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New Member Introductions If you just joined, please introduce yourself here. Please add a signature describing your spinal history (use the "User CP) and ask us how we can help you get started.


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  #1  
Old 02-22-2022, 04:41 PM
LisaW's Avatar
LisaW LisaW is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 4
Default Intro / ADR for Numbness Rather Than Pain?

Hi all! Thank you Harrison for allowing me to join and for all the great information I've already found on this site!

My big question: Has anyone had ADR to relieve numbness rather than pain?

I started having pain in my neck/shoulder area in September 2021. By October, it was severe pain radiating down my left arm and hand, into my shoulder blade, and occasional pins and needles.

I started conservative treatment in November, including steroids, PT, acupuncture, and stretches which eventually actually reduced the pain dramatically.

November MRI showed C5-C6 large bulge, severe canal and foraminal stenosis and C6-C7 diffuse bulge touching cord, mild canal stenosis, severe foraminal stenosis.

In December, I saw Justin Keadle PA at Dr. Yeh’s neurosurgery clinic in San Luis Obispo, California and he recommended moving forward with Dr. Yeh for evaluation for ADR.

By January 2022, my pain was manageable, but numbness/pins & needles began increasing. For two months, I've had constant left hand numbness in middle and pointer fingers and thumb, and persistent pins & needles in entire left arm, which is increasing in severity. Pain flares but is not interfering with my life like it was in the fall.

My insurance changed, so Dr. Yeh referred me see Dr. James Carr, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spine conditions and ADR, also in San Luis Obispo. I see him next week and want to be as informed as possible going into the conversation.

At this point, I am not considering surgery for the pain, just the numbness because of my history: In March 2020, I had to have emergency L5-S1 microdiscetomy. The pain was alleviated, but I still have permanent saddle anesthesia due to compression of the Cuada Equina nerves.

So I am extremely concerned about the possibility of more permanent numbness, especially since I am left handed and am already seeing decreased function (dropping, handwriting and typing issues).

Anyone else have surgery due to numbness from a cervical disc? I would love to have pain relief as well, but it is not severe enough anymore for to consider such a big operation. Thoughts?

Thank you!
Lisa
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43 year-old woman in central California
3/20: L5-S1 microdiscetomy (no ADR), permanent saddle anesthesia due to Cuada Equina compression
9/21-Current: C5-C6 and C6-C7 herniations, severe canal and foraminal stenosis
Considering ADR for left arm/hand radiculopathy (numbness, pins & needles and moderate pain)
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  #2  
Old 02-23-2022, 09:03 AM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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If you reword your question to, "Should I have surgery to improve my quality of life?" it's a lot easier to answer. That's always a reason to consider the next step up in intervention; surgery in your case.

Numbness and muscle weakness would definitely drive one to pursue surgery and have done so for many posters on this board. Laura sought surgery for her second cervical ADR once she began seeing signs of muscle weakness and numbness. We didn't wait for the pain to ramp up because we knew what the situation was. She'd already been evaluated for the need for the 2nd cervical ADR when the first cervical surgery was done. We just hoped the second would stabilize where it was at that time and not need surgery. In your case, it sounds like the nerve impingement is causing you enough trouble that surgery should be on the list of potential options and Carr should, hopefully, engage with you about whether it's the path you want to take.
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Laura - L5S1 Charitee
C5/6 and 6/7 Prodisc C
Facet problems L4-S1
Knee, Shoulder, Toe, Finger, Elbow Problems

Jim - no spine problem but lots of other fun medical challenges

"There are many Annapurnas in the lives of men" Maurice Herzog

Last edited by annapurna; 02-23-2022 at 09:04 AM. Reason: spelling error
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  #3  
Old 02-23-2022, 01:48 PM
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LisaW LisaW is offline
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Thank you, this is a very helpful perspective! I do worry about the 2nd disc deteriorating to the level of the worse one, so hopefully this would prevent that.
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43 year-old woman in central California
3/20: L5-S1 microdiscetomy (no ADR), permanent saddle anesthesia due to Cuada Equina compression
9/21-Current: C5-C6 and C6-C7 herniations, severe canal and foraminal stenosis
Considering ADR for left arm/hand radiculopathy (numbness, pins & needles and moderate pain)
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2022, 07:52 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Lisa, what are your next steps?
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"Harrison" - info (at) adrsupport.org
Fell on my ***winter 2003, Canceled fusion April 6 2004
Reborn June 25th, 2004, L5-S1 ADR Charite in Boston
Founder & moderator of ADRSupport - 2004
Founder Arthroplasty Patient Foundation a 501(c)(3) - 2006
Creator & producer, Why Am I Still Sick? - 2012
Donate www.arthropatient.org/about/donate
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  #5  
Old 03-15-2022, 03:25 PM
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LisaW LisaW is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 4
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Hi Harrison. I had a transforaminal steroid epidural injection to see if that would help, and unsurprisingly it has not. We can try an interlaminar injection next, but I'm not optimistic that would do anything either.

So I have a follow up in 2 weeks with the surgeon. He thinks I have a bit more time to decide but in the next few months I will have to pull the trigger or risk permanent numbness. I'm starting to get numbness on my face now so if that continues I will be more aggressive with getting surgery soon. I'll keep you posted, thanks for checking!
__________________
43 year-old woman in central California
3/20: L5-S1 microdiscetomy (no ADR), permanent saddle anesthesia due to Cuada Equina compression
9/21-Current: C5-C6 and C6-C7 herniations, severe canal and foraminal stenosis
Considering ADR for left arm/hand radiculopathy (numbness, pins & needles and moderate pain)
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  #6  
Old 03-15-2022, 05:27 PM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,646
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While it's not my spine, I'd hesitate to regard the steroid injections as anything more than a way to control pain and numbness while you looked for a more permanent solution. Too many injections can actually weaken the connective tissue in the area and cause more problems down the road. I don't mean to keep pushing you to surgery but I'm afraid that the temporary care options you're being offered are buying time now at the expense of more problems in the future.
__________________
Laura - L5S1 Charitee
C5/6 and 6/7 Prodisc C
Facet problems L4-S1
Knee, Shoulder, Toe, Finger, Elbow Problems

Jim - no spine problem but lots of other fun medical challenges

"There are many Annapurnas in the lives of men" Maurice Herzog
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2022, 12:22 PM
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LisaW LisaW is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 4
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Thank you, I think that's a really valid point and one that I can considering heavily right now. Meeting with surgeon next week.
__________________
43 year-old woman in central California
3/20: L5-S1 microdiscetomy (no ADR), permanent saddle anesthesia due to Cuada Equina compression
9/21-Current: C5-C6 and C6-C7 herniations, severe canal and foraminal stenosis
Considering ADR for left arm/hand radiculopathy (numbness, pins & needles and moderate pain)
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