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WHEN DOES THE NUMBNESS GO AWAY??

Started by garybo on 03/23/2011 11:36am

6 weeks post surgery, C5-6, 6-7 fusion. Presurgery moderate numbness in arm and hands, fingers. Moderate to severe stenosis with bone spurs and nerve compression. I have had issues for over 3 years with numbness and finally decided on surgery. 6 weeks post surgery, numbness is worse now than presurgery....doc says it will take time, I am almost 61 and have applied for S/S disablelity, because of my job situation ( drive forklift backwards 90% fo the time and have to hyperextend my neck to see behing me) Does anyone else have to the same issues with the contiinution of the numbness post surgery and how long....thanks

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Hi everyone - I just got my MRI results and found out that I have severe spinal stenosis in some areas of my spine. I recently lost feeling in one of my legs and fell down and broke a bone in my ankle as well. I get lightning bolt pains in my right shin. Anyone know the best kind of doctor to see? I usually like alternative doctors. I don't want to go the surgery way unless I have to. Thanks.

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To follow up on your SSI/SSDI issues: I am licensed as an attorney and did volunteer service as an SSI advocate in law school. When attorneys are trying to get back SSDI payments for you and get you awarded regular SSDI payments, they are limited to receiving 25% of the amount of back pay you collect.

This is not a horrendous amount when you realize that in most states, personal injury attorneys can collect up to 40% of an award (ex.: car accident). The reason for the percentage is that you are not paying the attorney anything up front and he is still paying his staff, his rent, his paper processing and filing fees, courier fees, and using his time, which is money. This is why an attorney will or will not take your case on a contingency basis (i.e., that he believes that he will be able to 'win,' to get you an award, after your case is properly presented, so he does not require you to come up with money when you don't have any.).

It would be to your benefit to talk to at least one law firm that specializes in Social Security. Get together your medical records to the best of your ability, and try to write a chronological history of the beginning of your illness and the doctors and treatments you have have had. This will help a lot in getting your case off the ground and an assessment of your case. Most of my clients were rejected because they did not have their documentation together.

It should not cost you anything to have an initial consultation and you will have a better idea of where you stand with Social Security. You also will have a better chance to some extent because you are over 55; they hate giving regular payments to people under 55. Further, almost all cities have volunteer lawyer organizations where lawyers will take on a case or two every year "pro bono," for free. These would have different requirements to be eligible. If you are in a big city, find yours and see if you qualify. This way you would not lose the 25% back pay, although you might have to pay for 'costs'--if there are filing fees, making copies of medical records, etc. In some communities, Legal Services, which is funded by Congress and private grants, will work on SSI cases, if not SSDI cases. Find out.

Re numbness: I had cervical myelopathy and could not even use my left hand, which is dominant. All major symptoms developed in a 3 month period and scared me to death. My whole left arm, hand, right arm, and feet were numb. My first surgery was a C3/C4 fusion, which failed, and 6 weeks later I had a C2/T1 fusion, laminectomy, and foraminectomy. The numbness was better in all but my left hand after 6 months. A year later, right about now, I still have numbness in my left thumb and on the bottoms of the fingers of my left hand, but that's all.

I hope this information will help you; I know you are terrified and frustrated. Hoping and praying that you heal well.

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Great news today, S/S aproved my disablity but I feel somewhat guilty after reading the horor stories from other people's post here> I am not in alot of pain but continue to have the numbness in arm and hand and have to take pain pills to sleep at night> didn't get alot of info from S/S Just said was aproved and starts in May, I think it might have more to do with the type of job I have, drive forklift backwards 90% of the time but have to hyper extend my neck to see and the doc feels I could do more damage to my neck, plus the fact I am 61 could be a factor. I wish everyone here the best

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garybo, I also have the numb issues, but from my shoulders to my toes, including arms and hands. My left side moreso than the right. I think thats because the left side went numb on me first. Since surgery, I have a little bit of increased sensation, but not much. My surgeon told me it is all a matter of time now to let the nerves to heal and see what comes back.

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Hi Garybo,

I had Herniation of Cervical intervertebral disc w/Radiculopathy of the C5 C6 and C7 vertebra. i had surgery to fix the herniation. I still have acute pain in my spinal area as well as my shoulder - arm and hand. Numbness in the left hand down to the baby finger and ring finger. I had my surgery in June 2010 to date numbness has not dissipated. I have sharp pain as well as what I describe as electricity running through my left arm and hand - i have weakness in my left arm and hand as well as intense cramping. Was told by my neurosurgeon it could take up to five years or never for my numbness to go away due to the nerve damage. I will be starting Physical Therapy and Pain Management classes soon 7/11/11. I hope you are doing better.

