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Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: numbness in extremities


 gtz74 - Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:16 am

A close family member has been experiencing numbness on the hands/arms. i.e. can't hold a fork b/c it will fall out of hands. An MRI was done just recently and they found a mass on the brain and an open space between one of the C's on the spine. Would you have any suggestions as to what may be occuring? We were involved in a car accident over 10yrs ago but the impact was on someone else's side.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:00 pm

User avatar Hello -

There are an awful lot of possible causes for the symptoms you describe. It's unusual for a person to have bilateral numbness and weakness one set of extremities, but often both arms being affected can indicate an injury to the cervical spine (or a disk problem between C-7 and T-1 (the one between the lowest cervical vertebra and the top thoracic one). If this "open space" (degenerated or displaced disk?) is in that location it would possibly make sense, and this could be a long, slow development from the auto accident. The impact having been on the other side doesn't eliminate the potential for vertebral injury, it just increases the likelihood of a more severe and immediate trauma for anyone on the side where the impact took place.

The mass on the brain is a whole other issue, and may well have nothing to do with this problem, although it certainly could. Again, though, unless this mass is precisely centered between the hemispheres it would be surprising for it to cause bilateral symptoms. This mass may actually be an old subdural hematoma which could be related to the accident but may not be causing the symptoms. However, if it's something else (a tumor perhaps) -- well, the composition and location are the important factors regarding that. I can't imagine the doctors aren't looking at that with great interest unless they've already figured out what it is.

My first, best guess would be there is an old, progressive injury at C-7, T-1 that's caused those vertebrae to settle on the nerve outlet on both sides equally. But it's just a guess.

I hope by now things have become more clarified. Please follow up with us and update us.

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