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What causes tingling feeling in shoulder?

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Posted on Mon, 10 Nov 2014
Question: My wife has a markedly positive Hoffman's sign. She did have some "pins and needles" tingling in her left shoulder and left upper arm for about two months. She has been asymptomatic for the last 6-8 weeks. She will get an MRI next week. I'm going to guess that she has a bulging or herniated cervical disc. Here's the question: If she continues to be asymptomatic, can she safely defer surgery or is she at serious risk for abrupt spinal cord compression and subsequent neurologic defecit? Thanks. XXXX. (I'm an anesthesiologist).
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Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
The risk for abrupt neurological deficit is low.

Detailed Answer:
Hi Ray, I have gone through your question and understand your concerns. In my opinion if your wife is asymptomatic ( pain and sensory modalities), she can defer surgery, if the MR shows minor disc problems. However there is need to be done plain radiographs in neutral, flexion and extension of your wife's cervical column to rule out instability and to check for bony ( osteophyte ) problems. Another think to do is to evaluate from a Neurologist, if there is any motor deficit in arms and hipperreflexia in both upper and lower extremities, if so there is associated myelopathy. Surgery improves pain and can do little if there is neurological deficit stopping it from aggravating.Simple measures as periodic use of cervical collar during long traveling, no abrupt turning of the head, etc. help prevent further neurological damage. Hope this answers your question. If you have additional questions or follow up questions then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Bhagyalaxmi Nalaparaju
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Dr. Erion Spaho

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3909 Questions

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What causes tingling feeling in shoulder?

Brief Answer: The risk for abrupt neurological deficit is low. Detailed Answer: Hi Ray, I have gone through your question and understand your concerns. In my opinion if your wife is asymptomatic ( pain and sensory modalities), she can defer surgery, if the MR shows minor disc problems. However there is need to be done plain radiographs in neutral, flexion and extension of your wife's cervical column to rule out instability and to check for bony ( osteophyte ) problems. Another think to do is to evaluate from a Neurologist, if there is any motor deficit in arms and hipperreflexia in both upper and lower extremities, if so there is associated myelopathy. Surgery improves pain and can do little if there is neurological deficit stopping it from aggravating.Simple measures as periodic use of cervical collar during long traveling, no abrupt turning of the head, etc. help prevent further neurological damage. Hope this answers your question. If you have additional questions or follow up questions then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your questions.