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Re: Nerve Damage After C-Section
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Re: Nerve Damage After C-Section

Posted By CCF Neurology MD:NT on October 25, 1998 at 15:55:35:

In Reply to: Nerve Damage After C-Section posted by Kristy  on October 25, 1998 at 08:28:41:






Over a year ago, I had a C-Section.  During the section, the
spinal (lumbar L-2 and L-3) was put in and a very painful and numbing effect took
place in my right leg.  They played around a bit in my back and then
they took the needle out, re-inserted it and the same pain and numbness
ran down my left leg.  They played around a bit more, went to get more
medicine and the spinal was done again.  This time I numbed from
my tummy down.  When I recovered from the anesthesia, my right leg
was numb, tingeling, and hot/cold feeling, falling asleep feeling.  
I just thought that the anesthesia was still in my blood stream or
something and it would wear off...it didn't.  I mentioned it to a few
doctors and finally a few weeks later I was referred to a neurologist.  
He did an EMG, which came back positive and an MRI which came back negative.
He told me the only thing I could do was wait for the nerve(s) to re-grow.
A year later when things were still not improving, I went to another neurologist.
She put me on a ton of medicine (Elovil, Neurontin, Pamelor, Day-Pro), but nothing
helped, although I am still on Pamelor.  Her EMG (2 of them) came back
negative, although the EMG was done with me sitting up and was not taken
in my back and I question if they were done in the correct manner.  
The MRI again came back negative too.  I have such lack of movement,
and weakness in my foot. There are many activities I cannot or are
limited on doing and I am so frustrated and stressed about this.  So..
the other day I went to another neurologist.  He did an extensive
exam and noted that I was dragging my right foot (by looking at my shoes).
I also have severe pain in my lumbar when pushed on, but I never really
have pain in my back other than that.  He said it looked like there was
nerve damage to the sciatic nerve, and a nerve in my knee ???.  He also
questioned why they did not do an EMG on my back and of my back and has
scheduled me for an EMG from one of the top hospitals in my area.
All I want is my foot and leg to feel better and am being thrown
in too many places from too many doctors.  The second neurologist told me
that I would have this numbness for life, it would get better.  
I continue to have numbness, tingeling and an electric current feeling
in my foot and leg, below my knee. I now have an achy pain in the top
of my foot. And hot showers or even jumping in the swimming pool is as
if someone has just shocked me with an electrical bolt.  
Is there anything you can tell me, or assist me in where to go from now
in attaining a recovery? The second neurologist told me that I would have
this numbness for life, it would get better.  
Thank you very much for your time.




Dear Kristy:
Without knowing the exact cause (spinal procedure vs. operation vs. pinched nerve vs. positioning, etc) and location (back vs. sciatic nerve vs. nerve(s) in the leg) of your nerve injury in your case, it is difficult for me to give you an idea of your prognosis. It is apparent that your doctors have given you conflicting test results and opinions.
A very careful EMG examination is critical for making a diagnosis. The postition of the patient makes no difference to the result, although it is indeed rather unconventional that your second EMG was done in the siting position. Also, a study of the back (paraspinal) muscles is an important part of the examination. Still another problem is that abnormalities noted on the early EMG one year ago may have changed or even entirely disappeared at this time, making interpretation of the data confusing. EMG examinations are unfortunately subjective tests that are very observer-dependent. Also, the sensitivity and accuracy of the information gathered depends upon how comprehensive and thorough the study is. I am happy to hear that you have been referred to a major tertiary center for your third EMG, which will hopefully be conclusive.
In general, sensory symptoms can occur from even mild degrees of nerve damage. While one would hope that these symptoms would resolve over time with nerve regrowth/sprouting, this is not always the case. Some individuals are left with persistent severe pain problems that may require the require the involvement of pain specialist for control.
Good luck!
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