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Titan Neck

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,662
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in New Member Introductions

I'm Titan Neck, short for titanium of course. I've got three discs fused in my c-spine three years ago and two more ruptured (or bulging, herniated....). More surgery will certainly inhibit my mobility further, but on today's MRI, C4-C5 looks like it has actually BREACHED the cord wall on both the lateral and axial views. The report is not on the CD with the pictures so I'll be waiting til next week to hear anything.

And my lumbar neuro was more concerned about my LUMBAR MRI (two bulging, two dessicated and one leaking) than last year's c-spine MRI. Incidentally, I think a trip through a serious pothole elicited the rather dramatic change from an October 2008 c-spine MRI to today's new one.

So I hope you'll welcome me both as an old hand and a potential new surgical victim. (Oops, did I say that?)


PS Yes, if the cord wall was actually breached I would be leaking spinal fluid and at a minimum have a monumental headache. Unfortunately I have "chronic daily headaches" including common "stress" headaches and sinus headaches, migraines, chronic muscle contraction headaches, clusters, "cervicogenic" headaches... you get the picture. It's impossible to differentiate most of the time and when its unusually bad we call them "combo headaches". This week I missed three days of work with a "combo headache", which I haven't done in several years.


  • Sounds very painful to say the least Titan. Your MRI descriptions sound rather drastic as well for the short term future. I hope they find answers that work out for you. :-) You have found the right site for help, support and comfort! Welcome aboard!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • and thanks for that bit of humor. We always welcome anything that will make us smile. Unfortunately you know the old saying " many a truth is said in jest." It sounds like you have had way more experience with spinal surgery than you ever really wanted. I have read many stories that seem to prove that there is truth in the fact that once one level is fused it puts more pressure on the other levels making it only a matter of time until more surgery is needed. I do hope that things will work out for you and please keep us posted.
  • Thanks for the welcome and the appreciation of the situation as well as the humor. You'll appreciate it more when I tell you that I entered my own user name wrong; it's supposed to be TitanNeck, a play on the sunken ship, apropos to my deteriorating backbone.

    With regard to the "domino effect" of repeated surgical procedures (especially fusions), I think there are two sides to the tile. One doesn't have the first surgery unless there is first an underlying problem. I am not sure one can tell the chicken from the egg; did the surgery cause the additional problems or did the underlying problem cause the need for additional surgery.

    An anecdotal example: my father has senile dementia; he doesn't always know who my mom is, and they've been married for more than fifty years. Two years ago he suffered a serious closed head injury and during the course of his three month stay in the hospital desaturated down to 70% for a period of time long enough to cause brain damage. When he doesn't know us, is it senile dementia, brain damage from the primary injury, or brain damage caused by a lack of competent medical staff? (I was there; they planned to let him die and I was in fact told that we would have to "pull the plug" that same week. I did mention he came home, right?)

    I have a friend with a six level fusion; his wife was told when they did the first three that they needed to do three more but did not think he would survive the surgery, so there's a case where the problem predated any surgery.

    I don't pretend to know it all, cause or effect, chicken or egg, dementia or brain damage; I hire neurologists for that, but I do think that both answers could be true. In my own case, I can definitely blame bad genes; my mom's spine has already crumbled to dust, and she's had NO surgery at all.

    I'm looking forward to reading all the recent past posts and to some lively and informative discussions. I believe a group like this could very well trip over the solutions we all need. (Shoot, not TRIP! I'll be paralyzed from the neck down!!! But at least with my dad's genes, I won't remember walking anyway.)


  • I too enjoy your humor and welcome to the forums. Lots here to learn from, but one of the best parts is just being able to communicate with others in similar shoes albeit cushioned and not too high ones.

    Hopefully, you will get some ideas on here too. I sure have.
  • We've all had multiple tests and therapies and procedures on our spines, top to bottom. Has anyone had a plantar fascia release or steroid injections for plantar fasciitis? Because of all the medical experiences I've had including the three level fusion, the burning of the nerves on the facets of my cervical discs and the lumbar injections, the shot across the bottom of my foot was the single thing to light my fire brighter than any other. The foot doc told me he'd seen grown men cry and vomit in reaction to that shot, but it still wasn't as bad as the recovery from the surgery to release the fascia. He said "Oh, you can have this on Friday and go back to work on Monday. You have a desk job, don't you?" Ha.

    Hint: if you WALK on your surgical site it takes LONGER FOR IT TO HEAL!

    Thanks again for the welcome. (Sings: "I think I'm gonna like it here.....")

  • Incidentally, I asked my head neuro (as opposed to the neck one and the lumbar one) if there was a test for a genetic marker for senile dementia. She says there is, but that it is only an indicator for increased likelihood of the condition. I said "I can go to my parents house and get that for free."
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