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Can Thecal Sac Injury Lead To Paralysis?

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    AntOniaZ: You mentioned your daughter has also had chronic dislocations. Did they test her for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome? Check this out for more information: Overstretched ligaments don't support the skeleton properly which can lead to dislocations and cervical spine instability which would allow the spine to move out of position more easily. It can also cause headaches and vision problems among other neurologic issues since too much movement of the spine may cause it to basically shift more than it should and affect surrounding nerves and also cause muscles to tighten more to try to hold it in place since the ligaments aren't doing their job. (very basic explanation).

    If she were found to have this, there isn't a cure; BUT there is a procedure called prolotherapy that my daughter and I have had for overstretched ligaments due to injuries. It helps by strengthening the ligaments. There is a lot of information on the internet about this.

    One other thing, I have a straightening of the cervical spine (lordotic curve), disc herniations, bone spurs, spinal stenosis etc... and have had headaches and other symptoms for several years believed to be caused by a car accident. The prolotherapy has helped some of my symptoms since the ligaments in my neck became overstretched by whiplash, but I still have pressure in my head. I am considering artificial disc replacement of two discs in my neck since I was told that the blockage of the cerebrospinal fluid and indention of my spinal cord may be what is causing it. I pray you find answers and solutions quickly for your daughter - I know how frustrating it can be.


      Ant0niaZ, Be Careful about Ballet

      Originally posted by Ant0niaZ View Post
      Wise, Firstly let me thank you for your wise explanaitions...

      Ballet is a gentle dance but they do have some awkward head positions and when they start with point shoes they do need strong ankles (this is our 3rd year on pointshoes) and to be honest I dont know the pressure, that can put on the spine. Modern/Jazz dance is more active with more awkward head positions. I do thank my insticts for not letting her start hip-hop dance this september..... Maybe know she can review her other interests.....

      Hi, Antonia,

      I feel for your daughter. I agree with Wise that what she has going on sounds serious.

      Actually, ballet is not gentle, especially en pointe. While beautiful to watch (unless you know what's really going on), ballet can ruin spines, hips, ankles, feet. Ballet trains dancers to be able to do things bodies are not naturally meant to do. From destabilizing the pelvis and spine due to hyper-turnout of hip flexors (and more); to toe shoes automatically throwing the spine out of whack; to neck attitude that is hard on C-spine discs; to poor movement -- like relying too heavily on momentum and leverage instead of muscle strength and proper posture. It can ruin a body, especially if not augmented by something like carefully instructed classic Pilates.

      Once begun, the wear and tear only exacerbates unless the dancer stops dancing. Have you ever read American ballerina Gelsey Kirkland's book Dancing on My Grave? She quit ballet about 30 years ago. She now teaches ballet in Australia, so I assume she has learned to teach in a way with proper kinesiology in mind.

      Did I read a few posts back that your daughter is 14, and has been studyiing ballet for ten years? If true, potentially I say Yikes! I'd have to know more, but if she's been pushing herself hard from a young age, that could account for a lot -- especially en pointe. That's not to suggest she doesn't have some other process/es going on.

      Her contact sports are, as you already identified, problematic. Sounds like she needs to lay off activity as recommended by your doctor. I know what it's like as an adult to be forced to give up vital activities upon which your happiness depends, so I do not say that lightly. As a child used to doing all those things, it will hurt. At times it might be confusing.

      On the other hand, kids can be pretty adaptable. You and your daughter have quite a journey. You'll learn things along the hard way, sorting out what's what. [IMG]/forum/images/icons/icon3.gif[/IMG] Care providers aren't always right, and aren't always right for each person. But best that at 14 your daughter begin this journey now while she can absorb information quickly and make changes as you discover to be appropriate.

      Best to her, and to you.


      P.S. What Wise says. I wish I'd had his wisdom when I ran into trouble seven years ago.


        Really really nervous

        Hello again-- I am very very nervous---I have written before BUT I need some expert advice Please. My MRI taken on 1/26/2010 - says as follows-- PLEASE READ--
        1.Schmorls node formation is seen along the superior endplate of L1,L2 and L3.
        L1-2 -there is a reduction in disc signal intensity.There is a disc bulge but no evidence of foraminal or thecal sac impingement.

        L2-3 There is a central disc herniation with anterior thecal sac impingement. There is left foraminal impingement. There is no right foraminal impingement.

        L3-4 There is a disc bulge and bilateral foraminal impingement. There is no thecal sac impingement.

        L4-5 There is a disc bulge and bilateral foraminal impingement. There is no thecal sal impingement.

        L5-S1.-There is no bulge or herniation. There is left sided facet hypertrophy resulting in left foraminal impingement.

