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Cervical Fusion C3,C4,C5,C6
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Cervical Fusion C3,C4,C5,C6

I was hurt  at work 10/28/05.  On 08/12/06 they fused C3,C4,C5, and C6.  I know it takes time  to heal but 13 months later and I have more pain now then before the surgery.  Workers Comp is now trying to get me to come up with a settlement amount.  First question, why so much pain still, sharp shooting pain from C2 down and neck and it doesn't take much to get the shooting pains.  Also sick to stomach now 24/7 and left arm goes numb about 2-3 times a week.  Second question, would you consider a settlement when your still having so much pain and how much.  I already told them I am not talking settlement until I know why still so much pain and that it's worse than before surgery.
I am 57 years old and was in great health until I was hurt at work.  After surgery they had me back at work in 2 months and I worked (light duty) until I was laid-off on 09/13/07, due to plant closing.  I live in Michigan if that helps at all.
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Avatar_n_tn
Not sure why you are still in pain.  I'm in Indiana. I'll try and keep your thread alive.  Hope everything works out.
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Avatar_n_tn
Do not settle until you are 100% better! I settled in a car accident, a long, long time ago.
Had an artificial disc surgery (*clinical trial) and am STILL IN PAIN!
Muscles are very stiff, and am trying all the things I have read here on the forum, exercise, posture etc....feel a little better, but have a long way to go.
I feel better when I correct my posture, and am remembering more often now to sit correctly, and stretch when I need to.
Good luck, but don't settle!
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Avatar_m_tn
Just wanted to give an update.  I was scheduled for an MRI last Wednesday, but they couldn't do it.  They said to much metal in my neck was messing up the MRI.  I now I am scheduled for a CAT scan with dye on the 8th of October.   This has me a bit worried since after the CAT scan I have to stay flat on my back for 24 hours so the fluid they took out of my spine to put the dye in can rebuild it self.
I will not settle until I I have no pain and then only for $$ not medical.  Since I am not long able to do my normal trade (Industrial Maintenance) which I have been doing over 30 years.
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178107_tn?1315951230
Yes be sure you lay flat as much as possible.  When I had it done as I was leaving the hospital I received a call that my brother had been killed in an accident.  So I was unable to lay down at all.  I ended up with a spinal headache and it took going back and getting two blood patches to get rid of it.  Good luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for the information, & sorry about your brother.  We are planning on going on our first vacation in 10 years on the 11th.  Sure hope I am ok by then to go.
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178107_tn?1315951230
I'm sure you will be fine.  The first 24 hours afterwards is the most critical.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I know how you feel. I had the same ones fused. I still need C7yet. It was 7 months ago. I won't get
the other one done. I still hurt all the time. The pain is so bad still. My neck hurts constantly. I get headaches all the time. I had to have the blood patch done before. The headache from the spinal tap hurts something awful. I wouldn't settle until your completely better. I wonder when that will be? Cause like me I still am no better. I feel worse.
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Avatar_m_tn
On 10/28/08 it was 2 years ago I was hurt.  On 08/12/06 I had the surgery, some things are better some are worse.  I go to doctor on the 5th of this month to see what CAT scan with dye shows.  I hope it shows why I am still in so much pain all the time but at the same time hope that don't say need more surgery.  I am not ready for that and not sure I would go through it again.
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Avatar_m_tn
OK, here are the results of the Myelography CT
C2-3 No Disc herniation or bony stenosis
C3-4 There is a ventral epidural impression which may represent a small central                
          protrusion versus a prominent posterior longitudinal ligament.
C4-5 Mild uncovertebral ridging is seen resulting in mild right neural foraminal
          stensis.
C5-6 Mild uncovertebral ridging is identified resulting in bilateral mild neural forminal  
          stenosos.
C6-7 Mild right uncovertebral ridging is seen resulting in mild right neural foraminal
          stenosis.
C7-T1 No disc herniation or stenosis.

