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Have cervical problems. Has neural foraminal stenosis. On lyrica. Why do I also have problem breathing?

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Posted on Thu, 12 Jul 2012
Question: Hi, In 2009, I was 53yrs old female at the time I was stopped at a light and rear-ended in a MVA. The small car went under my Jeep and caused a lot of damage to the underside and I got whiplash, I felt sick at the scene and my back seized up a couple of hours later. I had inflammation that was rampant through my body. I had "lightening bolts" running through my body, a tear in my right shoulder and was in a fog like state until now. I continue to have cervical problems and DDD at C4-5, C6-7. /C5-6 has moderate to severe neural foraminal stenosis. I take Lyrica to help manage my pain.

Approx. 4-6 weeks after the MVA, I had severe breathing problems. My neck swelled. I was diagnosed with Lymphocytic thyroiditis. (left side). I had no history of thyroid problems. My thyroid T levels were normal but my Thyrogloblin was 329.0 HI. The surgeon wanted to wait until the inflammation settled down but because the CT showed a fat plane between a large mass and the thyroid, which could be "an extra thyroid mass" or "exophytic mass arising from the thyroid"; he changed his mind and my thryoid was removed shortly after. The surgeon was concerned the extra mass would separate and then they would not know where it went, posing a risk factor since he thought it might be cancer. The pathology showed the mass was benign.

I always believed my thyroid problems were triggered by the MVA. I had nothing wrong prior to the accident. It seemed more than a coincidence. Could the seatbelt have caused this to happen? Was the inflammation caused by the accident? Were the events leading to my thyroid removal caused by the accident?

Need to understand.
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Answered by Dr. Shehzad Topiwala (12 hours later)
To the best of my knowledge, there is no known connection between an MVA and thyroid problems. I understand you are wondering if the MVA triggered the sequence of events that lead to the thyroid condition. But this is most unlikely. Inflammation of the thyroid can be from various causes such auto-immune, viral and bacterial but MVA as the main incident setting off a reaction specifically on the thyroid has not been reported. It is difficult to justify the seatbelt hurting the thyroid. The thyroid is normally situated in such a way that external injury is difficult unless a pointed object was directly inserted into it which can cause damage to it.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Shehzad Topiwala

Endocrinologist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 1663 Questions

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Have cervical problems. Has neural foraminal stenosis. On lyrica. Why do I also have problem breathing?

To the best of my knowledge, there is no known connection between an MVA and thyroid problems. I understand you are wondering if the MVA triggered the sequence of events that lead to the thyroid condition. But this is most unlikely. Inflammation of the thyroid can be from various causes such auto-immune, viral and bacterial but MVA as the main incident setting off a reaction specifically on the thyroid has not been reported. It is difficult to justify the seatbelt hurting the thyroid. The thyroid is normally situated in such a way that external injury is difficult unless a pointed object was directly inserted into it which can cause damage to it.