I just want to cry....

  1. I am probably posting this in the wrong area but---I was having problems with my left arm--droping things unexpectantly and having shooting pains down to my hands with my last two fingers burning. I had an MRI today (thank God I work in a rad dept...) My disc at C 5-6 is herniating and has formed a osteo spur behind it which is pressing on my spinal cord on the left side. I am soooo scared. I hae contacted my doctors office for a refferal to a neuro surgeon. Does anyone else have this problem and what do you do about it? I knew I could post this due to the fact as P_RN said, you are a great bunch. Also, responded to a code in the Professional building (not even the hospital) and the man passed away. He was only 56. His wife said they were expecting it soon. I cried with her, after I left her and am crying now. Thanks for listening to this pushy, sometimes overbearing wimp.
    •  
  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   sunnybrook83
    I'm so sorry for your bad news. I don't have any useful info for you, but wanted to let you know that you're not alone! And I'm sure someone on this board will be able to help you.
    God bless
    Sunny
  4. by   nur20
    I haven't experienced that but that doesn't mean i don't know what you're going through. I hope the best for you and you know that you are not alone. Sometimes just knowing that helps.
  5. by   debbyed
    You put tears in my eyes with your post. I wish I had grand words of wisdom but alas I have none. Just have faith in yourself, your friends and your family and a clear path will emerge. I will keep you in my thoughts (although I must admit everytime I think of you I see your avatire and have to smile, it just somehow reminds me of my formative years).

    If you feel your spirits sagging take a walk in the woods, there are wonderful restorative powers to be found there for the soul.
  6. by   tiger
    sorry, i have no experience with this either but i'll keep you in my prayers.
  7. by   P_RN
    Dam* that's awful. I hope it gets better, BUT.......

    How long ago did the symptoms appear? How long has the deficit been developing?

    In addition to the MRI have you had any other tests? One thing I found in my "quest" is that all the tests in the world will not PROVE anything other than there might be a cause.

    If this happened at work, be sure you follow the protocol and get W/C involved. If it wasn't work related, still find out ALL you can about the Family Medical Leave Act. Make sure you KNOW your rights.

    In addition to a neurosurgeon, you may want to consider an orthopaedic SPINE surgeon. Not all ortho surgeons are good spine "men" (not to 'dis' the female docs.) And not all neurosurgeons are good at disk work.

    You doc MAY want some nerve conduction studies, such as an EMG or nerve conduction velocity. These do not show trouble until about 6 weeks AFTER the symptoms.

    Here is a good site: it's commercial so ignore any ads, but it has GREAT pictures and explanations.

    http://www.spine-health.com/index.html

    I got talked into undergoing epidural steroid injections. I can't say they harmed (other than my pocketbook.) I also can't say they helped (other than fill the DOC's pocketbook.)

    Also ther's a support forum at MGH Department of Neurology that absolutely saved my sanity. If you look in, tell 'em *I* sent you .

    http://neuro-mancer.mgh.harvard.edu/...=212&SUBMIT=Go
  8. by   -jt
    my sister had herniations in the Lumbar spine with spurs pressing on her sciatic nerve which left her unable to lift, feel, or mover her foot. The neuro surgeoan performed MICROSURGERY on her back - didnt cut her open - made a tiny little hole like you get for a laparoscopy. He shaved the spurs & reduced the herniation and she was pain free & home the next day.

