Posted by: amanda | 2012/12/11

compression medulla oblongata - revised

Hi Dr
i answered the question last asked. just copy and paste the previous question
hi Dr
i am 42 and have aptypical neuralgia face throat. i was recently diagnosed that there is compression on the medulla oblangata coming from the right vertibral artery. i really want to know what is the risks of this condition. some cites on the internet say that it can cause a stroke or tia attacks. i recently had an episode during having sex with my husband, excrutaing headache, like if there was lot of pressure and my neck went stiff, and shoulders. it lasted for 10 minutes and the headache lingered for days. i am not a person that suffers from migraine. should i bee concerned ? if yes what is the next step?

Subject: RE: medulla oblongata compression
Posted by: Amanda | 5/11/2012
just another question. can they see on mri if your arteries in neck are partially obstructed or must you go for the other tests. i do sometimes get out of breath quickly, i do smoke. Sometimes i get this feels like pressure over my chest, left hand tingles and feel cold, with all this have this pressure feel in the neck and ear with jaw pain. but do not no if this is caused by the abovementioned condition.

Posted by: Cardiologist | 7/11/2012
Dear Amanda. I am not a neurologist, but I discussed your problem with a very good neurologist and he and I both agree: at the age of 42, compression of the medulla oblongata by the vertebral artery seems highly unlikely. Who made the diagnosis, and how was it made? Atypical neuralgia may arise from all sorts of other conditions, and compression of the medulla oblongata by a vertebral artery seems the least likely possible diagnosis.

Unless the diagnosis is certain, there is no point in speculating about the risks of the condition. My advice would be to get a second opinion from a good neurologist and if necessary a good general physician. It sounds as though you have multiple symptoms which cannot be due to one focal neurological abnormality. An MRI may certainly help if the doctors who you see think there is a good reason to do one. However, it may be possible to put your mind at rest without necessarily doing an MRI.

Best wishes, JT

Subject: RE: medulla oblongata compression
Posted by: Amanda | 12/11/2012
thx for the reply, here is a few answers. a mri was taken and the first neurologist did not seem to find anything wrong and later together with my maxillo surg and a friend of him, we managed to get a second opinion from a radiologist that saw that there is a problem at the medulla, but because the pain is atypical from the normal neuralgias they cannot for certain say that it originates from there. that is why i am concern if this symptoms can be caused by partial blocked arteries in the neck and that i am a walking time bomb. they did a stress ecg right in the beginning about 7months back and the only thing that was a mystery apparently was that the bottom reading of my blood pressure did not seem to move during the rest to stress and rest phase. and lately i do get this weird pressure on my chest feeling and i see jaw pain in women is common in heart disease.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCardiologist

Dear Amanda,

Thanks for your query and I apologise for taking so long to reply over the holiday period.
I think I have tried to answer your question before. It is true that the two vertebral arteries pass over the sides and the front of the medulla oblongata before they unite to form the basilar artery. However, “compression” of the medulla oblongata by a vertebral artery in a young woman must be extremely rare, and even if there is an element of compression, it’s highly unlikely that this would ever cause stroke or a transient ischaemic attack. I suspect that the impression of “compression” which was reported after whatever form of imaging you have had is simply an incidental finding. The symptoms that you describe could not be from a vertebral artery compression of the medulla.

If you are concerned about your symptoms and you want to know more then I suggest arrange to see a good neurologist.

Kind regards
Best wishes

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Anonymous | 2016/12/30

Hi i wrote back in 2014 with compression of the medulla i have been told it needs fixed and it was causing the rocking boat feeling. But was told it wouldnt cause headaches. I am booked in for surgery after new year sometime dont have a date yet. But im scared of the risk and my headaches are pressure like and bad last for up to seven days. As soon as i lie down i get pressure and pain straight away. I was sure this was coming from the compression. I get a clicking sound in my head i sometimes feel like its the bones in my head at the base of the skull. Im confused and dont know what to think or do. I also get blurry vision after i have my head down after a short time and get pressure behind my nose. Has anyone had this surgery and did it work and what symptoms did you have.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2015/11/02

