Old 03-12-2009, 06:37 PM #1
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Default Does anyone need some possible GOOD NEWS?

We got into our orthopedic surgeon's office today...but saw his physician's assistant (also an orthopede...but working under the "big guy")

He was very confused about our predicament until he popped in the disc from our digital MRI's that we had done last week. Not knowing the disc format...they pulled up his thorasic images. While my husband was in x-ray...he called me out the nurse's station to look at the computer....I looked at the screen and said "what the hell is that?" He said "it's a herniated disc" to which I replied..."yeah..they saw that on the MRI's but said it was "unremarkable" on the reports"..he said.."that's why I like to look at the images and not just the reports....as an orthopedic dr...this is very remarkable"

He said a herniated disc in the lumbar region has lots of room and usually doesn't cause many problems...but in the thorasic area...it doesn't have much room and pushes directly against the spinal cord...and this one looks like it's doing just that.

He gave the disclaimer that he's just the PA and pushed up our appt to meet our surgeon to 3/23 (instead of 4/2)....but that from his perspective....this could be the cause of his paralysis and his neurological problems.

He has an appt to get a brace for his ankle (drop foot) on Mon...but they didn't want to fit him for an expensive one as they're hoping he's not going to need it for very long!

Could it really be THIS simple?

I sure hope so...the other specialists dismissed this all along...but it may be right back at our original back surgeon....

Keep us in your thoughts! I want to give everyone more good news if I can!

THANKS SO MUCH!

Tracy
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:40 PM #2
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Tracy ... that is FABULOUS ! Sometimes it just takes a doctor with an ounce of common sense to cut through the confusion.

Prayers coming your way. Glad the appt's been moved up. Keep your faith and hope alive!
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:47 PM #3
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THANK YOU Beth!

Can you believe it? I've never heard of someone being definitively diagnosed with something like this...only to have it be a herniated disc (lyme disease yet, MS yes, other more complicated things yes...but a herniated disc?). He does seem to think this could be the cause of all of his problems though.

We don't have a definitive yet...but this is the first good news we've really had.

I SO appreciate the prayers!
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:50 PM #4
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Yeah! Here's hoping that the simplest answer is the one. If it makes you feel better it was my PCP's PA that figured out the pernicious anemia. Sometimes PA's and nurses, although they do not have the same training as a Dr., are compelled by their curiosity and pragmaticism.

Fingers crossed and hoping for the best,

Robert
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:00 PM #5
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Tracy,

This is wonderful news! Keep at it, it may be true there is more than one problem coming into play, but nevertheless WOOOHOOO!
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:13 PM #6
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Thank you Robert! We really do and always have liked this dr. and his office! We just have to keep the faith!

Thank you Rose! He will probably have to have surgery on this disc...and then we'll have to wait through recouperation to see if these issues start resolving...but again...we have hope!
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:27 PM #7
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Wow, I have shivers....this is so wonderful! A herniated disk...!

Can't wait to hear the rest,

Lydia
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:09 PM #8
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great, great news, keep us posted, you are in my prayers, margaret
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:22 PM #9
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That is very optimistic news Tracy. You are still in my prayers too.
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:24 PM #10
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yippee!

Great news-anxious to hear about his next appt. In the meantime, perhaps you both can rest a bit?

And to Robert-thanks for the kind words to the other staff (ya know-nurses)
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:51 AM #11
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hi tracy,i have been keeping upto date with your posts.
i really really hope the answer to your husbands problems is so simple and they can treat it.
it makes you wonder how many out there have a als diagnosed who may not have als but something treatable,thats what 2nd,3rd ect opinions are for.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:46 AM #12
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THANK YOU EVERYONE!

This herniated disc was discovered back on Nov 11, 2008..but 4 neurologists dismissed it. My husband's herniation is at T-6/T-7 (neuro #2 is the one that diagnosed him with limb onset als and prescribed him Rilutek). This is what I'm finding in my reading...

"Blood vessels that run up and down the spine nourish the spinal cord. However, only one vessel, the anterior spinal artery, goes to the front of the spinal cord in the area between T4 and T9. Doctors call this section of the spine the critical zone. If this single vessel is damaged, as can happen with pressure from a herniated thoracic disc, the spinal cord has no other way to get blood. Left untreated, this section of the spinal cord dies, which can lead to severe problems of weakness or paralysis below the waist."

"The spinal cord may be injured when a thoracic disc herniates. The spinal canal of the thoracic spine is narrow, so the spinal cord is immediately in danger from anything that takes up space inside the canal. Most disc herniations in the thoracic spine squeeze straight back, rather than deflecting off to either side. As a result, the disc material is often pushed directly toward the spinal cord. A herniated disc can cut off the blood supply to the spinal cord. Discs that herniate into the critical zone of the thoracic spine (T4 to T9) can shut off blood from the one and only blood vessel going to the front of the spinal cord in this section of the spine. This can cause the nerve tissues in the spinal cord to die, leading to severe problems of weakness or paralysis in the legs."

"A herniated disc causes problems in two ways. First, the material that has ruptured into the spinal canal from the nucleus pulposus can cause pressure on the nerves in the spinal canal. There is also some evidence that the nucleus pulposus material causes a chemical irritation of the nerve roots. Both the pressure on the nerve root and the chemical irritation can lead to problems with how the nerve root functions. The combination of the two can cause pain, weakness, and/or numbness in the area of the body that the nerve usually goes.

The symptoms of a true herniated disc may not include back pain at all! The symptoms of a herniated disc come from pressure on, and irritation of, the nerves. In the thoracic spine area, this can include total paralysis of the legs. The symptoms of a herniated disc in the thoracic area usually include:
Pain that travels around the body and into one or both legs
Numbness or tingling in areas of one or both legs
Muscle weakness in certain muscles of one or both legs
Increased reflexes in one or both legs that can cause spasticity in the legs "

It's not an "easy" surgery (we were kind of hoping for outpatient) and we're reading a hospital stay ranging from 3-21 days depending on the procerdure needed and how he does afterward....but we feel like "CHECK HIM IN!" if this is it!

This next 10 days will probably drive me crazy but I'm going to focus on prayer and taking care of my husband and kids and we'll hopefully get the news we're hoping for!
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:54 AM #13
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Tag, I also have a herniated disk, but mine is in the lumbar region. I do beleive this is contributing to my leg problems. I would check out the Laser Spine Institute, I am considering going there for my problems. It sounds good on the website, but like anything you will need to do some research.

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Old 03-13-2009, 11:55 AM #14
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Wow, that is incredible. I hope it is that, I know I have said that already and can't think of any more creative ways to say it. I am crossing my fingers!

But really, how could they ignore that?

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Old 03-13-2009, 01:40 PM #15
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I hope and pray for you guys that this is the answer. This story brought tears to my eyes and made me smile at the same time. I sure do pray that this disk is the key and that everything will be just fine. I also hope for a similiar miracle for my husband.
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