EMG apt with Neurologist..didn't get the response I was waiting for!

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finallyreallycrazy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 5/21/2010 5:57 PM (GMT -7)   
shakehead  I went to my apt with my neurologist today for the EMG on my legs since I have started having so much weakness in my legs and have been falling.  I know my posts are usually long, but since I started posting, I feel like I am around people who live life like I have to.  My family is understanding thank goodness, but they will never really understand the pain and the stress of what is happening to my body!  Anyway, went in for the EMG, barely felt a thing (I am assuming that is bad, because of the expression in the docs face and the fact that they kept adjusting the computer until I could fee someting.  Never was bad, but I am thinking that is not a good thing.  Anyway after she did the test, I mentioned the muscle spasms that have been literally ripping through my back and the day and a half that I was not able to walk because I could not feel my left leg at at.  She gave me 4 injections in my lower back and put a lidocane patch over it and gave me a script for lidocane patches daily.  Then she dropped the BOMB!!!  I was kind of expecting her to tell me I needed to consider surgery on my lower back, but she said she was going to try to get me into a neurosurgeon ASAP to have NECK surgery.  All I really understand right now is that I have severe stenosis, scoliosis, and extensive nerve damage in my neck.  I dont know what they do to "fix" that, but they have already told me that after the initial surgery because of my DJD and DDD that I will have to redo the corrective surgerys at least every 5 years.  I see her again in 2 weeks and she will have my referral to the surgeon, so until then I don't have any clue as to what to expect, or what they may do.  I am  really petriffied.  For some reason surgery on my neck seems so much scarier than surgery on my back.  Maybe its because your neck controls you whole body and the lower back is the waist down, or the knowledge that they will cut across the front of my neck...I dont know, but Was definately not expecting what she told me, but if I dont have the surgery, I will probably be in a wheelchair before summer is over!!!  Does anyone have any answers or suggestons?
New MRI's show I have 3 GOOD vertabrae.  The rest are bulging, compressed, protruding or in one of the three spinal stenosis' in my back.  One stenosis in my neck and two in my lower back.  Fibromyalgia, cfs, degenerative bone disease, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, HORRIBLE memory problems, panic attacks, depression, and muscle cramps that don't stop.
 
Meds:  Oxycontin 60mg 2x day, Effexor xr 300mg 1xday, Robaxian 3xday, Valium 10mg 4xday, Lortab 10mg 4xday, Phenergan PRN, Folic Acid, B12 and B6
 
 
 
 
 


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13471
   Posted 5/21/2010 6:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Finally,
 
Well, first of all remember you cannot be forced into having surgery. I can understand your fears, any surgery is scary. I do hope WhiteBeard pops on and see's your thread as he recently has had neck surgery and has done well for the level operated on. There are others on here too that have had neck surgery in the past White Beards is the most recent I believe. Wait until you see this neurosurgeon you are being referred to, he may have different ideas right now other than surgery. Also, please get a second opinion, anyone having surgery deserves to get a second opinion. Educate yourself about the type of surgery that may be proposed. Anyone needing suergery needs to be as level headed as possible when making the decision and they need to know what to expect. Whitebeard was alone when he had his surgery and he handled it ok. Since you have family around, then you will have people that can help you out. Also, try not to think oh gee, if I have surgery now, I will have to have it again in five years, because that may not happen. Don't let the what if's creep in and eat you alive. You may need more surgery in 5 yrs you may not, take it a day at a time. Apparently your dr is thinking the neck is in worse condition than your back and feels that it should be addressed first. This is most likely due to the results of your MRI's that have been done.
 
Try to not to let this news ruin your weekend. I hope you can find some ways to help you unwind and relax. Take care.
 

crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 5/21/2010 9:32 PM (GMT -7)   
finallyreallycrazy

I had a C5-6 Anterior Cervical Diskectomy and Fusion ACDF I had it back in September 28th last year, infact I am scheduled to see the surgeon the 9th of September for possibly another ACDF at C-3 as I have severe nerve impingement there, I have also had a C-6/7 ACDF back in 1985. It sounds scary and it is in away, but my surgeon says as far as back surgery goes and doing diskectomy and fusions, the Cervical Disk fusions in the neck are the easiest to do! That to me is a comforting fact to know! This last one I had was amazing, I was in the hospital 3 days, and I had surgery first thing in the morning and when I woke up in my room that afternoon the pain in my arm was completely gone!

My first surgery was not as smooth, but back then I was in the military and I had major damage done to my disk affecting my spinal cord. After the surgery the surgeon, said he could not understand why I wasn't a quadriplegic. After that surgery I lost my voice for over three months as they had damaged the nerve going to my vocal cords! That surgery they took the bone graft out of my pelvis, with no additional hardware, and I had to wear a cervical collar for over 4 months.

