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Phrenic Nerve suddenly is paralyzed no trauma
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Phrenic Nerve suddenly is paralyzed no trauma

I am a healthy adult female, no illnesses. Is it possible for a phrenic nerve(on left side) to idiopathically just paralyze my diaphragm without any trauma whatsoever? (I take a nap, I wake up and diaphragm is paralyzed). I have had every test done. I have no tumors, cancer etc. Thank you so much for any statistic on this.
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251132_tn?1198082422
Unfortunately it is possible for the diaphragm to be paralyzed without trauma.  There may be no obvious explanation.  Your position during your nap might have applied undue pressure to the phrenic nerve.  If so, there is a good chance that function may spontaneously return.  However there is no way to predict how long this might take.
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Avatar_n_tn
I can relate to your frustration. So many questions and so few answers. I am diagnosed with diaphragmatic paralysis (right side). But for many years prior to actual paralysis I was known to have diaphragmatic "eventration", i.e., a moderate elevation of the right diaphragm. This was described to me as a benign condition of no significant consequence. However, I'm inclined to believe this condition was actually the early stages of complete paralysis of my right diaphragm. I suppose an overnight paralysis is possible. But I know from personal experience that "eventration" can be present (without symptoms) for months or years prior to detection. If possible, it might be helpful to have someone look at chest x-rays taken at earlier dates. Of course, this won't change anything. But it could bring into question the notion of an "overnight" paralysis.

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90270_tn?1199338069
Idiopathic paralysis of the diaphragm..it can happen that's for sure. Did you have symptoms right away, like having problems lying flat? Some people do, and many do not have symptoms. As I have mentioned in an earlier post, most times it is picked up on a simple xray. The doc will note that one side of the diaphragm is higher than the other. Like you said, it can be caused by tumor, infection like pneumonia, or anything that may irritate the phrenic nerve that feeds the diaphragm. Even surgeries such as heart surgery can lead to a paralyzed diaphragm. I will search for papers..I know I have them! Sunny:)
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your responses. The reason I knew "something was a miss" was because I am a swim instructor and (controlled) breathing is my business. I woke up from my nap with a stiff neck because I slept wrong and after a few days it still hurt. I went to  urgent care and was given a cortisone shot at the base of my neck. VERY soon after the shot (Kenalog w/ marcaine)my breathing became shallow and restricted, but especially when I went in the water.Then I had all the tests. Pulmonologist said it was because of the cortisone shot but everyone else said NO WAY, IMPOSSIBLE. So, for my piece of mind I just needed to know if the cortisone shot really could have caused this or does this type of thing "just happen"and is it "just" going to happen to the other side also. Thanks again for your input.In January it will be a year since it was paralyzed. Do some people regain use of diaphragm or does it atrophy after a while?
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90270_tn?1199338069
I wonder if the stiff neck was really the beginning of an irritated phrenic nerve? I don't know about cortisone shots causing phrenic nerve paralysis, but I have heard of paralysis of the nerve after manipulation of the cervical region by chiropractors (this is rare, but it can happen), so I bet a shot in that area could possibly cause paralysis as well..just an opinion. You have had this paralysis of the nerve for almost a year now, what do the docs think about you ever regaining its function? I don't know about whether if this will ever happen to your other side, every one is different. But, I have never read about another person having the other side affected without a really good reason. From what I have read, if it happens it is usually unilateral, or affects just one side...but please, don't take my word for it, talk to your pulmonologist, he will definitely know better than I will as far as this. Even consulting a neuro wouldn't be a bad idea if it hasn't been done already. I know you are frustrated, I will keep you in my thoughts. Have a great holiday! Sunny :)
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Avatar_n_tn
When you have cancer and they have to remove your Phrenic nerve on one side, what are the odds that you will regain your normal breathing.  The margins were clean for the cancer.  Also, what is the time frame to regain it.
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