Hi, my name is Bill from Austin, Texas. I had C4-6 fusion surgery back in early 2011. My spinal stenosis was severe enough that the neurologist made the surgeon's appointment for me just before calling me to discuss my MRI. And it was for later that same day of the phone call. In the surgeon's words I was "the type of patient I cancel family vacations for".
Surgery went better than expected, needing only to operate from the front, and not also from the back as anticipated. So that is good. And I went from only working 4 hour days (because my hands would stop typing, I program computers) to being able to type for about as long as I want. So that is good.
4 years later and I still have some issues. Right forearm is often just a little sore. I need to be VERY CAREFUL about my sleep orientation -- if the neck is not perfectly aligned I wake up with numb hands. And this bugs me. Posture, in general, has become an complete necessity for me.
Thanks for the site. I plan on asking a few specific questions, see what other's experiences are compared to mine.
edited for more info by myself:
Symptoms started around late 2010, with forearm pain that also led to a lack of fine motor control and touch sensation in right hand. For example, I had trouble typing, both in accuracy and duration. Also I could not operate a camera easily without looking for the shutter button (I could not accurately feel it). My primary care at first thought it was a repetitive stress injury after painting most of my house so I was put into a wrist brace and told to see a neurologist if it did not improve. By January 2011 I saw the neuro. Grip strength, carpal tunnel tests, nerve conduction in the arm, etc. All negative. We moved next to a neck MRI, which found a severe spinal stenosis. 4mm if memory serves but that could be wrong. I was about 45. There is no known injury that caused this. I was told it might be degenerate and that I have about a 20% chance per decade of needing more fusion.
I was told by two surgeons who saw the MRI and my symptoms that surgery was the only option and needed to be sooner than later. Nothing else as I was apparantly under too much compression for anything else to be effective. I've had three rounds of physical therapy which did help and there is still stuff that I do every day, because if I don't, symptoms start coming back. I have to be very very careful with neck alignment during sleep, else I wake up with numb hands. I now work at a standing work station to help with posture during work and I use an ergo keyboard. I find I must watch TV by watching straight at the TV and not sitting off to the side with my neck turned. I'm on no medications other than a vitamin B complex that has about 50mg of B6 under the direction of the neuro.********************************************************************************************************* Welcome to Spine-Health
One of the most important things that need members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.
So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.
Here are some questions that you should answer:
- When did this first start?
. Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
. Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
. Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
. Physical Therapy
. Ultrasound / Tens unit
. Spinal Injections
. Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
. Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
. How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
. Name of Medication
. How long have you been using this?
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?
Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.
Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules
I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ
There you will find much information that will
- Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
- Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
- Tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc
- General pieces of valuable information
Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide
- Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
- Medical advice of any kind
- Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc
What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.
It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have areI’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?
Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.Specific comments :Personal Opinion, not medical advice :
--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 07/06/15 16:22est