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Can a previous spinal injury be a reason of having sudden sweating and high blood pressure?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3393 Questions
Hi, I was sitting and typing on the computer as what I usually do. Suddenly I got a getting hot feeling, and inceased to feeling like sweating. and mild floating of head. I thought I was going to have a heart attack so I rung thew ambulance.

I usually have BP at 110/70 and in ambulance I had 157/85. Never before this happened. age 51 BMI 20.9. I have injury at age 46, hitting corner of step and falling in sitting position impacting at all vertebra levels to neck. Prior to this I have been feeling inflammation of chest and tightness in upper body and arms. I regularly get chiropractor adjustments, massage and relaxation of tendons ever since the injuries and diagnosed chronic pain syndrome following injury.

3 years ago was told by cardiologist the chest pain was originating from back injury. I have T7 rib fracture, T4, T5 is out of allignment. Keep getting inflammatory feeling, shortness of breath tightness in spine, muscles and shoulders.
Due to shortness of breath and feeling like slow blood supply into the heart, I take 800 - 1200iu Vitamin E to regulate the blood flow. Due to this it seems why the ECG was normal. Do have chest pain slightly and tightness and inflammation of organ feeling. But there was no pain at that time. But feeling heavy and tight muscles of upper body that triggered shortness of breath feelings and mild spasms in upper body / ribs.
From the injury, do have C6/7 VB out of allignment slightly, Scelerosis of thoracic lumbar due to fractures at L5, L4, L3. grade 2 subluxation 1.4cm L5 on S1; Disc protrusion /tear L5/S1, L4/5 advanced changes at facet joints - retrolisthesis 0.4cm, XXXXXXX disc herniation L1/2, T11/12, end plate osteophytes at multiple levels including thoracic and cervical. Cervical also received extra injury from outstretched hand compacting against left shoulder and neck. Mild narrowing at C5/6, Spurs at C5/6, C4/5 & hypermobility at C4/5,
other vb has endplate spurs but not reported. C7/t1, T1/2 T2/3 has mild grey showing at disc
No history of injury or pain before this injury. Walked 6 hours trekking before injury- no pain. No family history of Scheuermann's disease or idiopathatic scoliosis. Father died at age 94 - no back pain -never used a walking stick. I did not play on slides during childhood because I did not attend kindy or class one.

•     All vertebral body for entire spinal column are of normal height as reported by SRG Radiology. No low peak bone mass, NO significant smaller spinal vertebral growth associated with fractures of pars since adolescence.

•     Do not have short trunk, low rib cage, high iliac crests or heart shaped buttocks or protruberant abdomen. These are markers of pre-existing adolescence fractures of pars which are absent.
L5/S1 disc protrusion is only narrowed due to elongated position given the slip presumably occurred while bouncing down 180mm at each step on the way sliding down flat on back. the remaining narrowing appears to be due to the protrusion. Diagnosis of disc dessicate has been made as "early stages".
Question 1) The heart issue / sweating and sudden high BP with quick recovery given I had taken and am taking daily 800iu Vit E; do you see this as a result of injury causing surcharge on organ from inflammation of rib cartilage, and sternum pain or just an ordinary dizzyness without heart involvement and can you identify likely cause? I get mid thoracic and upper thoracic spine region with regular hot spots and pain.

Question 2: With history provided, is there any significant correlating factor to suggest the pars fracture at L5/S1 were since adolescence given that there was no symptoms at age 46 until after this injury. and no clinical signs that are usually accompanying with pars fractures of adolescence?

Question 3: Do you have the opinion that all these are from significant injuries and occurred during the fall and slippages subsequent to the fall while sliding and bouncing down flight of stairs? MRI images show little bright white spots in the L5 intraspinal ligament and other pars fracture gaps at L4 and L3 also show residue of fluid 8 months after the injury.

Posted Sat, 14 Apr 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 15 hours later

Thanks for your query, was really informative and helped me in arriving at answers to your questions which follow,

1)I would not suspect heart involvement here, The rise in the BP you had could be due to stress you faced in that situation.The chest wall pathologies can rarely affect the heart as it is well protected from the same by pericardium , pericardial cavity with fluid in it which acts as a protective cushion layer.

Well the cause of the symptoms you had could always be a provisional ones unless examined like Thyrotoxicosis ,Diabetes mellitus, Anxiety and autonomic dysfunction which are more likely amongst those causing the above presentation.

2)Its less likely for the pars fracture of adolescence to go unnoticed without symptoms , may not be always but there may be pain felt whenever the lower back is hyper extended.May also present as numbness and weakness due to nerve compression.But still there is a rare chance where it can go unnoticed and brought out by the injury you had recently.

3)Yes, the injuries are quite typical and congruent to the fall you explain.
The white spot in the the ligament could be due to calcification as deviant in the process of healing.If it is the “fluid-sign” (presence of a fat-fluid level, or lipohemarthrosis) at the L4 and L3 you meant , that could be due to osteoporosis which is one of the complication in such fracture healing.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.

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