Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Scared from reading all the posts!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Too make a long story short, I was in a bad car accident and went through a windshield when I was 14 years old and am now 50 years old.
In 1998 I had bad right arm pain and couldn't lift 2 of my fingers when hand was flat and couldn't lift arm more than a foot or so from hanging down by my side, also had neck pain.
Saw 3 different Dr.'s before seeing a Neurosurgeon who told me I had a bone spur poking my nerve and needed surgery. He also told me it was a good thing I came in when I did or I could have ended up losing the use of my right arm. I had the surgery to remove the bone spur which included fushion of the c-5/c-6. After a LONG recovery wearing a neck collar for 3 months and then many more months of limited activity, all the feeling and movement came back in my right arm, no pain, and all seemed to be well, I was so relieved.
NOW, all these years later my left arm aches horribly, shoulder and neck are very painful and I have numbness in the little finger and part of my left arm. I am left handed so this is been a real serious issue for me.
On the days I work, usually 4 a week, it is all I can do to get up, shower and go to work, when I get home I am in so much pain that I can do nothing else. I feel so fatigued and am in so much pain in neck, shoulder, and arm.
I have seen my doctor who ordered an MRI that shows multiple bone spurs and mutltiple bulging disks above and below the fushion and said I needed to see a specialist. So I had an appt with a ortho spine specialist who says I need pt and possibly steroid injections. I did pt last time, which ended up being a total waste of time and money before the surgery in 1998. So, I am seeing a neurosurgeon for a 2nd opinion on Aug 14th (unfortunately for me the Neurosurgeon who did my surgery in '98 has retired). My main problem is my medical insurance has a huge deductible, $5000, so I am trying to be very careful as to not incur huge medical bills, that's why I chose not to do the pt and get a 2nd opinion before starting any therapies.
After finding this forum and reading many of your posts I am getting more scared and anxious. The numbness in my dominant hand and arm are my biggest concern. Does the numbness mean I am getting permanent nerve damage? If not, what would be the symptoms of permanent nerve damage?
This pain has been getting worse for the last year or so and is now unbearable enough for me to seek medical help for it. I have been on pain meds and muscle relaxers for quite sometime now and of course I know the meds will never take all the pain away, but, I have to take 2 Norco 10/325 mg to even have some relief. I am also concerned that I will never be able to return to work even if I do end up having surgery. From what I've read on hear sometimes the pain doesn't go away after surgery. Now, my left leg is also having spasms and aches occasionally, can this be from the cervical area too?
If Dr. says surgery is inevitable and I feel I can not afford it right now, will I be risking permanent nerve damage? I am getting the impression that once you have the fushions it leads to more problems down the road in the vertebra and will want to put off a 2nd surgery as long as possible.
Sorry this is so long, I am nervous about the outcome of my neuro appt next week and it seems the more I read the more anxious and scared I get.


  • I have permanent nerve damage. I wish I had acdf three years ago. Please take care of yourself.

  • sorry...its understandable you are concerned...your spinal surgeon is stating that more surgery is inevitable.
    having had one fusion surgery it is a common fact that adjacent areas take on more stress. so it makes sense youre having trouble in those areas.
    as for danger of causing nerve damage the answer is yes. i'm sorry but the more time theres pressure on those nerves the more chance the nerves will be damaged.
    so i'm not going to beat around the bush... you are in danger. To feel like youve covered all bases get a second opinion.
    If second opinion is a surgery recommendation youll have to bite the bullet and go for it in order to prevent major problems in the future. Having had fusion in that area i truely sympathize with you....
  • Thanks Pete..... I know your right.... I'm just scared and not wanting to go through the surgery again, especially if it means it will put even more pressure on the ones that are left. Seems like a never ending battle, you get one done then the next ones go bad and so on and so on.
    I will find out more a week from tomorrow.
    Who would have hought all those years ago I would be going through this now.
    Thanks I'll let you knoiw what I find out.
  • it is a constant battle. i guess you have to look at what you have and be thankful even though its not as good as the person next to you.
    hope for the best.
    i used to love the snow...all kinds of skiing was my passion. I have had back trouble for 40 years but was somehow able to ski till 2000 which is when i stopped work. i know the snow is not for me now. fighting pain is now my full time job.
    look at it this way...when you went through windshield at age 14 your life could have ended. so whatever has happened since then is a gift....
  • So sorry.... could your nerve damage been avoided?
    what is your nerve damage now? I guess I mean what symptoms do you have that are the nerve damage?
  • you are right I could have easily been killed, and yes there have been many "gifts" since then.
  • Snowgoer, welcome to Spine-Health.

    I know it's scary to read all the posts and the horror stories, but there are so many previous members who have had successful surgeries and move on with their life. They don't post here because they no longer need the answers and support that they once did.

    Take care and follow your doc's advice. You only have one spine and you have to take care of it the best you can.

  • There are success stories and some are in the section http://www.spine-health.com/forum/casual-conversation/good-news
    As was explained by an administrator the people who join are after specific information, advice and often support. I have heard in the last 10 weeks success stories from 2 work colleagues (2 level fusion around 20 years ago and another disk surgery around 4 years ago), cousin of a friend, person at bookshop and embassy. You can also look at the number of members logged in vs. visitors (the “who’s on line” box if you scroll down page with this posting on your left). What it shows is that most people are getting enough information from the site (and the postings) without joining and do not need further information.

    In terms of the Neuro appointment on the 14th, if you haven’t found it yet then there is an article http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/back-surgery/preparing-meet-a-spine-surgeon-or-spine-specialist which you should read. If you are prepared for the meeting then it will not eliminate being nervous but hopefully help! I am not in the medical profession so cannot tell you how to tell if nerve damage is permanent etc but it is something you should write down on your list of questions. One thing I am fairly sure of though is the quicker you are treated the less likely nerve damage will be permanant.

    The other thing I have noticed is that as in any profession there is a wide variety or skill levels and expertise and this applies to the Physical Therapist. See if you can find a good one. It is a pity that you do not know someone in your area, similar condition, that has had successful PT. I know where I am currently located the Doctor is scared or not allowed to refer you to a specific PT as do not want to be accused of favoritism or at worst kick backs. This may not be the case in your area so maybe you could ask your doctor or others?

    Good luck for next week but better still good management. When you leave the specialists room I hope you can leave without open questions!

    Kind Regards
Sign In or Register to comment.