Can someone put this in english for me.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I wished I knew what it meant. Hopefully your Doctor will explain it in laymans terms. I hope you find the answers and the treatment to help you. I know the constant pain is hell. I can't afford the medical cost anymore so I suffer. Good Luck!!! Let me know what happens? I hope your family gives you the support you need. It sucks going to bed in pain and waking up in pain. As much as I hurt, I doubt if I would have another surgery. It is worse after the surgery than before I had the surgery. By the way I am 45 years old. I am from Ohio. Keep in touch, and good luck,  corkybrat
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Avatar_m_tn
Ok, what all that means is vertebrates are narrowing which is about normal in anyone my age (57) and is most likely from arthritis.
My surgeon who I saw on the 12th looked over both x-rays and cat scan and said everything is normal.  I am healing nicely.  The headaches and upset stomach is because the nerves are still healing and should get better in 18 to 24 months, although so people due take longer.  He also said that I will always be in some pain for the rest of my life and need sleeping pills to get a good night sleep.  But the pain should be much less within another year.
Also asked the doc again which ones were fused.  The correct ones  C4, C5, C6, & C7.
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Avatar_n_tn
Glad to hear things are getting better for you. Maybe in time you will feel better. I hate to think we will always have some degree of pain,some is to much. So after what the Doctor said are you willing to settle your suit? Talk at you later corkybrat
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Avatar_n_tn
had c4 to c6 done 4yrs ago had a excellent doctor.they used cadaver bone all healed very well.went back to my work as machine oper been back 2 yrs....before surgery had headaches 24/7.now very few.,but i take meloxicam,skelaxin,vicodin to work .i have arthritis in neck the  meloxicam is great with that..i tryed for aweek to stop all mrd and was so stiff and headaches came back..the doctors said they couldn't conferm that the headaches came form the neck..even tho they stoped after surgery.don't know what school he went to..also had elbow surgery after that..neck surgery was suppose to have fixed that but didn't..THe one thing they told me to do is walk the best thing to strengthen the neck and shoulders..when my neck and shoulders get realy bad i will stand up and do stretchs and it does help....so hang in there  clyde
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Avatar_n_tn
I had my C3/4 fused on 14 March and I am feeling better but my neck is starting to really hurt.  I am not having the pain in the left shoulder like I did last month.  I also have trouble sleeping.  I take Tylenol PM to help me go to sleep and I also have to have the Pain meds nightly to relax me.  I am just concern about the amount of time that it will take me to fully recover.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had cervical fusion feb 06 fron of my neck c3, 4, 5 and 6 ended up with mrsa in the inscions site and in my lungs after 6 months went back to work even though the pain never got better, was told that it did not heal and that now i needed to have it done again, but this time they went from the back and did c3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 this was done in nov 07 went back to work in Jan, now I am still in severe pain have very limited movement of my neck and now they the hardware has moved and they are going to have to go back and do it all over. I just wonder if this happens alot and if it will ever be any better. I am 39 and am not able to work have 2 boys and don't reall feel like doing anything unless i take pain meds.
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508080_tn?1210795397
I had surgery on Feb. 20th and am still in pain.  They fused my C5-C6 together, utilizing a cadaver bone where my disc had ruptured so bad it couldn't be repaired.  It is now May 14th, almost 3 months after surgery and I still have a hard time getting out of bed, due to the pain and stiffness.  I take Lyrica, Oxycodone, and Oxycontin for pain.  I also take Ambien CR for sleep.  I saw my pain specialist on May 9th and he advised me that I would probably need to be on these medications for the rest of my life, as the surgery has increased my chances of getting severe arthritis in the fused area by 48%.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a three level fusion of c5-6, c6-7, and C7-T1 on Aug. 2, 2007.  I felt great for about three weeks minus the incision pain.  Then the neck pain and shoulder pain increased.  The neurosurgeon felt this was normal healing and it would take time.  Now I have constant neck and shoulder pain, headaches, and numbness returning in my arms and hands.  My only option at this point is an epidural facet joint injection, but the insurance will not approve it.  I failed PT and pain med (Vicodin) does not do much at all to help.  Daily life increases the pain, so I am forced to feel useless because I am unable to help out around the house.  My neurosurgeon has told me that if the injections do not help, I am going to be stuck with the pain and there is nothing that can be done.  I have now started a social security disability claim because the neurosurgeon has provided no hope and just says he will support the claim.  I am only 39 years old and I feel helpless and most people do not understand what we are going through because there is not an outward injury.  My family and friends are great.  Because they are close to me, they can tell by the way I move as to how much pain I am having, but strangers are clueless.  I hope that in time someone will find an answer to all our problems.  Take care of yourselves and try to keep your spirits up.  Jo
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Avatar_m_tn
I was injured on 09/24/2000. They fused my neck at C5-6 w/  cadaver bone, and it has been unstable since. The insurance companies tried to get me to settle quick also, but I held out. Do not settle anything until you are completely satisfied that all has been medically done that can be done. My workers comp settlement was for 6 figures, but now I would have to spend that much of my own money in medical bills to again qualify for workers comp assistance. I'm over 7 years from my injury date and still have a great deal of pain as well. I take enough Oxycodone and MS Contin to put down an elephant and still have pain. They have tried everything from PT, to facet injections, epidural injections, second opinions, accupuncture, etc, but all have failed. But don't let that discourage you, what failed for me may work for you.

The "system" is supposed to be there to help good people like us that have been paying our dues over the years. So don't feel bad about being down and receiving benefits. That's what it's there for. And don't let them talk you into a settlement until you are ready, then get what you can. My settlement is set up to pay every month for life, increasing every 5 years.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, I guess I'm just getting started with all the "fun." I am in the Army and I was hurt in a roadside bomb in Iraq. It herniated disc C3, C4, C5, and C6. They tried meds, PT, trigger point injections, and steroid injections and then decided I could no longer serve. So I'm currently getting a medical discharge which I'm dealing with. I'm on Vicadin for pain which I could eat like candy, but I don't like to "fly" all day so just take it at night. So my pain doc said he'd write a referral for me to give to the VA doctors when I get out of the Army to send me to neurology. My question now is, what's next? Is surgery the next step?

