Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Arm numbness w/ neck injuries in a accident

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 15 Replies
  • Posted By: ShannaLynn
  • June 8, 2007
  • 02:48 AM

I was in a rearend collision in Dec 06. Initially diagnosed with with chronic whiplash syndrome. A few weeks after the accident I had severe pain, headaches, could NOT turn my head left to right nor put my chin to my chest. At which time I had an MRI and CAT scan done. The results were that I have moderatly severe disc degeneration in C4-C5 Left being greater than right, mild spinal stenosis, and bone spurs. It is May now and I still have pain shooting, sharp, numbness down my left arm periodically. This afternoon my doctor did an EMG on my left arm only and told me that the numbness is due to Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. BTW I'm right handed?!?!? He ONLY tested my arm and did not even go near my neck with the needles. I don't have even one symptom of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and the pain is NOT in my wrists or hands. It's in my upper arm that ends with tingling in my pinkie, forfinger, and occasionally my thumb. My neck is always sore also. I'm more upset than ever. None of this makes sense at all to me....If it's any relevance at all this is a work related auto accident so I'm have to deal with Alaska Workers Comp. Please oh please can someone help me with this misdiagnosis....

Thank you

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15 Replies:

  • There are different carpal tunnel/ulnar nerve symptons. What does WrongDiagnosis.com say when you put in just the arm symptoms? Sometimes my carpal even caused me to feel a phantom pain like someone was touching me behind my shoulder. What's your age. Are your discs degenerating due to age, weight or what. Try the ulnar nerve diagnosis first. If you believe in chiropractic, have you been adjusted? Previously experienced pain (your whiplash), develops pathways... so to break that cycle, try a pain clinic. Good luck.
    rad-skw 1,605 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you for your response. The thing of it is is that my doctor, a physiatrist has been treating me for all of the things that are related to pain from the accident. I did not have pain before this accident at all. I'm 30 and the disc degeneration is not age related at all. I don't know what or how I incurred any of that but nonetheless it seems to me that my doctor just tried to find an easy route to explain the occasional numbness rather than do the tests on my neck. I'm inclined to think that it's because workers compensation that puts limits on what doctors are willing to do to treat patients. I don't believe that the pain/numbness is from CTS because I did'nt have these issues before. I'm to the point now that I just want to settle the personal injury suit get whatever I'm entitled to monetarily and do what I feel is best for my body. I feel like a hamster on a spin wheel with these doctors.Thank you again for you help. Have a good day:)
    ShannaLynn 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • The degeneration is not due to weight either. I excercise regularly, eat healthy etc. Maybe I was dropped on my head when I was a baby or something...LOL
    ShannaLynn 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • A psychiatrist is treating you for the pain from your accident? Are you kidding?:confused: That just seems crazy to me... Please consider acupuncture - it is extremely helpful for all of your symptoms, and will directly deal with the pain you are experiencing. Since this is a worker's comp case, my sympathies are with you! Worker's comp is a pain, and often they delay treatments that can really offer relief. Does wc cover acupuncture in AK? If so, then please beg your doc to give you a referral. I have often found that acupuncture is the only thing that gives my patients any lasting relief. If you have a lawyer you might want to ask that they put pressure on your doc for a referral. It is nasty business, and so much beaurocratic red tape to deal with - often a lawyer is the best way to go (unfortunately). At the very least try taking a glucosamine, chondrointin, MSM supplement to help with the disc degeneration - this will take at least 3-6 months before noticing real results, but you should notice results and a decrease in pain. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies Flag this Response
  • Not a psychiatrist, a pHYSIAtrist...Supposedly they specialize in sports injuries. Either way he still sucks!!! I do have myofascial release done which helps tremendously as long as I can get at least once a week. I know for sure that the numbness in the left arm is a result of whatever is going on in my neck. Last night I had my fiance rub my neck/shoulders and when he put pressure there it caused my arm to go numb and hand to tingle. So much for this being CTS!! Why can't they just examine/run tests on my neck since this is when ALL symptoms started? I do know when I am having disc pain because it's pinchy in my neck and the pain that radiates from there into extremities but does'nt feel the same. I'll think about acupuncture though. Anything that will help. Lawyers is another story...I can't even get one to talk to me until my claim has been controverted which may be the case tomorrow since I have an independent medical exam in the AM.Thank you for your suggestions and time:)
