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Hi, I have a C1 Jefferson Fracture and I'm terrified


On Aug 16, 2013 I was involved in a diving accident in shallow water. I hit the top of my head, broke my neck and nearly drowned. I spent 10 days in hell at a third world hospital with horrible nurses that didn't help at all, no air conditioning in a tropical country, and in a ward with about 18 other patients. I was in a collar for about 8 days, and then they put me in a torso and head cast after that to immobilize my neck. I was never put in a halo. I left that place and came back home to Toronto and stayed at Toronto Western.

The ligament that holds the C1-2 in place looked ruptured due to the fracture in the C1. The NS sent me home to see if I'd heal for about 6 weeks. We were hopeful that I might heal since I'm relatively young, 34, and somewhat fit. At home I stayed in a reclined position for most of the day and every function was done slowly and carefully.

At present the pain and muscle spasms I experienced before are reduced. Although sitting upright will make my neck muscles sore and I have to sit in recline to reduce the pain.

Today was my appointment with my NS where I got a CT scan to see how I'm doing. The news was bad. My C1 has been displaced on both sides now, where it was only displaced on one side in Aug. I'm shocked at the news! The only other options was to have a halo, but that would fix the ruptured ligament, the only other option after that is C1-2 posterior fusion.

All I have to do now is say yes to the surgery to Dr. Massicotte at Toronto Western.

I'm shocked.... terrified.... scared....

The surgery will be in the end of Oct or in Nov.

I'm just scared at the possibility that I'll have pain that never goes away. This is why I'm here. I just want to hear from other people that have had C1-2 posterior fusion and to know if things will get better in the long term.

I'm lucky to have no neural deficits at the moment, and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to work and live a somewhat active life again.

Lord have mercy...



  • Sorry to hear about all you have been through. I have no cervical problems, so I can't say much about that... but there are lots and lots of success stories dealing with all areas of the spine. Best of luck to you. Hopefully recovery will be much easier than what you've been through already.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
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