Cervical herniated disc

Last week in the middle of the week I was at my computer in the lab when I suddenly felt a numbness in my left arm down to my fingers. Well it would be normal like any other time except this time the numbness didn't go away even after a few days. So on the 3rd or 4th day, I decided to go see a doctor.

I first went to the university clinic where I got some medication for my cold and I complained to the clinic staff about my weak arm and numbness and she recommended that I go to an orthopedic hospital to seek treatment. I got a Korean friend to go together with me cos the people here really can't speak English that well.

At the orthopedic hospital

I told the orthopedic specialist about my symptoms - weakness, numbness, and lack of feeling in my left arm and fingers. He asked me whether I had experienced any trauma and I said no and he proceeded to check my responses on both arms with a small hammer. Responses were fine but the feeling was less in my left arm.

Digital infrared body scan

Then I proceeded upstairs to the 2nd level for a digital infrared body scan (sample picture which is not mine! taken from here) .

Spinal x-ray

Then I went back downstairs to the first floor for an x-ray scan which I was ordered to lie on a table with all sorts of weird poses like posing for a magazine spread (lift your chin like this! your eyes look here!)

I felt strange cos I felt the x-ray guy was taking more pictures of my neck than my left arm so I told him (luckily he spoke some English) that the problem was in my left arm not my neck but he replied that maybe the spinal cord will affect the nerve in my arm. =_=!!!

Back to the specialist

After all the physical examinations the doctor called me back into his office and showed me pictures of the infrared scan and x-ray scan. The digital infrared images showed my healthy right arm as red color but my weak left arm as blue color. The doctor said that clearly there was a difference meaning there was something wrong with my left arm.

Next, he showed me the x-ray scan of my neck. Now the cervical spine (neck) consists of 7 bones and between each bone there is a disc, which is a soft gel-like material that cushions the bones. The doctor diagnosed that I had a herniated disc occurring at the C5-C6 bone, which is the disc protruding through its outer core and pressuring the spinal nerve thus affecting my left arm and fingers.

Physical Therapy

So the doctor ordered me to undergo physical therapy immediately for two weeks, daily. So I proceeded to the third floor for physical therapy - hot pack on neck and shoulder, massage and neck exercise. I heard from my friend yesterday that the entire program would cost 1,000,000won (about RM3000). Luckily I have medical insurance from my university to cover the costs but I still have to pay the basic 10,000won myself each time I go for treatment.

So, this is how my hands look like currently. The first picture is of my healthy right hand in relaxed state, and the second picture is of my weak left hand in relaxed state. And now I'm typing with 3 fingers on my left hand.

Right hand (healthy)

Left hand

Still, taking everything with a pinch of salt! I will recover!

Comments

josze said…
Im so sorry to hear that!
but what caused it to protrude suddenly or all the while it has been like that and it just got serious recently?
i hope you get well soon! i'm sure the feeling sucks but all will be well!
Xweing said…
At first I was thinking this was maybe an ergonomic issue or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but luckily the diagnosis was not!

But I do think it's becos of prolonged computer usage and incorrect posture (neck) throughout the years... so you must be careful also!

It just happened one day out of the blue, without warning.
Invisible said…
sorry to hear tat xwei~ hope you're doing fine now.

last time my right hand, along 無名指 & 小指 was pain too, but i ignore, until one day i woke up in the morning my right hand was totally swollen like pig hand then oni i get scared, quickly went to a 中醫, after 針灸 & 推拿 then finally recovered. :)
Xweing said…
Thanks! Here have 韩医院 too, something like 中医, i will try acupuncture only after if my physiotherapy doesn't work...

i read online that it can natural recovery too.. after 4 weeks..
leonardlcy said…
Get well soon!!! kesian kena double whammy of flu + crooked fingers. Dun worry, the warm Malaysian weather and the fragrant nasi lemak + pak cham gai will surely straighten those fingers :)
Xweing said…
nasi lemak = cholesterol....... u sure it can straighten my fingers??!?!??!
Invisible said…
i recovered after 2 days hehe~
leonardlcy said…
hahah sure can one. you need to use those hands to eat the food :)
joyce said…
Take care Xwei! :) Get Well soon yeah~~
James said…
hope ur ok. fast recovery. pray for u.

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