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What is the cause for numbness, pins and needles after surgery for protruding disc?

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Pain Medicine & Palliative Care Specialist
Practicing since : 1983
Answered : 1337 Questions
I had fusion of C5 and C6 a year ago as the disc was protruding and i had numbness and pins and needles and nerve pain down my right arm and into my hand. After the surgery, my laryngeal nerve had been damaged and my right vocal cord is now permanently paralyzed, BUT all the pain and numbness had gone from hand and arm. 9 months later all the numbness and pain and pins and needles have returned but also into my right foot . my foot is often numb and has pins and needles and sometimes my left foot is also numb in the toes. I had an MRI of my whole spine but is shows nothing is amiss. Is my arm and my leg related? is it related to the surgery? is it something completely new?
Posted Fri, 13 Dec 2013 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Kerry Pottinger 9 hours later
Brief Answer: I suggest seeing a neurologist. Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for using Healthcare Magic. It must be disappointing for you that your original symptoms have returned after a period of relief. However, it is surprising that the MRI did not demonstrate a recurrence of the same problem. It is highly unlikely that the leg symptoms would be caused by problems in your neck. My thought is that you may have a new problem unrelated to a protruding disc. This may be a problem with your nerves in both your arm and leg. I suggest you see a neurologist. A detailed history of your symptoms and an examination will help with diagnosis. An MRI looking specifically at the nerves and nerve conduction studies may be needed. Also blood tests may be needed. I hope this is of help to you. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Regards, Dr K A Pottinger, MBChB FRCA
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