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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

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Going Backwards
Jun 26, 2003
Well I am pretty discouraged right now. I had ACDF C5-6&6-7 in March 2002 using my own bone for fusion. Everything was going along smoothly until Febuary 2003 when I hit my head on the ceiling in my bedroom. I know sounds stupid but I have a cape style house and I just did not back up far enough before standing up.

As a result of this hit I had a shock go down my left arm and into my fingers. The fingers were numb for awhile but it did not last long. However, from then on I have been in pain. My orthopedic surgeon had me get a MRI which revealed lots of artifact from post surgical changes, small central disc protrusion at C3-4; small degree of bohny hypertrophy C4-5 causing some slight flattening of the thecal sac without focal disc protrusion and a right paracentral disc protrusion at T5-6. He recommended that I try some physical therapy to build up the neck muscles.

Well I have now been in PT for 7 weeks and I am discouraged. The therapist I go to is good - she has managed to do away with the pain in the right arm however, the pain in the left has lessened and is only felt when I move the arm quickly. At first she felt I had a shoulder injury not related to the disc but xrays ruled that out. Now they feel it is an impinged nerve.

The therapist has been working on loosening up my entire body. She says she thinks I am within the top five of people she has treated when judging how tight a persons muscles are. On Tuesday she called in another therapist to see what they felt about the pain in the arm and the second therapist did some manual traction which seemed to help some in that I could go back further with my arm when she had the pressure on. She also recommended that I go back to wearing the neck brace for a couple hours of the day to give my neck a rest. Today I did that with the soft collar and today at PT it was recommended that I use the Miami J collar instead for more support. I felt stupid enough today putting on the soft collar I can't imagine what the others in the office will say when I put on the hard one. But this is why I am discouraged - I thought I was through with the braces.

I do not have another appt. with my surgeon for another 10 months, but I know he would see me or at least talk to me (he is 600 miles away from me) if I felt it was necessary - I just don't want him to think I am imagining the pain. Sometimes I think I am and I don't mention it to the therapist because of my no pain no gain thinking. Then when I do mention it she tries to figure out why I am getting it this week but didn't have it during past appts.

I am sorrying for using this as a vent board but I needed to get this down in writing maybe so I could understand it better. I know there are lot more of you out there worse than me and I'll keep you in my prayers.

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