I went to the neurologist yesterday, first time in 8 years.
I've had two fusions at C5-6 in 96 and C6-7 in 2001. I have a plate and screws from the second surgery.
Three years ago, I was found to have a blown disc at C4-5,
and I didn't have surgery because I had a chance to get a real job and live like a real person for the first time since the 1995. I moved and hoped the climate would help the pan. It did, for a while.
Then, this summer, I started falling a lot, and dropping things, and having a progressive cough, and difficulty breathing.
In July I got bilateral pneumonia and went to ICU with very low O2 sats. I was in a week and was healed as of 2 weeks later.
In September, I got bilateral pneumonia again, and was sent home after 2 days with the strongest antibiotics you can take by mouth. Ten days later I was in ICU and flown to a hospital that could put me on a respirator. I had an open lung biopsy and nobody ever found out what caused the "Acute Lung Injury."
Now--here's the connection. Both pneumonias were preceded by a fall. The pulmonologist asked if my neck injury was at C-4, and at another time asked if I had stenosis. The neurologist asked who my pulmonologist was, and was frowning over my results at the time.
This is what my 3 year old MRI said: (new one soon)
C3-4 Mild broad central canal disc spur, noncompressive.
C4-5 Moderate broad rigthward assymmetrical central canal disc spur with flattening of the ventral cord and complete subarachnoid space effacement. There is effacement of the right lateral recess and proximal right foramina.
I know you're not doctors but has anyone heard of anything like this, connecting lung problems with cervical spine?
I also have breathing problems from what I think is my neck condition. My primary Dr. kind of agrees with me, that cervical neck problems can cause breathing problems. I think that the spasm and pain hinders our breathing because of the pain from the expansion of the lungs. Also I think we all have some anxiety from the condition and that can cause breathing problems. But then again if we are having cord stenosis in the upper neck like you and I have there can be a neurological problem or compression of the cord. I haven't had to go the hospital for pneumonia but do have breath difficulty breathing problems at time. Everything must pass through that area for every part of our body to function and if it is narrowed why not? Click on the the "loss of voice" post and read my time line of surgeries you maybe headed there, but I hope you don't go through what I did.
It was a help. Actually, maybe for both of us. I have had each disc surgery one at a time, and on my second surgery, my vocal cord was damaged. I was student teaching at the time, and I lost my voice completely. (By the way, my kids loved it. I think they were hoping I could NEVER yell at them again.) Anyway, it took nine months for my voice to come back. I was in speech therapy at the university I was going to, but I am not sure that helped as much as my mom's prayers and my grandmother's favorite hymns, which I started singing, every day. The exercise helped it. Anyway, it is interesting that both of us, who lost our voices, are the same ones with other breathing problems.
I also have muscle spasms that cut off my air sometimes, and the pulmonary doctor says its not a respiratory symptom. It started after the neck surgery,too.
Thanks again for the input. Please write back if you want to compare notes.
Hi, I believe the issues with breathing and the c-spine are the nerves that the bulging disks r coming into contact with.
Since all the nerves run thru the spinal cord, it is in diff areas that affect diff parts of ur body.
I hope I am making sense. Do u know what caused ur original probs?
Did u have an accident to have the injury to ur c-spine?
I ask, because I have cervical spinal stinosis.....and I have issues with breathing...I am a mouth breather for one....my voice gets hoarse quite often.My other dx is chiari which involves the c-spine as well.
I am curious as to what ur drs find out.I am looking at the possibility of surgery and like to see how others have managed.
I had an injury at work, from a fall. I landed flat on my butt and jarred my whole spine, blowing disks at C56 and C67 and in my low back at L5-S1.
I'll let you know how the MRI comes out. Thanks for the welcome note, too.
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