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C5-C6 Cervical Herniated Disc with Possible Spinal Cord Compression

epurcelleepurcell Posts: 3
edited 02/10/2015 - 9:02 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi all,

I found this website in hopes of reaching and connecting with those who might be in a similar predicament as I am.

On December 26th, I was squatting and performing good mornings with a safety bar when my arms suddenly went numb. Left arm when numb to about my elbow and the right one was numb down to my pointer finger and thumb, but no pain was involved. Still very scared, I saw my doctor who suspected based on the area of numbness that I was suffering from a C5-C6 herniated disk. (An MRI later confirmed this.) I was put on prednisone, which despite making me feel literally manic, did wonders for my inflammation. I also was seeing a physical therapist and using an at-home traction unit. Within a little over a month, I was experiencing no pain and numbness. I started back up at the gym, slowly. After a week of that, on Monday, February 2nd, I noticed slight loss of sensation about an 3 hours after my workout, but this time it was happening throughout my body -- head to toe and my vision seems... different. I was unable to see my primary doctor and so another suggested blood work to check for B12 deficiency, diabetes, and so on, as well as a brain MRI to be sure it wasn't MS. This was incredibly frustrating as I was sure these new but similar symptoms were a result of my previous spinal injury. My tests all came back negative and my primary doctor put me back on prednisone. The prednisone doesn't seem to be doing as much as it did previously, and I am still experiencing a slight loss of sensation through my body. My pain is, at the highest, a 3 out of 10. So I seem lucky in that regard. I don't seem to have a loss of body or muscle control and walk just fine. But, I'm scared as hell. I don't want to go under the knife at 22 years old if I don't have to, but this seems more serious than before and certainly spinal cord related.

Does anyone have any advice, suggestions or testimonials from their own experience?

Thanks

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Comments

  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
    welcome to spine-health

    use that above hyperlink to help you get started with spine-health and navigate through the system.

    if there are any questions, you can always post them here, send liz or myself a private message or contact ron rdilauro@veritashealth.com

    Liz, 

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 2,561
    Even a temporary impact to the spinal cord can have lasting effects and create full body symptoms. I had cervical injury and then had all kinds of crazy symptoms that doctors tested for and after 3 years we are back to the injury to the cervical cord to blame for most of my issues. In my case it was always to much of a conincidence to have neck injury lose feeling in both arms then immediatly all kinds of issues arose and it be something else. Often it really is the simplest thing even though scans may not show. My doctor has seen patients paralyzed with no obvious damage to spinal cord on scans ( SCIWORA ). I would make sure you are seeing either a neurosurgeon, neurologist or neuromuscular specalist ( the best for my case ) . Dont take losing feeling lightly keep pushing to find the issue
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
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  • I had C3-6 surgery, with severe compression at C4/5/6 on my spinal cord, and it didn't involve my head at all. My arms and legs were heavy, part of my hands were numb, I dropped things and stumbled, but never anything above shoulders. Although I had neck issues 6 months prior to surgery, I didn't have an actual painful neck with my spinal cord compression.
    Hope that makes you feel better.

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

  • itsautonomic said:
    Even a temporary impact to the spinal cord can have lasting effects and create full body symptoms. I had cervical injury and then had all kinds of crazy symptoms that doctors tested for and after 3 years we are back to the injury to the cervical cord to blame for most of my issues. In my case it was always to much of a conincidence to have neck injury lose feeling in both arms then immediatly all kinds of issues arose and it be something else. Often it really is the simplest thing even though scans may not show. My doctor has seen patients paralyzed with no obvious damage to spinal cord on scans ( SCIWORA ). I would make sure you are seeing either a neurosurgeon, neurologist or neuromuscular specalist ( the best for my case ) . Dont take losing feeling lightly keep pushing to find the issue
    What were your symptoms? And, what ended up being your diagnosis? I'm scheduled to see a neurologist this week so hopefully that will clear things up, for good or worse.
  • TWynnB said:
    I had C3-6 surgery, with severe compression at C4/5/6 on my spinal cord, and it didn't involve my head at all. My arms and legs were heavy, part of my hands were numb, I dropped things and stumbled, but never anything above shoulders. Although I had neck issues 6 months prior to surgery, I didn't have an actual painful neck with my spinal cord compression.
    Hope that makes you feel better.
    Since your surgery, have you had any of your symptoms linger or reappear?
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  • epurcell said:


    Since your surgery, have you had any of your symptoms linger or reappear?
    Yes, I still have numb fingers, heavy arms, hyperreflexivity, some heaviness in legs. My dexterity in my hands is back, thank goodness, and my strength is improved. I did have cervical myelopathy though, and was rapidly getting worse to the point walking was difficult. I also had bruising on the spinal cord. I believe many with more mild signs have better recovery (and don't hang on in here!).
    Keep us posted!

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

  • Were you doing too much weight or with too much intensity at the gym? No one that I know uses a safety bar unless they are bending real low or using heavy weights.

    If this is injury related as opposed to genetics there could be some good in that. As long as you have not damaged the nerves too bad then your recovery will be far better than if it is caused by bad anatomy.

    Scared? That is understandable. You need to find a good neurosurgeon and keep a daily journal. When you visit a doctor take your notes with you and use a permanent marker to mark alll of the places that you feel pain. Take your shirt off and show them. It will wash off after a day or two.

    I don't know whether the neurosurgeon will recommend surgery but I can tell you that many people on this board have had neck surgery and don't forget that Peyton Manning did also. And if it turns out that you need something like a single level ACDF then you will not lose mobility.

    Any questions about ACDF shoot me an email.




  • I'm a bit confused here. Your subject line states "C5-C6 Cervical Herniated Disc with Possible Spinal Cord Compression" but the body of your thread states that everything came back negative. Is this just something inside telling you to investigate?

    You also mentioned that you had a previous spinal cord injury. If you don't mind me asking, what transpired and how long ago was it? More info will help us to better help you.

    My advice is to speak with this Neurologist (I hope he is Board certified) and then follow up with a second and third opinion from a "Board Certified" Neurosurgeon and an Orthopedic Surgeon as well. If there is spinal cord compression, you need to deal with it very quickly. I don't want to scare you, but there is risk of many conditions to follow if you are really dealing with it (myelomalacia, paralysis, etc...). Please find out what's going on and do NOT delay.

    -Doug
    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 2,561
    edited 02/11/2015 - 5:20 AM
    epurcell, my diagnosis was cervical cord contusion that resulted in autonomic issues and central sensitization syndrome I also have small fiber neurapathy but that may have been caused from something else but we cant be sure. I had heavy legs and arms, would collapse almost at times, weakness, spasms, ED, bladder bowel issues, severe pain, dexterity issues, loss of sensation/numbness/tingling , severe cold hand and foot , cognative issues ( due to autonomic) and more. I lost feeling in both arms shortly after the injury.
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • TomNTTomN PhillyPosts: 14
    Hey epurcell,
    I had whiplash 9 months ago. Normal pain and symptoms of a bulging disc at C6/7 with arm/neck/shoulder pain. BUT....my feet would o numb when I looked down. Everyone dismissed me as crazy. So I convinced an orthopedic dr. to order me an upright MRI where you sit in a chair and lean forward while they scan you. It make show the vertebra or disc compressing your spine way more than a prone MRI. Mine showed that C6 slid back 6mm when I looked down, hence the numb feet and unexplained pain. Good luck!
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