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Numb left cheek, arms and legs that comes and goes
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Numb left cheek, arms and legs that comes and goes

I am 36 years old.  In June 2004 I noticed some numbness in my feet while sitting.  A day or two later, the numbness was still there and I also had a patch of numbness on my left bicep.  A day or two after that, my left cheek from my eye to almost my upper lip became numb.  I also had some mild blurred vision in my left eye at that time. This numbness would come and go throughout the day. All resolved after 8 or 9 days.  

I then became pregnant and had a normal pregnancy, except for an occasional numb cheek and some shooting pains in arms and legs from time to time.

When my baby was 9 weeks old (July 2005), it all started over again, except no blurred vision this time but I did (and still do) have "bee sting" pains in arms and legs. My cheek became novacaine numb (numbness before had been just "funky feeling").  The worst has resolved but my cheek is still numb most of the day and the "stings" also happen daily.  

I have had two normal sets of brain and c-spine MRIs in a closed 1.5 tesla machine (June 2004 and July 2005), two normal neuro exams, a normal VEP (July 2005), normal blood work, including Lyme, sed rate, ANA, B12, Thyroid.  My neuro told me before I had the second normal MRI he is still worried about MS.

I was involved in a bad car wreck in 1993 and my c-spine is a mess (bulging discs, bone spurs, etc.) but my neuro says this is not causing my symptoms.

Do you have any ideas what is?  
Any other blood tests (or other testing) you would recommend?
When should I (or should I) repeat the MRIs?
Can MS be ruled OUT?
Any other thoughts?
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Avatar_n_tn
Your symptoms could be consistent with MS - the involvement of several distant area of teh nervous system. Other problems can do this too, essentially grouped under the term 'mononeuritis multiplex', caused by for example sarcoid, lupus, autoimmune disease, - invest investigated by some of the blood tests you have mentioned.

MRI is quite sensitive for the detection of MS lesions, but if small and teh MRI is not done within a few weeks of an attack, lesions may be absent. A normal MRI especially when seperated by time intervals makes MS less likely, but MS can appear in many grades of severity from very mild (perhaps your case) to severe. MS with sensory symptoms mainly tends to have a better prognosis.

Other tests can be done to evaluate for MS such as spinal fluid analysis, visual evoked potentials (both of which should probably be done in your case), and/or somatosensory evoked potentials. A good ophthalmological exam should be done also.

Pinched nerves in the neck could cause the above symptoms also and may be the most likely diagnosis if the above testing is negative - the face involvement is unusual but the trigeminal nucleus of the 5th cranial nerve (which supplies the face) dips down into the upper spinal cord. I have not seen your C-spine image so cannot comment further

Good luck
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Numbness was in my RIGHT bicep, not left - sorry!!!  My 4 year old knows his left and right better than I do!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks.  My neck is a mess - congenital fusion and lots of degenerative changes, probably due to head on collision with 18 wheeler (you think?) - not my fault!  I was wondering about the face, though.  Glad to know it might be consistent.

I have had VEP - normal.  My neuro planned an LP but after second normal MRI he decided to wait.  Both MRIs were done while symptomatic, but symptoms had almost resolved so he thought LP might be negative too.

I guess watch and wait again.  Thanks for your help.
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Avatar_n_tn
You do not know how grateful I was to read your posting. On 8/8/05 I was injured by a pt. at work and on 8/11/05 my arm started to tingle and go numb I saw a workmens comp Dr. at my County hospital and we did xray and an MRI By then I had such shooting pain that would not reside with medication.When it started to go away I felt like the luckiest person alive this was two weeks later witch the pt said is a normal time for a herniation...I still have numbness down my right arm to my thumb and my neck burns but that is nothing compared to the shooting pain I would feel. It would be worse when sitting on a hard surface or on the computer...I got my results and the Dr. said I have a fused conj. defect c4 c5 and a herniated c5 c6 and arthritis under that and a narrow spinal canal and signs of bone deg diease.
I am set to see a nur surgon to get a cortosone shot soon?????
This weekend my legs stared feeling weird and my arms kinda heavy clutsy tingly ( again after sitting on hard surfaces) and then my right side of my face from my ear to my chin went dull...I called a DR. freind and she told me to go to er  so I did and waited for 5 hr. for the DR. to say i had hyperventalated.....stress....i was so angry I left before he even got my chart.The facail dullness subsided and then a few days later my right breast went numb..I saw my workmens comp. dr and he said it was a virus (because i have do larengititis or something probly from being in er for 5 hrs but a virus come on )the DR. made me an apt.with a PA. and she said no i dont have a virus and that when dr.s dont know whats wrong they say virus...isint that nice....they all but her seem to think that i was stressed or something....today i looked up the root nerve to the breast and guess what c5 c6 and then i read your postinfg and the Dr. respose i feel so relieved and hope the shot will help with all of this....HOPE YOU ALSO ARE FEELING ETTER
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