I had a wreck in 1996. I was hit from behind at the rate of 90+ speed. The man driving feel asleep. I have been dealing with all the pain since then. I was determined never to have surgery, (the old saying once you've had one you have to keep having them) I have in the mean time done the following:
1-physical therapy - 9 months
2- vax d
3- attended the american back institue in New Orleans
4- Have seen 5 neurolgist - am currently still seeing two
5- I have had one surgery on t-6(which I regret greatly) June of 2009
6. I have a regular pain management doctor I see that I receive nerve blocks, radio frequency, epidural steriod injections.
7. There is nothing i have not done in 13 years to relieve the pain. But believe it or not that is not my main problem right now.
As of April of 2009 my legs have randomly started collapsing on me. I have no pain with the collapsing unless I fall all the way to the ground. I have been walking with a crutch since April to assist me in case I fall I will have something to hold me up. There is no warning what so ever when these occur, I had 3 neurologist think that it was cloness (don't really know how to spell that one) but it is where your legs shake uncontrolably. That is the reason for the t-6 surgery. I am believing not that it might be something not in my spine at all, but brain. I do have a messed up back. but not enough to cause the problems I am having. The collapsing is so bad I have not been to work since May. I have worked at the same job for 25 years, so you could imagine what a blow that is to me. I have been on a crutch since nine months, (a walker for 8 weeks of that time) I am desperate for anyone to help me come up with any thing that would help figure out what is wrong with me. Before April (when the collapsing started)I never let the pain get me down there was just things i couldn't do. I was a very active person, who got a lot of procedures and maintenance medicine and went with the flow, but this not walking thing has pulled me completely taken me down, I have probably seen over 10 doctors in the past 6 months and had 15 procedures and not a single result. Do you have anything at all that you have seen over the years that you think this could be?
You sound somewhat like me. I had a similar thing happen to me, the collapsing leg thing, and it was because of MY wrecked-up back, also in the thoracic spine, from a car accident, too. I was at the top of the stairs in my house, and I always took them slowly because my legs are stiff from my fractured spine, and when I started to take the first step, there was absolutely no sensation in the one leg that took the step, but fortunately I was well-supported and didn't fall. But scared the daylights out of me. I also took to using a cane for a while.
My original injury was also 25 years previous to my beginning to have all these problems with my legs, AND the usual pain I felt in my back worked its way down the spine (my spine was compressed and twisted in the car wreck), until new referred pain in my lower back became unbearable, and also I got muscle spasms in my legs, some loss of sensation in my legs like that day on the stairs, the list goes on. FINALLY I got some medicines that helped my pain and muscle spasms, and I also got disability (altho it took a couple years). Gosh, I know just how bad you feel about not being able to work at a job you've been with for so long. I felt guilty about the whole thing, as if I could have helped it, but that's the nature of illness.
Anyhow, could be your legs are like mine, where the thoracic injury has finally gone down to your lumbar spine and gotten into the nerves that go into your legs, or where the thoracic injury is impinging on the spinal cord itself. A CAT scan or MRI of your thoracic and lumbar spine ought to show just what is going on, and then a diagnosis can be made as to what the specific nerve problem is. A neurologist can then go either the moderate route, which would be medicines like the gaba drugs and/or opiates, plus physical therapy, and/or he may offer surgery and tell you risks and benefits.
As for your possible brain injury, I also have a lot of mental difficulties, mainly confusion, but my brain MRI did not show any damage. So, if you want to be sure it's not coming from your brain, your neurologist could throw in a scan of your brain, too. But I'm telling you, even tho scans are helpful, I was knocked unconscious when I was in my wreck, and to this day I think it did something to my thinking. But could be I was just so shocked from the car accident that it scrambled my normal thinking patterns or at least did a number on my emotions.
Wish I could tell you exactly what is going on, but all I can do is relate my experiences and suggest what might steer you in the right direction for a more definitive opinion and treatment. Let us know what you decide to do and what you find out.
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