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Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Spinal fusion causing limbs to fall asleep?


 corrysmonkeys - Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:39 pm

For the past 3 months, my hands, arms, legs, and feet have been falling asleep for what seems like no apparent reason. Usually, the limbs are either only mildly constricted, or not constricted at all when this happens. The sensation is that of pins and needles, numbness, and severe discomfort upon attempting to move the limb. A few days ago, I got out of bed and stood up, only to immediately collapse because my right leg was completely numb. I saw my doctor about these issues, and he said he couldn't detect any circulation problems, and then diagnosed me with carpal tunnel in my wrists. However, my hands are definitely not the only problem -- as I said, my arms, legs, and feet have been falling asleep and experiencing numbness too. Sometimes I even wake up feeling the back of my neck and part of the back of my head have fallen asleep too.

In 1994 I had an upper spinal fusion to correct Kyphosis. I haven't had an problems or complications from the surgery aside from soreness and muscle pain. I am wondering if the problems I'm having with my limbs could be related to the fusion. Thanks so much for your help.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:18 am

User avatar Hello,
With all four limb paresthesias, there some potential syndromes or diseases to rule out in addition to considering the neck fusion possibly causing arm symptoms.

I would start by screening for:
-diabetes
-hypothyroidism
-rheumatoid/connective tissue disorder (depending on any other symptoms)

So workup would include:
-fasting blood sugar
-TSH and free T4
-and a rheumatological panel (CBC,CRP,sed rate, RF, ANA, anti CCP)

If everything comes back normal I may consider doing an EMG and NCV on the limbs to look for neurological problems.

Of course all of this would be considered and ordered through your family physician not to mention a thorough history and physical exam.

Take care.

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