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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Ok something hiccuped on my computer so I'll start this over. I'm a 52 year old recently retired police officer who remained active over the past 35 years or so with sports, hobbies, and outside work. 6 weeks into the retirement, I was doing an odd job, didn't think I did anything out of the ordinary. Came down with excruciating pain in left shoulder, bicep, forearm, wrist, etc. Had to see my primary Doctor's office, took them 4 days to even send me to someone who may know what could be causing the pain. Shorten the story some, ended up with an Ortho specialist, who referred me to another that specialized in hand wrist problems. He was fantastic, did order x-rays, mri's and a thorough exam. While doing a ROM check on my neck, he found that if I turned left, the arm went numb instantly. About 30 minutes later, I have another referral to a neurologist for nerve study and one to a neurosurgeon.
“At C6-C7 he has significant central stenosis as well as left-sided foraminal stenosis. At C5-C6 he has moderate central canal stenosis as well as foraminal stenosis and he has severe left sided foraminal stenosis due to a herniated disc. In addition he has kyphosis of the cervical spine centered at the C5 level.”
March 23, 2009 checked in to surgery center for a corpectomy C-5 with anterior discotomy and fusion C-4 to C-7, titanium plates and cage installed. 10 days post op now, in soft collar, walking with a cane to keep balance. Sure hope this does get better, having a tough time not being able to do anything. Got to take a break and get to a different position for a while.


  • Welcome to Spine-Health. I think that perhaps your cervical problems have been brewing for a while and it was a coincidence that your pain started while doing an activity. I say that because that's what happened to me. To have such a large problem in your cervical spine it had to have either developed over time or with a terrible accident of some sort.

    I know that for me, I was just minding my own business when one day *BOOM* major pain and was put on the fast track to surgery. Doc thought it stemmed from a pretty bad car accident I had about 25 years ago.

    You're lucky your in a soft collar - there are many here, myself included, who've had to wear a hard collar for four weeks or so. I really can feel your pain. I'm over five months out and still have some pretty bad days - muscle spasms and dull ache in the back of my neck.

    Take care of yourself and follow your doc's orders. It's a long road, but every step gets you closer to Oz. :P

  • Hi and welcome to spine-health. You are not alone here there are many going through or have gone through the same things as you are. You are very new from surgery still so don't let it get you down. Try to measure you accomplishments by the week not the day. It sure is hard laying around but you need to do what the surgeon has told you to do. Before long you will start feeling better. Spine surgery is a bit more to recovery from than most surgeries. Did you have the cane prior to surgery? Hopefully as soon as your surgeon is comfortable with your progress he will order up some physical therapy. Needing to move is very common. So when you feel that just make sure you move around or change positions. Keep up the good work and will look forward to reading more of your post. What a bummer to start retirement off like that though.
  • I appreciate the responses so quick. I keep telling myself that it's only been 10 days and I have to hang on. In about 1995 or 1996 I had what I thought was a fairly minor auto accident where I was rear ended. Being in a fast moving career, I shrugged it off as being a little sore for a few days and kept on. Well as I kept on I attributed it just to aging as well as a kind of rough and tumble teen years. I competed in rodeo events for about 6 years thru and out of high school. Guess the hardest thing is that for the past 27+ years, I have been the one who steps up and takes charge of things when it was going from bad to worse, just the old police man in me. Of course, I'm not ready to stay sitting in a rocking chair for the reminder of my days, I worked for the last 5 years building a retirement job, a successful woodworking cabinet business. That right now seems sooooooo far away. This has basically closed that up for now. I am fortunate that I'm not totally depending on that to survive and I have already made a claim with SSA to see about benefits. Have had people tell me that I could go back to law enforcement work, I and the doctor neither one feel I could even come close to attempting the physical tests required. I hate for the long ramblings, I just need to do some venting, the dogs are getting tired of listening to me. Thanks to everyone.
  • That's why we're here.

    Like tamtam said, you have to measure accomplishments in weeks, not days. It's pretty slow going, but you'll get there. Just don't do too much on those days when you feel really good. Believe me, you will pay for it, and it's not cheap.

    Feel free to PM me any time if you need anything - questions or just to vent.

  • Well Ol Man pain came back to visit last night. It took 2 pain pills and a muscle relaxer just to be able to doze off for a couple of hours. Guess we're on to today.
  • Tomorrow will be 2 weeks PO. Once again, the old pain man and his brother spasm came to visit tonight. One thing now that I've done some research, I know that the Dr.'s will never get me on a dexpak again. This stuff has me so messed up with near every side effect known to mankind. All it hasn't done is the allergic reactions stuff. Been thru 2 of those over the years for insect bites and med reactions where I ended up in the ER for treatment. Does the Dexpak work it's way out of your system slow, fast, or who knows. Can't sleep, eat or drink constantly, can't concentrate. Will be calling the NS's office tomorrow, it now seems that if I shift my hips to one side or the other, one or both legs go numb. Feel sure I've also got some lumbar problems also. Guess that one of these days my ortho will get his chance to work on my wrist and knee, since that's what brought all this mess up. Dang, I didn't know retirement was gonna be this much fun.
  • Hi,
    Thanks for sharing your ideas and views with us. I would like to know more on this.


    Drug Treatment Centers
  • Today is 3 weeks PO. Had a good day, grand kids came down visit, for grandpa's birthday. Talked to the NS this afternoon, he said the x-rays showed that everything was on track just like he wanted. He told me that some of the things that I am experiencing, pain down the arm, numbness may be leftovers from the surgery and that the nerves may take some time to calm down. I'm due back in the office for a follow up next week and discussion about what's next. I'm still not driving other than a block down to the mail box and back. I don't think I'm ready for regular traffic yet.
  • Hi,
    I am reading your posts for the first time.
    What did your doctor say about your legs going numb when you move your hips? That doesn't sound too good, so I hope he had some ideas for you.
    Happy Belated Birthday!
  • Had my one month follow up with the NS today. He said he was pleased with the progress so far and bumped my lift restriction up to 20#. Makes me feel a little better. I had a long list of ? for him and the biggest majority of them were answered,"It's going to take time" I did bring a list of physical requirements that I had printed for some potential jobs in the future. He looked over them and told me that he didn't think I should or would be able to do them, but it would depend on how well I progressed over the next 3-6 months. Then I hit him with the biggie. I asked that after he had read the list of things, would he sign a medical release in the future for me to attempt the tests. "Absolutely not" was his response. At least that tells me that any future work activity will take a major change for me. He is ordering another MRI for my lower back to see what is going on there with the shooting pains when I move a certain way. Comparing these pains to the ones I had in my neck and arm, I'm betting that there are disc issues there as well. He said that this could be part of the pain/discomfort issue when I am sitting or standing for any length of time. Back to the wait mode, see if the insurance authorizes the next MRI and go from there. Also got a Rx for PT as soon as I can afford to start on it. The extra $$ being shelled out has been a heck of a strain on the budget that I had not counted on. "Dang, I sure didn't know that retirement could be this much fun"
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