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herniation level below fusion

dbullwinkelddbullwinkel Posts: 224
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
HEllo. I have not been here in ages..had ACDF C5-6 done July 2008. All went well and I fused fine. This past November @ work, I injured myself again (I am a special education teacher...with behaviorally disabled children who are very active and physical....I should have attempted a transfer..long story. Anyway MRI in December showed bulging disks above and below fusion level. stayed home 2 months, went to Pt..difficult student taken out of room and I returned to work with out problems. This past summer by the end of the summer I began having numbness in my right hand again. went to OS..who gave me brace for carpal tunnel with instructions to wear for a couple weeks. if it helped..ok. if not come back. it really didn't help, but since the numbness wasn't worsening I did not go back. End of August I started cleaning and setting up my classroom..numbness and pain in arm returned with a vengeance. pain so bad at night I was screaming (just like before my surgery). OS ordered MRI and EMG. I started school...MRI showed bulges as before but C6-C7 turned to herniation. Neuro who did EMG put me pred taper, muscle relaxers and neurontin. Already on tramadol and advil. EMG showed nerve involvement at #7 nerve and carpal tunnel in both hands. I stopped working (again)..with a few days of starting pred and not working the bad pain in my arm stopped and I returned to numbness and tingling as I started before school...I am going to PT, have a epidural scheduled for the 18th. of october...and am basically very depressed as I do not have an idea what I will be doing about work. Neuro strongly advised against working with physical kids, haven't discussed at length with surgeon yet. I see neuro on the 21st. and return to OS in 6. My question: since I have BOTH nerve involvement from neck herniation and carpal tunnel, how is it possible to figure out which one is giving pain..since arm symptoms are the same for both. my neck has been hurting a lot all along. Last night arm pain was increased, but still not like before. My job involves much repetitive physical activity which is not good for either condition...I guess I am just looking for some sympathy from someone who has been through this...thanks.


  • Dbullwinkel,

    Click on my name over my avatar, and you will see similar happened here! Sympathy? Not a problem, been there, done that....doing it again soon! 3 times the charm right? (G)

    At any rate, had fusion for my C5/6 March 2008, and in April of 2009 I yawned of all things, blew out the C6/7 - lost most of my triceps, part of my forearm, thumb, index and middle finger, strength (what's that?) I couldn't even support my upper body weight with it, couldn't pull the towel over my back after a shower to give you an idea.

    I ended up with permanent nerve damage, as the disk 'slapped' really hard on the right exit nerve root when it went. I knew immediately when it went...the symptoms appeared within 15 minutes or so! As for your symptoms; your doctor will of course conduct the tests he deems appropriate to see if the issues are in the neck, or also involve areas in the elbow or wrist. A good Neurologist can tell with an EMG where it is coming from. :) Please let us know how it goes. Sorry to see you joined the "adjacent level failure" club!!! *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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