However this last surgery they used donor cadaver bone and held the vertebra together with a plate and titanium screws, and I only had to wear a soft cervical collar for a couple of weeks! All I can tell you is that there is risk with any surgery, but the way I look at the cervical disk in my neck, if they are bad I want them fixed, because if they continue to deteriorate they can cause major problems, and the type of problems that they can possibly cause, scares the H*** out of me! I know what I went through the first time, it took the military doctors 3 or 4 months before they found out what was wrong with me! I was extremely lucky! You just can't imagine how lucky I really was, because I had military Doctors manipulating my neck like a chiropractor and it is a miracle that I was not paralyzed this was all done before they knew I had a severely herniated disk in my neck! Anyway if having another ACDF at C-3 wil rlieve this constant head ache I have in the back of my head it would be well worth having it!

If you have any questions or if I can be of any help just E-mail me!

Good Luck to You!

White Beard

finallyreallycrazy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 5/22/2010 9:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much for your information....all I know at this point is the stenosis involved 4 or 5 vertabrae. I guess things are happening so fast that I don't know what to expect. I am 36 years old and have always had neck problems. When I started not being able to walk I just assumed that it was the damage in my back. My neurologist said the best way to start was at my neck and if that didn't fix it, then we would start working our way thru the other 2 stenosis in my lumbar. By the way the severe stenosis is in my thorasic and my cervial. I know that the odds are probably in my favor, its just really scary and I think I am in denial. I have always been able to control my pain with meds, now all of a sudden I have days that I cannot walk, and that scares the you know what out of my!! I will get thru this. I have a wonderful family at home, and have discovered a new one here, and I appreciate all you positive imput. It is easing my mind some. I will find out more in 2 weeks when I go back to the neurologist for trigger point injections and my referral to the surgeon. I am just having to wrap my mind around this and accept it. I will get there, I just always seem to think of the negative first, then start on the positive. i will make it and your input really helped white beard. Thanks so much!
New MRI's show I have 3 GOOD vertabrae.  The rest are bulging, compressed, protruding or in one of the three spinal stenosis' in my back.  One stenosis in my neck and two in my lower back.  Fibromyalgia, cfs, degenerative bone disease, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, HORRIBLE memory problems, panic attacks, depression, and muscle cramps that don't stop.
 
Meds:  Oxycontin 60mg 2x day, Effexor xr 300mg 1xday, Robaxian 3xday, Valium 10mg 4xday, Lortab 10mg 4xday, Phenergan PRN, Folic Acid, B12 and B6
 
 
 
 
 


MsBunky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 5/22/2010 9:29 AM (GMT -7)   
I have nothing but a hug for you {{{{{ finallyreallycrazy }}}}}

You must be very scared with all this new information, but you've come to the right place. No one will care more about you at this time than the posters here. Keeping you in my prayers.

hugs,
Pam.
Conditions: Fibromyalgia, Myofascial Pain, Chronic Pelvic Pain (with permanent muscle damage), Femoralacetabular Impingement (CAM and Pincer), Reynauds, IBS, Surgical Adhesions, Ophthalmic Migraines, Severe Hot Flashes (both Surgical Menopause and medication related), plus physically unable to vomit due to the Nissen, and I have extremely tiny veins with a lot of scar tissue...a joy when it comes to having to give blood or get an IV started

Surgeries: Appendix, Uterus, Nissen Fundoplication for GERD, Left Ovary, Gallbladder, Right Ovary, TVT

Medications: Oxycontin, Cesamet, Tramacet, Cymbalta, Flexeril and Clonidine plus Laxaday, Vitamin D and a Multi-Vitamin daily


uniquelyme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 5/22/2010 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had problems with my lower back for over 20 years....but to have neck trouble as well??? That would suck!!! And I think I need to talk to my PM Doc about MY neck....I am having trouble with my arms going numb and popping in my bneck whenever I move it....

I am so sorry about your neck issues, but you DO NOT have to have surgery........
Good Luck
Me.
I have been a spectator for so long..Now it's time to participate.......
 
Post Lamenectomy Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, DDD....
1999 Hemi Lamenectomy/2005 Spinal Fusion(L4-S1)
Methadone 120 mg. a day/  30 mg. Oxycodone as needed(up to 4 x a day)
High Blood Pressure: Lisinopril HCTZ 10 mg. daily
Type 2 Diabetes: (March 16, 2009)
Metformin HCL ER 1700 mg. at night..Glipizide 10mg. 2X in the morning and bedtime
Lantus 50 units at bedtime with Solostar Pen
Byetta 5 mcg. 2X daily                                                                   

 


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13471
   Posted 5/22/2010 2:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Finally, I am glad WhiteBeard popped on and saw your post. I knew you would feel somewhat better after reading his post. But, one thing I will point out to to you, you are correct, the not being able to walk some days is coming from your back not your neck, when a person has back problem such as you do, it can affect your ability to walk, you may have hip pain, pain in your legs mostly down the back of the legs, you can have a foot that burns on the bottom, toes may feel like they are going to sleep & ect. Back problem affects your lower extremity, neck problems affects your upper extremity. I have both neck & back problems and both the orthopedic & neurosurgeon says this is how it works, plus I have heard it from more than one or two drs. In all sincereity you are correct, not being able to walk some days has nothing to do with your neck. I am surprised at the neurologist suggesting this to you.
 
