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Old 02-03-2004, 09:37 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 4
harleygirlabca HB User
ACDF C5-C6, Pain,7 months later

Hi to All
Just found this site and am completely amazed. I thought I was crazy until reading most of the posts on here.
Unfortunatley my storey differes slightly to all I have read so far. My problem began when I saw a Chiropractor and he adjusted my neck for a simple pain in between my shoulder blades.
Jan 16th 2003 was the day my life changed for ever.
After a not so routine neck manipulation by a chiropractor I had just met and without taking any xrays before the manipulation, I became familiar with the term ruptured disc.
I sat in pain for a month and a half before my MRI on Feb 28 2003. Unable to breath properly and with sever neck, left arm pain and shocks running down my left arm into my figer tips,and my legs wanting to out from underneath me. I was sent to a neurologist for help. My results of the MRI were devastating to me.
My C5-C6 disc was compressing my spine to 7mm. My neuroligist referred me to a NS and after another month of the dredded wait and see game, a second MRI showed that the disc was still not going back into place and surgery was now iminent.
My NS booked me for ACDF without hardware on July 4th 2003.
Upon waking from annestetic and the upset tummy that followed I had what felt like a softball wedged in my throat. After being in recovery for an hour or so I was sent for an xray to confirm proper placement of the fussed bone grafts taken from the bone bank. Everything seemed fine. I was left to recover in the hospital until the next morning. (I apparently have the ability to sleep sitting straight up..lol) I was only given ice chips to drink..(hint: eat lots of ice chips, as much as your tummy can handle, the coolness helps the swelling go down faster).
I was released from the hospital the following morning with the Philidelphia Collar I had to purchase and was instructed to wear it continually for the next 8 weeks (Even in the shower)..oh that was fun in plus 35 degree weather.(hint: sit infront of a very big fan and use baby powder as soon as the stitches heal up and the tape comes off). After my 8 week followup appointment with the NS I was informed that he did a super job (BS) and I would be good as new once my physio kicked in. I was left to my own devices with a warning to not lift or strain my self until my neck mussles got stronger. Then only in moderation.
The physio actually made things worse and I was told by the NS to stop until another MRI could be done.
Funny thing is...The neck pain and arm pain and weakness and numbness is still present. I also feel grinding and crunching and that felling of bubble wrap being snapped. I followed up with the NS in Oct 2003. He then tells me he was not able to remove all of the disc and this may require another operation. And is now concerned he may have too go back in via the back of my neck....orders another MRI for Jan 26th 2004.
I saw my neuroligist on Feb 2nd 2004 for the results. Disc was partially removed but spinal cord still damaged (indented) C6-C7 disc showing slight buldge. C6 vertibrea showing a narrowing from growth of spur, Bone fragment eveident.
I was then informed that the damage to my spinal cord was no longer operable as a surgeon will not do another operation because there is nothing that can be removed or fixed.
I am now at my witts end with this crap. I have been unable to do much of anything..no work, no play, no nothing because of pain. As for meds...well I'll tell ya...in the begining My MD perscribed Flexeral, Neurontin, Percs, and oxycodone and when I finally couldnt get past the pain went off of them...Neurontin withdrawls almost put me in the loonie bin...that stuff is horrible and doesnt work at all, and it is an anti depressent in small dosses and in large quantities is like a time bomb. If your on it and your doctor tells you you dont need it any more or is going to switch your meds to something else, get off it sloooowly.
I am not taking anything for pain now but find it hard to even move. I would rather be in pain and have my witts about me then in that stupor. So I will never take pain meds again.
After reading NERO'S experience with the failed fussion and special xrays I now have hope that all this is a failed fussion and I can be fixed. I am talking to my neurologist today and "making" him give me those xrays. Screw the doctors...I want my life back. No one is going to tell me I am going to live like this any more...if its broke fix it, if it aint broke then give me something else to try, so I can get on with life... sorry for the rant folks, just frustraighted in Canada...

