Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 8 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • connect2maryk
    Participant
    Post count: 8

    Hello- I had a Schwannoma Intradural Extramedullary Tumor removed by a Decompressive Laminectomy in May 2008, before surgery I was experiencing sensations in my right arm, cervical MRI was clear.
    After surgery the debilitating pain was gone; however, two years down the road I started to experience bizzare sensations (right side). I feel as if I am walking on glass, I am lucky if I get two hours of sleep a night, bizzare electrical sensations, pulsating pains, etc.
    I had an EMG I was told there was no nerve damage, but it was neurological. Lower Lumbar MRI does not mention scar tissue, it does mention “Laminectomy changes are seen again?”
    I also have a separate issue of L5-S1 anterolisthesis w/moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing, but with no significant central canal stenosis. There was no abnormal thickening of the cauda equine nerve roots.
    I know a large root had atrophied during the time the schwannoma was in my Dura. I know I had to have the tumor removed.
    I have seen several specialists. I hear Fibromyalgia and I have heard once, only once you can expect to be the same after surgery.
    I have MRI’s. How can I find answers? I belong to a university health plan and am so dismayed.
    I don’t know how I function at work, no sleep and I cannot sit for long periods. I have lost 20lbs, exercise… everything positive, but it does not alleviate the pain. My husband has told me I am a empty shell compared to what I used to be.
    Is it possible to have symptoms in your right side (shoulder blade included) after lower lumbar surgery?
    Can I have anyone look at my MRI’s and will I be able to get validation?
    My surgeon (2008) told me to trust my own body, no one knows your body better than you do. I only wish I would receive validation and a proper course of treatment.
    Thank you,
    Mary

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8409

    What level was the schwannoma at and on what side? Did the symptoms you currently have start two years after the schwannoma removal or did they start immediately after the removal?

    The symptoms you currently have (“I feel as if I am walking on glass, I am lucky if I get two hours of sleep a night, bizzare electrical sensations, pulsating pains, etc”) are generally not radiculopathic (related to nerve root compression). Nerve compression pain includes pins and needles, numbness, pain and ache along a specific pattern (dermatome).

    However, you do have probable compression of the L5 nerve roots by report; (“I also have a separate issue of L5-S1 anterolisthesis w/moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing”). Look at the section regarding “Symptoms of lumbar nerve injuries” to see if any of your current symptoms fit with an L5 nerve injury.

    You can use epidurals and selective nerve root blocks to help determine the origin of your symptoms. See those sections and “pain diary” to understand the concepts of using nerve blocks for diagnosis. If the symptoms are generated by the isthmic spondylolisthesis at L5-S1, you can have that level surgically addressed. If these symptoms are generated by the old schwannoma site, a spinal cord stimulator (see website) can be helpful.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    connect2maryk
    Participant
    Post count: 8

    Dr. Corenman,
    Thank you so much for your response!!! My schwannoma was on the right side. I had a laminectomy of L1, L2 and portions of L3. They started gradually after the schwannoma. The debilitating pain was gone. I did have issues with my back, but the paled in comparison. I was surprised that the sensation that lingered was my left second toe (glass sensation). I was surprised because it was my right side that was affected.
    Last week I was sent to a new neurosurgeon and he confirmed your thoughts of L5 nerve injury, but he told me that the feeling of “walking on glass” is not related to that specific area. I should be having the sensation on the top of my feet?
    You are an absolute blessing with this board. I have had so many responses from physicians where I believe they feel it is psychological… but the pain is so very real.
    Thank you so much,
    Mary

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8409

    The L5 nerves are affected with an isthmic spondylolisthesis of L5-S1. This is why this surgeon thought you should be developing symptoms on the top of your feet. The L5 nerve essentially stops at the top of the foot but the inside bottom of the foot (big toe side) could also be affected.

    The feeling of walking on glass (allodynia) is generally from an actual intrinsic nerve root injury and not from nerve root compression. The difference is that when you remove compression from a nerve root, the compressive pain will generally abate but with an injured nerve root, this pain will generally remain. Read “chronic radiculopathy” and “nerve damage and healing” on this website.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    connect2maryk
    Participant
    Post count: 8

    Dear Dr. Corenman,

    Thank you for all your suggestions and directions it has been very helpful. I am still bouncing back and forth in the system. I am due to have a CAT Scan of the L5-S1 next week to view fractures.
    I had a cervical CAT Scan on the 15th, the neurosurgeon asked if my doctor had informed me of the lucenies. I had not been notified. I requested my report from member services today and it read, “Numerous small lucencies are noted throughout the vertebral bodies and posterior elements. Findings raise the possibility of a marrow replacing process such as metastatic disease or multiple myeloma. No evidence of a pathologic fracture.
    I emailed my doctor to tell her the surgeon informed me and I requested my report. She responded with ordering bloodwork for multiple myeloma. Two years and counting with no one believing me.. if I didn’t insist on a recheck for my Schwannoma I wouldn’t be as far as I am today. Does every lucency suggest cancer? Thank you- Mary

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8409

    Bone lucency can mean many things and cancer is one of them. Your doctor is correct in looking for a cause including multiple myeloma. Be assured that there are other non-malignant processes that can cause these defects too.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 8 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.