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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


Hi. I just registered. I'm very concerned. I had a two level fusion in January 2008 at C5-7. I had severe lower back spasms and after three years of undiagnosed pain, I found a Dr. who actually took an X-ray. He immediately hooked me up with a neurosurgeon. Both Drs. told me I had to have surgery immediately because I was in jeopardy of being paralysed. That definately got my attention and is probably why I'm so stressed now. My family dr. and the neurosurgeon both said the exact same thing. They both called it severe cervical spinal stenosis (compression on my spinal cord). The surgery was successful and it was a no brainer for me, except I had to go on short term disablity. I immediately noticed as soon as I awoke from surgery that the pain was gone. I had lived with it for three years and it severely impaired my life. Advil didn't touch the pain - something was laying on a nerve. I was prescribed Vicodin and my family dr. was afraid I'd further injure myself because it would and did take the pain away. From the diagnosis to the surgery it all happened so fast. After 4 weeks, the fusion is healed and the bones around it are healthy, so the neurosurgeon sent me to physical therapy. I was afraid of reinjuring myself, but the neck messages afterwards made it worth it and in the end I was surprised how much it did help. That brings us to now, approximately 2 years after I returned to work. One day I had shoulder pain, the next day I had sharp pain and numbling and tingling down my left arm. Fourth day I saw my family dr. He ordered a nerve assessment which didn't find anything. My right arm started having the same thing so he sent me for an MRI. The initial results my family dr. told me was that I had a bulge at c4 directly above my fusion. I saw my neurosurgeon yesterday. He said he didn't agree with the MRI reading, the MRI report stated that I had compression on my spinal cord. The neurosurgeon didn't think it was compression but agreed I had a bulge. He did not think surgery was necessary at this time. He also stated that I have a bulge at C7-T1 and that is very unusual. I'm just taking this all in and didn't know what to ask. I began with new symptoms 2 days before seeing him. I now have pain radiating out from my tailbone and it is painful to walk or stand for very long. My pain is not as severe as it was 2 years ago, but is definately uncomfortable and making small tasks very difficult. He is ordering an injection from a pain specialist and an MRI from a different imaging location on my back. I'm wondering if the fusion has caused the deteriation above and below? I've got 22 years in at work and they only allow a total of 12 months total for disability leave. I've already used 5 months. I really do believe that my work has created alot of my back problems even though my job is administrative - there's still alot of pulling, pushing, lifting, bending, twisting etc. Not to mention Stress I'm exhausted before the end of the day. Is this condition considered a disability? I'd have to have a PERS doctor look at my condition. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself - but I'm so tired of the pain and work is very stressful. I have to be able to function. In the meantime, I'm just waiting for the next step.





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