something just isn't right. I am fused c3-c6 and recently under went a myelogram with CT. I had a Mri back in April and unfortunately it just wasn't as clear. It turns out I have a broad based herniation on the c6-c7 which explains why I can't find a position to stop it as it is hitting both sides. I quess the question is are you completely fused? A emg is a good place to start. Do you have a emg that was done prior to surgery that will serve as a base line? Try to rest as much as possible and remain calm. I know easier said that done. The nerves themselves just don't like stress. I do hope you get some answers. Take care and keep us posted.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,111
    It is the waiting that is killing me. At least my pain management doc can see the distress I am in and increased by neurotin from 400 mg a day to 1200 and increased my pain meds from 2 a day to up to 6.(vicodin). It is funny that you mentioned the middle finger because my middle finger on my right hand is killing me. Other then the numbness that is the only pain I have in my hands. I am scared to death that when I went to PT he did something that damaged my neck. All this began after my first visit, immediently after traction. I have never been a fan of PT. It has always seemed to do me more harm then good. I have heard nightmare stories about getting an emg so if anyone out there has had it done some input please.
    Susan
  • I know I don't have to tell you that fear can't always be reasoned away, but I don't think you need to be afraid of the EMG. I remember it as being the least invasive, intrusive procedure I had. Pur more bluntly, I'd rather have an EMG than go to the dentist or the GYNO.

    If it's the results you're concerned about more than the test, well, you've had the surgery experience already so in your head you know what that's like. That's actually the problem. I had three c-sections total, and when the time came for the third one, I felt like I could do the thing myself if I could SEE. But when I got to the operating room, I had a gigantic panic attack, blood pressure out of control, etc. There was no logical reason; same doctor, same hospital, baby in good health, my own childhood pediatrician there to take care of the baby... I just panicked.

    In those situations where I'm just worried or nervous and not in abject panic, I usually find that it helps me to consider what the worst case scenario might be and figure out how I can live with that. Then everything else is a cake-walk. We have all walked a mile in your moccasins, and we're all here for a cyber hand-hold, and you might not have had that asset earlier in your process.

    Let us know what we can do. As long as I don't have to go to the dentist or the GYNO in your place. Eeeww.

    TitanNeck
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  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,111
    Its the fear of finding out I have to have more surgery and the fear of finding out there is nothing they can do. Neither outcome will be good. I knew with my last surgery there was a chance it would not work but my surgeon was trying to spare me the posterior approach. According to him it is one of the roughest surgeries a person can go through. He said he will not perform that type of surgery on someone unless its absolutely necessary. Ive heard the stories from others on S.H. how difficult it is and I want no part of it but if this one fails that is what will be done. I have learned to expect the worst when it comes to my neck and not be disappointed when a procedure fails but god I am tired of all this. I just want to scream give me a frickin break!!! O.K. I am done feeling sorry for myself now so I will try to get into the holiday spirit and try to take my mind off of all this or as much as I can
    Susan
  • jlrfrye said:
    It is the waiting that is killing me. At least my pain management doc can see the distress I am in and increased by neurotin from 400 mg a day to 1200 and increased my pain meds from 2 a day to up to 6.(vicodin). It is funny that you mentioned the middle finger because my middle finger on my right hand is killing me. Other then the numbness that is the only pain I have in my hands. I am scared to death that when I went to PT he did something that damaged my neck. All this began after my first visit, immediently after traction. I have never been a fan of PT. It has always seemed to do me more harm then good. I have heard nightmare stories about getting an emg so if anyone out there has had it done some input please.
    Susan
    My surgeon specifically states "No neck twisting, pulling, or traction" on my script for PT. Does your doctor know you had traction applied after your fusion? Just a thought. Yeah...waiting is the crappy part! I hope you have answers soon Susan.

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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