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    Old 01-19-2009, 04:39 AM   #1
    sammyo1
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    Anyone with cervical & Lumbar problems both

    Hi everyone,
    I am a few weeks out of cervical surgery (fusion) & after healing some will be going for an MRI of the lumbar. On the last C&T MRI it caught the L1&2 & showed herniation along with fluid void (hope I am explaining the right).
    My surgeon said very often when you have cervical problems lumbar problems can occur. My lower back hurts in the morning every morning & I tend to shuffle my feet. I woke up a few mornings ago & was walking like I was drunk, could not seem to put one foot in front of the other, anyone experiance this? As with the cervical most is on the left side. I can get some pain going down my leg & some cold feeling in my left foot along with pain in the ankle. For the most part it just feels like alot of pressure in the lower back & at times my entire back will hurt. When waking up from my fusion the first pain I felt was in the lower back & it really took me by surprise. The pain was so intense I did not want to move.
    Since most of the doctors I had seen looked at me like I was crazy for having pain in the Upper & lower I was shocked when my surgeon told me its not at all uncommon to have problems in the cervical & lumbar. Thought I would pop on here & ask if anyone else experianced both. I appreciate any input. Thanks & god bless, Sammy

     
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    Old 01-19-2009, 07:13 AM   #2
    vicki19
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    Re: Anyone with cervical & Lumbar problems both

    Hi Sammy...... I've had fusion surgeries on the cervical C4-C6 (two levels) and L4-S1 (two levels). I just had the lumbar fusion 7 weeks ago. The cervical, about a year and a half ago. I was told they weren't directly related or caused by each other, more like I probably have degenerative disc disease and one doctor said "Disc problems will probably just be my thing". So maybe you are like me and just have bad discs and it just happens to be happening at the same time. I tell you, the past few years for me have been rough and trying to figure out what was wrong with me was exhausting and depressing... very depressing. For a long time they just wanted to say I probably had Fibromyalgia. It wasn't until the symptoms got so bad with being unable to lift my arm or squeeze my thumb and finger together (cervical) and getting numb feet and cramping in my buttocks (lumbar) that they finally ordered MRI's each time and found the real answers. My point is, it is not always logical what it wrong with us and not always the same as someone else. So don't give up. If you are having pain and other symptoms keep pushing for the answer.

     
    Old 01-19-2009, 07:29 AM   #3
    lynn1961
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    Re: Anyone with cervical & Lumbar problems both

    hi sammy.....

    UM...YES! I had both. I had a cervical fusion about 9 years ago. Had 2 levels fused and a year later had another disc fixed in my neck So, I had a total of 3 disc that was surgically fixed in my neck....

    On dec. 16 '08.....I had a lumbar fusion. L4-5 and L5-S1. I too, asked my neurodoc if this was normal and he said it is NOT uncommon at all. I have DDD....so, I suppose it does make sense that it can happen in both the cervical and lumbar.

    I had great success with my cervical fusion. I am 100% better. No complaints at all. I am starting to feel better each and every day since my lumbar fusion. I am waking up with NO pain and it feels so good to not wake up in pain anymore. I am still early in recovery but so far.....its looking good I believe. I had lumbar disc pain a long time before I went to a doc but it was not chronic. A car accident early of 2008 caused me to seek a doc. The accident made my back pain chronic. I went to a neuro doc first and he had a MRI done. It showed both those disc herniated <bulging> and tears in the lining of the disc. We decided I would go to a pain management doc.....my pain mgt. doc did several procedures. Several injections and the RF ablation. And then I had a discogram.....<went to PT for a couple of months> I tried everything there was to try to get my back better.....the injections did help but it was shortlived. So......that is when we decided to do the fusion. especially after the discogram showed what it did. I am now in recovery from the lumbar surgery and its going good. My doc used cages, screws and a plate. I did suffer a set-back. I had a severe nerve flare up occur which led me back into the hospital. It caused severe pain in my right leg. I was put on heavy medication to gain control of the pain and also lyrica. I am feeling much better now I go see my pain mgt. doc tomorrow and maybe we will try to get off some of this heavy medication. <I will be a bit nervous about it tho, as I donot want to ever feel that leg pain again> I am hoping my leg will get better soon but it is a nerve issue and I think it takes nerves a while to settle down. I hope this helps you some and if you have any questions, I will be glad to answer if I can.....from my own personal view anyways

    LYNN

     
    Old 01-20-2009, 05:21 AM   #4
    sammyo1
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    Re: Anyone with cervical & Lumbar problems both

