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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Hey SharonAnn,

I had my first surgery for a C5/6 herniation Oct 2000. The second surgery for a T7/8 herniation Nov 2001. The thought was at first that all my problems were caused by the cervical herniation. That surgery did help the neck but, did nothing for anything else. It also caused me to lose some turning function of the neck. All in all the first surgery was a success. They did it anterior where they go through the throat. I must admit I have not been able to carry a musical note properly since. For a past choir director at church this was a dissapointment. I have tried to exercise the voice but, it seems to have no improvement. As for the thorasic herniation that surgery to was a great success. It helped greatly in stopping my debilitation and also reversed some very alarming problems that had developed. The pain changed from one of centralized to a pain which is more expanded in the back. It is and has been almost impossible to get any restful sleep since the accident on jun of 2000.

My accident happened at work. I was in the business of selling ceramic tile, marble, granite and, limestone for homes and businesses. I was preparing an order to be picked up for the next day when I fell backwards over the pallet I was loading with a box of ceramic tile in my hands. On the way downed I twisted in various directions trying to reduce my impact and even tried to push the box of over 50 lbs. away from stiking me but, failed at both. I landed on the pallet striking my lower back on one edge of the pallet. My thorasic back on a raised box in the center of the pallet. My neck over the oppisite edge of the pallet in what is best described as a snapping motion. If that wasn't enough the box of tile landed on my chest just above the raised box of tile which was under my thorasic back. I wasn't braced for the impact so it struck a limp body causing the worse damage of all. A warehouse worker rushed over and helped me up and I was in pain in various area and had various parts numb but being a person who workes no matter what I continued on for the rest of the day. When I woke the next morning I had trouble feeling my legs and my hand and fingers continued to be numb. Not to mention the pain in the neck, mid-back, lower back and both legs. I called into work that I had to go see a doctor. That was the first time in 15 years I had ever done that. Then my ordeal began. I was hurt very badly and through PT, injections and, rest nothing got better instead it got worse. The first test were done on the Cervical spine and since they found problems there they did not do any test farther down the spine to see the other problems. I was originally told that my other problems were probally coming from that one area and I could hopefully get good recovery from treatment. So, I didn't argue. I did what they said and eventually after all else failed had surgery on the Cervical spine. By Jan 2001 I still was in considerable pain from the center of the back and finally a MRI was done revealing a herniation at the T7/8. Still my problems of urinary frequency, bowel problems, numb legs and feet as well as frequent impotency was getting worse not better. So, after injections it was decided that surgery was my best course of action. I was scheduled for surgery in Mar of 2001. Two days before the surgery I was called by the W/C ins. Co. that the surgery was denied as being unnecessary. Their doctor said I was cleared to return to light duty. My doctors had not released me and could not understand their reasons for their position. I had one of the formost experts on the Thorasic spine as my nuerosurgeon and saw no reason to question his judgement. Remember I was no better except for the cervical fusion which helped in the neck pain to some degree. I appealed the decsion with them and they took it under advisement. Further test were done to prove my doctors' opinion but, still no response from the ins. co. I filed for relief with the W/C commission which took over 6 months for them to side with the ins. co. I still can't figure why? I had tests, doctors, and symptoms of their being a problem. So, after their denial I was able to get my own Ins. to pay for the operation. They didn't question a thing. The problems I was having had gotten steadily worse. By the time of the surgery in Nov. I was only able to urinate about a tea cup full at a time and did that 15 to 20 times a day. I was unable to feel a bowel movement so having one was a thing that took hours everyday. Both legs were numb including the feet. The left hand was numb through the palm including the three lower fingers. Finally what was spotty bouts of impotency had become complete impotency all the time. But, by the W/C ins. co. I was fine and could return to work. They cut me off from all benefits. This was the worse because I am the sole support for my family. My wife has never worked. They were sure I would not be able to fight them. The problem is I had no choice but to fight them. The pain was like having screws being contantly turning in my back and shooting pains down the back and both legs. My reflexes were affected as well. So, in essence I was a mess and getting worse.

I had the surgery and the urinary frequency problem went right away. The numbness of both legs and feet was reduced to three toes on one foot. The bowel and impontency problems remained unchanged. Some feeling returned to the left hand but, it comes and goes. The screwing pain in the back went away but, the shooting pain remained as well as a constant pain where the screwing pain was at before. I will always wonder if I could of had a better result if the surgery was done sooner. I truely believe they left me to become more debilitated for their own bottom line. I still remain in a fight with them and I will have a jury trial to decide their responsibility finally next month here where I live. The lawyer says I have a 50/50 chance. I believe that since I have the truth on my side I can't help but win.

As for pain management. I take oxicontin. I also take Ultram for pain. I also take aleve for imflamation. I take ambien for sleep. Some days are better than others. I think changes in the weather do affect me as well. I find also I suffer more pain during the full moon than other times. I can't figure why? The pain management works well but, leaves me impaired. I can't keep my attention on things for long. The continued lack of sleep leaves me irratable all the time. I don't drive because I feel I am a danger to those on the road. I can't take a ride where I don't have lapses of memory of the trip.

So, that's were I stand right now. I hope for the next step of the recovery to be that I can rid myself of further pain. I wait for the return of function in the bowel and intamacy. The doctors seem optimistic that things will continue to improve and that it may take up to 2 years to see final results. I only know that I will never be able to do what I did before and question even now if I will ever be able to return to work. I am happy though to be walking around and week by week feel myself becoming stronger.


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