Concussions - Head and Neck Injury/Opinion
QUESTION: Hello, a few months back I went to see a neurologist as I had noticed I was losing muscle in my right hand (most noteably between the index finger and thumb). There's noticeable loss of strength and at times I even have problems typing/writing. There's no pain (other than occasional) nor numbness nor tingling. I thought something might either be pinched in the shoulder or perhaps something was going wrong with the neck surgery I had about 8 years ago. I finally had an MRI and received the following (in the mail) from the neurologist:
Below are the results of your recent lab tests: MRI C spine (neck)
Impressipn: Anterior cervical fixation of C5-C7 with significant relief of previously identified central canal narrowing in this region. Multilevel mild to moderate degenerative chan ges (wear and tear) noted.
There was no explaination (in terms I could understand) so I'm hoping you might be able to decypher it for me! It seems there is some wear and tear but is it the cause of the problem I'm having with my hand.
ANSWER: Miss Christine,
As I cannot tell for sure without seeing you and/or your films, I can tell you that the C6 Nerve Root is what supplies that portion of your hand. It makes sense that what they did would be causing this problem. I almost never recommend surgery because usually that is not the answer. Not only that, but there are almost always future surgeries recommended to try and help with the problems that it has caused.
You paid your neurologist for your visit and test correct?
So you should be entitled to a proper explanation from him or her and not an impersonal letter in jibberish.
I am still so shocked that the neurologist will have a waiting list for patients that don't do much better afterwards and don't show proper caring mannerisms.
It basically means that the surgery was successful and that you also have some degeneration in that area too.
I think that you should request to talk to your neurologist for an explanation from him/her.
I wish I could give you some better information. I am typically the doctor who talks people out of surgery and helps them to get well in about 6 months to 2 years without any surgery whatsoever.
All The Best,
Dr Robert Arnone
St Louis, MO
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hello Dr. Arnone,
I had the neck surgery back in 2004 and one of the vertebrae was replaced with one from a cadaver. After the surgery I had no problems...this started about 6 months ago. No, I don't make any payments to physicians as care is provided free via the VA Hospital system. Perhaps that's why I've never heard back from the Neurologist. I will notify the Family Practice doctor -- mayhaps there's a different neurosurgeon that I can see. Even so, I would love to hear your recommendations for non-evasive treatment. It might even be possible to get the films online (I can ask).
Thanks so much!
If I can analyze your films it will really make a huge difference in me being able to give you much more accurate information. Of course without examining you as well as your films there is some degree of limitation but I will do the best that I can with what I have to work with.
The main ways that my non-invasive care is so different from anything that you and most others have tried are:
They are interested in symptoms only, and since symptoms are the effects of the problem rather than the problem itself, it will never truly correct.
What I do is completely focused on cause only, this way if we are able to locate the problem and correct it then we can truly help to fix it so it doesn't keep coming back to get you.
I am working with your nervous system to allow it to function properly. Since your nervous system is the main controller of all cells this is what is needed in nearly all cases.
As a specialist, I focus specifically on the cervical spine because that is where the true problem usually is and because of the dramatic impact on the busy as a whole from the brainstem and also the spinal cord.
Also, when we are able to get pressure off the brainstem and help to restore proper cervical spine alignment, it will always help the rest of the spine including the pelvis and legs to be balanced and stable.
I am just finding over the years that if we can find a problem in the neck that this specific, precise and accurate care is exactly what is needed for best possible results.
If you can send me films, I would be happy to analyze them for you and let you know my best recommendations for you according to the information that I have.
All the best,
St Louis, MO