    Thank you both so much. I can completely understand about going through yrs of pain & not knowing. It caused me some depression & cost me more then I can say in every aspect of my life. Not to mention doctors looking at me like I was crazy.
    I do have DDD in the Cervical & had ACDF on 5&6. Not sure about the lumbar. I just dont want to let the lumbar get as bad as the cervical did. 2 or 3wks before surgery I honestly did not think I would make it. Of course when the surgeon got in there there was not much left & what was left was into the spinal cord, but once again I could not get anyone to believe me pain level. After surgery he told my husband he could understand why I was in such pain, alot of good that did me when I thought I would not make it. My lower back aches & I get that cold or numbness in my foot, mostly in morning I dont want to pick up my feet to walk so I shuffle.
    My first MRI did not show what was causing all my symptoms & pain so I dont trust them to much. The surgeon said C4 & 7 have problems & that did not show on the last MRI either. I wish they would have done the discogram & one doctor was tempted but I could not even lift my arm at the time without huge amounts of pain & muscle spasms in the chest area so he said he was afraid of it causing me more pain.
    I also understand about the meds. I am off one & both my PM & surgeon are really pleased I made the effort on my own. The other I try to decrease but most days I am still in to much pain & having issues with my Cervical collar.
    With both C & L problems some days my entire back would hurt & I wonder if that is why. I am scared of being left in pain again.
    Its great to hear success stories & gives me something to look forward to.
    Nice to meet you both & thank you so much for taking time out. I am pushing for the lumbar MRI the as soon as I heal some from the cervical but its nice to know I am not alone. God bless, Sammy

     
    Old 09-17-2010, 08:46 AM   #5
    dbaum
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    Question Re: Anyone with cervical & Lumbar problems both

    This is great information! I love Health Boards. :-)

    Anyway, I am going to have Cervical Disc Surgery with the plate and allograft. This will be done in two weeks. Just wondering about recovery pain and what to expect. The NS said he will be going in via the front of my neck.

    Also, I will be having lumbar surgery for stenosis and a cyst on the spine. How much time should pass before the second surgery?

    Any info you can share will be SOOOOO appreciated.

     
    Old 09-17-2010, 03:23 PM   #6
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    Re: Anyone with cervical & Lumbar problems both

    Sammy and all, I too have both cervical and lumbar problems. My lumbar has given me pain off and on for over 20 years, and twice I had acute episodes which were helped with physical therapy, but in 2007, I had stenosis and two bulging discs (L4 and5) which caused me to walk like a drunk, have a weak left leg and numbness in both legs, and my lower back hurt all the time. I had three epidural steroid shots and more physical therapy, but that didn't really help. During that time my balance was bad, I had a fall, which injured my C7-T1 vertebra and I didn't realize for several months, until the hands and arms became weak, and numbness set in my fingers. Also it made my leg symptoms worse. I had a cervical MRI which showed major spinal cord bruising, and had my ACDF in 2008. That stopped the progression of that damage, but my surgeon said that my lumbar problems were not operable. I cope with them by doing water therapy on my own, use a memory foam topper for my bed, and have been getting massage therapy. I can walk some better, but when tired, or when I have to sit very long, I take baby steps. Sitting is torture, but I always use a lumbar pillow, taking it with me wherever I go. I'm not taking any pain meds other than an occasional ibuprofen. I am dealing with the neuropathy with supplements. The intensity has ease somewhat, especially this last few months. My cervical problems are slowly improving, with strength returning to hands. That is important to me, since I need to be able to type and play the piano. I can do both now, though sitting is still hard.
    I have so much more compassion for people who have chronic pain, and I've learned a lot on these boards. Hope that you all get better soon!
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    Old 09-17-2010, 04:59 PM   #7
    DDD Sara
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    Re: Anyone with cervical & Lumbar problems both

    Hi Sammy, I have both issues but mainly the problem is my lumbar area. I'm having a hard time getting any Surgeon to help me as I only have DDD in my whole lumbar spine but it's mild but I can barely walk. Did you say your issues didn't really show with your cervical MRI? I have C6-C7 nerve impinging and left arm pain and numbness especially in the elbow. I had whiplash before and used Valium for it and it helped my neck so much ask your Dr. to see if muscle relaxants would help your back also. Even so to put off lower back surgery as long as you can or until your neck gets better. My best. Sara

     
    Old 09-18-2010, 11:35 AM   #8
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    Re: Anyone with cervical & Lumbar problems both

    Hello,

    I also have both cervical and lumbar spine issues. My lumbar problems started first, though after a couple years, I began getting bouts of awful neck pain & spasms as well. My lower back was worse though and I ended up needing surgery for severe lumbar stenosis as I was to the point where I literally could not walk more than 20 - 30 feet & had no life whatsoever. My neck pain has been getting worse & worse over the past couple years, but I've not had it investigated yet (such as x-rays, MRI's, tests, etc.) My cervical problems now are eerily similar to my lumbar problems, though, and I'm thinking I may also have cervical stenosis, ugh. But anyway, almost all of my spine and even sacral area & hips & ankles are involved with either arthritic pain, nerve pain, arthritis, or both.

