Cervical Discectomy/Fusion c5-6,6-7
I'll start at the beginning.
Symptoms included: Painful spasms upper right arm/tricep down into chest, back. Numbness in both hands but only half of the hand. Trembling/shaking of right hand so much that I couldn't hold a glass of wine at a Christmas party unless I held it close to my body. Extreme fatigue of my feet--always looking to sit down. It had gotten to the point that I couldn't pull my wallet out of my back right pocket due to clumsiness in my hand which would usually result with a spasm. After seeing my regular doctor around Thankgiving of 2003, he recommended a cervical xray. The results showed progressive, severe spurs and soon after, ordered a cervical MRI. The MRI showed 5 and 7mm disc osteophytes and stenosis with spinal cord compression. He referred me to a Neurosurgeon who on the very first visit said that surgery was my only option. He never "examined" me, but based his entire decision on my symptoms and MRI. His exact words were "you're damned if you do, (the surgery)and damned if you don't" He told me that if I were to have a simple fall, it could produce catostrophic results. None the less, he had my procedure approved with the insurance company a week later. My surgery was February 11, 2003. My hospital stay was five days due to a lot of swelling they said. I had one follow-up visit with the surgeon at five weeks who said I could return back to work whenever I felt comfortable. He had me wear a soft collar and didn't seem too concerned about the pain I was experiencing. Vicodin, Demerol, Morphine ..none of the above worked for me so while in the hospital, they started me on Dilaudid which I am still taking.
At this point, I'm going to try to make a long story short cause I could keep writing all day. I've had no follow up with the surgeon. Never called me at home to see how I was doing. Never scheduled the xrays at one month intervals he had talked about prior to surgery. To date, June 29, I still have not heard from him. Oh and I should say I stayed home for 6 weeks before returning to work (I sit at a computer all day)
After filing a complaint with my health care provider, they finally got me a new surgeon for my follow up. I was told to gather my files and records from the original surgeon. They can't seem to locate my MRI.
The New surgeon took xrays and shook his head in disbelief as he explained everything to me. Not only is there NO fusing whatsover, The plate is in at a 45 degree angle. Also, only five of the six screws were used. He asked me twice if I was told of any of this. (I wasn't) None of this was documented in the operative report. Also, the report of findings that the first surgeon sent to my primary doctor after meeting with me the first time was all falsified. He put down all these reflex percentages, right and left side, blood pressure, etc.He never did any of those things. NEVER took my blood pressure. He never touched me. He based his entire decison on the MRI which at the time I didn't question.
I am in more pain now than before surgery. It is more constant pain instead of it coming with spasms. My trembling is worse. My feet are always tired. I am going on six months post-op and I am in a Phila******a collar(which the new doc says I should have been in from the start) The donar bone isn't even flush with my own and the doctor feels the fusion was doomed from the start. He says the hardwear should start to fail and I will have to do the whole procedure over again. Why am I wearing a collar?? Help! By the way I am a 36 yo male who was very active before all this. I am tired of being in pain and more tired of having to say I don't feel well all the time. It's become more difficult to work because now I can't sit for a prolonged period of time. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.