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New member from Australia

Hello, I've been reading posts on this board for nearly a year and thought it was time I joined. There doesn't seem to be anything like this in Oz, which doesn't really matter I guess as spine problems are the same wherever you live!
I had a rear end MVA a little over a year ago. I had to brake suddenly when a large barrel fell off a ute in front of me. The driver behind had been tailgating and of course the inevitable happened. His vehicle was smaller than mine so when he hit his brakes his car went under mine. So as well as the forwards and backwards whiplash effect, I also had the up and down and banged my head on my vehicle's roof. I was travelling on a highway so was doing 110km an hour (sorry, don't know what that is in mph!)
I feel as though I've had every diagnostic test going, and I'm sure that many members here must feel the same. Currently seeing a neurosurgeon, neurologist, GP, physiotherapist, pain specialist, audiologist and psychologist.
I sustained herniated cervical discs at C4/C5 and C5/C6, and had an ACDF for the latter in December 2011 due to severe central canal and foraminal stenosis. Neurosurgeon remains concerned about C4/C5 due to moderate bilateral foraminal impingement but wants to wait until the nerve pain is severe before doing the second surgery. His mantra is he only operates for nerve pain, not neck pain.
Also have 3 bulging lower lumber discs, with some radiculopathy.
One numb toe on left foot (??!) and numbness on sole of left foot.
Tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss.
Myoclonic jerks.
Bilateral median nerve compression (carpal tunnel syndrome?)

Not doing as well as I thought/hoped and have reduced my working hours to half time for a year, to allow for functional rehab (physotherapy, hydrotherapy, clinical pilates). In a fair bit a neck and lower back pain. Was prescribed Lyrica but it didn't agree with me so I stopped. I only take Mersyndol Forte at bedtime now, and the occasional Panadeine Forte when the pain becomes unbearable.
I think that's enough for now, just wanted to introduce myself as suggested on the home page. Thanks to everyone who makes this forum so informative and interesting, and wishing all of you the very best. Beth.


  • Hi Beth

    Nice to see another Aussie joining the forum. I'm from the Gold Coast Hinterland area - what part of the country are you from?

    I know you will find this forum helpful. I have only been a member for a couple of months myself but I am really grateful for the support and encouragement I have had from others who are going through similar experiences. It is so wonderful to talk to people who really understand where you're coming from and what you're going through.

  • Hi Cheryl and thanks for the welcome. I'm about as far away from the Gold Coast as I could be, Perth :-)

    I agree, this forum looks terrific. I've had a look lots of times and people are so generous with sharing information and supporting each other. I hope I'll be able to contribute to that. And I hope to see you around the traps!
  • Warm welcome to SH.

    Have you had an EMG study for your foot numbness? The numbness could be due to some nerve damage. How long has the numbness been there?
  • It's very nice of you, particularly since you obviously have more than your share of back problems. I see you've not long had a lumbar fusion, I hope you're recovering well from that?
    I'll have to read up a bit more about using this forum, I typed a reply, previewed it, and lost it!
    Shorter version, I had pins and needles/tingling on my sole about a month or so after the accident, then that went away and it was just numb. Nerve conduction studies didn't show anything much wrong. Insurance doctor was positive I had a Morton's neuroma but an ultrasound showed negative for that as well.
    Neurosurgeon has just brushed it aside now, he's really only concerned about the fusion I've had, and the one he's yet to do. He's also said he won't do a fusion/s on my lower back as he 'doesn't believe in them' - referred me to the pain specialist for management of that. He did, however, say that if I had a 'young gun' neurosurgeon, I'd be in surgery getting artificial discs. I dunno mate, it all gets a bit hard doesn't it?!
    My pain specialist did 4 facet joint injections in my lower back, which only flared it up and made it more painful than it was, for quite a few weeks. He was supposed to do 4 cervical spine injections at the same time but he couldn't get in there under fluroscopy so has referred me for CT guided injections. I'm hanging 5 on that, the thought of needles going into an already painful neck, with no discernable benefit, gives me the heebie-jeebies!
  • Yes, the decision making process can be a very anxious time. Spinal diagnosis / prognosis can be complex and many doctors have differing opinions. It's very much an art rather than an exact science and is very dependant on the surgeons skill set, hardware that is available / allowed to be used and/or funded and experience level. Additionally, the technology is developing and changing. However, much of the latest technology has yet to mature and/or be accepted into mainstream practise.

    Injections, well there's many opinions on this subject too.
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