Re: Newbie needs help
First of all glad if I can be of any help. For those that post here, we are all in the same boat and need to share our experiences to know that you are NOT alone. And please don't think that you are "whining." We all need an outlet to tell others what we are going thru and know that someout out there understands our "pain."
One thing you said in your post that struck me is that you asked "where does it all end?" I wish I had an answer for you. Looking back at my own history which started in 1988 I thought ok I had surgery I am fine. Then came the 2nd surgery. Then the next; then the next. I never ever thought it would go on this long, but for me it is now the way of life for me.
You said you have a great doctor. That is important that you have confidence in him/her and that you feel the ability to communcate effectively with your medical team.
You asked if I have nerve damage and my range of motion. I do have severe nerve damage which was confirmed from an EMG. I cant say whether the damage was from the srugery or just something that occurred over time from years and years of spine issues. Of all the surgeries that I have had I really can NOT complain about my surgeons and what they did to me. I think my surgical team and it has changed over the years has been a great qualified medical team.
As to my range of motion. I have Harrington Rods in the cervical-thoracic spine which goes from C3 to T4 and then in the lumbar spine from L2 down to the iliace crest/hip regioin. So it is because of the Harrington Rods that there is range of motion issues. I find it most difficult when I am driving and don't come to a normal "T" intersection and have to turn a little bit more to see if the intersection is clear.
I think the worst surgery I went thru was my cervical surgery for "Kyphosis." First I cant say if recovery time is more or less if they go thru muscle. That I don't know. But on this surgery it was originally supplosed to be a 1 (one) day surgery of about 6-8 hours. Didn't work out that way. They first wen thru the posterior to put in the Harrington Rods. That alone was 8 hours. My surgeon didn't want to keep me under anesthesia any longer so they stopped the surgery.
The 2nd part of the surgery was done the following week for the anterior position to do the fusion from C3/4 toC4/5 I think that was the levels. That was another 4 hours of surgery.
Then I had to wear a cervical collar for fout (4) months. I had to wear it 24/7 for the longest time. Then at one point I was allowed to take the collar off for an hour here and there. The collar really drove me up the wall at one point. First trying to sleep with the collar was an extreme problem. Then wearing the collar when the summer began and the heat and itching started just added to my frustrations.
I still have ongoing spine issues. An EMG showed severe nerve damage in the neck/lumbar region; severe arthritis and peripheral neuropathy probably in part due to my spine issues and in part due to my diabetes.
My neck in an MRI that was done in December of 2012 showed "myelomalacia" which is damage caused by traum and lack of blood supply; it showed cord atrophy; bone spurs and loss of disc height. This has shown in prior studies as well.
Again you asked when dioes it all end? Wish I knew. My neurosurgeon is afarid to tocuh me surgically because the surgery itself would be a nightmare of a surgery to do. Plus the added risk of surgery on me because of my diabetes and the fact that I am in kidney failure (plus I was born with 1 kidney) really adds to the risks of surgery.
I have had chronic pain for years. January 11, 2013 to help with the pain in the mid back/low back I had an Intrathecal Pain Pump implanted in my spine. It is a combination of medications: Dilaudid and Bupivacaine. Which quite honestly is helping a great deal. Still have neck pain though. As to where it ends. Doubt that it ever will.
Just trying to survive at this point and get back some of what my life was like before all the spine issues started.
Just remember you are not alone, its great to come here vent; get some feedback as to what others have been thru.
Keep us posted on how you are doing. Be well.