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brayimee (@brayimee)

Vertebral hemangiomas

Spine Health | Last Active: Aug 16, 2020 | Replies (12)

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@brayimee Hi Aimee. I also have 2 or 3 hemangiomas in my thoracic spine and they are not an issue; they are asymptomatic and I only know about them because of the MRI. Your symptoms of leg weakness and bowel/bladder issues are a red flag for spinal cord compression, and if you have that, it can cause permanent nerve damage and permanent incontinence if left untreated to progress. My recommendation is to see a neurosurgeon about your neck, not a chiropractor. If you have a herniated disc, the chiropractor manipulating that can cause permanent damage. Here's an example of why…. I was having gait instability and weakness walking when my cervical spine was out of alignment when muscle spasms were moving the vertebrae around. I was found to have 2mm of retrolisthesis (backward slipping) of C5 over C6, and my spinal cord was compressed by the ruptured disc and bone spurs so there was no fluid space around the spinal cord at that level. I would limp and have bladder retention, and then at my physical therapy appointment, my PT realigned my vertebrae very gently with muscle assist, and those symptoms resolved until the next time a spasm moved it again. If an aggressive move was made on my neck, it could compress it more than it already is compressed or squish more of the jelly out of the ruptured disk into the spinal canal collapsing the disk even more. Essentially, every time my neck shifted, the spinal canal got smaller on an already compressed spinal cord. It took 20 years for that to happen after my whiplash, so yours at 17 years post accident is in the ballpark. You don't need a psychiatrist, and who ever said that doesn't really want you as a patient. Get an opinion from a spine expert. I was turned down 5 times by local surgeons over 2 years because they didn't understand the connection of the body pain I had just like yours, and the cord compression in my neck. It was after I found medical literature with cases like mine (shared in my prior post to you), and I contacted a surgeon at Mayo that I got help. None of the surgeons before Mayo listened to me, and I was told the spinal cord doesn't feel pain, and that I may have an inflammatory problem like MS and was denied surgery. I'm not sure what slipping rib syndrome is, but spinal cord compression can cause pain anywhere below the affected level. A big clue in that for me was when I turned my head, I changed where that pain was. No doctor listened when I said that. It was because it moved the bone spurs across the cord as I turned my head causing it to affect another area. The spinal cord is supposed to float in the fluid in the spinal canal and it moves like a rope in there when you bend your neck or twist. I learned all that watching spine surgery meeting presentations online. Doctors have to figure out where your pain is coming from, and is it from multiple places before surgery is considered. Mayo is best in the country for neurosurgery and I wish I had come there first. My surgeon listened and he understood what funicular pain was (when you get pain anyway in your body referred by the cord compression in the neck). I wasted 2 years on 5 different surgeons who were never going to help me.

Also a note about ribs. If you have thoracic outlet syndrome like I do which makes my chest tight, ribs sometimes twist and hurt a lot until my PT gets they realigned by working out the muscle spasm and tightness that caused the shift. Here is my patient story and I would highly recommend my Mayo neurosurgeon, Jeremy Fogelson. He helped me again recently by recommending a surgeon to set my broken ankle, and I came back to Mayo for recent surgery on his recommendation. From my experience as a patient, I think you should be evaluated for cervical spine issues and TOS and you can do both at Mayo. If not Mayo, find another teaching medical center that treats TOS in order to find doctors who understand it. If you have questions , please ask. I help because of how hard it was for me to get surgical help and what I learned about the pitfalls of being a patient with symptoms that doctors are missing.

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Replies to "@brayimee Hi Aimee. I also have 2 or 3 hemangiomas in my thoracic spine and they..."

@jenniferhunter Something to write in my book of things to check. My neurologist let me know loud and clear he was a brain doctor and that's it. Gave me a brain scan and said see you in 3 months 🙁 its such a defeated feeling.
It looks as though I will take a trip to WV to speak with a thoracic surgeon who deals with Slipping rib syndrome (SRS) if its a no, its another thing ruled out, if its a yes, I see if surgery will help. Nothing to lose.
Im going to Screencast you post to me and put it in my health file 🙂
Thank you for reaching out. Support is my biggest hope at this point.
Aimee x

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