I know I'm going to be in pain for the rest of my life and I've accepted that but it ***** cause I'm only 28 yrs. old and I have a long life to live and I can't get worker's comp from the Army. But I can't complain cause I knew what I was getting into and I love the Army with every bone in my body and would go back to Iraq in a heartbeat.
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Avatar_n_tn
in 2005 I had c/5-7 fused, it was pretty sucsessfull up untill now. Since early in the year I started haveing alot of familar pain in my neck, shoulders, arms and hands and continued to work untill the end of march i just got to the point where i had zero strength. I seen my neurosurgeon got an mri and found bone spurs and arthritis in the fusion site. He sent me to pain management to get a series of 3 nerve blocks meanwhile work laid me off and cancelled my ins. so i had to cancel my appts. for nerve blocks and also cant get pain meds because i cant afford the office visits. I finally listened to my wife and got my lawyer on this he also helped me get my first surgery i did not know that bone spurs and arthritis in the fusion area could be veiwed as aggravating circumstances or results of the origanal injury. Has anyone heard of this before and any idea of pain relief besides heat, ice, motrin i was on fentenayl patch and vicodin.
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Avatar_f_tn
I just read all the comments and I am seeing a surgeon tomorrow for 4 cadaver disc replacements in C3,4,5,6. I am pretty scared to death at this point and am feeling pretty sure that surgery is not the answer. What is the point when it seems that it either does more harm than good and if it does any good, the "healing" process is so lengthy?! Oh my God!!!! What do I do? I have been in pain mgmt for 8 years and a car accident 2 months ago completely blew my discs. I have pain radiating all the way down my left arm to my hand and intermittent pain shooting down my right arm. I am a hairstylist, so this double *****! I have suffered from chronic pain for so long and I was so hopeful that I was going to get relief, and now I feel more discouraged than ever. My appt. with the surgeon is tomorrow at 1pm and now I don't feel I can trust ANYONE! I also suffer from fibromyalgia and RSD. I just try to make every day as positive as I can, but I always have a gorilla on my back. PT only worsens the pain and they told me I can't continue it....WHAT IS THE ANSWER????? I hope you are better and just try to stay as positive as you can, be patient and do anything you can do to improve your quality of life. Also, the most important thing is to surrround yourself with people who support you. My family is not understanding and think I have a drug problem because they can't see my pain....GO FIGURE. I just stay away from them and anyone else who is judgemental. I am very lucky to have a husband who suffers from chronic pain and 1000% understands. We just lean on each other.........
GOOD LUCK
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Avatar_f_tn
The point of surgery is to relieve the pressure on the discs, and the possiblility of permanent damage or paralysis.  You should get some degree of relief from the pain. No one can say how much. But at some point, your condition outweighs the choice of waiting any longer. You don't want to be paralyzed from the neck down, which another MVA could cause. Good luck girl, hang in there.
What you read hear are mostly the surgerys that go wrong. If they go right, people tend to move on, and stop posting. I'll pray that you are one of those. My replacement was cadaver bone also, and mine fused fine.

<oore....I was injured in 1991, while milking cows on a dairly. I had severe injuries to my shoulder, neck, ribs, and back. After 2 years, and surgery, worker's comp closed my claim declaring me "medically stable". They explained that didn't mean I didn't have pain, just that I wasn't going to get any better than I was at that point. I took them with an attorney, and got a settlement. Unfortunately I wasn't smart enough to hold out for future medical problems, and for medications to stabalize pain, muscle spasms etc. I wish I, and my attorney, had been smarter. Now I have a lot of other problems directly related to that injury, but can't go back on WC, and have to go thru my general health insurance, with all of the co-pays etc. Please don't do what I did! If you need more surgery, now is the time to get it, not when they have closed your claim. At your age, you may never be able to work again, so you want to be sure you will have an income if that happens.The good thing about WC income, is it isn't taxable!! Best wishes.

