Nuchal Tendon Occification/Calcification

Posted by Wendallzmom @wendallzmom, Aug 23, 2017

I have a horizontal hard mass at C5 & C6 It can be be pushed back and forth so it can hide in between C5 & C6 Back to front movement is over its width so at least 1″. Att other times you can feel in just by brushing hand over skin at C5/C6, It protrudes right to the surface of my skin or pushes straight back to align with my spine. It goes into alignment so good it does NOT show up on MRI CAT or Xray. It is slowly growing from half inch to 2″ in 3 years.

You can manually feel the front and both side. Many ppl have verified shape and size a friend measured it for me. It is a rectangle that is totally horizontal measuring 2″L x 1″D X 1/4″ H

It can not to be felt when laying on back for stomach, it goes back into alignment with cervical spine. It can only be felt when I am standing. I have been told the mass is calcification of my nuchal tendon, knowing that tendon is vertical it doesn’t make sense to me that that it would be that the shape I feel moves around and lays horizontally.

My next step is the Mayo, I want to tell my primary what i found out. So she can refer me.

I am new, first timer, so hope i did this right

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Welcome to Connect, @wendallzmom.
You posted perfectly. However, I moved your message to the Bones, Joints & Muscles because I think you may have a better chance connecting with others who may have some thoughts about the mass you’ve found on your nuchal ligament. To start, I’m tagging @JustinMcClanahan @sandytoes14 and @jenapower to see if they may have some thoughts to add.

Wendallzmom, does the mass cause any pain?

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Thank you very much for your help!

The mass feels hard like a bone feels. And the mass itself has no pain. It just wreaks havoc to the muscles and spine around it.

This is taken from last PT appt.

PALPATION: The patient was tender to palpation over bilateral interscapular musculature, bilateral suboccipital, sternocleidomastoid, scalene, upper trapezius, and levator scapula musculature. There does appear to be a palpable abnormality with springing over the lower cervical spine. <end>

I am attaching a couple pictures to give you an visual idea of what I’m talking about. The pictures of the two rocks and a dime are the size of the mass when it started out 3 years ago and the size and shape it is now. The one with the red line is where the mass is located and it springs back and forth, from front to back between those two vertebrae. And the last pictures are some of the worst swelling I’ve had in my neck and back.

Hope this helps.

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I have a similar mass that was detected on an ultrasound while in the upright position; however, an MRI while lying down didn’t show the mass and only came back with a “thickening of nuchal ligament.”

Have you had any progress in your diagnosis?

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@gina111

I have a similar mass that was detected on an ultrasound while in the upright position; however, an MRI while lying down didn’t show the mass and only came back with a “thickening of nuchal ligament.”

Have you had any progress in your diagnosis?

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Hello @gina111, welcome to Connect. While we wait for others to jump back in on this discussion, would you mind sharing a bit more information? Did your provider discuss what this diagnosis means? Is the mass painful?

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@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @gina111, welcome to Connect. While we wait for others to jump back in on this discussion, would you mind sharing a bit more information? Did your provider discuss what this diagnosis means? Is the mass painful?

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@JustinMcClanahan
I am still in the process of being bounced around since the ultrasound in June. The latest was an appointment with a neurosurgeon that has referred me to Ochsner in New Orleans. I was contacted by Ochsner and have yet again been bounced between neurology and oncology, with no appointment set to date. Frustrating. The pain has increased, especially at night. The pain is in the is left side of my neck, radiating mainly into my left scapula and trapezius, with some pain radiating down the left arm leaving the arm feeling very fatigued. Range of motion in the neck is limited, especially to the left and backward extension. I will attach photos I have of the ultrasound and MRI.

As with the original lady that posted, the mass is very hard and was clearly visible on ultrasound that was conducted while sitting up this, weight load bearing. The MRI was performed while supine. @@

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Hi All,

I have the exact same thing, mine “came out” December 2018 with low grade fevers, face rash (nose and cheeks) malaise, headaches, fatigue, B-12 deficiency and 30lbs of unintended weight loss. I’ve seen neurologist, 2 general surgeons, rheumatology, ENT and no one can give me answers to why this all happened suddenly. When it first came out it was only when I tilted my head up and to the side, it’s grown double in a year but still only prominent when I lift my chin up. I have an ultrasound Dec 22nd because mine doesn’t show up on CT or MRI either. They all keep saying it’s been there or it’s normal when i know it hasn’t and it’s not normal for me. Did anyone have fevers with theirs or other spontaneous growths? Did anyone get a diagnoses? I’m a 38 yr old female working mom of 2. I was doing great and then 5/2018-9/2018 felt pretty bad, alien showed up and was on rapid decline since. Good to see I’m not alone but sorry you’re all going through this.

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Where is the nuchal ligament? I need a picture. What does calcification mean? Does it turn hard like a bone?

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I have the same exact problem as everyone here. The neurosurgeon didn't seem to know what it was. This is the first time I have found anything like my problem. My neck stiffness and pain just keeps getting worse.

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@radmamasaur

Hi All,

I have the exact same thing, mine “came out” December 2018 with low grade fevers, face rash (nose and cheeks) malaise, headaches, fatigue, B-12 deficiency and 30lbs of unintended weight loss. I’ve seen neurologist, 2 general surgeons, rheumatology, ENT and no one can give me answers to why this all happened suddenly. When it first came out it was only when I tilted my head up and to the side, it’s grown double in a year but still only prominent when I lift my chin up. I have an ultrasound Dec 22nd because mine doesn’t show up on CT or MRI either. They all keep saying it’s been there or it’s normal when i know it hasn’t and it’s not normal for me. Did anyone have fevers with theirs or other spontaneous growths? Did anyone get a diagnoses? I’m a 38 yr old female working mom of 2. I was doing great and then 5/2018-9/2018 felt pretty bad, alien showed up and was on rapid decline since. Good to see I’m not alone but sorry you’re all going through this.

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It just came out for me too, and it definitely isn't normal.

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Welcome to the discussion, @karencw! As you have seen, there are several others here with what you are experiencing and who will be great resources and support for you like @radmamasaur, @gina111 and @wendallzmom.

When did this first start for you and what are you doing for your neck stiffness and pain?

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Wow, I can definitely see it in your photographs! I can see where that would be very uncomfortable if it’s putting pressure in that area. I think if it is that uncommon (retired nurse and not aware of it) Mayo might be a good place to go if you have access to them.

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I was just diagnosed with the same calcified mass on nuchal ligament and 3 doctors so far have told me it's an incidental finding and nothing to worry about. It grew 4x the size in a 4 month period but has appeared to stop growing…for now at least. My only symptom that I can attribute to that is my neck seems weaker than usual but I am guessing if the nuchal ligament holds your head up that would make sense. Truly I think it's so uncommon that most Dr's have no clue what to do. I have read in med journals thar it could be the start of spondylosis or spondylitis.

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