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I had C3-7 fusion 2/09, and before that percutaneous disc nucleoplasty C3-6 in 9/05. (I know I'm an outlier...not many people have 4 level cervical fusion.)

The numbness lessend after the nucleoplasty, a LOT. But started coming back about 2 years later, with a vengeance. And it turned out, when the numbness was getting worse but hurt less...it was because I had cord compression, the early signs of paralysis (which lead to the fusion surgery).

I still have numbness, 2.5 years later. Sometimes not much (20-30%). Sometimes almost total. Sometimes spasms, tremors, fiery shooting pain.

My take on it is that I will probably always have at least that 20-30% numb feeling. I live with it. The other feelings, spasms, tremors, and hideous pain are MUCH harder to deal with. I have herniations down to T8, and new nerve root compression which I never had before, plus a few new bulges just below the fusion area.

Fusion is not a miracle. It prevented me from paralysis, for which I am inordinately thankful. But I'm still totally and completely disabled. On any given day, I drop stuff, don't feel where my hands are, can't finish a task of daily living like brushing my teeth or hair in one go. Today, at breakfast, I couldn't pick up a napkin. After 4 tries, my boyfriend handed it to me. But is it better than being paralyzed? YOU BET.

Don't give up hope. Do whatever you can to feel better, be it deep breathing, accupressure, swimming, walking...or anything your body tolerates. If you can't hold stuff today, watch a movie. Laugh. Talk to a friend or family member. Whatever makes you feel better emotionally may help lessen the feeling bad physically.

The first neurosurgeon I ever saw, back when I was very new to all this, with 2 herniated discs and (they thought) carpal tunnel...told me that I should NEVER give up on feeling better, no matter what any doctor told me. Always search, always try, and don't stop until you have some success.

It's hard, after 12 years of slogging through being a 'professional patient'. Try to keep your humor, your patience, and treat those you must deal with with as much grace and tolerance as you can.

---p

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When did you have your surgery? I am 4 months post op. I am doing ok but am having a terrible time with my back. The surgeon indicates the pain is coming from my neck. At times I am crying. My neck is doing ok I guess but I'm having other problems that were not there before. I was better before surgery. Doctor said this is going to take 2 years to feel better. I am very confused about all this. Keep me posted on how you are feeling.

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I had a 2 level anterior cervical fusion in 2007. That eventually fell apart, nobody believed me, even though my neck was bright purple.
I went to another neurosurgeon, my primary care doctor referred me to, He said the levels above the first fusion needed to be fused. When he "went in" to do those 2 levels, he saw that I was right. The first fusion never fused, the screws were all wiggly, and the plate popped off. The MRI did NOT show this. Tests are not 100% in every situation. If it feels wrong, keep complaining, because.....
that turned into a 4 level cervial fusion. They are very rare.
4 years later and now, the tips of my fingers on both hands, are totally numb.
Rubbing them, banging them, none of that helps. Everyone says, "your fingers are cold".
My neck is killing me all over again, and I am not sure who to go see.
My primary care doctor or back to the neurosurgeon or the pain clinnic that did radio frequency on my neck twice, since 2013?
Also, should I be worried? Is this just a flare-up or is something pinching with this fusion?
Thanks, if anyone has any helpful input.

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I'm 2 week post surgery now. I had mobi-c artificial disc replacement at c4-5 and c5-6 levels. Before surgery I had only neck and right arm, shoulder pain. Just after the surgery, I realized all my left side from under the shoulders to the bottom of the foot went numb.Also discovered horner's syndrome (right eye lid drooping) after the surgery. Did any one encounter any of these symptoms. Stroke has been ruled out and the neurologist only said to wait and see, it may or may not recover. I'm really tired thinking and experiencing these in addition to surgery pains. Please and Please do respond if there is a chance to get better from this numbness or horner's syndrome. How long should one wait before losing all the hope??? I appreciate all your time and valuable responses. Thank you.

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Siri can you provide an update on your condition? I had cervical disc replacement two weeks ago because I had a herniated disc between C4-C5 with 50% spinal compression. I have the Modi C disc as well. I had full body numbness prior to surgery . I currently have numbness in my arms and lower portion of my legs which becomes worse with any sort of movement/activity. I know my spinal cord is bruised and swollen which will take time to heal but I am wondering how long until the numbness goes away. I would love to hear from anyone who had a similar experience.

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Hi Garybo - did you fill out your disability papers on your own or did you get the help of an attorney? I am still in chronic pain after my ACDF c5,-c7 and now left side not fused and disc above having issues. I want to apply for SSI, should I collect all of my medical records?

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