Maggie
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a C4-5-6 fusion in 1999, the pain never goes away, it only gets worse. I have had some relief from PROLOTHERAPHY. There are very few doctors in the U.S. that do this. I won't name him, but one of the best is in Milwaukee, use google and start searching.
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Avatar_m_tn
I went in on Friday and they want to do surgery on Tuesday after Labor Day.  I am not sure whether to go for a 2nd opinion or not. I have had 3 other relatives/friends who are doctors advise that I go forward and not wait and do it with this particular doctor (Dr. Holly of UCLA Neuro Center).  I went to dry cleaner today and I was blown away when she told me he is having surgery with same doctor in Oct. for her back. (not as urgent & he is so busy).  My problem is that my 'moving xray' showed that the disc was not stable.  I am 35, 115 lbs, and NEVER had a pain in my life, so to come back after my honeymoon 2 days later and find this out is so scary. We were looking to start conceiving right away and I am frightened that the pain meds will delay that. What concerns me most is the follow-up surgeries that some have to do because other discs after years - need work because of the fused ones. He is using cadver bone. I do know that you cannot be a smoker and go through fusion and that you must must must lay low for a solid month to allow fusion to heal. Anybody got any other info?
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178107_tn?1315951230
By all means get a second opinion. I had a two level fusion C5-C7 two years ago and I have been in constant pain since.  And your right about follow up surgeries, I just had another MRI and the disk above and below my fusion are now going have to be fused.  It seems like it never ends. Good luck, keep us posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow I have just found this site and I am very pleased there is other  people out there, who suffer as much as me. I am on a waiting list at the hospital to have c3 to c6 so dont know when it will happen.
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Avatar_f_tn
I just had c5,6,7 fused 3 weeks ago. The pain that was directed right there in that area is pretty much gone. But now it seems that has moved down lower. I have a follow up vist with surgeon on monday. I am still in as much pain as I was before just moved downward....????
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Avatar_f_tn
Gosh I cant believe all that I have read on this board.  I am a registered nurse who had a cervical rupture at c5/c6 level post op was ok had continued shoulder pain and required pain med daily to be able to work,  that was going on 4 yrs ago well sure enough november of last year I reinjured my neck did not rupture a disc but mri showed posterior bulging that was superimposed It is a workers comp case can we say nightmare,,,, I am currently seeing a spinal specialist chosen by wc i had accupuncture with electrical stimulation injections and today this new laser procedure.  i was sent back to work about a couple of months ago which was not a good idea i believe the disc has now ruptured pain is unbearable.  Md said I can work even though I cant lie in bed and sleep up all night with pain I had my medical doctor order another mri which i go to on tues.  I its ruptured i am requesting to go to nuerosurgeon to take care of it.  I have an attorney and waiting for him to call me back what do i do I cant work he wont cover that with a note and i seriously thinking of disability,  Has anyone filed and were they successful any help will be greatly appriciated im so tired of the pain now my hands are tingling like pins and needles and that md could care less.  I said once I would not wish this on my worst enemy but i will wish some of these docs could have a chronic back problem then i believe they would do more to help us other than push us off like we are stupid or making it up and drugging us up I am at my witts end I am just about to lose it  
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Avatar_f_tn
I too am a nurse. In 3/98, I fell at work and injured my neck. Required fusions ? C-5/6not sure if other was above or below. One fused and the other didn't. I had a posterior fusion to correct and hopefully fuse.Work fine, until I fell at a patients house (Hospice Nurse) 11/07. You guessed it, all the pain and then some came back. I filed first report, didn't go to see MD. Was taking muscle relax and pain for knee soooo it also helped neck. Neck pain appeared horrible. Requested to see MD. Waited 2 days to get approval. Finally told they denied/conyroverted due to being a pre-existing cond. since I had surg. in '98 & '99. Was never told and stupid me didn't know I could appeal. When I found out I could, it was 10/08, just after I was terminated for being a liability. I saw an attorney mid October and signed all papers for him to represent me.Before leaving his office I asked him if I needed to file the appeal, he told me no, not to worry they would do it. The first week of Dec., I finally get sme response from his office after calling numerous times. In his letter he stated that during our conversation when I was in his office, he told me he was unable to repesent me. Told me no papers had been filed and I needed to do so. Already over a year since accident. W/C Board (GA) told me when I called them that I had a year from the date they denied. Wrong? I am screwed. Now I am paying all expenses. and out of work paying COBRA $544/mo. so I will be able to pay neck expenses. MD, after seeing MRI, the scheduler called and had scheduled my surgery for 7/6/09. She said he wanted do do ASAP. I haven't had surgery yet. Havung in the next 2 weeks. Could tremors that started about 5 days be result od neck injury? He will be fusing 1/2 or2/3 I think. Now I am afraid with it being so high up. I rattled on and on, please excuse for this. If you shed any light on the new symptoms of tremors and lack of coordination walking. The worse is when I type or try to wriite or hold paper to read. Bes and Blessings to all.

Madlyn
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey everyone, I had c3-c5 fused after a snowboarding accident in early 2008.  I was only 20 when it happened so I healed very quickly and the doctors were all pretty much amazed at how well I was doing.  I kept a positive attitude and everything seemed to be in the past... and then some time about 6-8 months later began the REAL pain.  It was mostly in my shoulders and upper back more than anything and I constantly would crack my back and crunch my spine to relive the tension.  At this point after the surgery, I was spending a lot of time being active and rough on my body (snowboarding) and immobile and hunched over (studying late into the night, sitting in class, etc.).  By the two year anniversary of my surgery I was a stiff and achey (achy) mess.  

I thought the best way to relieve the pain was to rebuild all of the muscles that supported my neck and shoulders, so I went to the gym and did a lot of rows and other back exercises.  These helped in the short run, but eventually I would just be stiff and achey (achy) again.  Then, just recently, I started doing YOGA, and it has been the most effective of anything I've tried.

