I wrote a long intro post a while back ( http://www.spine-health.com/forum/newbies-welcome/new-member-introductions/hi-new-posterlong-time-lurker-florida
), and finally saw the neurosurgeon yesterday (5/25/12).
The appointment didn't go as planned, I expected to talk about lumbar & SI joint surgeries & possible fusion, but during my exam by the PA, she noticed that my reflexes are "hyper", did a few little diagnostic tests with me, and based on those tests and the fact that my hands/arms have been going numb/I've had the dropsies since my accident in October, it was decided that I need a cervical spine MRI on Tuesday, and another appt with the PA & neurosurgeon on Wednesday. They think that I have a serious spinal cord compression in the cervical region, and if they're right, I will need to undergo ACDF surgery before they begin to address the lumbar & SI joint problems, or they would run the risk of paralyzing me from the neck down during intubation.
I was and am okay with the idea of fusion in the lumbar & SI joints - I've had months to make myself comfortable with it,and do lots of research/prepare myself, but the idea of having my neck fused/possibility of paralysis is completely freaking me out - it wasn't within the realm of anything we expected, and it feels like it came out of no where (it DOES explain the dropsies and numbness in my arms, but I just assumed those were the results of a pinched nerve/something relatively minor & not scary!).
I trust my neurosurgeon fully, and know that I'm in good hands, but... what am I in for? Unvarnished truth please - if I need ACDF, I'd like the unsugarcoated truth about recovery and what my life will be like - will I be able to turn my head after fusion? Will it affect normal, everyday stuff that I take for granted now? I guess I just want to be able to wrap my mind around it so that I don't have unrealistic expectations.
Any information, support or guidance will be greatly appreciated
(quick background - I'm 33, slipped on a wet flight of stairs on 10/31/11 & essentially blew out all of the facets of the lumbar & part of the thorasic spine, both SI joints, tore a few discs, etc, and apparently also managed to screw up my neck. I don't like to do anything halfway lol I've had 3 diff steroid injections, facet blocks, 5level bilateral RFA, & exhausted all conservative treatment with no lasting benefit full info is on the thread referenced above)
again, thanks for reading through, and I appreciate any insight/support/guidance any of you can provide!
Slipped on a wet stair case the morning of 10/31/11, landed flat on my tush & blew up my spine & both SI joints.
3 level ACDF C4-C7 7/11/12 (collapsed discs & severe cord compression)
lumbar fusion to be scheduled once healed from ACDF