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What causes numbness and tingling on face and arms after a whiplash?

DOCTOR OF THE MONTH - Nov 2013
Nov 2013
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Hi, I had whiplash due, to a rear-end accident dec the 4th. Had a sore neck since. But 5.5 wks ago had a buddy grab my neck(while sitting) in a very fast arm lock position. . Instantly my entire face and both hands went numb. And felt like an explosion ripped through my head. The numbness lasted only seconds. I went to chiropractor. (He took multiple X-rays. Said no fractures. But since have experienced slight numbness and tingling in right side of face and arms( also have swelling on right side of neck) 2 wks later I went to the ER. After another bout of numbness that radiated from neck all the way to lower back. And seemed to almost cause a weakness sensation in legs. From there they did 2 MRI's of neck w/o contrast. 2 brain MRI's w/o contrast. a CT scan of neck. And additional xrays. All the results came back good. The problem is 5 weeks later I still have the occasional weakness in arms/ legs. With 2 vertebrates in neck that are extremely tender(especially if it jars at all.) I was to a neurologist. Last week. He simply said next step would be a lumbar mri. But I'm persuaded it's something to do with my neck. I'm terrified of this getting worse or suddenly becoming parylized.. What should be the next step. Or is this simply going to take time.
Posted Wed, 26 Feb 2014 in Brain and Spine
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 13 hours later
Brief Answer: My reply is below. Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for posting your query. I have noted your symptoms. First of all, I would like to reassure you that there is no need to worry about getting paralysed. This is because your symptoms do not suggest that and moreover, your MRIs are normal. There seems to be minor injury to cervical spinal cord/nerves, which is not visible on the MRI, and is producing your current symptoms. As of now, you should be started on medications such as pregabalin or gabapentin capsules. In addition, physiotherapy would also help. I hope my reply has helped you. I would be pleased to answer, if you have any follow up queries or if you require any further information. Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine), DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX Consultant Neurologist Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, For DIRECT QUERY to me: http://bit.ly/Dr-Sudhir-kumar My blog: http://bestneurodoctor.blogspot.com/
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Follow-up: What causes numbness and tingling on face and arms after a whiplash? 6 hours later
Ok, do you think i could possibly be dealing with lhermittes syndrome?Ok, should i be wearing a neck brace? Im currently working 5 hrs a day. Occasionally am getting these electric shock symptoms, but almost always with hyperextension. Is this XXXXXXX to be working?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 45 minutes later
Brief Answer: Yes. Detailed Answer: You are absolutely correct. Your symptoms are suggestive of Lhermitte's symptom. It occurs due to involvement of posterior columns of spinal cord. Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
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Follow-up: What causes numbness and tingling on face and arms after a whiplash? 5 minutes later
So this could occur with hyper extension? Head backward thrust?) i dont get chin-down thrust. Also does this mean im damaging my chord everytime it occurs?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 1 minute later
Brief Answer: Thank you for getting back. Detailed Answer: Since your MRIs and X-rays are normal, wearing neck brace is not mandatory. However, neck brace would prevent the pain that occurs due to sudden neck movements, so, it can be worn while at work or while travelling. Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
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Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 6 minutes later
Brief Answer: Thank you for getting back. Detailed Answer: Yes, this could occur with hyperextension, as the posterior columns are located at the back of spinal cord. No, you are not damaging your spinal cord by doing these movements or when they occur. This Lhermitte's symptom just indicates that the healing process in the spinal cord injury is incomplete. Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
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Follow-up: What causes numbness and tingling on face and arms after a whiplash? 0 minute later
Ok think im finally getting this case nailed down. Anything i should/should not do.? And how long should i expect these symptons?(been 5.5 weeks) Also should i see my neurologist again (he just wanted to do a lumbar mri )
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 1 hour later
Brief Answer: My reply is below. Detailed Answer: You should avoid frequent/jerky/sudden neck movements, and you should not carry heavy weights on head. Otherwise, there are no other Do's or Don'ts. Recovery may take another 4-6 weeks. If symptoms persist, you may see your neurologist. Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
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