 
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Old 02-03-2004, 12:03 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 197
Rolex HB User
Re: ACDF C5-C6, Pain,7 months later

Harleygirl, that is just terrible that the Chiropractor did that to you. I went to one twice a week for 2 months last June and my pain got worse. My problem isn't as bad as yours, I do have to have surgery level C5-6 but my pain is not that bad yet and not affecting my spinal cord.
Can you go to another Dr.? There must be something they can do to help you. What kind of work do you do? It sounds like your disk was buldging possibly causing pain in between your shoulder blades (That where mine started) and the Chiro just really messed it up and made it herniated.
Good luck to you and let us know how you are. Since they have the artficial disk in Canada, is there a reason you didn't get that instead of the fusion?
l

Last edited by Rolex; 02-03-2004 at 12:08 PM. Reason: spelling correction

 
Old 02-03-2004, 12:27 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 4
harleygirlabca HB User
Re: ACDF C5-C6, Pain,7 months later

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolex
Harleygirl, that is just terrible that the Chiropractor did that to you. I went to one twice a week for 2 months last June and my pain got worse. My problem isn't as bad as yours, I do have to have surgery level C5-6 but my pain is not that bad yet and not affecting my spinal cord.
Can you go to another Dr.? There must be something they can do to help you. What kind of work do you do? It sounds like your disk was buldging possibly causing pain in between your shoulder blades (That where mine started) and the Chiro just really messed it up and made it herniated.
Good luck to you and let us know how you are. Since they have the artficial disk in Canada, is there a reason you didn't get that instead of the fusion?
l
I asked the NS about artificial disc replacement. He was not forthcomming with any information. I guess I should have been more forceful in my inquiry as too where I could have this done. A word to the wise I guess is that you realy have to be proactive in researching your injury and show the NS's that you are not stupid about your options. Unfortunatley it also makes them very aware of thier limitations I guess, and they dont like it much. I wish I had the option of the artificial disc. I personaly feel that he was not familiar with the proceedure...not all NS's are. Perhaps it is up to us poor buggars to tell our MD's that what they can do for us just isn't good enough...we want the best and won't settle for anything less. This may in turn reduce the number of useless operations and increase the need to keep up on current procedures and education. Just my thoughts...

 
Old 02-03-2004, 02:15 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 154
irish34 HB User
Re: ACDF C5-C6, Pain,7 months later

HarleyGirl--
I too have an 'extracted' disc at C5-6 with 9mm cord compression due to a duty related injury in Aug 2003. Surgery was scheduled for Jan 26 but has been postponed due to having a dry socket where a tooth was recently pulled.
My personal experience with the pain meds has also proven to me that they do not work for my pain. I was on 3-4 anti-inflamatory's and percocet and oxycodone for pain. I ger sick to my stomach when I take the perc or oxy and have no desire to become addicted. So, I have chosen to stay off the pain meds and deal with the pain a day at a time.
I'm really happy that you found this board...it has helped me tremendously in so many aspects of my pain and injury, I can only hope it does the same for you.
Please take care and keep us posted on your prognosis and decisions.
Irish

 
Old 02-06-2004, 07:02 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: canada
Posts: 386
nero HB User
Re: ACDF C5-C6, Pain,7 months later

Hi there,

It is Nero. Let me begin by saying that I think you misunderstood something I wrote or mixed up my name. I have had ACDF c5 6 with plate and own bone. I never had a failed fusion and am currently 3 months post op and doing well. (within reason)

I am so sorry that you have suffered this much. You must be totally frustrated and all I can tell you is there is help. I had Dr. Bernard Rerri in Brantford, pretty renowned, ortho surgeon with spinal specialty. He has great discourse with you before he touches you and explains the journey you will enter and tells you to look on website for additional information.

Your experience has been a very stressful one from the sounds of it. I am in my fourth year since my fall from a chair which crashed my neck and back on cement. Then i am due in April 04 for an additional low back surgery, Microdiskectomy, so it will be a year or two from that my dr. says in order to ascertain whether or not I will move on from all this painful inconvenience.

I would check into some other opinions... it takes awhile... you might want to re-entertain some other meds to help you with the pain.. I know the percocet can be addictive but slow withdrawal and mediated use (like a 1/4 pill) helps a lot. Just enough to rest your weary mind.

In the meantime, don't despair...I have cried in the shower.. thought of leaving my family and coming back when I am better... felt some major despair... but I always fought back, knowing that I was of greater caliber than to give up... so I share your thoughts.. we all share your pain..... its a very bitter struggle but you can get some control over that pain through either an additional surgery or some interventions and I promise you that is the truth... you will rise above this predicament that controls your everyday life... we all have one way or another, to one degree or another...

keep posted... your words help us and our words can inspire and inform you....

Take care my dear... it will be okay.... "nearly new again... Nero"

 
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