|05-08-2002, 02:48 AM||#1|
Join Date: Feb 2002
Question about a prolapsed disk for Dr. Young or sci nurses
My mum had surgery for a prolapsed disk about 5 years ago. I think it was the C6 area. For the past 9 months she has been experiencing hypersensitivity down her thumbs, forearms and index fingers and she is experiencing a loss of grip in her thumbs and fingers. It has become worse over the last two weeks. She had been on the waiting list in England for 4 months for an appointment to see her consultant who operated on her last time, but his registra saw her. He said that it proberly was a second prolapsed disk and put her on the urgent waiting list for an MRI. He did some tests on her like touched the bottom of her feet and she almost killed him they were that sensitive.
When she had the first operation her consultant told her that the a second disk at C7 could go the same way as the first a some point. He said that this would affect her hands and tricepts, but not her legs. And at first her hands and thumbs were the only thing to suffer, but now her balance is going and she is experiencing weaknesses in her leg muscles: she has difficulty holding her leg up in certain exercises (she is an aerobics instructor).
When the first disk went, 5 years ago, she was reluctant to go to the doctor. She left it so long that she frequently lost her balance and fell on the floor, unable to get up, and was incontinent. She was still doing aerobics classes and running her shop as a full time manager, lifting heavy boxes and such. When she went to the consultant finally he wanted to admit her that day (and subsiquently cancel his golfing weekend) to operate on her, but she refused because she needed someone to look after the shop and us kids. However this time she is constantly on the phone to his secutary trying to find out what is happening as she still has no appointment through for an MRI. (the state of the NHS in England is diabolical)
She is experiencing headaches and her balance is starting to go, the other morning she woke up and said her mouth and chin was numb but regained sensation once she got up. She also said that it feels like she has swallowed something that has got lodged in the back of her neck (she says that the back of her neck at C7 is very painful)
She is still teaching aerobics and lifting heavy things against my (and presumably the doctor's advice).
Is there any risk that if an appointment doesn't come soon she will have perminant damage to her spinal cord?
Will the symptoms she has now go once the disk has been removed/repaired?
Are the headaches and the other symptoms I have mentionned characteristic of a prolapsed disk?
|05-08-2002, 06:44 AM||#2|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: New Brunswick, NJ, USA
If your mother's symptoms are as you describe, putting your mother on a waiting list for an emergency MRI is unconscionable. Perhaps you should have your mother show the following abstract to the registrar. It is a study carried out in London and published in 1988.
• Maurice-Williams RS and Richardson PL (1988). Spinal cord compression: delay in the diagnosis and referral of a common neurosurgical emergency. Br J Neurosurg. 2 (1): 55-60. Summary: In 76 consecutive patients with spinal cord compression the process of diagnosis and referral was investigated. This investigation was carried out at the time of admission to the neurosurgical unit when it was possible to obtain fresh information about each patient's pre-admission management. All the patients had been referred from District General Hospitals and 71 had previously consulted their general practitioners. Sixty-two per cent took over a week from the time they first saw their own doctor to reach the referring hospital, after reaching hospital 47% of patients waited a week or more before they were referred to a neurosurgeon. During the process of referral, the proportion of patients able to walk unaided and control their sphincters fell from 68% to 10% while the proportion with complete cord lesions rose from 1.5% to 28%. In 48% of cases there had been delays in diagnosis and referral which appeared avoidable. The reasons for these delays and their effect on the eventual outcome are assessed. Royal Free Hospital, London, United Kingdom.