EVERYONE HERE WITH SPINAL PAIN SHOULD TRY YOGA.  When you get a surgery like this, your movement in your neck becomes very limited and you start walking and moving in a new way to compensate for your immobility.  Yoga is basically an intense stretching session that works at aligning your entire spine, and by working and stretching muscles that you've forgotten how to use after surgery, you re-teach yourself how to move in a way that minimizes pain.  I didn't even realize how stiff my lower back was from sitting and standing with awkward posture because of my bad neck, and yoga has started to fix that problem.  These surgeries are a lot harder to cope with than we think, and the metal is in our neck for life, so yoga is the perfect process to eliminate the pain and stiffness.  

Most importantly, as a spiritual practice, it helps you mentally and physically.  So if you've been depressed, down, un-motivated, or anxious in the months or years after surgery, it's probably a mental ailment that was born out of your physical ailments.  Yoga will lead to reduced pain, flexibility, good health, and PEACE OF MIND!!!  Please, everyone on here, give it a try no matter how old you are or how apprehensive you are about trying something "exotic" like yoga.  It is hands down the only solution to the pain of these surgeries.  

Good luck to everyone
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Avatar_n_tn
I had c5,c6,c7 disectomy with cadavar bone replacement, titanium plate and fusion on 9/3/10.   Saw neurosurgeon on 10/5/10 and he is not certan I am fusing at c5=c6 level see him again with new x-rays on 11/8/1O.    He had me have nerve conduction studies done today which revealed severe carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands.  I have constant hand pain, numbness, no dexterity and neck pain.   I am and have been a paramedic for 25 years.   I am on Family Medical Leave, but after 11/23/10 they will no longer hold my job as a paramedic.   I have also had to have bladder cystocele repair with pork skin sling due to pulling my bladder out from so much heavy lifting.   I will also loose my primary health insurance on 11/30/10.   I am seriously considering disability as I feel I have no choice.    Any ideas or input on this would be very much appreciated.    I am a 51 year old female and the job is more difficult than ever.  
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I am 64 years old.   40 years ago a GP diagnosed me with regional enteritis because, after complaining about a stiff neck, he said that women don't generally get the kind of arthritis he found in my neck and it is usually an indicator or an intenstinal disorder.  Low and behold, within months I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and, after 3 small bowel resections, I now find out that my C3-4 and C5-6 are severlly restricted by both ruptures, stenosis, calicification and several other things I didn't understand.  Really, I'm not in significant pain and only went to the neurologist because I was having tremors in my hand and was worried bout Parkinsons (which I don't have, thankfully).  Now, after reading all your posts I am terrified about having the surgery that the doctors say is imperative because I could be paralyzed easily.  I don't have pain now so why should I take the chance of having the pain all of you say you experienced after surgery.  I need some GOOD ADVICE.
Nervous in SC
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Avatar_f_tn
I was in a car accident 2 weeks ago, I was rear ended while stopped at a stop light.  I just got the results of my MRI. My doctor's nurse told me I have "slight" bulging disks of the C3 C4 C5 and C6.  My upper back, neck, and left shoulder into my left arm hurt. And, I have a constant headache.  She said he just recommends physical therapy. I'm wondering, will the therapy 'cure' my pain, or should I see a lawyer in case this pain continues?

Thanks!

