Darci Andersen Update on Darci

First post: May 1, 2017 Latest post: Jul 3, 2017
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and encouragement and thank you for visiting.   Darci will be having surgery for a cervical Tarlov/perineural cyst in her C8 nerve root on May 2, 2017 with Dr. Frank Feigenbaum in Dallas, Texas.  Her cyst is 1.5cm and is growing out the foramen and eroding the bone (see the glowing ball in the mri above).  This is very large for that small space and means she has had this cyst for many, many years (possibly since birth).  She has been struggling with neck and upper back deep pain and spasms and nerve pain and numbness in her right arm.  She is beginning to lose function in her right pinkie.  She has daily headaches with weekly migraines coupled with vision changes and dizziness.  In order to continue working, she has dealt with most of the symptoms with natural medicine and only a couple of prescriptions that do not alter her thinking.  We will be posting updates though the journal.  More information about Tarlov cysts is below.

Tarlov cysts (TCs) are dilations of the nerve root sheaths with nerves inside the cyst wall and and are abnormal sacs filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that can cause progressively painful radiculopathy (nerve pain).  They occur most prevalently in the sacral spine about 95% of the time, but can occur in the cervical spine , thoracic and lumbar spine (3-6%).   Very small asymptomatic Tarlov cysts can be found in approximately 5% of the population.  However, large symptomatic Tarlov cysts are rare.  It is not unusual, if the cyst has been present for a number of years to see evidence of erosion and remodeling of the sacral bone, or other vertebrae in the spine.  Symptoms include:  Burning and deep nerve pain, loss of function (including bowel and bladder changes when in the sacrum), numbness in the arms, hands, legs and feet, headaches sometimes accompanied by blurred or double vision, dizziness and feeling a loss of balance, weakness in extremities, cramping in the back, arms and legs, and many others depending on the location of the cyst(s).  Although the cause of Tarlov cyst formation in not known,  some incidents or conditions that might potentially cause the asymptomatic cysts to become symptomatic are traumatic injuries such as falls, automobile accidents, heavy lifting, childbirth and epidurals, any trauma to the spinal cord, an increase in the CSF pressure or blockage of the CSF pressure.  Collagen mutations or connective tissue disorders are predisposing or contribute to the cysts developing.  Unfortunately, surgical treatment by fenestration, imbrication and wrapping is the only permanent solution to these cysts currently (aspiration and use of glue fails consistently).  There are only 2 main doctors in the US that perform this very delicate procedure.  Initial recovery from surgery is 12 weeks with ultimate results in 2 years.  For more information feel free to visit www.tarlovcystfoundation.org.

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