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Thread: Nerve Issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Nerve Issues

    Hi everyone,

    I always seem to have some problem creep up on me every few months. I've had problems with right arm pain for several years (feels like a shooting pain, also numb and tingly at times). In the past 2 months, this pain has been happening in my right leg and on the right side of my face. When I started PT about 2 months ago, the physical therapist said my first rib pops out (you can actually see it sticking up behind my collarbone). When this happens, the right side of my face and right arm go numb for awhile. My physical therapist was able to get the rib back in by stretching my neck. Now I'm no longer in PT so it will go back into place when it wants to.

    I saw my neurologist for these issues and he ordered blood work, brain and cervical spine MRIs and an EMG of my right arm. Everything came back normal (I do have a very small syrinx around C6-C7, but every doctor I've ever seen said this shouldn't cause problems). I just couldn't believe my EMG was normal. It was so painful and my arm hurt much more than usual during and after the EMG. The doctor said he couldn't see any reason why I was having neurological symptoms and suggested I see my surgeon regarding my first rib.

    Finally to my questions:

    Is it possible for nerve issues not to show up on an EMG? Could this be vascular rather than nerves? Has anyone had a problem with their first rib popping out post surgery (this has been happening for about 6 months and I'm 21 months post-op)?

    Thanks,

    Shell
    Chemist, 30

    1998- 18 degrees
    2003- 33 degrees
    2005- 37 degrees
    2006- 44 degrees
    May 2007- 47 degrees
    December 2007 - 50 degrees X-ray

    Surgery May 27, 2008
    Fused T1 to L2
    Curve corrected to 15 degrees X-ray

  2. #2
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    Aug 2009
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    I actually don't have any info , but I did want to ask a question about the syrinx, since my 21-year old son has a small one too.

    Do your doctors assume that your scoliosis caused the syrinx (I know they sometimes occur after injury)? Or do they think it's the other way around and that the syrinx contributed to the scoliosis?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by hdugger View Post
    I actually don't have any info , but I did want to ask a question about the syrinx, since my 21-year old son has a small one too.

    Do your doctors assume that your scoliosis caused the syrinx (I know they sometimes occur after injury)? Or do they think it's the other way around and that the syrinx contributed to the scoliosis?
    Hello hdugger,

    My doctors' have never said what they thought the syrinx was from. I did have a 10 lb box fall on my neck from high up about 6 years ago so I always assumed it was from that. The syrinx is only about 2-3 mm wide and about 1-2 cm long. My curve was T4 to L3 so I've assumed it had nothing to do with my scoliosis. Is your son's syrinx in his curve?

    Shell
    Chemist, 30

    1998- 18 degrees
    2003- 33 degrees
    2005- 37 degrees
    2006- 44 degrees
    May 2007- 47 degrees
    December 2007 - 50 degrees X-ray

    Surgery May 27, 2008
    Fused T1 to L2
    Curve corrected to 15 degrees X-ray

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,164
    You'd think I would have noted where in his spine it was, but I didn't. I assume it's within his curve, because the surgeon suggested that it increased his need for surgery, making me assume that it would be within the fused area.

    He hasn't had any injury to his spine that I know of.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
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    I think syrinxi(?) are very mysterious. But the fact that some scoliosis cases continue to worsen after the syrinx is reduced suggests both the scoliosis and the syrinx are two effects of some same cause. The fact that some syrinxi occur outside of the structural curve is consistent with this thought.

    It's interesting that my first kid was told to get an MRI I guess to rule out syrinx and such. My second kid was told she didn't need one. Now maybe that is due to them being identical twins but I don't know the reasoning.

    I wonder if the "typical" right thoracic curve (apex = T8 or T9) is ever associated with syrinx. It seems like it is mostly associated with left or high thoracic curves or three curves from my recollection of the testimonials. Also, it may be rare in suspected cases of connective tissue disorders. If so, along with the first kid's clear MRI, that may be why her twin did not need an MRI.

    I 'm sure this would all be less mysterious if I was an orthopedic surgeon or a pediatric neurologist.

    Love,
    a bunny.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  6. #6
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    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    Sharon,

    I think (in my little bunny thoughts ;-) that because Chriari Malformation (ACM) can exist outside of scoliosis completely, it could also exist *with* scoliosis as an independent condition.

    So, yeah ... it would seem that there must be people with mid-thoracic curve of right convexity that have a syrinx as well.

    Love,
    Hopalong
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    York, PA
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    Not sure about your exact nerve issue, but I have been told by medical professionals that EMG's can be notoriously inaccurate. I was having a lot of nerve compression issues before my surgery and my EMG test was completely normal. Happily, since my sugery, all of those annoying and painful nerve sensations are gone. Hope you get some answers and relief.


    Anne in PA
    Age 58
    Diagnosed at age 14, untreated, no problem until age 50
    T4 to sacrum fusion
    63 thoracic now 35, 92 lumbar now 53
    Dr. Baron Lonner, 2/2/10
    Am pain-free, balanced, happy & an inch taller !

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADMoul View Post
    Not sure about your exact nerve issue, but I have been told by medical professionals that EMG's can be notoriously inaccurate. I was having a lot of nerve compression issues before my surgery and my EMG test was completely normal. Happily, since my sugery, all of those annoying and painful nerve sensations are gone. Hope you get some answers and relief.
    Thank you for the reply. I did not know that EMG were unreliable. I did some research and found that they are about 40% accurate! I'm pretty much convinced this is all nerve pain. I feel like the neurologist wanted to get rid of me. Maybe I'll go back to my surgeon again.

    Thanks,

    Shell
    Chemist, 30

    1998- 18 degrees
    2003- 33 degrees
    2005- 37 degrees
    2006- 44 degrees
    May 2007- 47 degrees
    December 2007 - 50 degrees X-ray

    Surgery May 27, 2008
    Fused T1 to L2
    Curve corrected to 15 degrees X-ray

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