Michigan
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Avatar_f_tn
See a lawyer, just in case
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Avatar_f_tn
In November of 2010 I slipped on some ice and when I came down, I landed on steps. I managed to get up and back into the house, but was in severe pain. I had just lost my health insurance 4 days before I fell, so I put off going to the doctor. After 2 weeks of the most intense pain I had ever felt, I went to a local ER. They confirmed I had no insurance & then sent me to a room. The ER physician came in and we discussed my fall and the on-going neck/shoulder/ & arm pain.The ER physician touched my shoulder twice and said it was a pulled muscle. Sent me home with pain pills,  muscle relaxers & 2 weeks bed rest. At the end of that 2 weeks, the pain was worse. I went back to the same ER & by chance I seen the same ER physician as before. I advised him that the pain had become worse and at times I was unable to use/lift my left arm and that it was like it was paralyzed. I asked for an xray or an MRI, but he said I didn't need one. Again he prescribed pain pills and muscle relaxers for my "pulled muscle." I went home feeling defeated, and miserable Two days later I woke up from a rare 2 hours of sleep and I could not move my left side and I had lost control of my bladder. I called my PCP, who admitted me to a different hospital. An MRI was done. I had herniated my C2-C6 & broken my neck between my C4 &C5!
A spinal fusion of my C3-C6 (using cadaver bones) was done. The pain in my neck & left shoulder were better, but I immediately had pain in my right shoulder. To this day I still can not feel my bladder, and parts of my left leg. On top of that, before I fell I had problems with a herniated L2 & L5. Since the surgery, my L2 or L5 is constantly "slipping" out and leaving me unable to walk, stand, sit, ..... I lay in a bed for 3-?? days until it gets better. The Nurse Practitioner I see at a free clinic said there is nothing I can do but learn to live with it!! I have nerve pain, and am unable to sleep. The pain in my neck/ right shoulder is so severe at times that I think it is worse than before surgery. Muscle spasms, burning, tingling & sharp shocks go down my shoulder and arm. Since I have no insurance, no neurologist or neurosurgeon will touch me. I cant even get an MRI or an xray done to see if I do have another issue.
I have no pain meds, no sleep meds, and I cant afford the gabapentin (neuronton) that was prescribed. I'm constantly in pain, unable to sleep or preform the simple day to day tasks such as combing your hair or vacuuming. I consider myself a mentally strong/ positive person, but this is wearing me down.
I am glad to hear there are others who have the same or similar issues as I do, but sorry that you all are in the same boat I am in.
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1854404_tn?1319613096
I have had an injury back on 2006 and finally had the surgery on 2007 for
C4-5, 5-6 and then 6-7 on 2008.  Then I had the same symptoms again, severe neck and back pain, numbness and tingling in my hands and arms. I am so devastated when I found out with MRI and CT Scan that my C5-6 fusion failed.  Apparently, the bone graft is gone and the only way to fix it is for me to have another surgery.  I had no choice I just want to get better for my 3 children so I had my 3rd surgery on Feb 2010.  I worked at the office and on the computer all day which is really frustrating because the pain is so severe at the end of the day.  And I can't even sleep at night because it is very uncomfortable, can't seem the find the right position.  I am having another MRI and CT Scan next week with and will be seeing a Neurologist for nerve study as well.  I am so scared to find out and hoping and praying that I do not go for another surgery again..Can anyone tell me the reason and the cause of failed fusion, a question that even my Neurosugeon cannot answer for me.
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Avatar_f_tn
Reading all these post scares me more than I already am. In November 2010 I had posterior cervical laminectomy for extremely large spurs on my C3,C4,C5.  Felt better but still hurt.  By April 2011 the pain was unbearable, went back to my neurologist, had another MRI, bulged disk (C4/5), spurs again, and possible disk damage at C6/7.  Ended up with a anterior fusion using cadavar bone in June 2011.  Fine for the most part up until the last 3 weeks.  Pain is unbearable, have no meds, afraid to go back to the Neurologist again.  She is exceptional in her field and has the best reputation around, but not the best bedside manner.  And I have smoked which is a no-no and she rides me to the end about it.  After this last surgery I had myself down to about 2 cigarettes a day, and when I went back for my 3 week check-up, she made me stay in my hard collar for 6 more weeks because I had not stopped COMPLETELY and she has me wearing a bone stimulator on my neck for 4 hours a day until this next January.  Not sure what to do at this point.
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Avatar_m_tn
work comp case here oh lord ! had c4/5 fused last December  and double  lumbar disctectomy done back in the summer .my neck constantly burns and have neck spasms that are horrible numbness in hand and week forearm that has spasms .   told doctor again and again of problems and he just looks at me as if its nothing . my back is constantly in some degree of pain along with my hip, have aching leg that just feels weird all time im only 41 and hurt from head to toe.now my work place has closed and im all broken down i can only imagine trying to find a new job with my problems and pain. my wife tells me to try for disability but from what i hear you have to have your doctor on your side and mine was/is company doctor i cant imagine any help there.just dont know what to do im so worried about the  future   for me and my children would love some incite or help with what to do.thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
work comp case here oh lord ! had c4/5 fused last December  and double  lumbar disctectomy done back in the summer .my neck constantly burns and have neck spasms that are horrible numbness in hand and week forearm that has spasms .   told doctor again and again of problems and he just looks at me as if its nothing . my back is constantly in some degree of pain along with my hip, have aching leg that just feels weird all time im only 41 and hurt from head to toe.now my work place has closed and im all broken down i can only imagine trying to find a new job with my problems and pain. my wife tells me to try for disability but from what i hear you have to have your doctor on your side and mine was/is company doctor i cant imagine any help there.just dont know what to do im so worried about the  future   for me and my children would love some incite or help with what to do.thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
You make me proud to be a veteran. I served in AFSOC during the gulf war and aam about to haved C4 and C5 fused. Had a hard landing aboard an AC-130H Spectre that damaged my neck. I have been living with the pain since. I would still do it all again!
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Avatar_m_tn
You will never stop having pain, I have C3 thru C & fused and I still have neck pain and down my left arm, since 1994.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have a congenital fusion of C3-C4. It gives me horrible pain nearly always. I am on pain meds to live and sleep by. And all this with no surgery! It is frustrating for sure. Haven't been able to work for 12 years now. Good luck with your pain. I hear you.
Sue
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Avatar_m_tn
Sue,
I have had 3 spine fusions.  I am complete fused from my mid back to my tail bone with pins going into the hips. My neck is fused and now they tell me the discs have broken down above and below the fusion.  They want to fuse C3,4 and C6,7. I am in so much pain I had to go out on FMLA.  My company denied STD stating pain is not a reason for not working.
I have a desk job and within 15 min of my work day the pain is so bad I can't think. I can't sleep at night and have to take pain killers everyday. Where you successful in getting disability?  If so how? I have has 3 doctors write me all all or spine and Neurosurgens. I am still being denied.
kc
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Avatar_m_tn
hi i settle my case 2011 with future medical got hurt in 2006 had bad lawyer,surgery in 2007 c3-c7 for metal paltes in neck did not work my work comp.just ended payment. just got aprove for c3-t1,laminectomy posterior fusion on 1-10-13 it been pass 5years in a lot of pain i dont know what payment i will get if any i will be in the hospitle for five days the doctors will get paid but i donk think i will get paid if any also my lumber spine will need surgery *** well i do have future medical an no lawyer need help do not know what to do  or who to talk to   thank you if you have or know or anybody can he help me hc carter
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4840721_tn?1359887180
Hello there, I had a l5-S1 done a few years back, i must say that it took three years to heal. the put 4 bolts-2rods and and a box with bone and cement. it worked. But they are not gods so when the closed the bolt they messed with the nerve in l4-l5 and so t day a walk around the a dead nerve in my jeg to my bid toe. not toe bad, it does not hurt but you all ways fell some thing there. I am in need of a c3-c7 fix. i like you am not really ready. enough of the drugs and then some times they take them away from me. to much. yea! I hope thing go well for you, a good friend who understands is very helpful.
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Avatar_m_tn
Long story short I am retired (age 38) from a 100 mph vehicle collision 4 years ago. I have major lower back and neck issues. Recently my problems have worsened and my DR finally sent me back for another round of MRI's. My symptoms include loss of mobility in left side extremities, severe weakness in hands, legs, feet. Massive headaches and neck pain, that induces vomiting (so violent at times I have given myself black eyes).  So the MRI's have no returned, and this is what they said.

