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Hi,

About 3 weeks ago I was cutting some shapes out of material and noticed afterwards that my thumb was numb. A week later I started to get neck pain and limited neck movement so I went to my GP. He didn't seem too concerned about the neck pain, suggesting that it was probably just a muscle spasm - until I casually mentioned my numb thumb! He then telephoned my local hospital and I have to go and see a Neurosurgeon in 2 weeks. I did say that I thought the thumb numbness was due to excessive scissor use, but as I damaged two vertebrae in my neck 20 years ago in a serious car crash which still bothers me in cold weather, my GP wants it checked out. I was so freaked out that I never thought to ask what they were looking for. Can you help?

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Hi,

What he is hoping to have the neurosurgeon look for is to see if the injury 20 years ago did any damage to your cervical spine. IE: disk bulge, herniation, ruptured compressed and many more terms that all tend to compromise the spinal canal and may cause nerve compression which leads to many symptoms including numbness in many areas.

What is a little strange to me is how fast your GP sent you to a NS. I went to my GP then a chiropractor and then to my GP again at which time he sent me to a pain management specialist what diagnosed the real problem. He then wanted to make sure I tried all of the non-invasive measures before he recommended me to a NS.

I don't know if that is everyone's time line but I was told the Neurosurgeon will want you to try some of these things before you have to worry about surgery. The big concern is that you did have a car accident and it has been 20 years.

Good luck and I hope this helps.
Rob
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Hi,

Well, I've been today to see the NS and I've got to go back next week for an EMG test and an MRI scan. I'm one of these people that can't think on their feet and I came out before I thought of all the questions I could have asked. The NS seemed to spent a long time examining the back of my right eye and briefly looked into my left eye. He also tested all my reflexes and, interestingly, I had an immediate reaction from my left wrist and elbow and both knees and ankles but there was no reaction in my right wrist and elbow, which prompted him to start looking into my right eye again. The NS then said that as the car crash was 20 years ago then it was more than likely that my condition would only respond to spinal surgery but he would wait until all the test results were in before he made any decision. In the meantime I have been seeing a private Chiropractor as the NHS Physios just gave me an exercise sheet, but neither have had any effect. The NS was also stunned when I told him that my neck wasn't immobilised following the crash as the car went on fire and some members of the public dragged me out and laid me on the pavement. When the paramedics rushed me to the hospital my neck didn't feel too bad as I had severe leg injuries and I don't remember the hospital actually taking any x-rays of my neck, it was only a few weeks after when the problems started but the NS said both the Paramedics and the A&E Docs where wrong not to immobilise the spine after such a severe car accident, whether the paid was immediate or not. Anyway, 20 years down the line I don't think I can do anything about this.

Back to today:-
Why was the NS taking so much interest in my right eye and what would be the reason for my right arm reflexes to be non-existent?

I hope someone can give me some answers
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