        I went to an orthopedist and he does not seem worried???
        I am also getting treatment from my Chiropractor/sports MD(traction to decompress the spine and TENS and ultrasound) who also does not seem worried???

        BUT - today after initially geting this injury about 3 and 1/2 weeks ago-lifting a heavy weight.. I am again in severe discomfort - due to my having to shovel snow in NY- used the snow blower- but had to help my inlaws--- and had to pick up the snow blower and put it into my car- to bring it to their home-- suffice it to say-- I am back to square one- with my pain that had subsided a bit since the injury first happened.

        So I was at a family gathering today and my brother-in-law was there. He is a very good attorney and I might add a very smart man- REALLY smart. I told him about my injury and he recommended I see a doctor in NYC at the hospital for special surgery as a second opinion!! The name he gave me is ----

        Dr. Patrick F. O'Leary
        1015 Madison Avenue
        New York, NY 10021

        My brother in law being an attorney has handled many many accident cases and he says that this doctor has treated many of the sports figures that we all know about. He said anyone from his practice is very good at what they do. When I sent my brother -in-law a copy of the MRI- he seemed to be more worried about my condition than the doctors I have been too up to this point in time.
        If I may- here is the response from my brother-in- law to my MRI finding--- please read his response below-------

        "As you know I am not a medical doctor. However, for what it is worth, in addition to having a central disc herniation at L2-L3, this herniation also impinges on the thecal sac. Further, your disc bulges are not simple bulges, Your bulges impinge on the foramina, bilaterally. (Without reading a medical reference, I don't know the ramifications of the multi- level Schmorl's node formation.
        Bottom line, I believe that what they will do for a proper diagnosis is to try to track the pain existing pain paths. If this proves too difficult because of the multi-level disc programs, they may suggest performance of a discogram. This is an old procedure - "tried and true" according to many othopedic surgeons. This is a minor surgical procedure done under a very controlled setting where the surgeon tries to duplicate the pain you are experiencing by stimulating nerves at various disc levels so as to determine which particular problem is the cause of your pain. "

        Now here is my dilemna-- Both the orthopedist I am seeing and the chiropractor- have not said anything to me even resembling what my brother-in-law is saying!! Why not-- is my brother-in-law wrong -- or are the doctors taking this too lightly. I mean I am in a ton of discomfort-- and really need this fixed.
        If you can - in laymans terms and I mean in laymans terms- tell me what my brother-in-law is saying I would appreciate it. About this discogram?? and duplicating the pain to find out what?? and how dangerous is this procedure???

        My brother-in-law says that now they can fix herniations with a microdisectomey--and they have this laser procedure and they have this glue that they now use that is almost like bone???Not saying that I have to go this way-- but from what you read of MY MRI results-- how worried would you be??-- also as of now I have NO leg pain at all!!! My pain is felt right at the top left part of the pelvic area--and no place else- but can that change--??

        I know that this is a long letter- but I really want to stop this injury and it effects on me ASAP--- please explain all what I have written about above and let me know if you know of this MD in NYC-- and tell me who is closer to being correct about my condition-- my chiro and ortho- who do not seem too worried-- or my brother- in law- who seems a bit more alarmed???
        Thanks so much for your patience--

        As I sit here very nervous and worried- I fear always the worst and am crying uncontrollably.
        I await you reply with trepidation.

        P.S.-- I just read about microdisectomey on the spine-healt site- BUT it keeps saying that this procedure will stop all leg pain caused by the nerve-- AGAIN - I want to repaeat that as of right now-- I have NO leg pain at all!! So I am totally confused....!!!????????I really need some sort of professional exp,lanation before I see this new MD- Please reply.
        Last edited by montek; 15 Feb 2010, 12:29 AM. Reason: more info


          my MRi says ive got a benign anterior wedge "compression fracture" at the T8 there is disk desiccation at the T7-8 T8-9 with intervertebral disk space narrowing at the T7-8. there is buldgeing at the T7-8. There is elivation of the posterior longitudinal ligament and impingment upon the ventral sac. There is approxamation of the spianl cord. Bilateral nural foraminal stanosis.
          T10-11 Right nural forminal stenosis
          cervical spine there is congenital narrowing of the spinal canal." there is streigtening of the cervical spine sugestive of underling musscle spasm.
          in the lumbar total buldging disks T4-5 T7-8 T9-10 T10-11 angular disk buldging L3-4 L4-5 L5-S1
          there is marked imingment of the bilateral lateral recesses but my first question is there is no significant "spinal stenosis" this might be becuse the impingment of the bilateral lateral recesses has to be quite severe to be considered stenosis? the congenital narowing of the cervical spine is that short pinical syndrome " stenosis"? and what is approxamation of the ventral spine. Why dose the Dr say that aint that bad? Is he just useing some kind of funny statement or just being plain neglegent?bilateral lateral recesses and congenital narowing of the cervical spine why dont my mri say cervical spinal stenosis? like the thorasic spine say's stenosis? im 29.
          My dr dint mention paralisis and the ortho i went to played dumb like i could shake it off. that should be mentioned so ill let you know?
          thank you