    ShannaLynn 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • A psychiatrist is treating you for the pain from your accident? Are you kidding?:confused: That just seems crazy to me... Oops, my bad - I need better glasses:p ! Glad you are at least getting some relief from the myofascial release. Hope you are able to get your claim settled soon. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had an auto accident in 1993 and had pain in my rotator cuff area and numbness in my left arm also. I had been treater for rotator cuff problems. In 2007 my left arm went almost completely numb. I went to an orthapedic and he pretty much had a good idea what it was right away. I have spinal stenosis, a pinched nerve in my neck vertebrae area going out of the left side of my vertibrae. I believe it was C6-C7 area. I would encourage you to look at possible a pinched nerve. My physician did an X-ray and an MRI and confirmed my problem. I have also been having alot of headaches. I am actually getting a cervical injection this week. I hope it helps. Good luck in figuring out your problem.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 12, 2007
    • 01:44 AM
    • 0
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  • Day by day, our spines degenerate. Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is part of the natural process of growing older. Unfortunately, as we age, our intervertebral discs lose their flexibility, elasticity, and shock absorbing characteristics. The ligaments that surround the disc called the annulus fibrosis, become brittle and they are more easily torn. At the same time, the soft gel-like center of the disc, called the nucleus pulposus, starts to dry out and shrink. The combination of damage to the intervertebral discs, the development of bone spurs, and a gradual thickening of the ligaments that support the spine can all contribute to degenerative arthritis of the lumbar spine. Degenerative disc disease is as certain as death and taxes, and to a certain degree this process happens to everyone. Some people swear by acupuncture, chiropractic or your local pain clinic. Once path sets up a neural pathway, it can keep reoccuring even if nothing shows up on the tests. It sounds like you have some nerve entrapment of the upper arm or shoulder. I would go to a pain clinic because it is faster, and will make you much less anxious.
    rad-skw 1,605 Replies
    • September 13, 2007
    • 09:58 AM
    • 0
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  • i hate to say this but i must. your sx sound like thoracic outlet syndrome is a distinct possiblility. very few docs know how to test for TOS; you must find a specialist - usually a neurologist with a history of tx'ing TOS (some neuros do not "believe" in neurogenic TOS, so be careful to get one who does). you need someone to run the show and order proper testing, together with a consult with a top vascular surgeon to confirm the TOS dx. PT can be harmful unless you get someone trained to work with a TOS'er.a standard EMG/NCV study is not likely to show much unless evoked potential technology is used and the test is done all the way up the arm and across the brachial plexus to test the C-8 and T-1 spinal nerves up the neck. neither will plain vanilla MRI's of the cervical spine or the BP reveal much, but they must be done in the process of ruling certain aspects out or in... TOS dx remains largely a clinical one, so be sure to gather copies of every single test you have done and bring it with you to each specialist. you really need to see someone who has a history of treating this neurovascular entrapment disorder. it is a particularly sticky wicket and can be nasty indeed unless a good tx plan is put into place in a timely manner.there is a very good TOS forum on the www.neurotalk.psychcentral.com site which will provide you will a great deal of information and support if you are interested. the stickys at the top contain a list by state of TOS docs, which you may find helpful as well. many, many tx options other than surgery are available for TOS patients and you will find lots of ways to explore them there.i hope that i'm wrong, as i have a raging case of TOS myself and would not wish this on anybody. but knowledge is power. your instincts are already telling you something is amiss with the care you have received so far. i would go with that. just be aware there is some controversy surrounding this area of medicine and you must be careful to get the very best. i wish you godspeed.alisongood luck to you - TOS can be very painful. it is definitely difficult to dx and many find it resistant to tx if not caught early enough or given the proper attention. it mimics many other disorders, including CTS, cubital-tunnel syndrome and cervical ridiculopathy, all of which need to be ruled out as well.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 22, 2007
    • 02:07 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Wow, reading your story brings back a lot of memories for me. My dad was hit from behind in a car accident in 1997. He was sitting still and got hit a 60mph. He went to the ER, because he was in pain. They gave him meds and sent him home. Over the next five yrs, he fought with workman's comp, because his accident was work related too. He also sued his employer. Due to his level of pain from the DD and his also had numbness in his left hand (his was right handed too), he file for disablity. It took three years from his accident to finally get approved for disablity. In that time his lost everything he owned. After he was approved they did give him some back pay and he was able to try to start over again. During this whole process he was going to a pain clinic. Our family was greatly concerned about his treatment with them, because they seemed more interested in writing prescriptions than treating his actual problems. He finally saw a wonderful neuro who suggested fusion surgery. He had that done in late 2000. The surgery helped, but after a while he developed scar tissue which pinched the nerves going to his arm even more. The next part of my story really doesn't apply to you, but I think you need to be aware how WRONG workman's comp can be. My dad developed cancer in January 2002. He needed to go thru radiation and chemo to possibly be cured, but his pain was so out of control at the time he couldn't stand to lay flat on the radiation table. His doctor's with workman's comp tried to get his approved for a perm pain pump. After many denials, they finally agreed to one the was temp, but was suppose to help. This was 6 months after being told he had cancer. By this time, we had made the decision as a family to not fight anymore. He was put on hospice care. When he died in November of 2002, he had an IV, oral meds, and a pain patch all for pain. And believe it or not he could still drive himself around. Albeit not a good idea, but he did. I feel like you need to know our story, because you need to know to fight and fighting. Don't settle anything until you know how much damage you really have. My dad settled with his former employer for only a yrs wages. That wasn't near enough to pay for everything we went thru. I wish you the best of luck and you are in my prayers....