Because there is really no treatment, remedy, these doctors choose the cost of their liability insurance vs misdiagnosis. If doctors would for once grow a sac and entirely do what is right for the patient, this woman would not have had to suffer for so long in wonder, just as I have. A male, in my thirties, now fifteen years ago, my symptoms were almost exacting with some variations as my compression, clearly seen on radiology, is on the left. I found mine by intense research and ordering all of my past radiology. Found that it was first mentioned in 2002, then 2006, until my discovery off of 2011 MRI films. I was pissed. And I wondered how it was that I never had a problem with my disability papers, when alleged nobody knew what the f the problem was. Is this malpractice... I don't know and don't care because I am still alive. I get very sick especially from atmospheric pressure changes, very sick, and need to wear my cpap machine to just be able to breath. Forgiveness to the arrogant idiot doctors only comes by understanding, which, medically, is very complicated for those who have not went to school to become a vascular neurosurgeon. But with the internet, youtube tutorials, you will learn some great truths. Additionally, what made my illness the most complicated for all the idiot doctors I had seen, is that my general health and appearance is stellar. I liked reading your note because it helps to have others to relate... be careful in the bed with the spouse, ha, or getting your heart rate up to much ever! Adapt. This is all we have.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Gary Engelman | 2014/09/01

If anyone reading this thread needs any help or assistance, please don't hesitate to write me at : GARY1RN@YAHOO.COM I'm an RN x 25 years and have not been able to work all of these years because of the crazy symptoms that go way beyond the most common associated with Lateral Medullary Compression. I'm speaking about the pain in the back of the head over the Occipital Notches, ringing in the ears, off balance like your on a boat or a rocking sensation, anxiety, labile crying, neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, body pain, arm pain, etc., vision problems, slurred speech, clicking sounds in the head (Palatal Myoclonus), Postural tachycardia, crazy sweating, shortness of breath, hoarseness, sleep apnea, brain fog (feeling confused or out of sorts (derealiziation), muscle twitching, and so on. Personally, I have found that Opiates do help a bit with symptoms. It is documented in the literature re: Paroxsymal Sympathetic Hyperactivity that Opiates are the drug of choice along with Beta Blockers to help settle the Central Nervous System. I do think this is what is going on in my case from the Brain Stem Shift which is secondary to the Artery compressing my Medulla for so long. It's almost consistent with a Brain Stem Dysfunction. I also suspect there is something going on with Improper Histamine release as Benadryl will sometimes settle me down when nothing else will. This web site does not tell me if anyone has responded to me, so please just write me at the email address above. I will be in touch with anyone who writes me because this is much more of a problem than is written in the literature and appears to be very common. I'm not finding this in others who are just told they have POTS, or FMS, etc. Brain surgery is not something to look forward to and there are perhaps some endovascular options too, but if Beta Blockers don't help get the compression down, sometimes you have to do what you have to do. We just need more Neuro Vascular surgeons to be trained in this area and that is what I will try to accomplish through raising awareness once I'm out of this mess, hopefully after this week as my surgery date is quickly approaching.

Reply to Gary Engelman | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: Anonymous | 2017/01/17

Hi gary how did your op go, i wrote on the site and you replyed im booked in for surgery and really wanted to know how you got on.

Posted by: KellyK | 2014/08/29

And to A Rare... You have described my journey as well. Would also appreciate the result of your consult with neurosurgeon. I am willing to travel to see the right person!

Reply to KellyK
Posted by: KellyK | 2014/08/29

And to A Rare... You have described my journey as well. Would also appreciate the result of your consult with neurosurgeon. I am willing to travel to see the right person!

Reply to KellyK
Posted by: KellyK | 2014/08/29

Gary, best wishes on your upcoming surgery. I hope you will post more after the procedure. Where/who is doing the surgery. I have had one neurosurgeon consult so far and he didn't feel a risky surgery was a good idea at this point. But I also think he really wasn't so familiar with the plethora of "weird" neuro symptoms possible from tortuous vert arteries. I was Dx'd with fibromyalgia a few years ago, but kept having odd neuro signs and symptoms, and finally got a good radiologist who saw the compression of the MO in a MRI. It seems to be a struggle to find docs who understand the impact of this, unless the brainstorm is completely moved across midline. Surgery is a scary proposition, but, as in my case, if there is no high BP or athrosclorosis, then it doesn't seems like anyone has any treatment recommendations. Glad I found this thread!!! And look forward to any info folks can share.