            Wolfmute - you are reading your MRI report which was dictated or written by a Neuroradiologist. He sits in a dark room in a nice chair, possibly an Aeron chair, and looks at shadow pictures all day. He doesn't examine or talk to patients except when they are on the gurney and he threads a catheter up their groin artery and squirts some dye up there.

            On the other hand, your neurosurgeon or spine surgeon sees, examines, operates, and follows patients. He sees what is written on the films and most often looks at the films and makes his own opinion and reading. His opinion is based on the accumulated experience of seeing real people in the flesh over time. Included in that is the accumulated experience from operating and actually looking at the tissue and spinal abnormalities , doing surgery, and then following these people over time and correlating the MRI findings to what he sees in surgery and then how the patients fair over time.

            The neurosurgeon's interpretation of your MRI is more important. He has examined you and can tell you what on the MRI is clinically relevant. Now this is assuming that he is an experience, thoughtful, neurosurgeon. That may not be the case and it is not uncommon that people go get a second or third opinion.

            In summary, I just wouldn't hold the neuroradiologist's reading as gospel necessarily. He is not a 'clinician'.

            Is your neurosurgeon a good communicator? Does he have a good reputation? What about getting a 2nd opinion?


              "Im new to this so please be patient.....
              My 14 year old daughter was diagnosed yesterday with an abnormal kyphosis of the Cspine associated with a posterior disc bulging at C3/C4 and C5/C6 level causing a mild narrowing of the thecal sac.... the Doctor advised us that she must give-up all dancing and sport activities........."

              Hi I have a neck complaint my self and have recently been told that I have a congenital atlanto- occipital fusion and c5 level indentation on the thecal sac. I also have cervical spondylosis (degeneration of three vertebrae) and reverse lordosis- reversed curvature of my cervical spine. I can speak from experience that putting my neck into certain positions causes me to experience neurological symptoms. I have constant pain in my neck and frequent pins and needles along both arms into my fingers, especially when I roll my neck and it cracks several times; I get a sharp bolt of pins and needles to my fingers. Extension and flexion as well as turning my head side to side elicits pins and needles in the right side of my scalp and face. Pain radiates to my head, temple region and retro-orbital region (behind eyes,) in addition to the radicular arm pain and pins and needles. These symptoms are painful, uncomfortable and worrysome.
              I am very concerned that this ongoing numbness and pins and needles is not being addressed due to the assumption that the aetiology of chronic pain does not change over time and have seen doctor after doctor over the last seven years.
              So please rest assured that you have a good doctor who is taking her condition seriously and taking every precaution possible. Your Daughter's doctor is aware of the risks of neurological complications that can arise from her conditions and has advised of the safest plan of action that will not only protect her from spinal cord damage but also limit the progression of neurological symptoms that will or potentially could cause her great pain and chronic discomfort.
              It takes a long time to accept that your body will never be the same again and that long term modifications to lifestyle are the only ways to manage the condition. I was 24 years old, and I was a single parent of two small kids when my neck complaint started (literally overnight,) and I initially found it very hard to adjust, not being able to get physical with them and not being able to manage the household chres etc. But believe me, your daughter has a long bright future ahead of her and if dancing cannot be then, given time, she will be able to move on and focus on an alternative future. I did a national diploma whilst suffering neck pain etc and began a degree in molecular medicine, although I have currently suspended following a lower spine injury due to an accident. After my operation I will complete my degree and hopefully get a job! So life goes on and we find ways to manage and accept life for what we have rather than what we do not.

              I am sorry to go on a bit! But I hope you take some reassurance from this that the doctor is doing what is best and that your daughter will find that positive future.


                Help finding neurosurgeon

                My MRI shows obvious impingement. My arms and legs have gotten very skinny and a little weak. I have tingling in the neck and bending certain ways causes more tingling and numbness on arms and shins. The "wiping" area on the behind has gone at least 90% numb in the last week.

                My neurologist referred me to neurosurgery on an urgent basis, but two neurosurgeons have been unable to handle my case, recommending that I go to a major teaching hospital. So I make appointments, time goes by and my neurological situation gets worse.

                One NS implied he would not operate until he saw indication of permanent SCI in the MRI, but that's exactly what he is supposed to prevent, by treating me before that.

