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Unknown cause of left side pain/spasticity
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Unknown cause of left side pain/spasticity

My wife has severe spasticity in her left arm and left leg (mostly in the hand and foot). This is accompanied by severe pain in her neck/back and severe pain throughout left side when attempting to move. She is a soldier with the US Army and they have been unable to find a cause for the condition. The most recent MRI shows "moderate central canal stenosis athe the C5-C6 level without significant neural foraminal narrowing. No evidence for discrete cord lesion or abnormal cord enhancement". Lab work was negative for Lyme, CD4, prot C/S, renal fxn. The only thing they have found is a C6 spinous process fracture but stated that that would not cause the pain and spasticity in both her leg and arm. Could anyone give us any suggestions since the army doctors seem unable to come up with anything?
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6 Comments Post a Comment
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1517903_tn?1329307916
Sorry.  I can't help.  But I'll try for Mrs. Military.  Dad's a Vietnam Vet.  I'm a chiari malformation/basilar invagination/EDS chick, so I know a little bit about cervical vertebrae.  Spasticity and pain are symptoms of chiari and syringomyelia.  Here's a pretty reliable source from the Chiari and Syringomyelia Foundation:
CM and SM Handbook http://www.csfinfo.org/patientinfo.

Is this a correct definition of central canal stenosis?
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/stenosis_spinal/hic_lumbar_canal_stenosis.aspx

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Avatar_f_tn
I've got RSD, reflex sympathetic dystrophy. It can be caused from even minor injuries and causes severe pain which can spread from the original injury area. It is difficult to confirm and a lot of doctors are not qualified or sensitive enough to look for it. I got the RSD from a finger amputation, and several months after that started having pain in other fingers which spread up my arm,then my whole left side. Does your wife have variances in temperature of her extremities that are affected? I later broke my back and so I am familiar with back and neck injuries also, I broke mine at the T 5, 6 and would have been unable to walk if it had been one higher. No one has similaiar  symptoms from it, and so I suggest she enquire about the possibility to a open minded neurologist. It can affect your immune symptoms and weakened mine that I caught a severe case of H1N1. Research it and see if any symptoms apply
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi there. Many people with multiple sclerosis experience spasticity or muscle spasms affecting the muscles of legs and arms, which can be very painful also. The cervical C6 spinous process fracture could not be causing spasticity of both arms and legs. Another possibility is of any previous injury triggering complex regional pain syndrome, which is a chronic severe nerve pain in response to injury or infection in the arm. Consult your neurologist about these speculations and things should be sorted out. Take care.



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Avatar_f_tn
my suggestion of RSD is the same illness as Dr. Sharma, COPD is the newest name for RSD
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Avatar_f_tn
Is there a cure or a very effective treatment for RSD/COPD? My wife was a marathon runner and is greatly hoping to get well enough to return to running...
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Avatar_n_tn
On the MR they reported moderate stenosis--did they comment on cord  compression at that level--right cord compression at that level could cause left arm/leg spasticity and or tingling/numbness, and the muscle contractiions can be painful

If they comment on it, you should have someone (neuroradiologist or neurologist check the images)---sometime steriods can help
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