Medical Mystery: What caused woman’s arm pain and weakness?

Joseph A. Abboud, MD October 13th, 2021

Ebony is a 51-year-old physician who had been experiencing arm pain and weakness for about a year. During that time, the pain had become worse, radiating to the shoulder blade and down the arm. The problem was starting to interfere with her work as an internal medicine physician, as well as her sleep, care of her family, and her hobbies. She had previously seen a neurosurgeon in New Jersey and was being evaluated for neck and shoulder problems.

The neurosurgeon performed an evaluation and ordered an MRI of her shoulder, which was normal, and her back, which showed a mild disc bulge in her cervical spine. Based on the severity of symptoms her surgeon thought that a cervical spine surgery was needed. She underwent a cervical spine decompression and fusion. After surgery, she had an uneventful recovery; however, the arm pain, stiffness and weakness persisted.

To read more of Dr. Abboud's story for The Inquirer, please  click here.

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