Have you ever heard of diaphragmatic paralysis

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by kell490, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. kell490

    kell490 Filing Flight Plan

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    Kelly
    My diaphragm is paralyzed on the right side I have been told I had an elevated right diaphragm for last 9 years but no symptoms first doctor said not to worry about it no symptoms. My O2 level is 96% I ski 12k feet mountains without getting winded. Spirometer test do not show normal function since not able to fully inflate the right lung.

    Last year I got a bad chest cold GP sent me for a Sniff test to look into the diaphragm. The fluoroscope xray (sniff test) results were no movement on right side. The GP attempted to send me for an MRI of my neck see why the Phrenic nerve was damaged. Insurance would not approve (Cigna) kept replying I had to go to PT for neck pain first which I don't have neck pain. I saw a Pulmonologist I got a PFT test she said my function was 80% which was normal, but my lung on the right side does not fill completely my body has adapted over the years. She also sent me for a CT scan no issues except fatty liver weight loss help there too.

    I was also diagnosed with 60 events per hour OSA o2 drops into the 70 while sleeping so been using a cpap for 2 years plus 6-7 hours a night 1.4 AHI. The OSA while it could be related to the diaphragm I was diagnosed when I was heavier then I'm now.

    Currently I'm about 218 lbs 5'7 losing weight goal is down to 150 so I can try get off the cpap overall better health. I want to try and get re-tested for OSA when I hit 150 see if my OSA can be resolved with weight loss before I try to pass the medical.

    I want to get my PPL but now I wonder if passing a class 3 medical is even worth the trouble I know I can manage the OSA getting an SI since I have over 2 years of recorded treatment good results avg 6 plus hours at 1.4 AHI. Will the FAA have a problem with the Diaphragm paralysis on one side? I have searched on this only thing I found was lung function nothing about PD. I rather just go sport pilot and glider if the FAA has a problem with the PD so I don't end up being disqualified.

    My goal is VFR and gliders but I still think i want power planes maybe experimental or ELSA. I know a medical is not needed for a glider but if I can get past the medical I could get a PPL and later go basic med which would allow more privileges then light sport. I'm assuming I only need to pass and get an SI once then I can go basic medical, or I'm I stuck with SI for ever?
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
  2. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  3. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    I have heard of it and even caused it when doing intrascalene nerve blocks (a known possible effect where the paralysis duration is limited to the duration of action of the local anesthetic used - typically under 24 hours).
    Given that there are many possible causes of a unilateral phrenic nerve palsy, I would assume the FAA would at a minimum require a full workup before a medical would be issued. Even absent a FAA medical, I would want to know the etiology or at least rule out some of the more significant possibilities.
     
  4. lbfjrmd

    lbfjrmd Line Up and Wait

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    common malady. should pose no problem, but faa will want to see the latest doctor,'s notes on it. report it as a separate condition.
     
  5. kell490

    kell490 Filing Flight Plan

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    I would like to know how it happend also I have never had any surgery in my shoulder, neck or chest. The only surgery I did have Meniscectomy surgery in my right knee back in 1989 and left knee in 2011 no way either of those caused it. I found an xray from 2009 showed diaphragm elevated prior to the 2011 left knee. The right knee surgery in 1989 I was 20 years old I was never told I had an elevated diaphragm on an xray until 2011, but showed on the 2009 xray it was noted by the radiologist but my GP never told me. From 1989-2008 sometimes I suspect when it happened. When I went to have the left knee work after a snowboarding accident I had to get cleared from a different GP he had xray done and informed me of it. He said go find an old xray if it's the same from a few years ago don't worry about it.

    Fast forward to 2018 new GP wanted to look more into it after bad flu turned bronchitis. I suspect it happened in 2008 I had a flu bug was coughing lot maybe somehow damaged the nerve. The Pulmonologist said most of the cases she had seen were idiopathic etiology with exception of known surgery's in the area of the Phrenic Nerve. Since cigna won't pay for an MRI not much more I can do find out why it happend. The Pulmonologist said the MRI would most likely not show anything she had a CT scan done to check for any other problems I also had a stress test done just check my heart no problems there either. With all that information I should be able to produce paper work for the FAA they can mull though I'm concerned if they worry too much about the PD lung ill end up disqualified when I could have just done Sport Pilot and forget all about this business.

    I never seem to win the Dakota Territory air museum sweepstakes but I win the right side unilateral phrenic nerve palsy award instead :)


    Thanks for reply I found a local AME here in Phoenix get a consult bring all the test results see what she thinks. I'm looking for a new GP anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019