    Good luck
  9. by   Jenny P
    Dear Radnurse, in 1984, my then 2 year old daughter did a flying leap onto my upper back while I was crouching down and picking something up off of the floor. I suffered a whiplash, but later, when the outer 3 fingers of both of my hands went numb and I could no longer lift anything above my shoulders, I finally went to the neurologist and I had a partially herniated disk at C5-6. The neurologist gave me prednisone to reduce the swelling (and that helped a lot); but then he also referred me to a special P.T. program where I used a TENS unit, supine cervical traction (that was great!), a neck roll at HS (I stilluse 1) and a whole series of Nautilus exercises at the YMCA under direct and careful supervision of the Physical Therapist.
    I never did have surgery (the neurologist told me that neurologists are "safer" to go to than surgeons BECAUSE they don't believe in cutting). I did learn how to live with it, and I probably have some of the stronger neck muscles around because my muscles need to support the spine, rather than vice versa. If I get too tired or use poor posture, my numbness returns, but I've done okay thus far, and that has been 17 years now. Yes, it gets sore at times, but I am now deathly allergic to NSAIDS (probably from overuse through the years, I think), and I can only take tylenol for pain (when I work, drive, or need to be alert). Stretching exercises, relaxation exercises, and good posture do help. We go car shopping according to how the back supports my head, neck, and shoulders: once I find a suitable car seat; I let my husband pick out the goodies (color and accesories!)
    Now for some differences: I did not have an ostea spur; I don't remember having any "shooting pains" down the arms; and mine was a bilateral injury.
    Life does go on: I remember thinking that my career was over at that time; but I am still plugging along at the bedside 17 years later.
    I strongly reccommend you get a second opinion from a NEUROLOGIST and see what they can tell you.
    My husband had neck surgery last year (C3-7 laminoplasty), and they certainly have changed how they do spinal surgery these days. Within 2 weeks of the surgery, he was doing terrific!
    I'll keep you in my prayers for now. Good luck and God bless.
  10. by   radnurse2001
    I talked to our neurodiagnostic radiologist, my chiaropractor and a neurosurgeon I know rather well. The neurosurgeon said he wants to try traction and therepy first, my chiaropractor gave me some idea's of traction with a towel rolled under my neck-- start with 5 min a day. The neurodiag. radiologist definately said to see the neurosurgeon. The guys that do neurosurgery here are conservative and won't do surgery unless absolutely necessary, especially on someone my age. I felt really reassured after that. P_RN, I had an EMG done earlier this year ( I hurt my back at work and the occ. health doctor noticed some hyperreflexia) that showed ridicuopathy(SP?) at nerve root C-8. I have had constant neck spasm for about 2 years especially when I wake up in the am. The shooting pains and numbness and burning in my fingers just started early last week.-jt I will explore that option (microsurgery) with the surgeon . Thanks for the advice. Jenny P My injury is unilateral and they don't quite know what caused it. I wish I knew so I won't do it again. Thank you all for your support, I love this web site and you all are so sweet. Thanks again.
  11. by   amy
    just wanted to let you know, you are not alone. Brandy, I figured this out!!!
    My stepmother just had the same surgery, surgery on disk c5-6 and c-collar for 8 wks. that part stunk but she went back to work mon. w/o problem. She was scared to death, worried she would be paralyzed. The way the surgery is done, incision on side of neck, cannot access c-spine via the traditional spinal incision, they took cadaver bone and crushed it to inject around a plate that was placed. scar hardly noticable, and my step has history like severe barely controllable HTN, non IDDM, hypothyroid, obesity, and what else? Anyway, My suggestion is find a good neuro-spinal guy or girl and be sure to get more than one opinion, but we did ok. GOOD LUCK!
  12. by   bflute55
    Dear radnurse2001...I think I am going through this too. And I am crying and scared and all the rest.... I just saw a ortho spine surgeon yesterday. He suggests a laminoplasty. I have cervical spondylosis and cervical myopathy. I am a wreck. I hope you find someone who can help you. I wondered if anyone has had this operation? I wondered if anyone could tell me the inside track on the whole experience of this type of surgery. Guess we can go through this together and I will keep you in prayer
    QUOTE=radnurse2001]I am probably posting this in the wrong area but---I was having problems with my left arm--droping things unexpectantly and having shooting pains down to my hands with my last two fingers burning. I had an MRI today (thank God I work in a rad dept...) My disc at C 5-6 is herniating and has formed a osteo spur behind it which is pressing on my spinal cord on the left side. I am soooo scared. I hae contacted my doctors office for a refferal to a neuro surgeon. Does anyone else have this problem and what do you do about it? I knew I could post this due to the fact as P_RN said, you are a great bunch. Also, responded to a code in the Professional building (not even the hospital) and the man passed away. He was only 56. His wife said they were expecting it soon. I cried with her, after I left her and am crying now. Thanks for listening to this pushy, sometimes overbearing wimp.[/QUOTE]

close