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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

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While I am awaiting my MRI to reevaluate the status of my fusion, I am quite sure I know what went wrong. What I would like to ask any of you going to see your surgeons soon is to inquire for me about the following situation.

My surgery type is in my sig. I began PT about 8
weeks ago, and it helped greatly with mobility and strengthening my neck. Well, when I saw my surgeon in early October for a re-eval, he wrote a continuation for PT, with the note: Not to lift over 10 pounds. He also said I could do an exercise bike for up to 10 minutes.

Well, up to that point I'd been doing range of motion and not dealing with anything over 2 pounds. I took the new script to PT and the therapist immediately put me on an AirDyne and onto weight machines. I was skeptical, but he had everything on the lowest resistance. Bit of a jump, going from 2 pound weights to 10 pounds and doing 20 reps! Also, the AirDyne makes you work your arms/shoulders, as opposed to just an exercise bike that only works the legs. He started me off at 10 minutes, didn't work up to that either.

Well, after the first week I began to feel bad and told him so. It got worse and I didn't want to continue at that level. I went on vacation hoping the pain would subside but no such luck.

I don't think it was his intention to hurt me. He is young and inexperienced (just who you want working with you after spinal surgery). You would think any change in therapy would be reviewed by a senior staff member, wouldn't you?

I have never considered a lawsuit in my life, but if I have to undergo surgery for a failed fusion you can bet I'll be looking for a consultation.

I think what the therapist had me doing was too much for someone 4 months post surgery. I believe it was, especially since he didn't work me up from 2 to 10 pounds gradually.

My surgeon was not the most communicative person about all this, and I do think that my relative health and apparent strentgh probably gave the therapist a false sense of just what I could handle.

So, if I can be the poster child here for not overdoing it, listen up Lori, Barb and the rest of you. I don't care how healthy you are, be careful!!

Nancy D-ACDF C6-7 on 6/7/02. Donor bone with no hardware
Debbie, I am still a believer in general in PT. It did a lot of good for me after the herniation, in loosening the muscle spasms in my shoulder and keeping the pain at bay. The wait for surgery was helped a great deal by PT and I don't regret it.

Even this time out, postsurgery, I was benefitting from the therapy. It increased the range of motion in my neck and decreased the tightness in my shoulders. All was progressing well until the therapist thought that lifting no more than 10 pounds meant I had to be doing a real workout. It degenerated quickly thereafter.

I am keeping my fingers crossed, but today was a bad headache day and I'm feeling pretty disgusted about it all. My ear canals ache, I have some tinnitus in the left ear (comes and goes) and the neck hurts. This is actually worse than I felt pre-surgery.

Once I get the MRI on the 21st, I will probably bug the surgeon's office to see if I can get in on an emergency basis rather than waiting to see him Dec. 10. I don't think I can go that long not knowing what the test reveals.

Nancy D-ACDF C6-7 on 6/7/02. Donor bone with no hardware
Thanks for the kind words and good wishes, everyone, though I am feeling a lot less than positive at the moment. I felt decent this afternoon, but after just attending a 4-H awards banquet tonight and helping pass out awards (nothing heavy, just tiny little 3 inch trophies), the pain behind my ears is miserable.

Davy, there's one problem with your look on the bright side. I have no hardware at all. So the likelihood of things slipping out of place is greater, and perhaps even of fracture, though I am not sure of that part.

I was looking forward to so much-the first cruise in January, and the tax prep class that has finals next week and was supposed to lead to a job for the tax season. I did well in the course, have been offered a placement, but if the MRI is bad news I don't think I should even take the computer training that starts in December.

Also, they are going to start on a major remodel of our kitchen and dining room in less than two weeks. Just what I'll enjoy with this head pain-the sound of cabinets being ripped out, hammers and saws. I've been packing up some of the dishes and such, but am way behind due to my condition. Don't worry-I'm not moving the boxes, just wrapping the glassware in newsprint and packing.

I was so ready to move forward, I don't know if I can stand this major backslide. I just know in my bones (and neck, and head, and ears) that this is not normal and something has gone horribly wrong. I hope it can be repaired, I hope it won't cost me another year of my life, but I find myself just on the verge of tears almost constantly. I'll feel better once I know what the situation is-at least then we can start to address it.

Nancy D-ACDF C6-7 on 6/7/02. Donor bone with no hardware

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