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Re: Throbbing pain down right shoulder, arm, hand, leg and starting on left

Posted By CCF CARDIO MD - MTR on January 26, 1999 at 19:04:38:

In Reply to: Throbbing pain down right shoulder, arm, hand, leg and starting on left posted by Sue Heagley on January 26, 1999 at 14:57:23:

To whom it may concern,  I was hoping someone could possibly give an opionion on what avenue of medical testing I should try next.  This will be lengthy, but I feel a history is called for.  
Family history of  diabetis (mother),High Blood pressure (father), lupis (mother), cancer(father), epilepsy (mother), silent heart attacks 2 (brother) and stroke 4 (mother).
I'm 42, weight 128.  Total hysterectomy, past pulmonary embolism from leg to lung after a surgery in 1982.  Current medication, Estratest, vicodin, and soma.  I had a cervical fusion of C5 & C6 in 1996 with plate installed.
Then was told later from another doctor that I should not of had the surgery.Two weeks after surgery put back in the hospital for allergic reaction to something.  At that time I was on Dexamethasone.  Several tests done while in hospital.  During that time I had started to loose function of my legs which I had to use a walker to get around at the hospital.  My face swelled up.  The doctor didn't seem to know what was wrong.  I told him I felt that I had an allergic reaction.  He said maybe.  Anyway, released and within three days was back to normal except for shoulder and arm pain.  Went to therapy for six months on my own and showed improvement.
Now I have a throbbing pain in shoulders, right arm, hand, leg and foot-left arm and sometimes leg.  No tingling or knumbness, but my feet are always cold and sometimes the right one feels like a burning sensation. Occasionally tightness with heart racing at bedtime. Went back to the doctor who ran a EMG, total myelogram of spine, ct scans to check the surgery site and thyroid.  I was told normal, but maybe slight stenosis.  He prescribed 4 vicodin daily with 4 soma daily for pain.  I told him I was worried about addiction and he stated not to worry  as long as it helps the pain.
Now not knowing where to turn, just went to my regular gyno for check up and brought one copy of ekg results (out of 5 they ran in a 4 day period in 1996, why so many I don't know) and one copy of each of my blood work ups to tell him my symptoms and hopefully suggest the next avenue to follow.  He suggested a test for diabetis.  Then was concerned and told me to see a cardiologist as in 1996 my ekg was abnormal and stated possible anterior infarct (previous heart attack), age undetermined.  I was shocked.  In 96 the first 4 ekg's were normal and 5th abnormal.  For some reason, no ekg's were taken after that and I was released.  I don't know why my doctor had never told me.  
So naturally I and my gynocologist are concerned my arm,leg, shoulder pain etc., might be vascular.  I don't want to blame anyone.  I just don't want to take pain medication the rest of my life and want the pain to go away.  
The test stated abnormal ECG Vent. rate 96 bpm, PRinterval 172ms, QRS duration 86ms, QT/QTc 332/419ms, P-R-T axes 71 39 69.  Does one abnormal reading show concern for further testing along with my symptoms?  My cholestral is 257/170 and have smoked since age 13 and quit 1 month ago today.
A you can see I have had my share of tests and want to make sure I headed in the right direction.   Frankly, I'm just scared and want to take care of this now. Could you please help determine if my symptoms may be vascular, diabetis or arthritis, other.
I appreciate your time and consideration with this lengthly letter.  Hopefully any future requests won't ever be this long.
Thank you for participating is these forums for those who don't have others to turn to.  Sue Heagley


Dear Sue, thank you for your question.  I would have to see your ECG to comment on the findings you mention, but you do have risk factors for coronary artery disease (high cholesterol and recent smoking).  Congrats on quitting smoking also!   Your pain does not sound like it's caused by your heart, but I certainly think you should see a cardiologist or an internist for a complete evaluation.  Most likely you will need to have some type of stress test performed and you will need medical treatment to lower your cholesterol.  Given your past history of back problems, your situation is complex and needs close inspection.
Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only.  Specific diagnoses and therapies can only be provided by your physician.  Please feel free to write back with additional questions.  If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE and ask for Desk F-25 or Desk F-15 in the Cardiology Department.  Good luck!

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