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degenerative disc disease and/or congenital fusions in wrist and neck

loralielloralie Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello, I am Laura (Loralie is my nick-name that I use), and I am hoping to connect with people that have the same or similar conditions that I have.

Quick version of my story - I was supposedly born with my neck fused - c1 & c2 and C4 & c5. I am now 37 with severe arthritis all throughout my body. I have been seeing doctors and chiropractors since I was about 12 for various aches and pains in my neck, shoulder, back, wrists, and ankles. I was a gymnast so everyone assumed the pain was just because I had weak muscles. Even though I had many many x-rays and such, it wasn't until 2001 when I had a head-on car accident that it was discovered that my neck was fused. The specialist explained that it was congenital fusion defect that somehow had gone undiscovered all that time. None the less I ended up having to have surgery to complete fusion of the rest of the neck because the compression on my spinal canal was extreme and they could not tell me the rate it was closing in because they just then discovered it when I was 23!! I was in absolute panic mode because they told me that if i didn't have surgery to completely fuse the rest of my neck together, that I would become paralyzed. I of course had the surgery and now have a plate and screws holding my neck together. I still have severe pain in my neck, all through my shoulders, as well as numbness and tingling in my arms. I am in pain everyday and the doctors just tell me I have fibromyalgia and arthritis and I have to deal with the pain the best that I can.

Then recently I fell on my wrist and severely hurt it. I personally thought I broke it and that the x-rays were not showing enough to say this was true, so I then had an MRI on my wrist to get better images and maybe show a tear or something that would make it possible for them to fix my wrist. Well, I got what I asked for and a lot more! Low and behold, my wrist also has a fusion! It just amazes me that no one noticed this either as I was growing up!!

This is the question I am going to ask my new doctor on Friday; is my arthritis causing fusions of my bones or was I truly born this way and no one saw it until now. How is this even possible????

So yes, I also am in severe pain everyday and take multiple meds to help me get through the day. I also have severely high blood pressure because I am in constant pain so I take multiple BP meds as well. I simply want answers to know if I am falling apart (literately) or what can possibly be done to help me. My pain is severely interfering with my everyday life and especially work and school.



  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    hello Laura,
    In my opinion for what it's worth have your Dr(s) refer you to a rheumatologist or seek one out on your own to further investigate arthritis and related symptoms. I have severe osteoarthritis and as a result have required and will require more fusions throughout many joints in my body including the spine. There is relief out there for your discomfort, you just need to aggressively pursue it.
    Take care, wish you the best.
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