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Having lump at the top of the vertebra. Not able to move head. Having pain. Remedy?

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Neurologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1997
Answered : 65 Questions
I cannot turn my head in either direction, and it is vey painful, especially on the top of my spine. There is a very large bump at the top of the vertabrae..much larger than usual.

My email is YYYY@YYYY

P.s. It has been hurting for several weeks, and, although it'sbeen hard to turn that long, it has gotten wors since Sunday. I no longer can turn my head while driving to see what's coming from any direction.
Posted Tue, 16 Jul 2013 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Shivakumar S. Kupanur 38 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

I need to know few more details to answer you better.

1. How did it start? Was it sudden onset or progressed slowly over period?

2. Are there any associated symptoms like fever, etc.

3. Is there any history of trauma?

4. Is swelling increasing in size?

With the provided history, there are many possibilities. It could be a simple musculoskeletal sprain also. Swelling can appear due to the same reason. But, anyway it needs detailed physical evaluation and necessary investigations like MRI spine if required to diagnose exactly.

Till then, take rest. You will find relief from pain with anti-inflammatory medicines. Visit your primary care physician for evaluation as soon as possible.

I hope this answers your query. I will be available for follow up queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having lump at the top of the vertebra. Not able to move head. Having pain. Remedy? 58 minutes later
My neck has been sore for awhile, and, a spinal MRI taken in Jan. '13 indicated a "lipomatous lesion" at C2, but I didn't have this much difficulty moving my neck, nor was there this much pain. Before, it hurt mainly when I touched the top of the spine where the swelling is (and, yes, to me it seems to have gotten larger. It certainly hurts more.).

I know that my spine is a problem; my neurologist in Hawaii said I had to see one in Buffalo, NY ASAP (I am in NY until NOV. and she was concerned that I could have a stroke. [I am 58]
I saw a neuro surgeon, but he said he only did surgeries, so I had to make an appointment with neurologist. Unfortunately, since I have to be in Wash. D.C. in mid-Jul., the earliest appointment is 7/26. I don't know if it's safe for me to wait that long.

Answered by Dr. Shivakumar S. Kupanur 11 hours later
Hello again.

Thanks for the detailed history.

With the available information, it doesn't look that you are vulnerable to stroke. But, to comment correctly, physical evaluation is mandatory.

It appears to me that there is no urgency and you can wait till your appointment. But, in case if you have any worsening of your symptoms or occurrence of any new symptoms, visit emergency department for immediate care.

Your treating doctor is aware of your physical examination findings which I am not, so she has advised you see Neurologist as soon as possible. I would also suggest you to speak to her before waiting if possible.

I hope, this answers your query. I wish you speedy recovery.


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