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Hi All! I seen a neurosurgeon last week and was very confused about the outcome of the appointment. Before seeing this surgeon my physio had spoken to a different surgeon at the same hospital who relayed that I would probably require a foraminotomy, laminectomy and perhaps a fusion to stabilise. I had prepared my mind for surgery in my future.
Perhaps most importantly my pain does not match up with the MRI imaging. The worse of the damage in my neck is at C4, 5 and 6 with high grade stenosis of nerve root exit foramina and the spinal cord is being displaced and indented in a few places. The disks are all desiccate, there is loss of vertebral body height, loss of normal cervical curve and I have large osteophytes. I should be having problems using my thumb for example but instead I have pain running down my arm and into my ring and pinky fingers(which is coming from C8 nerve) I have trouble with fine motor function in my hand. Most noticeable to me for example is that I can no longer sign my signature and the surgeon does not know why as I have no major weakness. I am creative so this inability to use my hands for fine for things such as drawing is devastating to me. Does anyone else have pain that does not match up to imaging?
He ignored the fact I have chest pain and the feeling of a tight band constricting my breathing. Although this is not as common as it was a few months back, it frightens me. I have problems with my legs too but he thinks it is probably nothing. I have had sciatica in one or both legs since 2010 and it only largely left a few months back. Now I have intermittent numbness and pins and needles instead and my left leg will occasionally give away on me. Thankfully the cold wet feeling I felt several times a week in my saddle area is now mostly gone but I did tell him of this most strange sensation. I also told him that I had lost control of my bladder just the once a couple of weeks ago. I thought I had stopped urinating but when I stood up and walked away I was still weeing. These things worry me because they are so strange. He has ordered a lumbar MRI to be sure but has told me he is fairly certain it is nothing. I must wait at least 3 months for this in the public system. Should I be worried?
He told me with the neurological exam that he found no gross abnormalities. On this day I did not have the brisk reflex under my knee in my legs that doctors have not been able to understand. He did not ask me to stand for any testing. He would have realised for example that I am unable to walk heel to toe and I loose my balance easily. I am concerned he has missed something especially since my symptoms changed so much after the MRI imaging was done last year. Could it be that the degeneration has continued and there is more pressure on my spinal cord or is that unlikely?
I have widespread pain with numbness and pins and needles in arms, legs, feet and hands and no explanation for it. I am being followed up with nerve conduction studies and emg for a single nerve in my right arm plus a referral for pain clinic. The wait is 6 months and I can not bear waiting all this time. He mentioned fibromyalgia so I am now not sure of anything. If I do not need surgery(he said risk outweighs benefit and they would wait until my spinal cord is smaller) who do I go to for help? I cannot live like this, in pain and not understanding why or even how to help myself. I have an appointment soon with a private neurosurgeon but I wonder now if I should cancel it considering I do not need surgery. Who can I go to now for help?
I hope somebody here can help me understand this and make some decisions about what i need to do next.......
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