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Veretbral hemangiomas
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Veretbral hemangiomas


  Approximately 2 months ago, I underwent surgery for removal of a protruding disk with cord compression at the level of C5-C6.  My symptoms consisted primarily of left arm weakness of the muscles of abduction and shoulder rotator cuff.....fortunately no pain. They used a bone graft from my iliac crest.  During the workup for this condition, an incidental finding on the MRI was a large hemangioma within the vertebral body of C6.  I was told that this was not unusual and that it generally caused no problems. However, within the past week or so, I have started to develop numbness of the fingers of my right hand and muscle fatigue in the right forearm, as well as numbness of the fingers of the left hand which was not a problem prior to surgery............my question is this: Could the hemangioma have been somehow "disturbed" or "stimulated" during the prior surgery in the area and now be developing outside of the vetebral body and causing some degree of cord compression?  Or do you think that this may be some degree of failure of the initial surgery?  If cervical hemangiomas do
  cause problems, how are they generally treated? I've contacted my neurosurgeon and plan to have a repeat MRI, do you have any thoughts or suggestions as to what may be causing the new symptoms (in the right arm), other than what I've mentioned?  Any info would be appreciated.  Thanks!
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Dear Evelyn,
Hemangiomas of the vertebrae of the spine are common and benign.  They are an incidental finding on MRI's and do not need to be treated.  
You are having new pain and weakness in a distribution different from the symptoms you had before the C5/6 fusion.  This should be investigated first with plain x-rays of the spine to evaluate the fusion that was done, followed by an MRI to look for compression on the neural elements.
The hemangioma is likely not involved with your present problems.  You should, however, see your surgeon with these new complaints for a complete evaluation.
Good luck.






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