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Cervical spine injury question - Bummer Knees - 12-30-2010

I have a question for those with a cervical spine injury.

I sleep on my sides at night and have trouble with tingling down the arms and into the hands and, with my arms & hands going to sleep. Dosn't matter what side I sleep on.
My question is could this be related to problems with the cervical spine?

(I'm unable to sleep on my back due to doing so causes increased pain of the lumbar spine)

This is what my most recent MRI reads:

There is moderate left lateral protrusion of the C5-6 disc. This is causing pressure on the anterior left side of the cord and on the orgin of the left nerve root as it enters the neural foramen.

C4-5 There is mild to moderate spondyletic change with anterior spurring.

C6-7 There is mild spondyletic change with mild anterior spurring.

Thanks for your help.
Bummer Knees

RE: Cervical spine injury question - maggiemae - 12-30-2010

Do you have any hand/finger/arm numbness or tingling during the day? I have a cervical injury and tingling and numbness in left arm. I sleep on my sides and my hands and arms do fall asleep at night while sleeping but I don'tusually notice it til morning (i sleep well due to meds). Do you have an appt with someone to go over MRI and treatment options?


RE: Cervical spine injury question - Bummer Knees - 12-30-2010

Hi Maggiemae

Yes, I also have this durning the day and it becomes worse with activity, although it is getting worse at night.

I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon mid January.

RE: Cervical spine injury question - maggiemae - 12-30-2010

That's good. Gabapentin helps with the numbness and tingling but it makes me very tired so only take it at night.

I am going to have ACDF c6-c7. I was injured over the summer. I have a lumbar fusion from prior injury. I recently got an IF wave unit, which is like a tens that helps with the shoulder/upperback muscle pain and spasms, and am going to get trigger point injections to help with the pain until surgry. The shots are supposed to help with the headache as well. The Dr said cervical surgery is not as painful and has a much shorter recovery time than lumbar. I hope he's right!

Good luck to you.


RE: Cervical spine injury question - Bummer Knees - 12-30-2010

I was on neurotin but had to quit it due to side effects. I recently started Lyrica, and am on a low dose.

How soon will you have the ACDF? The neurosurgeon wanted mine done yesterday, and I have been able to delay the surgery for 3 months but with the cord and nerve root at C5-6 I really don't know how much longer I can delay surgery.

Problems is I have 3 special needs children in the home, my oldest two are old enough they will be okay but my youngest is 12 yrs and is Autistic, I will need to get child care for him while I have surgery.

I was injured in an auto accident in 2007, went thru physical therapy for the cervical injury.
I had 3 sessions of traction February 2010, saw the neurosurgeon March 2010 and was told the neck was stable and no additional treatment was needed.

July 29th I saw the work comp doctor and while he was doing the exam he pushed down very hard with his hands placed on the top of my head, then forced my head to turn side to side while pushing down. I asked the doctor to stop and told him he was hurting me but he continued to push down. A few hours after that appointment the headache started and lasted for 32 days, I also experienced very high blood pressure durning this time.

My primary doctor orderd an MRI and that is when I learned of the damage done to my neck.

I have not added this to my work comp claim, in fact when the attorney for the insurance company learned about the neck injury she offered to settle the claim for the amount my attorney was requesting. I have a settlement hearing scheduled for next week.

RE: Cervical spine injury question - jayne - 12-30-2010

Bummer,I hope for your sake your cervical fusion surgery is more successful than mine I got 3-4 days of relief and then it was back along with the complacations of surgery.....when it is time have lots of popcicles in your freezer they help as you will feel like you are trying to swallow a golf me that is the worst part the overwellming feeling of choaking for about a week to 10 that time the headaches were back....if I had to do it over I would not do the surgery I get the most relief from wearing a hard collar on bad days....good luck

RE: Cervical spine injury question - AQA - 12-31-2010

BK, hope you do not mind me chimeing in. I do not have a cervicle injury. mine is the lumbar.

With that being said, we both share nerve damage. You indicated that you suffer from it during the day and night. However; you question was about at night while asleep.

Lets think about the position of you neck while you are asleep. I believe your neck is in a bent position. ( I to sleep on my side.) You may want to try some self diagnostic. When you go to sleep. Add an extra one to two pillow. In an attempt to keep the cervicle inline with the thorasic part of the spine.

It sounds like to me that you are putting more pressure on a nerve while your neck is in a bent position.

RE: Cervical spine injury question - maggiemae - 12-31-2010

I have to call the office next week to schedule it. Hopefully soon. He told me I should have it right away in oct, but I wanted to try pt first. He said it would not help and he was right. It made the pain worse. Tried traction and pool pt but it still caused more pain.

I am trying to keep working while I wait but it is hard. Hopefully the shots will help.

Are you looking at all 3 levels for the fusion?

RE: Cervical spine injury question - Bummer Knees - 12-31-2010

Jayne at the next appointment with the neurosurgeon I will ask him about how issues with scar tissue will affect the outcome of this surgery, this is a big worry for me.

Sometimes I feel like I am choking in the area where the left tonsil is.

AQA the physical therapist questioned me about the position I sleep in. I told her I start on my side with the head inline to rest of the back, course I don't end up that way.

I can only sleep for short periods at a time due to nerve pain and the arms going to sleep.
I always spend part of the night in the recliner.

I spent 11 years of my life sleep deprived caring for my medically fragile daughter until her death, now my body does very poorly without sleep.

AQA the problem I have with during the day is the numbness, tingling, and burning pain in the arms & hands.

Maggiemae I also tried traction, for cervical injured it can only be increased a little at a time.
The therapist tried 15 lbs of traction with me then increased it to 18 lbs and my condition became worse. In the end the therapist was only able to increase the traction to 16 lbs.

Will an ortho or neurosurgeon be doing your surgery?

RE: Cervical spine injury question - tpm - 12-31-2010

I have had 2 Cervical surgeries so far. It has not helped at all with my pain but the numbness and tingling has improved. I must say my post surgery went better than expected. I only had minimal sore throat but I did have numbness at the incision site for almost a year. Made it somewhat difficult shaving. I will think very hard before having a 3rd surgery
Best of luck to you