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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Hi! I am new to this board. I have been reading a lot of the postings and have found them very helpful.
Back in April after an episode of vomiting from a stomach bug i had extreme pain In my neck. I went to my GP and she suggested Physical Therapy. My x-ray showed cervical straightening. The Orthopaedic Dr said it was due to muscle spasms. About one month later i went for a follow appt. (I also had PT during this time) I started having arm pain so i went for an MRI. The results were a large central disc extrusion herniation at C5/C6 with cord compression. As my symptoms were getting worse I decided to get a second opinion (from a Neurosurgeon this time) the NS reviewed my MRI and said my spinal cord was shaped like a boomerang! He gave me the analogy that I was walking above Niagra Falls on a tight rope! He informed me if i have a fall or get in accident i will most likely be paralyzed from the neck down!
The neurological testing he did showed hyperreflexia and a positive result for Hoffman's. The NS wanted me to see his partner immediately. So the very next day i did. This NS described my MRI pictures as "bright" and that the disc was quite impressive. I'm not sure what "bright" means. Does anyone? He also confirmed i needed surgery immediately. I am having ACDF this Wed. 7-11-12. Everything is happening so fast. i have had my pre-op done and am going for a CT Scan on Monday. M pain is now much worse. I have right shoulder and arm pain and diminishing hand dexterity. I am also having pain down both legs.3 The headaches are terrible and the shoulder blade pain just never goes away. I was wondering if anyone could give me their opinion or experience. I havent had much time to prepare or process this. I would love to hear of any suggestions on what to expect. Thanks so much. Sorry this is so long!
I also had an "emergency" (one week from initial X-ray to operating room) single-level ACDF, but it was sixteen years ago and I really don't remember the aftermath all that well. Besides, I have no doubt that "they" have gotten better at it since then.

There are many posts here by people who've recently had ACDF's, most recently including Hamsta's thread. You could also read the List of Items to Have at Home After ACDF thread that's in the header section.

I find it remarkable that both your GP and your Ortho so badly misdiagnosed the problem. They really blew it, and there's just no other way to put it. The Ortho, in particular, should have known better. Unfortunately, this kind of misdiagnosis does not seem to be all that uncommon.

It would be very helpful to others here (and give you something to if you could post the radiologist's report from your MRI and also a description of your symptoms.

As for "bright", one really can't say whether it's good or bad, because it depends on the context. I do recall reading recently about some aspect of a spinal MRI being "bright", with the implication that "bright" was NOT GOOD. I think it referred to possible cord damage (myelomalacia) due to bleeding within the cord, but I may have that wrong. Since your neuro mentioned it, and did so in a manner that made you remember him mentioning it, that would lead me to guess that in your case it's not a good thing.

I think it's very good that you followed through on this as well as you did, and I wish you the best of luck with your surgery.
dcoday....Hi, I don't know if I can help you, but I just wanted to say welcome to the spinal health boards. I am so sorry to hear what has happened to you and I hope today finds you feeling a bit better :(
There is at the beginning of the health boards here ACDF "under sticky notes, I think it is called" some helpful notes about what you will need to have at home before and after your surgery (just some helpful hints). I haven't read them before but I know everyone on here will tell new people to read them if they are looking at having this type of surgery!!!

WebDozer usually helps all of us on here to explain our results of MRI, Cat scans or x-rays and can pretty well tell you what is going on in your spine. I know you are booked for your surgery next week but if you have the results of that MRI she can explain to you !!!

If you have it in front of you then if you can just type what the radiologist put on it then she will try to explain it. She must not have seen your note yet!!!

I have had this surgery done and as you said you have read up on a lot of posts. Don't let any horror stories scare you as we are all individuals and heal differently!!!

Did the surgeon tell you if they are using a donor bone or a bone from your hip? What did he explain to you about the surgery?
You have so many things going on for a C5/6 fusion.

Take care of yourself and hope you feel better soon. It takes a while to recooperate from this type of surgery and lots of rest afterwards and following doctor's orders and you should be back on your feet in no time :)

Keep us posted on how you make out.

Lyn Angel in Michigan :)

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