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Suspected heart attack turns out to be my spine?

MariaBMMariaB Posts: 5
edited 01/05/2015 - 1:31 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi I'm new here and feeling very relieved to of found you.

In June 2014 my sudden onset of symptoms led me to being admitted into a cardiac unit. I had every test known to man and thankfully everything was okay.

My symptoms were sudden: feeling of crushing in my chest and acute chest pain when laying on my right side. A squeezing feeling down my left arm. My arm starts to feel very hot as though I've got severe sun burn. The on and off symptoms in my arm are electric shock like pains, numbness in my ring and little finger, pain in those fingers as well as along the thumb and the thumb part of the hand. Pain in the underside of my left breast when laying on my left side. Severe pain in my elbows that wakes me up at night as well as both hands forming into a painful claw at night. Permanent symptoms are severe weakness of the left arm and fingers of the left hand. I also have a permanent tingling along the left side of my upper lip. A sore spot on my upper outer left arm that came on suddenly. Its incredibly painful if I accidentally rub it on something and sometimes it feels like I have lightning bolts shooting through it. I had no neck pain during my time in hospital or during the onset of these symptoms, this came a few months later and knocked me for six. The neck pain has now subsided but the pain and problems with my left arm are getting progressively worse.

Its taken up until now for them to do a cervical MRI and the results of that are degenerate narrowed intervertebral discs at C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7. There is disc bulging and marginal osteophyte formation. No intrinsic spinal cord disease can be seen. However, there are foraminal stenoses to the right side of C4/5, bilaterally at C5/6 and bilaterally, though worse on the left at C6/7. I see the spinal surgeon on the 21st Jan.

I have no idea what to expect or what they can do. Look as I might, I can't find anyone who is suffering this that has severe arm weakness. I can honestly cope with the aches and pains in my neck because medication relieves it but it doesn't take away the symptoms in my arm. Because of the line of work I'm in, I haven't been able to work this winter (I'm an Alpinist). My biggest worry is, this weakness has been going on too long and getting progressively worse. Will it be too late to remedy this? or can nerves recover even when they have been suffering for 7 months ?
MariaB
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Comments

  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745

    Liz, 

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I had similar issues and had the discs removed. I had some relief immediately. I waited a long time and still struggle with full recovery two years later. However, I do slowly improve even with minor ups and downs. Acupuncture has helped me heal and I should seek PT, but I haven't for my left hand.

    I actually experienced "fake heart attacks" also, but that was after surgery. I know it s scary!
    Murraytscan@yahoo.com
    L4-L5 fused at birth (congenital malformity). L-5-S1 bulge/degeneration, L3-L4 bulge/degeneration. Permanent nerve damage L5-S1 and L3-L4. Fused C5-C7.
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  • Hi,

    I'm also new here and apologies if this is a repeated post as I tried previously via phone and it did not seem to log on and a fresh 'hello' to everyone.

    I have undiagnosed neck/upper back issues (cervical and thoracic) for about ten years. Several nights ago a "perfect storm", of heartburn; chest pain and diffuse back pain radiating to arm, as well as a good dose of nausea saw me go to ER. I kept telling myself that the pain could be from a small diagnosed hiatus hernia and pain from a badly healed fractured humerus from five years previous. Then a slight panic set in thinking it could be heart, because the pressure in the throat and chest was hideous. Consequently, within ten minutes I was at ER having tests: xray; bood tests & ecg ruled heart attack out. For anybody who has experienced that "false heart attack", I feel for you.

    I have recently undergone a catscan to look at the humerus, neck and thoracic spine, waiting on results.(MRI ruled out at this point due to gunshot pellet from childhood remaining in rib)/

    If I'm laying, particularly on left side, the pain is enough to jolt me from sleep. Sitting at a computer desk gives me no joy either. The pain radiates from left side of base of skull, across muscles on shoulder down to and through to left hand. It's either a low nagging or down right excrutiating, about the only thing that has helped is a hot shower and anti-inflammatories. Keeping on the move or sitting very upright in that "just right" position helps.

    It's the lack of sleep that is doing me in at the moment, I feel (for what I would say is a normally strong person) fragile and teary, morbidly imagining the worse results of it being a tumour and not anything else 'manageable'.
    Apologies for sounding like a big bucket of self pity and misery when I know there are others on here probably going through worse. I don't know if it sounds a bit strange, but somehow knowing that others are going through similar things makes me feel a bit better in that I'm not the only one.
    Thanks for listening :-)
  • MariaBMMariaB Posts: 5
    edited 01/06/2015 - 3:53 AM
    Thank you for getting back to me Murraymr. Interesting that you also had all the symptoms of a heart attack. Did they tell you that the chest tightness/pain was related to your spine? My doctor seems adamant that spinal problems can't cause chest pains.

    Acupuncture sounds good. Did you get that on the NHS? Surgery sounds not so good but I'm a wimp and when it comes to hospitals I'm bordering on phobic. Did they give you options to try before surgery. Also, how does removing discs help? surely you need your discs or did they replace them with something?
    MariaB
  • MariaB said:
    Thank you for getting back to me Murraymr. Interesting that you also had all the symptoms of a heart attack. Did they tell you that the chest tightness/pain was related to your spine? My doctor seems adamant that spinal problems can't cause chest pains.

    Acupuncture sounds good. Did you get that on the NHS? Surgery sounds not so good but I'm a wimp and when it comes to hospitals I'm bordering on phobic. Did they give you options to try before surgery. Also, how does removing discs help? surely you need your discs or did they replace them with something?
    I have internal metal braces to hold the vertebrate together. cadaver bone was put in the empty space to promote bone fusion. it is supposed to stabilize the spine and prevent weak discs from bulging into the sciatic nerve.

    I read about the chest pain elsewhere, so I measured my pulse and it felt normal. I assumed I was going to be ok, so I waited it out. I should have been cautious and gone to the hospital, but I didn't.
    Murraytscan@yahoo.com
    L4-L5 fused at birth (congenital malformity). L-5-S1 bulge/degeneration, L3-L4 bulge/degeneration. Permanent nerve damage L5-S1 and L3-L4. Fused C5-C7.
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