Q. I have increased twitching in the left thumb. Is that a sign of cervical disc herniation worsening?

Answered by
Dr. Tony Magana
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Jul 30, 2015 and last reviewed on: May 27, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am a 32 year old female with asthma. I have cervical disc herniation for 10 years. Over the past 5 months, symptoms were back with tingling, weakness and shooting pain in arms. I tried medications like Celebrex, Lyrica and also massage, physiotherapy, chiropractor and acupuncture, but the symptoms are getting worse. I did an MRI neck around 3 weeks ago which showed straightening of cervical spine due to muscle spasm. MRI indicates cervical spondylosisdeformans C5-C6 - broad-based disc herniation with right paracentral disc protrusion causing anterior thecal sac indentation with bilateral neural foramen narrowing. Impingement of bilateral exiting nerve roots noted [LT > RT]. Posterior osteophytes were also mentioned. Now, for the past 2 weeks, I have increasing twitching in the thumb especially left which is becoming almost continuous. Is that a sign that the disc is worsening?

Dr. Tony Magana

Neuro Surgery Spine Health Spine Surgery
#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

A herniated disc in the neck can cause three potential problems:

  1. Injury and degeneration of the disc can cause neck pain that is not related to nerve problems, and this is not usually a need for surgery.
  2. If the disc and bone spurring that form for long-standing problems compress the spinal cord, there can be myelopathy or spinal cord dysfunction which causes problems with walking and weakness of arms and legs. Based upon what you have told me you do not have this yet.
  3. The nerves leave the spinal cord and exit to the right and left. Sometimes disc herniation and chronic bone spurring can compress the nerves and not the spinal cord causing cervical radiculopathy which is most likely what you have.

As long as you do not have spinal cord dysfunction or significant weakness due to nerve compression, then you can try nonsurgical treatments like physical therapy, pain medication, or steroid injections.

If you continue to have significant arm pain or neurological symptoms for more than 6 weeks or develop weakness then you may need surgery.

An EMG/NCS (Electromyogram/Nerve Conduction Studies) test looks at the function of your nerves in the arm. It might be helpful if you get this test done to confirm that the MRI findings and pain you have correlate, before deciding whether to undergo surgery.

Ask a QueryAsk a Query Consult by PhoneConsult by Phone Video ChatVideo Chat
Also Read Answers From:

Related Questions & Answers


I was suggested surgery for cervical spondylosis. Should I go for it?

Query: Hello doctor, I am a 53 year old female. I am cervical spondylosis patient. After MRI report, the doctor suggested an operation. Should I go with the operation or not? MRI report: Spine with the screening of the whole spine: Cervical spine was studied with 3 mm thin slices in the axial and sagitt...  Read Full >>


Dr. Anshul Varshney
Internal Medicine Physician

Answer: Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com. If there is persistent numbness in the hands in cervical radiculopathy, then surgery is indicated. As you have mentioned that you have significant numbness, and your MRI reports also suggest the same, you should consider getting a surgery done. Till then you can be ...  Read Full

Due to cervical spondylosis, will I have problem during pregnancy?

Query: Hi doctor, I am a 31 year old female. For the past one year, I am suffering from heaviness of head and neck stiffness. Even though I am living my normal life, sometimes the heaviness of head becomes extreme. I feel it is spinning even at the slightest movement of neck and it is accompanied by bowel ...  Read Full >>


Dr. Lokesh
Orthopaedician And Traumatologist

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. According to the history and information given by you, my answers are as follows: It does not look like you have a gastrointestinal disorder. But, better is to get an ultrasonography of your abdomen and rule it out. In cervical spine you have only a small disc. So, ...  Read Full

Menstrual Disorders in Adolescent Girls

Article Overview: In this article, I have discussed the most common menstrual problems faced by girls in their adolescence and the method of diagnosis of the same. Read Article


Dr. Ashwini Nanasaheb Talpe
Obstetrician And Gynaecologist

Menstrual problems are common during adolescence due to slow maturation of the system situated in the brain called hypothalamo-pituitary axis. The hypothalamo-pituitary axis is the mediator of the menstrual cycle. The failure of this system may lead to variations in the menstrual cycle. It can last ...  Read Article

Popular

Popular

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a Neuro Surgeon Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.
Enter Your Health Query
You can upload files and images in the next step.

Fee:  

 


Disclaimer: All health Q&As published on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek the advice from your physician or other qualified health-care providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.