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T5/T6 bulge and diffuse nondermatomal nerve symptoms. Are they related???



  • I am new here and I was really hoping for at least one reply?? I am wondering if anyone whohas a similar condition to mine can adise if they felt any non dermatomal pins and needs or a more widespread neurological issue.
  • Hi Black Swan,
    It's frustrating when you can't get a diagnosis or even taken seriously or even worse when people think you are faking it to get time off work, or to obtain narcotics.
    There are lots of people here who have had bad experiences and most seem to have had problems of one sort or another.
    On balance I guess it is better to struggle to get diagnosed than be rushed into having the wrong surgery.

    The temptation is to self diagnose and you can easily become convinced or even obsessed by stuff you read on line. I'm not saying you should give up asking. If you are in pain, or have concerns then be persistent until you are satisfied you have answers.

    Ultimately it is the doctors who have the knowledge and judgement to make a diagnosis and we have to trust them, but with our eyes open.

    The problem with spine issues, especially thoracic spine issues is that the symptoms can mimic many other unrelated conditions and I know from my own experience, doctors find it very hard to pin point the source of neurological pain or neurological deficit.

    I'm not young enough to know everything - Oscar Wilde
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  • BlackSwanBBlackSwan Posts: 9
    edited 09/06/2012 - 12:34 PM
    Thank you Mickkr. It's really muddy in my case because of my age and multiple injuries so its very hard to say what is coming from what. I initially thought my legs problem was coming from my lower back (stensosis), but then i got numbness on my left elbow and head within 1-2 weeks so I calculated that it wold be very rare to have 2 sepearte neuro etiologies 2 weeks apart that have numbness as a major symptom,and what is happening is probably more sytemic. Though I check out fine on all my tests. I guess I was trying to see if anyone had numbness as a symptom with T spine herniation, but much higher than the herniation.
  • kamgramkkamgram Posts: 483
    edited 09/06/2012 - 5:29 PM
    Hi Blackswan, welcome to the forum. There is alot of good information and people on here so take time to look around and get familiar with everyone. I also had herniation at T7-8 and have microdiscectomy on May 24, 12 and still have issues with pain as bad if not worse thatn before surgery. Not much numbness in back but when you mentioned numbness in elbows I just had to share with you. I have had numbness in both hands at night. Will wake with complete numbness and have to move around to try to wake them. I have a herniation in cervical spine so thought this was issue.

    I went for nerve conduction test and EMG of both arms and neck last week and found that I did not have nerve problem in neck nor did I have carpal tunnel but I did have pinched nerves in both elbows. This is sometimes confused with tennis elbow but is not. I had surgery on left elbow in 2006 for tennis elbow and have had numerous teroid injections on right elbow. Interestingly the left nerve is severe so shows that surgery did not fix this.

    Just a thought. I know problems in thoracic are rare and therefore not alot of info on them so you have to be your own detective. If I can be of any help please don't hesitate to PM me. Please keep in touch and let us know how things progress.


  • It seems to be almost, if not impossible to determine what levels cause symptoms when you have spine problems at multiple levels.

    I have lumbar problems, and had a fusion and decompression 2 and 1/2 years ago.
    I am now facing a 2 level ACDF due to cord compression at those levels, but I also have nerve compression from C4 down to C7. I have 3 herniated discs in my thoracic spine, 2 of which are mildly compressing my cord.

    Now I have so many symptoms, all over the place; neck, shouldere, elbows, wrists, hands, fingers, around abdomen, back at various levels, knees, ankles, feet and toes. I also get frequent headaches and stiffening spasms in my legs and feet and around my abdomen, making my back arch up off the bed.

    I was sent to a neurologist by my neurosurgeon because it was felt that I had too many symptoms for them all to be coming from my neck. They wanted to rule out MS. The neurologist has concluded that all my symptoms could be coming from my neck, and he didn't find anything else. He feels that I do need cervical fusion due to the compression of my cord and the degree of my symptoms.

    I had EMG and nerve conductions studies, which showed chronic neurogenic changes in my deltoids, biceps and less so in my triceps of both arms. There was no sign of carpal tunnel or elbow compression. He said that the neuro problems were from compression in my neck at several levels. He said that these tests can't indicate if there is also cord damage (myelopathy) from this compression. I think that Evoked Potential tests will show this, but he said he couldn't do that as it hadn't been requested.

    I, like Kelli, get the numbness in my hands at night, especially in my left hand. This is when I have not been lying on that hand. Also if I speak on the phone for very long, the hand holding the phone goes numb.

    I have been told that my arm and hand symptoms are coming from my neck, but any symptoms below that could be from my thoracic spine and my legs could be from my lumbar spine. I have started to get sciatica again and I think that is probably from my lumbar spine. It is manageable at the moment, but it is rather worrying as I had hoped that level had been sorted out!

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  • Thank you for replies. I am sorry to hear about the pain that everyone experiences. It's not only debilitating but very often demoralizing. As for me I am thankful that I was able to share my story. Thank you
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