-C3-4 Segment: more than 50% disc height loss with desiccation. Left broad based disc herniation severely compression the exiting C4 left nerve root with severe spinal foraminal stenosis.

-C5-6 Segment: left paracentral broad-based disc herination contacting and moderately indenting the ventral lateral left cervical spinal cord.

What should I expect next and how serious is this? I am being referred to a Neuro Surgeon. will my 47% current disabilty go up? I am very nervous and worried about my future.
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6274561_tn?1379977855
Keep your head up a little after the cat scan with dye. Eliminates migranes (migraines) you could get.
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6274561_tn?1379977855
Pain means it didn't work. Perriferal nerves exiting spinal cord are still being pressed on by bone or whatever. i would talk to doctor who did the work and then to another one to see if it can be fixed. I have had 5 disk operations and need 2 more but only one did not work (l4 L5 artificial replacement). I can see in the x-ray that l5 is not level.
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6274561_tn?1379977855
Try some acupuncture. It's very temporary but works for pain relief. My pain includes actual spinal cord damage but that hour every other week is golden.
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6274561_tn?1379977855
With the migrane (migraine) from the spinal dye injection keep your head a little higher for a few hours. I've had 3 and the only headache I got was after number 2 as I had to lay flat for a while.
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6274561_tn?1379977855
You are not bad. Any pain can be traced to bone crimping a specific nerve exiting the cord at a specific place. That would need to be fixed with an operation to trim the bone.
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6274561_tn?1379977855
Good!
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6274561_tn?1379977855
Happened to me on C4 to T4. If it moves they need to do it a different way. They have a few options that the surgeons should ask you about before hand.
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6274561_tn?1379977855
You definitely need a new surgeon to look over everything.
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6274561_tn?1379977855
Pain meds stop working pretty quickly. There are a few meds developed for other purposes that sometimes help (Neurotin, Tramadol).
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6274561_tn?1379977855
I'm on year 13 of constant pain and in my case the surgeries worked.Somtimesthe surgery 'works' andsometimes it doesn't. It's just better than nothing.
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6274561_tn?1379977855
Bone spurs are the worst. Press on nerves. Sorry you have to go back for more. Good luck.
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6274561_tn?1379977855
Some reduced motion up and down. Hopefully he will kill the pain.
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6274561_tn?1379977855
Good luck with the surgery. You need it more than I need mine as my symptions are not that bad yet.
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6274561_tn?1379977855
Federal disability they often reject the first filing but there are many appeals (about 4). the lawyers that specialize in this could be very worth it. Mine handled all the paperwork for a minimal fee.not one that advertizes on tv though.
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6274561_tn?1379977855
You might check  out your state's version of Obamacare on Oct. 1st. The insurance co can't turn you down for coverage that starts Jan. 1st.
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Avatar_f_tn
My name is Candy Karpan, I had a, c3, c4, & c5 fusion when I was 21 due to getting hit by a drunk driver. My neck has actually recovered quite well CONSIDERING. I also had a stroke & aneurism (aneurysm), which has caused me to have multiple blood clots in my brain which cause unbearable cluster headaches, & bad short term memory loss!
I am now 27 years old, & from the brain damage & the fact that I've grinded over half of my spinal cord away, my doctors predict that my life expectancy has been significantly lowered, to the point that my odds of me living past 50 years old are very improbable!
I'm in pain constantly, headaches, neck & back pain, extreme nerve damage on my arms & hands that cause me to have "the drops" & my hands & fingers are numb at least half the time.

if I hadn't had my fusion, I would have died. When I woke up from my surgery, my doctor told me that when he took the disks out of my neck, they crumbled like chalk in his hands, & that if I had waited even just a few more days, my spinal cord would have snapped!

