Thanks for any personal experience you can give!
DoreenI have about a 5 mm subluxation. My main symptoms are pain at the base of the skull and headache coming from that. Plus the inablity to look down with the neck or side to side when it is in a flare. So far I do not have any neurological symptoms. Standard RA treatments plus using a heating pad at the neck help as does wearing a soft collar on occssion. Watch how you position the neck as you sleep.. The surgical fix is fusion but because of the location it is generally a subluxation of about 9mm or serious neurological involvement.
right now we monitor the situation with yearly x'rays or preop whichever comes first. I've also been told no roller coasters (BOO!!) and avoid car accidents (like I had a choice)hi doreen. 4-5yrs ago i was told i have a slight instability of the neck
this has never been reassed. my neck locks sometimes when i bend it
foreward. and i gently bend it more foreward to make it crack and unlock.
then straighten up again. it is very stiff and cracking on motion. i get a lot
of headaches. and have numbness burning in my lips fingers shins
i had the nerve test for carpal tunnel etc but that was ok..
i was then told i have arthritis of the spine due to long standing severe ra
not sure how they know without a scan. doc must have xray goggles.
I was at the Neurosurgeon on Friday to check out my C4-5 disc prolapse. He gave me 4 excellent reasons why I wasn't such a good candidate for a disc replacement that I was hoping for. He suggests a fusion would be best for me mainly due to my age (they like to do them on 30-40 year olds and I'm almost 50_ and the RA (increased possibilty of osteoporosis and the implant sinking into the bone over time). BUT....he wants me to have some more x-rays of my neck at C1-2 because apparently RA can cause instability problems there.
So far I don't think I have any problems with this area. I know my problems are C4-5 because I have numbness through my right shoulder and upper arm. The x-ray and MRI ae quite obvious as to where the problem is. The x-rays didn't show any problem with the C1-2 but he wants special ones taken to check the stability before he goes ahead and does the disc fusion at 4-5.
I have to get this hip surgery out of the way next week before I go ahead with the neck but he did say that it was better to do something sooner rather than later so I will get on to it once I have recovered.
I can't help you with information about C1-2 because I don't know much about it after only just hearing about it. But I was informed that it goes hand in hand with RA, so I guess it is something we should all be on the lookout for.Doreen, my neck problem is a bit lower down, C3-4 and C4-5 but my symptoms are the same as yours. I have very limited range-of-motion, although the RA drugs have helped with much of the pain. I don't quite understand this because I am under the impression that this is not RA related, but OA. Like Buckeye, I was told, no roller coasters and no whiplash type accidents (OK, I'll tell that to the other drivers!). I also was told by two neurologists and my PCP (who refers patients to chiropractic care for certain conditions) NOT to see a chiropractor for this type of neck problem. Since you mentioned a chiropractor, please be sure to get a couple of opinions from MDs with no ax to grind and find out if it's safe for your particular case. Chiro can be helpful or it can be a disaster, depending on your condition. Thanks everyone! About 2 years ago I had a herniated disc at C6-7 and a partial herniation at C4-5 which was treated with PT. That affected my right arm in much the same way that my left is affected now. I was surprised when the Rheumy seemed so concerned this time. He says that C1 and C2 are more serious because its so close to the brain stem and the top of the spinal cord. From what I've read on the web it doesnt sound great...but will wait till I hear from him to see what happens next!
Doreen - I hope the MRI results come back good.
[QUOTE=buckeye]Plus the inablity to look down with the neck or side to side when it is in a flare. [/QUOTE]
My neck has not done that since my Remicade has been bumped up to 300mg. It was doing it ALL the time, and some days being stuck like that for days.
I am still not sure if it is RA or Fibro that causes my neck to do that. Just glad it does not do it anymore!
Oh and Buckeye.... Avoid car accidents, really?