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ecann32 (@ecann32)

Toe twitching/fasciculations?!

Brain & Nervous System | Last Active: Jan 19 7:07pm | Replies (8)

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@ecann32 Hello and welcome to Connect. I am a spine surgery patient and you said several things that caught my attention as symptoms that can be related to a spine issue. Hopefully they will examine the entire spine with imaging.

Muscle twitching and jumping can be caused by compression of a nerve and it happened to me because my spinal cord was compressed due to a collapsed disc and bone spurs in my neck that were pushing into it. I had muscles jumping in my thigh and calf and twitching in my feet. My first symptoms of cervical stenosis was actually a pain in my ankle, and in the beginning, I could turn that pain on and off by changing the position of my neck and head.

I also had one sided headaches on the back of my head. Those were happening because muscle spasms were twisting or tilting my cervical vertebrae independently. When that happens, the muscles on one side get stretched and start to complain. I had a slight bit of slipping of one vertebra backwards over the one below it which would also add to the stretching of muscles. I have also experienced vertigo that came on quite suddenly because of this slight misalignment when I looked upward at a time when things were not positioned correctly. Literally, I didn't have my head on straight. The vertigo was bad enough that I fell backward. My physical therapist was able to help by realigning my neck.

It's OK to be scared, but please don't assume the worst. I know at this stage, you don't have information, and that's OK. Just think about how you feel today and that you are here and managing your day. I went to Mayo for my spine surgery, and on my first day there while waiting for my neurology testing, I was talking to another patient and his wife. He had ALS, and I could see muscles jumping spontaneously in his arm with no pattern. It was very random. I had worried about ALS too, but what was different was that the pattern of my muscles that were jumping was for specific muscles and it was consistent and repeatable. It wasn't random and all over. I hope that can ease your mind a bit while you wait for results. That is also consistent with compressing a specific nerve that supplies those muscles. The tricky thing is when it is the spinal cord that gets compressed because you don't know what will be affected in that big bundle. The spinal cord floats in the fluid inside the spinal canal, so the things that are affected can change depending on what is getting touched. If a nerve gets compressed after it has branched off of the spinal cord, it is very specific and identifiable. This is what the nerve testing evaluates.

I had a whiplash about 20 years before my spine was in need of surgery. I know that may be scary to hear too. What happens is small cracks can form in the discs from trauma, and in time with aging the discs dry out a little bit and those cracks can open up causing a herniation. I had a bulging disc for several years. Once the jelly like material inside had spilled out, bone spurs grew next to the disc. I was a patient who was afraid of surgery, but I was surprised that it was not as bad as I expected it to be. My recovery from a broken ankle and those surgeries were much more painful and for a longer period of time than spine surgery. I also had an excellent surgeon. Pick the very best that you can if you need spine surgery.

Take a deep breath. You will get through this and I'm here to hold your hand if you need me.

How soon are you scheduled for your imaging tests? Would you keep in touch and let me know how you are doing?

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Replies to "@ecann32 Hello and welcome to Connect. I am a spine surgery patient and you said several..."

Wow, Jennifer, this is really interesting. Was your neck surgery ACDF (fusion) or something else?

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