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Thread: Looking for answers

  1. #1

    Looking for answers

    I am hoping someone has some answers or suggestions for us. My son broke his C2/C3 two and one half years ago. He has recovered significantly. This morning he woke up and his weak side and strong side both seemed to have lost strength. He figured he must have slept on them wrong, which seemed correct since they seemed to go back to “normal”. (His normal) Then, just as he was getting ready to leave the house for school his right arm (bad side) AND his left arm just started losing sensation and strength rapidly. He said it felt like the weakness was moving down so he lay down on his bed in case his legs gave out. After about 5 minutes his arms started to slowly return to normal. (Again, his normal, not normal, normal) He called us at work because he was very concerned.

    His dad called the rehab hospital where Kyle did his inpatient rehab and talked to the head of the hospital. (A great guy, by the way. Always helpful) He suggested that we take him to the ER since the onset was so rapid. The ER doc was difficult at first and suggested my son go to his PT to have his range of motion tested. I am thinking, “Are you kidding? I need an answer as to why it happened in the first place.” After my being pushy and making the doctor mad he agreed to a CT scan, which showed that his neck continues to be stable – no movement of vertebrae seen. But due to the hardware, there were so many artifacts that he was unable to really view much else. So, reluctantly, he ordered an MRI, which will be done this evening.

    This episode was very frightening for Kyle. The thought of losing any strength or function is a scary thought. He has come a long way from those first months on a ventilator.

    Have any of you ever experienced something like this? If so, what caused it? Did it happen more than once? It came on so fast - and I was just remarking a few days ago that he still seems to be improving. I feel like we can never let our guard down with this stupid injury.

    Sorry this is so long. I would sure appreciate any information or ideas that anyone might have. It worries me to no end.

    Thanks so much

  2. #2
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    I'm not nurse or doctor, but here's my two cents. He may have a syrinx (cyst) in his spinal cord (search for "syrinx" or "syringomyelia" to find more threads on this topic, including symptoms and the surgery to treat it - untethering is now the preferred method over shunting.) I would suggest an MRI pronto. I don't know if your local ER has access to an MRI machine, but, if they do, that may be the quickest way to get one done.

    Good luck.

    Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

  3. #3
    I agree with Alan. If there is too much artifact on the MRI due to his hardware, then a spinal CT with delayed contrast is the next best test for this. It may not show up with just a regular CT scan.


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