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Broken Neck
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Broken Neck

Month ago had accident and after three days the hospital  finally discovered a c-6 bone breakage with herniated disk pressing against the spinal core. No paraylis.. Had c-5,6,7 fused with bone plug from hip and metal plate in front. From the time I ws taken to the hospital I complained about my right index finger hurting. Since surgery the pain is still there ( basically above first knuckle ). The tip of middle finger  is tender as are the four fingers on the left hand. Also my big toes feel swollen and tender. The pain has woke me up on several ocassions. My doctors cannot give me any answers other than to wait and see. May go away or never go away. Is there any solution ? I have only talked to the surgeon and the rehab doctor.I realize that muscle strength and tone will take time ( have very little tricep in right arm ) and am walking with cane on daily basis and doing upper body exercises. I would appreciate any doctors help or any experiences. How long should I expect for recovery?Also have a compressed fracture at L4 which is painfull but they tell me it will take 3 months to heal and have given me pain pills and a brace. Thanks for your help and God Bless
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Avatar_n_tn
Difficult to accurately comment as the details of the accident and injury are not provided. Very possible that you could have suffered nerve injury which may or may not completely come back to normal. One thing that can help prognosticate is an EMG which evaluates the integrity of the nerves coming out from the spinal cord to your limbs. For now, consider a pain clinic for symptomatic relief. Neurontin or Elavil may also be helpful for the pain.

Many cOmpression fractures in the lower back can now be effectively treated with a glue injection done by an interventional radiologist instead of waiting around for it to heal on its own. I have personally seen patients report complete relief from the back pain. Talk to your doctors about this procedure which is usually done at an academic or major clinical hospital and does not require an operating room or intubation. Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your  prompt response. Guess time will be the best answer for my problems. I was trimming a tree, a large branch decided to hit me in the head and knock me off a ladder which was propped against the tree. Fell about four feet and continued to roll in pain until the medics arrived. Hospital took many x-rays of neck and took collar off because they said nothing was wrong. For two days I told doctor I was having strange, terrible spasms in my back starting in the shoulder area. She sent me to therapy with intension of sending me home with pain medicine. P>T> refused to treat me and doctor finally decided to do a MRI. Had surgery early the next morning. I was told the spinal cord was pinched. Would length of time it took for them to discover problem create more damage than if discovered at first ?
Should I wait for any certain time before having a EMG - to see if my body is going to repair itself/ Thank you
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,
I would just like to give you a little information about your condition.  
The cause of pain in your index finger is a direct effect of damage at the C6 nerve root.  This nerve root travels from just below the elbow to the thumb and index finger.  C7 nerve travels within the middle finger.  Any trauma to the head and neck will most likely cause damage in the cervical spine.  Thus, the nerve roots originating here are also likely to be compromised.  
Your complaint about the time taken to diagnose "spinal cord compression" could have been accurately diagnosed on the first visit to a Chiropractor.
As a future primary health care provider, it frustrates me to see all these hurting people with what seems to be limited options for health care or the treatment of pain.  Because no other doctor has given you recommendations for any alternatives, I feel it is my responsibility to suggest seeing a Chiropractor.  Chiropractors are trained to detect and correct spinal subluxations which are misalignments of the vertebra causing irritations to the nerves.  
I hope some of this information helps you in your search for a pain free life.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your concern and information. I certainly will give consideration to your suggestions. I have c6 & c7 fused togather in the back by wire using c5 as the anchor. In front I have a metal plate fastened to c6 & c7 by two screws. Is it safe for a chiropractor to work under this condition ?
I really appreciate any help. Thanks and God Bless
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Avatar_n_tn
A person with an acquired block (as in your case) will be a concern for any health care provider.  Not being totally familiar with your case, I would recommend seeing a well-known Chiropractor in your area for a consultation.  The doctor will be able to do a complete evaluation and tell you whether or not s/he can help.  The doctor may be limited in what types of adjustments s/he uses and what areas of the spine s/he will be able to adjust.  However, there may be other areas of your spine that were compromised from your accident.  I believe it is a good idea to have your spine evaluated for any subluxations and have the compromised areas aligned.  Although the doctor may not be able to do anything directly with (or around) your cervical block, s/he may be able to improve your health just by adjusting the other areas that may be causing problems as well.
Again, I would suggest consulting with a well-known Chiropractor in your area.  It's another alternative that you haven't tried and I know many people who have had success going this route.  If you need names of Chiropractors in your area, I would be more than happy help you find one.  Just let me know.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your concern. I live in ST.Louis,MO. and would appreciate your recommendation ? Not only do my fingers hurt but both my big toes feel enlarged but don't appear to be so. Do you have any idea about how long I should wait to see if the nerves regenerate and get me back to normal ? It's been two months since the accident and surgery - no improvment noted.

Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,
I have a the names of a couple chiropractors in your area.

(1) Dr. Lori Blum-(Lindberg Blvd.) ph.# 314-842-1616
(2) Dr. Jeffrey Belcher-(Telegraph Rd.) ph # 314-487-9130

In regards to your question about waiting to see one:  If it were me, I would go in for a consultation and listen to what they have to say as soon as possible.  It is usually the case that the sooner you diagnose the problem, the less time it takes to correct.  I do believe that even though you have permanent damage, the chiropractor will be able to manage your care (and pain) and you will be satisfied with the results.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.  God Bless.
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Avatar_n_tn
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