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Thread: i am new here-recent MRI for wife shows area at c3 to c4 spinal cord

  1. #1

    i am new here-recent MRI for wife shows area at c3 to c4 spinal cord

    My wife has numbness to temperature on complete left side of her body except head and on the right side her arm has limited motion with weakness especially the further she extends her arm. She is 31 years old with no prior anything or family history she did fall about 5 feet the week before but had no soreness or bruising and was fine all week. Since the night this has came on we have been to the ER with xrays and cat scans that showed nothing so they recommended orthopedics which had MRI done of whole spinal cord it showed c3 and c4 brighter than the rest of spinal cord. The orthopedic said it could be a contusion or the outer sheathing damaged with the nerves exposed but said he doesn't know so he is sending us to an neurologist and it sounds like we may be doing a brain MRI next. I am not sure what i am expecting writing this just thought i would share and see what you'll thoughts we're. I can't sleep anyway to worried about the wife. I do work 2 full time jobs and have 2 kids one of them 1 year old so it may take me time in between writings thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Are the bones surrounding the injury site stable? How long ago did this happen? It sounds as if she has what is called an incomplete spinal cord injury. This is where the cord is damaged but not severed. If this is a recent injury, her prognosis is unknown.

    You are being sent to a neurologist because it is not bone. Orthopedic doctors only deal with bones. Neurologists deal with the spinal column as well as the brain. The neurologist will be able to explain the injury better and give you information regarding her long term recovery. You do not say where you live but she does need a neurologist that specializes in SCI. I am the mom/caregiver of an incomplete C-2 with TBI and Ryan has educated his neurologist (and shocked him with increased recovery at each follow-up visit. This doctor has never seen anyone like Ryan before (no one in this area has, even the specialists at rehab in Atlanta underestimated his potential.

    Biggest thing is do not freak out. There are many people on this board who can not only give you information and support, they are living lives with injuries more pronounced that it sounds like your wife's is. Life is different but can be meaningful and productive. Having small children is a challenge.

    I do not mean to sound cold and uncaring, but it sounds like she is still very functional and therefore is luckier than most SCI patients.--eak

  3. #3
    Hello and welcome, wpm. It sounds like the MRI of your wife's spinal cord has revealed some areas of inflammation, but without further testing it's impossible to say what they signify - so it's good she's having further workup with a neurologist. Try to take it a step at a time, I know this is a shocking and unexpected development and it's very stressful. You'll find a lot of good information on this site. Keep us posted.

  4. #4
    Did the physician mention MS (multiple sclerosis)? These findings could be related to MS, esp. if they are looking now at the brain. Unfortunately she is at the most common age for this diagnosis, and it is more common in females. What is her ethnic background? It is most common in those who are Caucasian from Northern European backgrounds.

    MS is not a death sentence, and there are treatments that can slow its progression. Please come back and post more so that we can help you with resources if that is her diagnosis.

    (KLD)

  5. #5

    amanda/response

    Quote Originally Posted by ekephart View Post
    Are the bones surrounding the injury site stable? How long ago did this happen? It sounds as if she has what is called an incomplete spinal cord injury. This is where the cord is damaged but not severed. If this is a recent injury, her prognosis is unknown.

    You are being sent to a neurologist because it is not bone. Orthopedic doctors only deal with bones. Neurologists deal with the spinal column as well as the brain. The neurologist will be able to explain the injury better and give you information regarding her long term recovery. You do not say where you live but she does need a neurologist that specializes in SCI. I am the mom/caregiver of an incomplete C-2 with TBI and Ryan has educated his neurologist (and shocked him with increased recovery at each follow-up visit. This doctor has never seen anyone like Ryan before (no one in this area has, even the specialists at rehab in Atlanta underestimated his potential.

    Biggest thing is do not freak out. There are many people on this board who can not only give you information and support, they are living lives with injuries more pronounced that it sounds like your wife's is. Life is different but can be meaningful and productive. Having small children is a challenge.

    I do not mean to sound cold and uncaring, but it sounds like she is still very functional and therefore is luckier than most SCI patients.--eak

    ekephart thanks for the response and yes the bones are stable. This happened 8 days ago and yes the prognosis is unknown. It sounds like Ryan is a fighter and i wish him the best as well as you. I'm not freaking out and i do realize it could be worse. I am just trying to educate myself. We live in Jacksonville Florida and are waiting for a Neurologist appt. as of right now 4/19 and hoping Monday that will change.

  6. #6

    amanda/response

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnette View Post
    Hello and welcome, wpm. It sounds like the MRI of your wife's spinal cord has revealed some areas of inflammation, but without further testing it's impossible to say what they signify - so it's good she's having further workup with a neurologist. Try to take it a step at a time, I know this is a shocking and unexpected development and it's very stressful. You'll find a lot of good information on this site. Keep us posted.


    Thanks

  7. #7

    amanda/response

    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Did the physician mention MS (multiple sclerosis)? These findings could be related to MS, esp. if they are looking now at the brain. Unfortunately she is at the most common age for this diagnosis, and it is more common in females. What is her ethnic background? It is most common in those who are Caucasian from Northern European backgrounds.

    MS is not a death sentence, and there are treatments that can slow its progression. Please come back and post more so that we can help you with resources if that is her diagnosis.

    (KLD)


    She i Caucasian and i do realize it is in the age range but the causes online say Most likely MS occurs as a result of some combination of genetic, environmental and infectious factors, she has no family history and the environmental part i took as organ phosphates like pesticides weed killers which she hasn't been around and infectious factors i took as complications with hospital meds. So i was thinking or hoping it might have something more to do with the fall a week prior to this happening thanks for the info

  8. #8
    No, it is not chemical exposure. For some reason, MS is more common in those who lived through adolescence north of the 40th parallel (in the northern hemisphere). For example, there is a 5X higher rate of MS in Boston compared to Miami. Where did she grow up?

    As far as genetics, it is as I mentioned, Northern European, especially Scandanavian, Scottish, English, Irish, German, Lowland Countries and French. My mother, who is half Norwegian, has MS, and also has no family history of this. Of course MS was only really well diagnosed since the 1980s (with the advent of MRIs), so those with it previously were often mis-diagnosed with something else.

    The infectious "trigger" theory is an unproven theory, and no actual agent has been identified. It is most probably a virus if it does exist, and transmission, and timing of any actual infection (probably with no symptoms at all) is unclear.

    (KLD)

  9. #9
    thanks for the reply. She lived in st. louis for 5 years then jacksonville florida so maybe that is a positive. It sounds like there are alot of questions still out there about MS. I am hopeful that when she fell it either whiplashed her neck or the jar effect of impact and that she will fully recover but the saying is plan for the worst hope for the best. I hope your mother is doing well.

  10. #10
    ok today i am reading the MRI results focal area of increased signal within left lateral margin of the cervical cord extending from the mid body of c3 to the mid body of c4. This signal is somewhat atypical for a cord contusion. No prevertebral swelling. This could represent a demyelinating process. No idea what demyelinating process is. The way it was explained to me is basically exposed nerves the sheathing is deteriorated.

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