    mz ldh 24 Replies
    • September 22, 2007
    • 00:46 PM
    • 0
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  • It's been several years and I am still not correctly diagnosed. Left my occupation of 20 years in 2005 due to neck pain, arm and hand numbness, arm pain, shoulder pain, etc. Diagnosed first with TOS, then with Carpal tunnel bilateral, then told not my neck (cervical disc herniation C4/5 and bulge C 5/6, degenerative disc disease since 1992) that are causing arm and hand symptoms. Have carpal tunnel surgery left hand but did nothing to alleviate symptoms so back to the drawing board. Left arm got so painful with nerve pain and numbness could not use it much at all for over a week so went to another neurosurgeon for another opinion. This doctors says yes it is my neck causing symptoms. So far 4 different neurologists and 3 different neurosurgeons seen and all gave me different opinions!!! Don't know what to do now. You mentioned a website www.neurotalk..... Tried to connect to this site but could not connect to their server. Could you let me know if the address in your reply on 9/22 is still correct? I even re-typed it but still nothing. Thanks for your help. Christina
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 24, 2007
    • 06:48 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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  • Most of the auto accident victims can experience pain even after 1-2 years of being injured in an accident. You should consult a specialist to see if you suffered any brain injuries which might be resulting in pain. You should speak with an auto accident attorney
    accident-law 2 Replies
    • September 10, 2009
    • 04:15 PM
    • 0
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  • you godspeed.of which need to be ruled out as well.you should contact New York, NYC Workers Compensation Claim Lawyers: that represents victims of work accidents, on the job accidents and those who have filed workers compensation claim within New York State including Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. When someone is injured at work, their employer must have Workers Compensation insurance for them. This insurance pays for lost earnings, medical bills, and other benefits.
    accident-law 2 Replies
    • September 14, 2009
    • 02:18 PM
    • 0
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  • You need a whiplash treatment. Sometimes a wrong diagnosis can lead you further complication.
    jerrysmithly 2 Replies
    • October 17, 2012
    • 06:56 AM
    • 0
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  • Spinal stenosis can cause your symptoms. The car wreck probably caused inflamation and thus it has become symptomatic. Sometimes this condition has few symptoms, but it can otherwise produce a huge range of problems, especially if you aggravate your spine in an accident. Pain, numbness, & tingling in the arms or hands are some of the symptoms that suggest nerve root compression. Severe cervical spinal stenosis can involve both nerve and spinal cord compression and can cause problems with arms and legs or your whole body. I have spine problems from C2 to tailbone and have had two surgeries for spinal stenosis. I've had LOTSA symptoms. Too many to list, & many that doctors aren't familiar with. I suggest u consult a neurologist, orthopedist, or neurosurgeon for a second opinion but try non-surgical treatment such as pain mgt. Degenerative disc disease is common from aging, but spinal stenosis is unfortunately a more severe complication of DDD that can require surgery, esp when it's in the neck & severely compresses ur spinal cord like mine did. I've had cervical & lumbar surgeries & tho it's scarier, the neck surgery was far easier & more successful than the lumbar surgery. I was in a rearend collision in Dec 06. Initially diagnosed with with chronic whiplash syndrome. A few weeks after the accident I had severe pain, headaches, could NOT turn my head left to right nor put my chin to my chest. At which time I had an MRI and CAT scan done. The results were that I have moderatly severe disc degeneration in C4-C5 Left being greater than right, mild spinal stenosis, and bone spurs. It is May now and I still have pain shooting, sharp, numbness down my left arm periodically. This afternoon my doctor did an EMG on my left arm only and told me that the numbness is due to Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. BTW I'm right handed?!?!? He ONLY tested my arm and did not even go near my neck with the needles. I don't have even one symptom of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and the pain is NOT in my wrists or hands. It's in my upper arm that ends with tingling in my pinkie, forfinger, and occasionally my thumb. My neck is always sore also. I'm more upset than ever. None of this makes sense at all to me....If it's any relevance at all this is a work related auto accident so I'm have to deal with Alaska Workers Comp. Please oh please can someone help me with this misdiagnosis....Thank you
    rockfish 4 Replies
    • November 8, 2012
    • 00:21 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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