Reply to KellyK | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: Gary Engelman | 2014/09/01

Kelly, please get in touch with me. I can be reached at 443-465-5418. I'd love to talk to you as well about all of this. I don't want to post the name of my Surgeon here, but I can tell you that he knows what he's doing and "ALL" of my Symptoms are being attributed to the Compression. This is much much more then what is put in the literature. It has to do with other things going on like high intracranial pressure, pseudotumor cerebri, idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Look up these things along with "Mass Effect" in the brain and you will see. It's also causing cranial nerve compressions up high in the brain. We all have 12 pairs, so any compression on a nerve can cause the associated symptoms. Hope to hear from and don't hesitate to call me: 443-465-5418. Gary

Posted by: Gary E. | 2014/08/21

To Anonymous and A Rare Find, I would like to speak to both of you if you are interested. I'm a 45 y.o. WM and I also have a Tortuous Vertebral Artery compressing my Medulla (Wallenberg Syndrome). I went 8 years misdiagnosed and I got terribly sick over the years. My Medulla actually shifted in my skull. I have great pictures I can share with you guys. I'd love to speak to you by phone or skype to compare symptoms. I have some crazy stuff like Postural Tachycardia, Severe shortness of breath, Crazy Sweating from minimal exertion, and all of the normal symptoms associated with Wallenberg syndrome. I'm an RN x 25 years and I have a great understanding now of all of this. The feeling on the boat thing is insane !! Please email me at GARY1RN@YAHOO.COM and please tell me it's you from this site. Please leave me a phone number or just call me at 443-465-5418. Can't wait to talk to either of you or hopefully both of you. Perhaps we can do a conference call. My surgery is in 2 weeks, so if you get this, please get in touch with me soon. Today is 8/20/2014. Best, Gary

Reply to Gary E. | 4 comments (hide)
Posted by: Anonymous | 2016/10/11

Hi Garry was just wondering if your op was successful.

Posted by: Anonymous | 2014/11/03

Hi how did your op go was it very painful and how long in hospital were you and most of all did it help your symptoms I have to see neuro surgeon in 3 weeks. My doctor said it needs fixed. Is this a dangerous op I have small children and I am really scared of something going wrong. But I feel so crapy and I have so much pressure and pain in the back of my head and nothing is stopping the pain. Hope it worked for you.

Posted by: Gary E. | 2014/09/12

Hey Kelly, Yes I am Post Op now. I wish you would Email me rather then use this Forum b/c I don't get notifications and I have trouble even using google to find this place :-) All is well and went well. My Artery was moved off of the Medulla and I am now just healing back at home. None of it was fun.. Very scary, all of it, but I was also in the Best Hands of any surgeon in the World. That doesn't change that we all have to Heal at our own pace. My Dr. has a Video of the entire surgery under the Microscope and it was mailed to me 2 days ago. I am happy to share it with you once I get it. Please Email me at GARY1RN@YAHOO.COM . I promise to stay in touch that way. My very best to you.. Gary

Posted by: KellyK | 2014/09/11

Figuring Gary is post op now? Hope all is well. Look forward to your report! Best wishes.

Posted by: Anonymous | 2014/08/11

These are my symptoms I am always dizzy have a lot of pain at the base of my skull and a lot of pressure at the same base of the skull dizzy when I walk, when I stand still I feel like I am on a boat. I have digestive problems heaps of wind they say it is pushing on the vagus nerve as my heart feels like it stops and then beats faster for a few seconds and this makes me dizzy also. I have swallowing problems and sometimes it feels hard to breath because of all the pressure from the wind in my chest. I also feel weak in my legs and arms and feel like I have no energy. I am 44years old and I am normal weight for my height I have over 20 lesions on my brain and one in my spinal cord 4and a half cm long in my thoracic spine. They told me in the begging they thought it was ms or something along the line of that then they told me I was borderline for lupus. I feel so unwell and sick all the time nobody seems to know what to do I have had doctors tell me maybe I'm stressed and they look at me weird when I tell them all my symptoms I just want to be out of pain my headaches are severe I sometimes vomit nothing I take get rid of them they last days on ends and they never completely go away anymore I have pain and numbness in my face around my nose and my eyes feel like someone is pushing them out and it's hard to stare at things they feel jumpy. My latest MRI reads I do note prominent vertebrobasila dolichoectasia. It says it is causing some compression of the left side of the medulla oblongata.and minor mucosal changes involving the sphenoid right anterior ethmoid sinuses.and a solitary focus involving the basis ponti on the left side. And the lesion as they refer to as a syrinx in my thoracic spine has changed in size from 1 mm to 2.2mm but still measures 4and a half cm long.i also have lots of bulging discs at the same spot and lots in my neck andc45 bulge with sac compression. If anyone can help please I would be so greatful.

