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dizziness muscle weakness, previous cervical fusion after injury

I fell off a horse 5 years ago, and ended up with a cervical fusion at four levels c-2 thru c-6. I have been doing very well since. I still have a bulging disc at c-7 and stenosis with narrowing of the spinal canal. I had an episode the other day which landed me in the e.r. as a possible mini-stroke. All tests were negative(except of course, the mri of cervical spine) It started with mild dizzinsess which progressed to severe , then vomiting. Everytime I vomited(which lasted an hour) I became numb, tingly, muscle weakness. Eventually I couldn't walk or talk. Once they stopped the nausea at the hospital I recovered. I had a horrible pressure at thre base of my neck afterwards. I am three days out, still dizzy, legs feel tingly and heavy. Overall weakness. I am taking anti nausea med, Do you feel this is related to my neck? The e.r. dr. said T.I.A, the neurologist said inner ear virus causing vaso vagal response, both agreed something from the neck could be invoved.
1 Responses
Avatar universal
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.

Without the ability to examine you and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of your symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

As you know, dizziness can have many causes. Vertigo, or "room-spinning dizziness" can be caused by several different types of inner ear problems and less commonly from central nervous system diseases. Cervical disease (such as a herniated disc in the cervical (neck) region or arthritis of the spine) can cause vertigo, though this is not common. More often, the dizziness is not room-spinning per se but rather a wooziness or sort of light-headed dizziness. I will refer to this as cervicogenic dizziness. This notion of cervicogenic dizziness is not accepted by all medical practioners, it is controversial, as it is not well researched, difficult to diagnose, and difficult to conduct research on. However, it may be diagnosed in someone with neck pathology and dizziness in which no other cause is found. Therefore, it is a diagnosis of exclusion, after inner-ear and brain problems are excluded. Treatment includes physical therapy for the neck, in some cases muscle relaxants, and other conservative (non-surgical) measures.

Patients with dizziness due to neck pathology (cervicogenic dizziness) often complain of dizziness that is worse with particular head movements and when the head is maintained in one specific posture for prolonged periods. Neck pain and a headache in the occipital region (the back of the head above the neck) may be associated with the dizziness. The dizziness may last minutes to hours after assuming certain head positions.

Other causes of vertigo can include inner ear problems, of which there are a variety including Menniere's disease (which is marked by episodes of vertigo, ear-ringing (tinnitus) and hearing loss), Benign positional vertigo (BPPV) which is marked by episodes of vertigo brought on by head movement, brain tumors (this would be apparent on MRI), certain toxic drugs (specific medications), neuropathy, and certain infections.

If your symptoms are persisting 3 days since their onset, a TIA would not be the cause, as by definition a TIA is transient, lasting only hours then resolving. if your MRI of the brain was normal, then a stroke was not the cause of your symptoms either.

Continued follow-up with your neurologist is recommended.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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