I received radiation therapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1983. As a result, my neck and shoulder muscles have atrophied, and because I have worked as a programmer and attorney parked in front of computer screens, this has caused my neck to thrust forward. In 2003, I was on a boat that went airborne crossing a wake, whipping my head forward and backward. I have seen several specialists and surgeons since then. My symptoms (neck, shoulder and arm pain in addition to numbness in my fingers) have worsened to the point that I've decided to go through surgery. The surgery will be anterior and posterior entry to repair several cervical disks and vertebrae. The surgeon plans on using cadaver bone and rods to fuse the spine.
My concern is that the irradiated tissue will cause problems. I'm worried that when the surgeon retracts the muscles, trachea and esophagus during the anterior phase of the surgery, they will be injured more than healthy tissue would be. Similarly, I'm concerned about cuts to the muscles during the posterior phase. I'm also worried about the bone's ability to anchor screws.
Even though my surgeon has some experience with irradiated tissue, I would like to hear from radiation patients. I expect that back surgery after radiation will have similar issues to neck surgery, so I'd appreciate feedback from anybody who has had spine surgery after radiation therapy.
Thank you in advance for your input.
David********************************************************************************************************* 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 : 07/19/15 12:52 est