                Can you recommend an approach or a doctor near Rutgers to get the needed treatment?


                  Originally posted by ErnBird View Post
                  My MRI shows obvious impingement. My arms and legs have gotten very skinny and a little weak. I have tingling in the neck and bending certain ways causes more tingling and numbness on arms and shins. The "wiping" area on the behind has gone at least 90% numb in the last week.

                  My neurologist referred me to neurosurgery on an urgent basis, but two neurosurgeons have been unable to handle my case, recommending that I go to a major teaching hospital. So I make appointments, time goes by and my neurological situation gets worse.

                  One NS implied he would not operate until he saw indication of permanent SCI in the MRI, but that's exactly what he is supposed to prevent, by treating me before that.

                  Can you recommend an approach or a doctor near Rutgers to get the needed treatment?

                  When faced with symptoms like those that you describe, most neurosurgeons look for possible causes on MRI, including compression of the spinal cord and roots. Based on your description, it sounds as if the neurosurgeons that you saw did not think that you have anything operable. Impingement does not mean compression... It suggests that something is touching your cord or roots. The symptoms that you describe are not specific for spinal cord injury. If you have seen two neurosurgeons already, I am not sure what to advise. Probably the best spine neurosurgeon in New Jersey is Robert Heary at UMDNJ in Newark.



                    Thanks Wise. What other than SCIWOT could cause this progressive degree of denervation, including autonomic dysfunction and bladder issues?
                    Since that post, I have been diagnosed with Cranio Cervical Instability and Atlanto Axial Instability and fusion surgery is being considered. The compression / irritation is hard to see on imaging because it's necessarily intermittent. Does this make sense?
                    Last edited by ErnBird; 20 Mar 2012, 11:14 AM.


                      careful with word addicted

                      Originally posted by dave823 View Post

                      Reconsider your thoughts of oxycontin as a base medication. I speek from experience. I've been dealing with degenerative disc disease for 28 years. My spine is pretty much trashed from top to bottom.

                      I got a RX for oxy in 1997 when it first came out. It was called a wonder drug. It did kill the pain. It also does something they don't tell you about. It is a synthetic version of morphine. Being a synthetic it has the strange ability to actually intensify the back pain you experience. I don't know if it was designed this way or not but it does guarantee that you will continue taking the product,, not because your adicted to it, but, because the pain becomes so much worse the longer you take it.

                      I took oxycontin for 10 years!! For the last 12 months I was taking 480 mg per day. The roxi's you are taking are equivelent to about 15 mg of oxycontin.

                      The back pain had become so intence, I was also given a RX for Dilodid which is ( mg for

                      mg ) 100 times stronger than oxy. On top of the oxy I was taking 8 mg of Dilodid every 2 hours and 3000 mg of Soma (carisaprodol,,,a mussle relaxer) per day. normal dose is 350 mg bid.

                      I stopped taking everything 3 months ago. I had to go to detox cause I was hopelessly adicted as you can imagine. They said they never saw such a violent withdrawal from oxy. After stopping the oxy the back pain subsided. I'm still in a lot of pain but nothing like when I was taking oxy.

                      I hope this helps you make a better decission on meds.


                      As a healthcare professional and a successful user of opiates for degenerative disc disease. You say u had to go through detox as u were addicted, which very well may have been the case for you.
                      Addicted implies you are consuming pain medicine to constantly reach that Euphoric feeling u had the first time u took pain medicine.
                      On the other hand tolerance, which is what we all develop after long term use of pain medicine and this is not a bad thing. It happens with many other drugs as well.
                      Getting off of pain medicines is just the same as going on. You slowly reduce the prescriptions month by month until your done to 1 a day. Now the addict can't do this as they don't want off the meds. They are addicted. As a smoker is to cigarettes. Statistics show that people with true chronic pain do NOT become addicted to pain medicine, but is tolerant. They myself included do not take meds more frequent than prescribed and they have been nothing but a positive in my life by keeping me functional a.d off disability. Opiates get alot of negative press thanks to the addict, but for many they are a useful treatment option


                        It's bee quite a journey...not an easy one...
                        I have one last question ....Is it possible that all that, was a premenition for the fibromyalgia? My daughter was diagnosed about 2 years ago.
                        Thank you.

                        Originally posted by Wise Young View Post
                        Sorry that I did not post some more on the subject as I promised. The fact that your daughter has serious spinal problems at a young age suggests that presence of a genetic disorder where she is not producing normal cartilage and bone. There are many such conditions.

                        Warm compresses may help relax the muscles if she is very tense but this would be mostly for comfort reasons. I don't think exercise of the neck will help and, if overdone, may be harmful.

                        Anima Mia, Vola Via!