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Fall Injury, Not Sure If It Is Serious

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
As you may or may not have read from my introductino post, I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for 20+ years. I am 32 years old now, and I have yet another setback to deal with.

Previous to last Sunday, I had a fall 2 years ago. I had many injuries such as fractured ribs, etc, and a horrible Spinal Compression Fracture. Well, it was just about healed last week, in fact, I was set to walk without the cane in the very next therapy session. Well, since I was not meant to be happy, on Sunday, I fell. When I fell, my body went down and my chin caught on the island in the kitchen. This caused my entire body weight to rest on my chin on the way down and snap my neck backwards (upwards). Today (Friday) I am feeling like the first days of my old Spinal Compression Fracture again, I am fairly sure that I have re-fractured it. I have no numbness or headaches, thankfully, but I do have pain in my left underarm. My upper back hurts like the compression fracture hurts, and I am fairly sure I fractured my rib on the right side again.

I do not think the doctors are going to say anything different from the last two years if I even go. They will tell me I have a long road to hoe again, months.

From what I described, does anyone think I have done something more serious this time? I am not sure but I think it is just time needed to heal again.

Please let me know what you think, and ask any questions you would like to.



  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You've found a great place to post. The people here are great and I'm glad you've joined us.

    I'm sorry for all you've been through. I don't think anyone here is qualified to tell you how seriously you've injured yourself in this last fall, but my personal opinion is that you run, not walk, to the doctor. With your fragile spine, you really can't mess around.

    Anyway, hope you feel better and please let us know what the doc says.
  • Thanks Cath,

    It is nice to know that I can post here and a total stranger responds with words that make me think that they actually care. Thank you so much. I guess I will have to schedule something next week. It is such a procedure though, you know. Going to the place, getting down on the table, waiting for the results to get to the doc, hearing more bad news. I guess at this point I suffer from a bit of the ostrich syndrome.

  • Yes, I'm a stranger and I actually care. I think everyone here does and that's what makes this the best spine forum you can find. But, don't expect us all to be strangers for long - we'll become friends. :-)

    I know the ostrich syndrome - I'm still plucking sand out of my ears. I know it's a major pain to go to the doctor, but it's your spine, the only one you have (for better or worse). You have someone to go with you, don't you? That's at least a little comfort, I suppose.

  • ya fortunately my brother who used to have addiction issues now lives at home and i think part of his recovery and personal recouperation is to basically be my chauffeur/helper/go to guy. I have no idea what I would do without him, I was about to find out when I fell.

    Can I ask what happened to you, Cath? If not no big.
  • That's great about your brother. Keeps him busy and help you out all at the same time. I assume he was about to leave but decided to stay after your fall on Sunday?

    As far as my neck goes, last May I started having strange sensations in both of my arms - painful goosebumps, followed by the chills and then muscle pain. These three things happened one right after the other almost every day for a while. I thought it was weird and although I mentioned it to my hubby, I didn't go to the doctor. It seemed minor. Then a few weeks later (one week exactly before my yearly physical) I had the worst pain in my mid back and it hurt so much I couldn't wait a week to see the doc. I went that afternoon and she sent me for x-rays. The pain turned out to be muscle spasms so I was put on muscle relaxants immediately.

    She told me that my x-rays showed some problems with some discs in my neck and sent me for PT. I felt better for a few weeks then everything came back and PT was no longer helping so I called my doc again and she said it was time for an MRI. It was at that point that she finally told me how bad it was. I took my MRI to a spine surgeon who specializes in cervical surgeries and he told me that I could try ESIs, but it would be just a band aid and that it wasn't a matter of if I had surgery but when. This was in September and he said if I scheduled the surgery for October he'd have me back on the golf course by May 09. Also, since I had to wear a collar for three months (hard for 1 month, soft for 2) it would be much easier in the winter as they can make you hot under the collar (pun intended). So I agreed and it's history from there.

    We never really knew what caused this to happen, but we're suspecting that it is a long distant result of a bad car accident I was in almost 30 years ago.

    Unfortunately, I had to stop my post-op PT after only two sessions because I got laid off and didn't have health insurance. The PT gal I had in my first session was running her hands under my neck while I was laying on my back and she told me I had some problems with my C-1/2 also and was surprised I wasn't having more issues. This is where the ostrich syndrome came in for me. Whateverrrrrr!


  • Ah boy, sorry to hear that, all I can say is I fully understand, and really mean it. It always has hurt me that people with chronic pain like us never really get the attention of the "sexier" diseases (Aids, Cancer). Not to belittle those, of course, but I feel so strongly about it im writing a book which incorporates my 20 year + story. May be one day you can read it if it actually gets published.

    Hopefully people will read it and realize there are millions of us who don't ever have an end in sight, there is no cure or dark end for us, we just live everyday. We get up, we do what we have to do, and we swallow hard on the bad days. May be, just may be, I can change a few minds. Who knows, right? It's not like I can do any other work really, so I have to take a shot at making enough to live my own life, somehow.

    I mention all this because the quote in your signature made me think of it.

    As for my brother, we both still live at home for different reasons.
  • The good news is that even though I haven't seen my surgeon since Jan. 21, the PA continues to refill my pain meds and muscle relaxants. I don't know how I'd get through some days without them. I assume they'll send me to PM eventually, but they understand that I can't do PT until I get good health insurance.

    That is really cool about your book. I could proofread it for you - I'm good at that, as I'm a graphic designer and pretty anal about stuff like that. :-)

    I'd love to read it. It sounds very interesting. You know what else you could do? You could get quotes from chronic pain folks on here and some chronic pain loved ones to put in a chapter of your book. I also hope there will be a chapter about pain medications and how they really are necessary for some people and hopefully would help to debunk the myth that if you're on narcotic pain medications, you're automatically a junky.

    Feel free to PM me if you want to talk some more.
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