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May 10, 2008
O.K. I thought I would be having c-spine surgery the first of the year. I went to nuro- surgeon yesterday and he just does not feel comfortable doing it with other progressive symptoms non- diagnosed by nuro. for the last 8 months, so surgeon is taking matters into his own hands. I told him my regular Dr. feels I need the spine surgery and his response was, He is not the one responsible for how that turns out and maybe he should have been doing his own job the last year. So the surgeon is admitting me to hospital on 1-08-09 and doing something called a myelogram/ ct study and a spinal tap. These both seem rather painful but he feels they should have been done months ago. So he is determined to get to the bottom of this problem. He said in his opinion, c-spine surgery was not going to help most of my symptoms, [ BRISK REFLEXES, ATROPHY, WEAKNESS IN LEGS] He said it would help pain level and maybe some of the weakness in the right hand. I don't know has anyone ever had either of these test done and are they as painful as they sound? Thanks Renee
Hi Renee,
My father-in-law had a myleogram about 2 years post car accident. He did say it was quite uncomfortable, but was happy to have it done to get to the bottom of his back problems. I don't recall him saying it was over-the-top painful, but no walk in the park either. Ask if you're allowed to take 800mg or so of Motrin and maybe a Zanax (I know I spelled that one wrong! LOL) before the procedure. One for the pain, and the other to lower your anxiety levels so the perception / anticipation of potential discomfort will be a lot less. A little trick I learned years ago when going through a series of very uncomfortable medical testing myself!

Good luck! And this doctor seems like a great advocate! :)
hey Renee,
I had a cervical myelogram done in May 2007. The neuro I had seen for my numbness in my hands/feet, did an MRI of my neck, and thought he may have seen a "floater" on my MRI.
when I asked what the *%! a "floater" was, he told me it MIGHT be a bone fragment floating around that could be causing my numbness/tingling.

The myelogram wasn't too bad, I was on a table , on my stomach, the radiologist performed the same procedure used for a lumbar puncture, you know, the sterile field, big needle into the spinal cord, however, he numbed me first with lidocaine.

Then, if I recall correctly, he tilted the table with my feet in the air, so whatever "stuff" he injected would flow to my neck area. Then he took CT pictures. As with any procedure where they invade your spinal cord, I had to stay flat for about 4 or 5 hours afterward, they let me watch TV, my hubby got to sleep in the recliner beside the bed, and they even brought me lunch!

The reasoning to lie flat afterward is to avoid what's known as a "spinal headache". For me, it was a piece of cake, ended up I did not have any kind of floater. I guess the funniest part was when they strapped my feet to the table and I didn't know why, when they tilted the table, I understood it!:lol:
hope this helps a little,
and the nerve pill isn't a bad idea either,
I wanted to share that I observed a spinal tap recently of a very nervous patient who was quite frightened about the entire procedure....and it went so smoothly that she can now laugh about it. She experienced no pain during it (slight discomfort) and completely avoided the possible headache after. Follow the post-procedure directions and you should be fine. Hopefully this eases your anxiety a little :D

I like the sound of your neuro-surgeon; way to take charge!

one step backward may be two steps forward in this case. Best of luck to you~!~!

I had a spinal tap 10 yrs ago, it was not that bad. Done in office and sent home to lie in bed. I think what made it bad was that i was expecting it to be so painful, so everytime they would stick the needle by me I would jump. Then I just said do it! That one was for a diagnosed process.

I dont think it was any worse than my spinal block for my 3 c section's! Maybe borrow an ipod and play some good music. (you may have an ipod, I dont know why I said that. I am just out of date and dont have one but I want one!).

Good luck!
I am glad you have someone determined to get some answers!

Continued prayers and thoughts!

I agree with Jennifer. It sounds like the nuerosurgeon is honest and not just after the money.
Some don't care and are cut freaks, and you don't want that. Please hang in there get as many tests as possible so you can find out what is really going on. The spinal tap itself is not that bad, but I did need to lay down for 48 or when I put my head up I got a bad headache. They say drink plenty of soda with caffine
it helps with the headache. So be sure to arrange for help with your children afterwards
Thanks everyone

I feel like this Dr. is good as well, I was just surprised when he had so much info after seeing me just a couple of times that the other one did not share with me.

Crystal: caffeine is never a problem for me, 3 or 4 pots of coffee a day, right before bed doesn't even bother me. The kids on the other hand may be a problem. It is so hard to find people to watch them with out separating them all over town, My mom thinks the 7 year old is hers, my aunt thinks the world of the 5 year old boy and my sister gets dibs on the 5 year old girl. But considering I am the baby, and a old one, that makes all these people older than me and none of them think watching all three is much fun.Plus two of them have mild special needs. {don't seem mild when your caring for them}.
I have never had either however, my mother refused to have the spinal tap last year. Of course, she had fought whatever the doctor has

By the time she was diagnosed they no longer thought the spinal tap was needed.

One thing I have found is that a procedure's pain is subjective. What hurts some is just a bother to others.

I hope the procedures go well for you. If you can get any answers that will be a plus. I do hope you can get some relief soon.

You know how us Ky. girls are hard as nails. lol. Thanks for all the kind words.
way to go! Add one more of those tough KY girls to your cheering section-

we are...tough as nails!:mrgreen:
chin up!

I'm sorry I missed this thread until now. Please do keep in touch, and let us know what the myelogram/ ct study and a spinal tap find. ((hugs))

Hey i read your post, i have not been on in so long so could you answer some questions for me, you probably already have posted about them.... Did they find something on your cervical MRI? What did your EMG say? I have the up most respect for surgeons, they dont fool around and they dont guess! It was a surgeon who first noticed my atrophy, before me.... This surgeon sounds really good, i have never had either one of those tests, but i wish you the best of luck and pray that it is not painful! write soon, Sam

They found small compression and cyst on MRI and C8T1 radiculopathy on EMG of my right arm. The Surgeon does not believe and I do not know why C8 T1 radiclopathy has anything to do with compression. I will let you know. I think he is pretty good. Thanks for the well wishes.
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