Reply to Anonymous | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: GaryGanoo | 2014/08/22

Please tell me how to get in touch with you. Whenever you read this, please write me at GARY1RN@YAHOO.COM. Please see my long post below where I'm asking you to contact me. I have the exact symptoms and more. I'm having surgery in 13 days to correct the LVA compressing my medulla. Gary

Posted by: A rare find, so not worth an answer | 2014/06/23

Just because it is rare doesn't mean it isn't true! (We are not talking about unicorns here!!) Co-incidentally, I'm a 42 year old woman with two MRI's and 2 neurosurgeons confirming that I do indeed have a Large tortuous Right Vertebral Artery compressing AND indenting my medulla. My symptoms are very similar to this lady (and some) and I would have loved to have heard an educated response!! (without the arrogant undertones!) I had a decade of strange all over symptoms and doctors just like you, rolling their eyes and telling me that I was over reacting! Finally a keen radiologist found this compression during a contrasted MRI (checking something unrelated), and called me in for a 2nd MRI the next day to do another MRI with no contrast. I requested a copy of my MRI on disc and also could see the compression is very significant and yes, from what I have read is probably very rare for someone my age. But poo-poo this ladies question is degrading to her and irresponsible of you. (and unfortunately the exact attitude I got for most of my adult life every time I complained about my strange symptoms) Maybe if you had her medical history sitting in front of you, but you didn' would have been nice to have seen a real response. I am of average weight and do have high cholesterol (genetic) have been diagnosed with everything from Fibromyalgia to Lupus, but none have really fit completely. Her complaints of neurologia fit perfectly with compression of the trigeminal nerve, difficulty swallowing is another symptom that fits. I also get the feeling like someone is compressing the carotid arteries in my neck, a sensation of the blood being cut off....I also get bouts of double vision, numbness and weakness in my hands, feet, vertigo, nausea, facial pain, depth perception issues, headaches and pressure...pain and stiffness in my neck, arms and shoulders, etc..... A lot of these symptoms come and go...except for tinnitus and low frequency hearing loss which has been perminent for about 10 years. I am booked to go see a great vascular neurosurgeon in September and am hoping he can help me. Amanda, keep fighting for answers! If in your heart you feel that something isn't right don't give up!!! Its your life and these doctors just go on to the next patient and you have to live in your body. I was really beginning to think something was mentally wrong with me....I even had one rheumatologist say I had fibromyalgia and sent me to a shrink! (who immediately confirmed that my symptoms were real and I was completely sane, not a hypochondriac and didn't need to see him!) But they even had me wondering with their condescending attitudes. I hope you get some answers soon, and personally, I DO hope that it ISNT compression of the medulla...Trust me the thought of brain surgery is very frightening, but a life feeling like this is even more scary!! Good luck! :)

Reply to A rare find, so not worth an answer | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: GaryGanoo | 2014/08/22

Please tell me how to get in touch with you. Whenever you read this, please write me at GARY1RN@YAHOO.COM. Please see my long post below where I'm asking you to contact me. I have the exact symptoms and more. I'm having surgery in 13 days to correct the LVA compressing my medulla. Gary

Posted by: Jose | 2013/02/11

Mukhtar, a couple of thoghuts on your comments When so-called peaceful Muslims in the USA start standing up and denouncing the actions of the fundamentalists/radical Muslims, renounce terror for ANY reason, and condemn the actions of Al Queda, Hammas, the Taliban, et cetera, THEN I will begin worrying about offending Muslims. To turn your argument around, when Muslims publish articles equating Jews with monkeys and dogs, and murdering both Christians and Jews because they were offended by some cartoons in a newspaper, I feel very little sympathy for the Muslim world. You say Islam does not permit killing innocent people. I beg to differ. Islam is all over the map about many things it''s apparently not okay to lie, but if you''re doing it to promote Islam, it''s okay. You can''t kill, but if you''ve declared a jihad, everything''s on the table. Here''s the bottom line: the radical, fundamentalist Muslims (those that follow the Wahhabi sect and other radical interpretations of the Koran) want to turn the world into a single, world-wide Caliphate. Anyone or anything that stands in their way is the enemy. Within Islam, the Sunnis and Shias want to kill each other. Every nation and every human being on this planet will eventually be forced to pick a side. That''s not OUR goal. It''s theirs. And until we all realize this, we''re in for more terror. If Pakistan wants to get out of this war, the people of Pakistan need to stop harboring terrorists and demand that the government stop enabling them, looking the other way, or allowing them to live there. It is THAT SIMPLE. If they continue to allow terrorists to camp out within their borders, they can count on more war, more destruction, and more lives lost. And when they start standing up to the bad Muslims'' and denounce them (instead of supporting them), then (and only then) can they be considered to be on the side of the good guys in this fight.

Reply to Jose

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