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Parsonage-Turner Syndrome
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Parsonage-Turner Syndrome


  First let me thank you for taking the time to reply.
   In early March I was diagnosed with Parsonage-Turner Syndrome (after going to 4 doctors). They believe I had an infection that went undetected during my (3) pregnancy. About three weeks after delivery(Aug.8,1997) I had severe pain inbetween my shoulder and neck (they believe this is when the antibodies kicked back in and damaged the nerve at the C5 level). The pain subsided for a brief time. I thought I had just pulled a muscle so I did not seek help untill early Dec., when the pain and weakness(not to mention the severe protrusion of my scapula)became to much. I have had a cat scan, MRI and an EMG. The CT and MRI showed nothing, but the EMG showed deinervation of the serratus anterior muscle (sp?).
   From March to early May I went through physical therapy, and was treated with a month of muscle relaxents and continous use of 10mg. elevil for nerve pain. As of today my scapula is back in place and I only have mild discomfort and weakness in my right arm and shoulder. The problem is I had a fall in late April on my right side and the neck pain has returned with increasingly bad headaches. Physical therapy does not seem to be doing anything. I am finally free of meds and do not wish to return to them. My cervical x-ray shows my spine is curving the opposite of what it should (since the fall). I am due to see my neurologist at Wright Patterson Air Force Base on the 17th of July. I am wondering if there are any specific tests or treatments that may help, that I could ask my doctor about. The
  headaches have become daily and I have run out of ways to explain to my three children why mom has a headache and is grouchy all the time, not to mention telling it to my husband! If you have any suggestions I would be greatful for your input, because up until the Air Force Neurologist none of the doctors I have seen have even heard of Parsonage-Turner Syndrome. Once again, Thank you for taking the time to try and help me. Michelle
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Thanks for the question. Parsonage Turner is an acute brachial plexus neuritis. It causes patshy upper extremity weakness numbness and pain. Usually people complain of pain between the shoulder blades. The pain usually subsides and then weakness comes and then usually that to resolves out. Symptoms can be bilateral 20% of the time.  The condition is associated with diabetes, lupus and following immunizations or viral illnesses. It has been reported after pregnancy. 1/3 will recover in 1 year and 90% in 3 years. It sounds like you are doing well from that stand point. Your new problem is probably unrelated and needs to be evaluated. It may be that trigger point injections could relieve your symptoms. Physical therapy is usually also important and several medications that are not narcotics could be used to help your symptoms. Ylu should also try to avoid caffiene if possible. Hope this helps and I'm sure your doctor will give you some good advice.





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