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Cervical Disc Compression?
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Cervical Disc Compression?

In June I awoke with a terrible pain in the back of my neck and could not turn my head. Also with Lhermitte's syndrome. My stomach felt numb and the doctor prescribed muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories.  Within a week I was fine.

In August my stomach went numb again and within a day I was totally numb from the mid-rib area to my toes.  Eventually my arms became slightly numb also.  The doctor was perplexed and a thoracic xray. It was fine. My neck and back began to hurt and he gave me the same medication as before.

The neurologist I saw did an MRI of the cervical area and found a lesion from c2 to c5. He then did a brain MRI and stated I had lesions in the brain.  He indicated I had MS and requested a spinal tap.

The tap and blood work were fine. No banding and everything looked good. He prescribed beta seron to begin immediately.  I told him I really thought I had a herniated disc and he said "oh yeah here it is at C2 C3" but you still have MS because of the Lhermitte's. It is caused by the huge lesion you have.

I am questioning cervical disc compression. Can it cause a lesion that large and the Lhermitte's and the numbness I felt?  The only other symptom I have had besides pain and numbness is when the feeling began to return to my body I had little "zings" in my muscles - like they were coming back to life.

I have always had problems with my back and neck area.  Shortly before this happened I awoke with neck sweats and severe pain. Also had a sore throat for three days.

Should I begin beta seron or get a  second opinion?
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The diagnosis of definite MS depends on a number of things including clinical history, spinal tap and MRI findings, but in your case, the AGE of the lesions on MRI would be important. If they are all the same age and you indeed had some kind of cold or respiratory infection recently, they could be post-infectious demyelination which is isolated to a single occurrence in time and is different from MS (better prognosis). Because I have not personally seen your films and the "lesions" in the cord and brain, I cannot accurately give you a diagnosis/opinion, but if the lesion is bright on T2 weighted images (sorry about the technical jargon), enhances with contrast or is extensive as you said C2-C5, I don't think it's from the disk. Also, a disc problem doesn't explain your brain lesions.

Your neurologist sounds like he's trying to do the right thing by starting you on the betaseron early for MS as it's been shown that the earlier you start, the better off you will be over all. But if it's not MS, then you don't need the medications. You need to sit down with your doc and discuss the findings - have him show you the MRI and explain it. If you're still concerned about the diagnosis, then definitely get a second opinion before committing yourself to longterm therapy. Good luck to you.
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