    So as you can see by everyone's posts, you are definitely not alone. It just sucks that we all have to deal with it all.

     
    Old 09-18-2010, 01:53 PM   #9
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    Re: Anyone with cervical & Lumbar problems both

    Minstrel, why do they say they can't do anything about your lumbar area? If you have 2 degenerated or bulging discs and it is bad enough to interfere with your ability to walk, your dr. should be looking at what could help. If an MRI isn't showing enough trouble, ask for a myelogram ct which would show more, possibly. Even if it doesn't it seems strange that your dr. doesn't want to do anything about the lumbar area. Perhaps a second opinion?? If so, try to find an orthopedic spine specialist. You really need some help with this.

    Carol

     
    Old 09-18-2010, 05:16 PM   #10
    minstrel2
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    Re: Anyone with cervical & Lumbar problems both

    Maltluver, I may not have mentioned that I have a ligament which has thickened and is causing most of my stenosis. I don't think the bulging discs are causing that much of my problems. I have improved some, especially with massage therapy, which I just started about 6 weeks ago. I go about every two weeks and she works on my glutes and leg muscles which are extremely full of knots. My walking is improving, so if I continue to improve, I would rather not have more surgery. I am so grateful that at the moment my pain levels are manageable with the things I am doing. I will certainly seek more help, should I start to get worse rather than better. Thanks for your input.
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    Old 09-19-2010, 03:49 AM   #11
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    Re: Anyone with cervical & Lumbar problems both

    Oh my goodness, Baybreeze, you sound just like me. I am so tired of this pain and I really want the surgeries to go well. I have the cervical surgery (ACDF)next week. Then I have to wait until next year for the lumbar surgery. I am guessing a year recovery should be enough. Thoughts on that?

    Minstrel, I can relate to your pain levels just taking over your life. I have gone from working in the corporate office to working at home. But, over the course of the past 10 years I have had to eliminate all other interests and activities. I save myself just for work.

    Finally I decided that this pain will not rule my life. I tried the PT, pain killers and traction, but the truth is I couldn't continue to take all that time off work. So, I decided that surgery might be the best way to 'hopefully' end this nightmare. I am having to time all of this while using FMLA and sacrificing my vacation. But, I pray the end result will be worth it.

     
    Old 10-21-2010, 05:42 AM   #12
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    Re: Anyone with cervical & Lumbar problems both

    Hi i have had problems with my cervical at c4/5 and c5/6 for the last 12 years had 2 MRI and shows desiccation and narrowing at c5/6 i have had 2 lots of facet injections which have not worked i would have surgery but pain clinic say they cant do anymore surely i should not have to put up with this chronic pain i do beleive it is a impingement on the right c6 nerve root i am back again at pain clinic for more facet injections but he has already said he dont think they will work so why do them they could try something else. when i go again i am going to argue about some surgery.

     
    Old 01-03-2011, 12:40 PM   #13
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    Re: Anyone with cervical & Lumbar problems both

    [QUOTE=sammyo1;3854478]Hi everyone,
    I am a few weeks out of cervical surgery (fusion) & after healing some will be going for an MRI of the lumbar. On the last C&T MRI it caught the L1&2 & showed herniation along with fluid void (hope I am explaining the right).
    My surgeon said very often when you have cervical problems lumbar problems can occur. My lower back hurts in the morning every morning & I tend to shuffle my feet. I woke up a few mornings ago & was walking like I was drunk, could not seem to put one foot in front of the other, anyone experiance this? As with the cervical most is on the left side. I can get some pain going down my leg & some cold feeling in my left foot along with pain in the ankle. For the most part it just feels like alot of pressure in the lower back & at times my entire back will hurt. When waking up from my fusion the first pain I felt was in the lower back & it really took me by surprise. The pain was so intense I did not want to move.
    Since most of the doctors I had seen looked at me like I was crazy for having pain in the Upper & lower I was shocked when my surgeon told me its not at all uncommon to have problems in the cervical & lumbar. Thought I would pop on here & ask if anyone else experianced both. I appreciate any input. Thanks & god bless, Sammy[/QUOTE]

     
    Old 01-03-2011, 12:45 PM   #14
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    Re: Anyone with cervical & Lumbar problems both

    Wow..yes i had 3 discs replaced in my c-spine. Dr sent me to rehab to build up stamina etc...chiropractor has ended up doing manipulations on my total back. This week i had an mri of my l-spine because of severe pain and i have 3 torn lumbar discs. Its very depressing to try to fix one thing and have a new problem. Ugh

     
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