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Muscle Spasms in right arm
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Muscle Spasms in right arm


  I had a small disc herniation at C5-6 and a large one at C6-7.  The discs
  were fused with bone and a titanium plate with a pin running throuth it. The surgery went well.  This was done almost 2 years ago in June 1997.
  In May of 1998 I started having muscle spasms running down the back of my right arm when I locked my elbow.  This was happening occasionally.
  Since then, the spasms have gotten progressively worse.  Any time I put
  my right arm in an awkward position or lock the elbow, the spasms occur.
  They will also occur in the lower arm and hand when I bend my wrist forward.  I have pain in my right shoulder blade.  If I draw my shoulder
  back, the right side will spasm.  It sometimes will spasm in the front of the
  right shoulder as well.  The Neurosurgeon I saw has no idea of what could
  be wrong.  He said he doesn't think the neck is causing the problem and has never seen anything quite like the problems I'm having.  He is sending
  me to an Orthopedic doctor who specializes in shoulders.  I have already seen an Orthopedic who specializes in the neck who also didn't think that the neck was the cause of the problem.  He sent me to the Neurosurgeon.  I have been through physical therapy which did not help.  My EMG (done in December 98) shows that the nerve from C7 is definitely irritated and that I have a mild case of Carpal Tunnel in my right hand.  The MRI, done the same day, shows that the area of my neck where the surgery was done looks OK. It also showed a small cyst-like object at T3.  I have been set up for a bone scan and mammogram.  Finally, my job requires that I sit at a computer and key (I've been doing the same thing for the past 15 years).
  
  I'm tired of being shuffled from doctor to doctor.  The muscles keep going into spasm and twitch constantly.  The more I use my right arm, the worse it feels.  My right shoulder and right elbow constantly ache and it will also go into my thumb if I do too much.
  I hope you can give me some indication of what the problem could be and what I should do.  Thank you.
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Dear Linda:
Sorry to hear about your problem.  The results from your EMG seems to diagnose the problem, that of C7 root irritation.  What you may have to do is get a second opinion.  I would gather up all the data and see another neurosurgeon or neurologist.  I hope that things will get better soon.
Sincerely,
CCF Neuro[P] MD





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