The main thing that bothers me is that I've lost over 70% of the movement in my neck, which was COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY if I had gotten artificial disks, instead of having a fusion, I wouldn't have lost hardly any movement! & the ONLY REASON I had to have a fusion, is because ARTIFICIAL DISKS ARE NOT APPROVED IN AMERICA FOR "MULTI LEVEL" meaning you can only have 1. Yet, in Europe, ARTIFICIAL DISKS HAVE BEEN APPROVED & BEING USED FOR MULTI LEVEL SPINAL SURGERIES FOR OVER 30 YEARS!!!

IF I CAN GIVE ANY OF YOU ADVICE, IT WOULD BE NOT TO SETTLE FOR $, SETTLE FOR MEDICAL!!! TRUST ME, THIS INJURY WILL "NEVER" GO AWAY, IT WILL "NEVER" GET BETTER, YOU WILL CONSTANTLY BE IN PAIN, & YOU "WILL" NEED MORE TREATMENT, & END UP WITH MORE MEDICAL PROBLEMS DUE TO HAVING A SPINAL FUSION!!!

BTW, before getting hit by a drunk driver, I was a professional athlete! I was an elite gymnast, prima ballerina, & was also in cirque de solei as an acrobat!!!
this literally ruined my life! Legally I'm permanently disabled, & can get disability, but they will only give me $1,600 per month, which doesn't even pay my rent!!! & if you're caught working, its a felony, with a minimum of 10 years in prison LITERALLY ADDING INSULT TO INJURY!!!
So I work 2 jobs at least 6 days a week to support my mother & grandmother who only get $600 per month on social security!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
My name is Candy Karpan, I had a, c3, c4, & c5 fusion when I was 21 due to getting hit by a drunk driver. My neck has actually recovered quite well CONSIDERING. I also had a stroke & aneurism (aneurysm), which has caused me to have multiple blood clots in my brain which cause unbearable cluster headaches, & bad short term memory loss!
I am now 27 years old, & from the brain damage & the fact that I've grinded over half of my spinal cord away, my doctors predict that my life expectancy has been significantly lowered, to the point that my odds of me living past 50 years old are very improbable!
I'm in pain constantly, headaches, neck & back pain, extreme nerve damage on my arms & hands that cause me to have "the drops" & my hands & fingers are numb at least half the time.

if I hadn't had my fusion, I would have died. When I woke up from my surgery, my doctor told me that when he took the disks out of my neck, they crumbled like chalk in his hands, & that if I had waited even just a few more days, my spinal cord would have snapped!

The main thing that bothers me is that I've lost over 70% of the movement in my neck, which was COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY if I had gotten artificial disks, instead of having a fusion, I wouldn't have lost hardly any movement! & the ONLY REASON I had to have a fusion, is because ARTIFICIAL DISKS ARE NOT APPROVED IN AMERICA FOR "MULTI LEVEL" meaning you can only have 1. Yet, in Europe, ARTIFICIAL DISKS HAVE BEEN APPROVED & BEING USED FOR MULTI LEVEL SPINAL SURGERIES FOR OVER 30 YEARS!!!

IF I CAN GIVE ANY OF YOU ADVICE, IT WOULD BE NOT TO SETTLE FOR $, SETTLE FOR MEDICAL!!! TRUST ME, THIS INJURY WILL "NEVER" GO AWAY, IT WILL "NEVER" GET BETTER, YOU WILL CONSTANTLY BE IN PAIN, & YOU "WILL" NEED MORE TREATMENT, & END UP WITH MORE MEDICAL PROBLEMS DUE TO HAVING A SPINAL FUSION!!!

Oh & all of you who are having "stomach issues" which I DID as well (i threw up on a daily basis!) Its probably because of all the pills your taking, pain killers, muscle relaxers, anti inflammatory, sleep aids, anti anxiety, etc. They had me on so many pills my kidneys started failing! When I found out it was because of the pills, i literally stopped taking everything, cold turkey! I had ZERO withdrawals, & haven't taken a single pill for over 4 years!!! I do use alternative medicine, & it works wonderfully!!! Don't kid yourself into thinking ANYTHING is going to completely take your pain away, but PLEASE STOP taking all the deadly pills they are giving you, they only make you worse!!!

BTW, before getting hit by a drunk driver, I was a professional athlete! I was an elite gymnast, prima ballerina, & was also in cirque de solei as an acrobat!!!
this literally ruined my life! Legally I'm permanently disabled, & can get disability, but they will only give me $1,600 per month, which doesn't even pay my rent!!! & if you're caught working, its a felony, with a minimum of 10 years in prison LITERALLY ADDING INSULT TO INJURY!!!
So I work 2 jobs at least 6 days a week to support my mother & grandmother who only get $600 per month on social security!!!
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