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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Thoracic Outlet Syndrome/Brachial Plexopathy. In Memory Of DeAnne Marie.

New here, hoping for answers, EMG tomorrow

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Old 06-28-2017, 03:50 PM   #1
damaged butterfly
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Post New here, hoping for answers, EMG tomorrow

I have my first (and hopefully last?) EMG/NCG tomorrow morning. I'm really hoping it shows TOS because nothing else seems to explain my symptoms.

Almost 3 years ago, I had a discectomy & fusion done at C5-C7 due to an injury. Before the surgery, my symptoms were muscle spasms in my shoulder, burning pain in the shoulder blade and nerve pain & tingling in my arm & fingers. The surgery didn't improve the nerve pain at all. I figured it was just a case of waiting for the nerves to heal. Nope.

Meantime, my surgeon retires, so I have to switch to another. He runs tests, orders cervical injections and comes to the conclusion that my spine is fine with the exception that one of the fusions didn't fully take in the front. They had only used allograft with no fixators (no metal, etc.). Makes me wonder what's holding my neck together. The new doc says to have the pain clinic test for carpal tunnel.

I did a very narrow-focused bit of research into medical journals looking for two things together: carpal tunnel & shoulder blade. They simply don't go together, but led me to a list of other neuro things in the same area, hence my suspicion of TOS. At least the guys at the pain clinic were open to the idea that it's possibly not carpal tunnel, but may be TOS. It's the same test either way.

An article at the Center for Nerve Injury & Paralysis at Washington University in St. Louis seems like it's talking about me. It was written in 2001 by Susan Mackinnon and addresses every symptom I have. The location of my original spine injury; my it's my pinky finger side tingles instead of the thumb side; I'm overly endowed and my bra straps make the symptoms much worse; my right hand and arm get colder than the left; my bicep and forearm ache sometimes like something has squeezed them. Every single thing wrong pings in this article. I printed it off for the pain clinic and I will probably take it with me to the EMG tomorrow.

I've heard varying reports of these tests - not sure if it's something to make me scream & cry ("test outcome may be a doc with a broken nose" is what my sister said after she read the description!) At this point I just want to get on the other side of it and have answers so we can move forward with a treatment plan.

Sorry if I rambled too much!
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:16 AM   #2
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Hi damaged butterfly

Welcome to NeuroTalk .

I am sure that the regular contributors to this forum will offer you helpful ideas and thoughts.

All the best.
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:19 AM   #3
Jo*mar
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Be sure to explore all the info in our TOS forum sticky threads (upper section on main TOS page) , it is a crash course on TOS , therapies and related issues..

Most of us have found that the avg dr/pt/dc does not really know much about TOS, it really helps to seek out DR, PT, DC that really know the body and understand muscle spasms, head forward posture, impinged nerves/blood flow..

A really good PT or DC that does hands on muscle work, trigger point, top rib mobilizations, ultrasound, IF stim, low level laser, plus your own added self care in between , should be very beneficial.
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Old 07-06-2017, 08:57 AM   #4
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Thank you so much for the advice, I will definitely check it out! As for my nerve testing, it was a complete wash. The neurologist doing the testing seemed to be really familiar with TOS and when I described my symptoms to him, focused the testing more to that than anything else. Unfortunately, he found nothing wrong with my nerves, said everything fell within the normal range and that I had the nerves of a teenager. I'm 39! I have a check-up with the spine specialist Monday who is also an orthopedist. We'll see where to go from here.
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