Yes, you have a lot to think about but during these next two weeks perhaps you can put a list of questions together to ask the dr so you can get some answers. Have a good weekend.
 

crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 5/22/2010 2:53 PM (GMT -7)   
finallyreallycrazy

Stenosis is narrowing of the openings it can be of the spinal canal, and that is usually from a herniated disk, or of the opening through which the nerve roots that come off the spinal cord exit through, this can be from either a herniated or bulging disk or from oseophites (bone spurs) or from the bone its self that has grown and causing the opening through the vertebra to narrow! In any case when they do surgery they can remove the disk all, or just part of it, if they remove all of it, then they roughen up, the surface of both the vertebra above and below the disk that they removed, and then they put in graft bone ( either your own or donor bone) in that space where your disk was and then that causes the vertebra to all grow together, so instead of having two vertebra separated by a disk ( tough but rubbery cartilage) you now have one huge vertebra. and the space beteen the two is all solid bone. When they do this now they usually use cadaver donor bone, and put a plate that hold the two vertebra in place and anchor the plate in place with titanium screws, that are screwed into the vertebra top and bottom! This can limit flexibiltity in your neck, if you get more than one fusion done.

If it is not the disk causing the stenosis, they can go in and cut out the bone spurs, or part of the bone, and thus increase the size of the opening for the nerves go through, and this I believe is called a laminectomy!

You know I was born in 1951 and I had my first fusion in 1985 so I was about your age maybe a bit younger when I had my first surgery! It is scary and I really do empathize with you! I also have bad disk and stenosis in my thoracic and lumbar area. The thoracic area they will not touch, They say the surgery is much to dangerous, and I have a herniated and torn disk at T-12, I also have bone spurs and stenosis at T-3 and T-8 ! The surgeon told me over ten years ago, that as long as I could move and get around then they would control the pain and make me comfortable and that is it! I have had some epidural injections in the thoracic area, but not many doctors are trained or willing to give them in that area. Those ones are painfull! I also have herniated disk at L4-5, and stenosis at L-2/3/4. So I do have some idea of what you are going through. I really do understand the fear you must have with having walking difficulities, I use a cane! Do you have any problems with your arms or hands?, weakness? spasms? movement problems with your arms or hands? I have difficuties with my arms and hands, I used to do sculpture, but I have problems doing that anymore, so I gave it up!

You are young "finallyreallycrazy" and all this must seem devastating and a bit overwhelming to you. You will never have to like the hand that you have been dealt in life, but you do have to accept it. Hang in there, and just take one day at a time, you will make it through this! Yes! You do, also have a family here, a family that cares allot you, and will listen and give you support! So you are definitely not alone in this!!!!

I do wish you well!

White Beard

Straydog you are right about the disk in the neck not causing problems with walking if the disks are just causing problems with the nerve roots. How ever if the stenosis is of the spinal cord its self, then that is another story, I believe that could cause problems with walking, and possibly other things as well depending on what part of the spinal cord is affected. The trauma I had to my spinal cord and the way it was squeezed and bent out of shape they did not know why I could even move at all, and yet all I had was severe pain in my arms and hands. Everyone is so different and reacts so differently. I will be interested to hear what they have found,

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 5/22/2010 5:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Seems like WhiteBeard as you well looked after, so I'll just
interject, Prayers and lots of soft healing hugz..,
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Hugz))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 5/22/2010 6:11 PM (GMT -7)   
A friend of mine just had a similar thing happen-she thought she was looking at back surgery due to numbness in her leg and instead was told it was ddd in her neck,
She had the surgery about 4 weeks ago and is recovering well and is back at work.
She is in much less pain and taking less medication now then before the surgery.
I hope whatever you decide to do it works out well for you.

finallyreallycrazy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 5/22/2010 8:08 PM (GMT -7)   
about what is the recovery time for cervical/thorasic stenosis vs lumbar stenosis?
New MRI's show I have 3 GOOD vertabrae.  The rest are bulging, compressed, protruding or in one of the three spinal stenosis' in my back.  One stenosis in my neck and two in my lower back.  Fibromyalgia, cfs, degenerative bone disease, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, HORRIBLE memory problems, panic attacks, depression, and muscle cramps that don't stop.
 
Meds:  Oxycontin 60mg 2x day, Effexor xr 300mg 1xday, Robaxian 3xday, Valium 10mg 4xday, Lortab 10mg 4xday, Phenergan PRN, Folic Acid, B12 and B6
 
 
 
 
 


White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 5/23/2010 9:24 AM (GMT -7)   
finallyreallycrazy


The recovery time really depends on what they do, and the individual, if they don't do a diskectomy and fusion the recovery time is usually shorter, Surgery on the Cervical disk tends to be easier and shorter recovery than the lumbar surgery. Not many people get surgery done on their Thoracic Disk, as the surgery is difficult and some what dangerous. Most surgeons won't touch the thoracic area! Your question is a good one but just about impossible to answer! [img]/community/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] As far as your muscle spasms have you ever tried taking Baclofen? I found it worked better for me than any of the others, and it also helps relieve pain. Might be something to check.



Good Luck to You!



White Beard
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