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C1 C2 C3 compression after fracture

In 2005 I was kicked in the head at work whilst lying flat out on someone, my head was pushed right back and I was lifted off the ground, a whiplash type movement.
As a result of this I was in a great deal of pain and sent to another call before being taken to the hospital. At hospital I was X-rayed (1 shot) and nothing was seen so I was sent home with a collar and treated for whiplash. Quite a few months later, maybe even a year and I was still in pain but just from time to time. This resulted in an MRI being carried out which showed a fracture at c1 c2 and osteoarthritis build up around the c1 c2.
My doctor at the time gave me tramadol and sent me packing. Over the past few years I have continued getting severe pain from time to time however for the past 10 weeks I have been signed off my work and prescribed diazepam 2mg, amatriptiline 20mg, co-codomol 30/500 and codeine phosphate. None of which touch my pain.
I have since been x-rayed again (several views) which have showed the old fracture and compression of c1 c2 and c3. I am now awaiting another MRI as work has agreed to pay for private care. My specialist isn't giving much away but told me its likely I may require surgery but won't know for sure until after the MRI has been examined.
I have to say I am extremely worried that I am going to loose my job through ill health, I am crippled by this pain.

Has anyone been in similar circumstances and can give me a little advice or information. I know until after my MRI I won't get real answers but with another week to wait for the MRI and probably at least another week after that for results I am at my wits end.


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  • I have had a terrible weekend, my neck has been the worst its ever been and my right arm feels like its dead, the tingling in my hand and fingers has been a lot worse too.
    Went back to the docs today and he has give me oramorph, I really can't wait until my MRI on Friday, just want answers and to be fixed. Hoping that being private will get me treatment a little quicker to relieve this and get me off the pain killers.
    Am a little nervous about taking the new meds as reading on line some side effects can be quite bad.
    Has anyone used this before for neck pain
  • I understand what pain you are in, I had fusion from my skull to C3, my final result was not the best, I have had pain everyday since. I wish you the best.
  • That's not the best news, how come your still in pain? Has your movement been limited much by the fusion? How long ago was your operation?
    Happy 4th July
  • Well had my Mri, maybe am a big chicken but I didn't enjoy the experience! Got a cop of my scan away on a cd which shows my c1 and 2 fused at the back, compression on c2 and 3, and 4 and 5 is pushing the disc out and putting pressure on my spinal cord. News to wait for the specialist now (2 weeks) to see where we go from here. Driving is now becoming hard as I lose sensation in my right hand through numbness. The oramorph kind of helps but only in the sense it spaces me out a little for a short time.
  • 432dale4432dale Posts: 14
    edited 07/15/2013 - 11:32 AM
    Not had my specialist visit yet as my report went a miss from the private hospital I went to, it has however now been received by my specialist. Back on the 23rd to see him for the results and find out what he next step will be.

    Can't believe how little information is out there about c1 and c2 fusions.

    However looking at the mri pictures I think my main problem is the spinal cord being compressed at c4 and 5. But am no doctor so will await the professionals opinion.

    Anyone else had problems at c1 and c2, ideally a natural fusion after a fractured neck.
  • just wondering how your appointment eent. I had C2 to T1 fusion. Please let me know if I can offer you any answers to some of your questions.
    Cervical Laminectomy and fusion C2 to T1 June 2012, Anterior Hip Replacement November 2012, Laminectomy, Discectomy Foriminotomy, L3 to L5, February 2014, evacuation of Hematoma April 2014.
    Cervical Myopathy, DDD, Spinal Stenosis, osteoarthritis
  • im waiting on a second opinion but the first nuero wants to do a 3 level fusion starting at C-2. i have left arm numbness, circulation issues in my left hand, nerve spasming in my left hand...and a little left leg weakness...i know surgery is most likely going to happen just trying to find the right surgeon to do it.
    Cervical 360 ACDF C6/7-C7T1 Posterior fusion with hardware C3-T1 11/11/13
  • Myharleygirl I have sent you a pm, not sure if am sending them right though.

    Ray, thanks for contributing, there doesn't appear to be many of us with such high spinal issues, nor is there much information out there.

    How come you need the fusion doing?

    I get problem down my right side, shoulder, arm and hand. Luckily I haven't had any leg problems. Normally leg problem and related to c6 and lower from what I can gather as that's where the nerves are for the legs. C4/5 appear to be the arms and hands area.

    My right arm feels heavy and a bit weak, normally followed by pins and needles in my right hand and sometimes I drop things without warning.

    My mri is so clear with c1 fused to c2 but only about 1/4 way in from the back. My c4/5 disc is a mess and pushed out the rear and pressing my spinal cord in about a 1/4.

    I know we aren't allowed to name hospitals and am not sure where you are from. I am in scotland and have found two neck specialist surgeons. Both are private as my work is paying through insurance due it being a work injury. Since I can't name hospitals or doctors do a google search for neck specialists in the Dundee area.

    Keep us up-dated mate. Am back to specialist on evening of 23rd, just need proper clinical diagnosis and what can be done, I can't keep going like this, it's starting to get me down now, that's been three months of near constant pain.
  • Well am off to the see the surgeon tonight, at last I am hopefully going to get answers. I am just hoping that its not just another I will refer you on appointment.

    Having spoke to a radiographer they have advised that my main problem appears to be my c4/5 disc pushing into my spinal cord, in turn this is most likely having an impact on my nerves in that area.

    As much as the pain is bad at some point nearly everyday the drunk dizzy, blurred vision and no balance is really getting me down. I can't seem to do anything now without suffering for it. I can no longer drive more than about twenty minutes before I have to stop. Luckily my better half has taken over most of the driving.

    I am sorry to post so much rubbish but it does help to vent my thoughts, fears and anger on here. (Within the rules of course) !

  • I understand how you are feeling. Before my surgery, I had blurred vision and dizziness and balance issues. Now I don't have blurred vision, but the dizziness is terrible and I am off balanced too. In my case it is caused by a short leg over many years and muscle compensation and now my C1 is always locked. Good luck tonight with the surgeon!
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • Thank you will update my post after my visit.

    I don't think I have a short leg, but my c1 is fused to c2.

    Take care hope you get some normal days soon
  • I know we can ask for diagnosis on here but wonder of someone can help clear something up.

    If all problems lie on your left side of your spine but your pain is on your right side mainly could this still be as a result of nerve problems on the opposite side ? Of you get what I mean !!
  • I meant can't ask for diagnosis !!!
  • Hi 423Dale,

    Dizziness, blurred vision and balance problems are symptoms of vertebral artery compression which can result from neck trauma. You might want to look into that. You might find my post of this morning Re: "Nonunion Fractured Odontoid (C2) with Increasing Instability" helpful. Regarding amitriptyline, please be advised this is an anti-depressant which is frequently prescribed for headaches. Before I learned of my C2 fracture I was misdiagnosed by my PCP (and confirmed by a neurologist) as having migraines. Amitriptyline (10 mg.) was prescribed for pain and I was told to stop taking the RX when the headaches subsided which I did. However, within a few weeks after I stopped taking the amitriptyline I became severely depressed to the point that I literally wanted to kill myself. I later found out that a side effect of amitriptyline cessation is the likelihood of suicidal thoughts and actions. So be prepared and don't stop taking it without close supervision by your Dr.

    Good Luck,

    Train Wreck
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