Major Hand Symptoms- Help!!

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Major Hand Symptoms- Help!!

Postby drummergrl » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:28 am

I'm a little frantic...my hands have recently begun completely seizing up, seemingly out of nowhere. I don't mean just not working right, but seizing into fists where I can't move my fingers at all or make my hand straighten out. The episodes pass after a few hours, but they are frequent. I'm a law student and absolutely CANNOT have issues with my hands- I have way too much typing, reading (page turning) to accomplish.

What do I do? I'm in a complete panic. I'm on 800 mg. of Neurontin and 500 mg. of Diamox. Anyone??
CM, SM, Scoliosis
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Re: Major Hand Symptoms- Help!!

Postby reedy » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:09 pm

Hi drummergrl
Really sorry to hear about your hand problems. You haven't said what your underlying issues are - SM, CM, where on your spinal cord, etc...so its hard to give much specific feedback. But I can relate my own experience - I have had fairly significant wastage of the muscles in my hands due to the effects of my syrinx (biggest C5-C8). In the beginning I had some kinds of cramps that would close my hands, but only very briefly, not long periods. But I have been losing muscle mass over the years. As a result, in consultation with my neurosurgeon, we decided to do an intervention surgery. The decision was quite explicit - save the hands even if there were negative effects on my ability to walk from the surgery. I had a duroplasty, syringotomy and arachnoid dissection in April. So far it seems to have worked well. I think my hands have stopped declining and might be slightly better. My walking is definitely much worse than before, but its a worthwhile tradeoff. Indeed, life becomes much more difficult without use of your hands.

Do keep your hands warm. That helps. Though it sounds like the issue you have may need more serious consideration than just some fingerless gloves.
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Re: Major Hand Symptoms- Help!!

Postby drummergrl » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:19 pm

I had a PFD for Chiari in 2006 along with a duraplasty. I still have a residual cervical/thoracic syrinx (but it's only long, not wide). My syrinx has been checked recently, as I was in the hospital for a week in April and in the hospital at Cleveland Clinic in August, and 2 neurosurgeons and 1 neurologist have cleared my syrinx as nothing more than a slight inconvenience.

I have never had issues with my hands before- everything has always affected my leg or my face. Because my syrinx has been checked by Cleveland Clinic I'm hesitant to assume anything related to SM.

I left a voicemail for my neurologist asking what to do, but they said it might take 48 hours to get back to me. I am just beside myself. After finally getting my leg issues figured out LAST WEEK, it makes me just sick to think I'm starting all over again with my hands. Why is nothing ever easy?!
CM, SM, Scoliosis
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Re: Major Hand Symptoms- Help!!

Postby pmaxwell » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:44 am

I am not a doctor but since muscle wasting can be a side effect of SM it is important to find exercises to prevent it. If the muscles that open the hand become weaker than the muscles that close the hand, the stronger muscles take over thus pulling the hand into a fist. Can anyone share exercises that have been recommended? Stretching the hand muscles might help when you spend lots of time on the keyboard, take breaks and stretch the fingers.

best wishes,

Patricia
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