I just wanted to introduce myself and tell you a little about me. I'm a 35 year old male who has had ACDF's all the way from C3 to C7. My first surgery was when I was 24. I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease after I had bouts of partial paralysis in my left hand/arm and sometimes foot. I had emergency surgery to relieve the pressure on my spinal cord in the C4-C5 region. Everything went smoothly until a few years ago when I began to notice signs/symptoms of spinal cord compression, but ignored it and convinced myself that it was due to overworking myself, etc. I finally saw a neurosurgeon after putting it off for about a year. He told me what needed to be done, but allowed me to delay for an additional 2 years. This past December (4 days after my birthday, to be exact) my neurosurgeon removed the plate that was installed in the C4-C5 region and fused C3 to the previous fusion. He then fused C5-C7 and anchored it to the previous fusion as well.
Since then, I've been in the most unbearable pain and sometimes it hurts so badly I can't describe how it actually does feels and don't want to live. Most of the time it's like someone poured molten metal across my shoulders and down my right arm in a thin line to my thumb. I have absolutely no skin sensation from my mid back to just below the nape of my neck. When people touch me, I can feel it sometimes if they apply enough pressure so that I can feel it in the muscles, but light touches are non existent at this point. Occasionally it feels like a ghost runs their fingers across my back, but I know there's no one there and it's the most creepy feeling in the world.
I had to quit working, as I can't do anything anymore without hurting myself, or putting myself in misery. It actually hurts to sit and type out my life story :-) I've applied for SSDI in the hopes that I get it, because if I don't, I'm pretty much screwed.
My current neurosurgeon doesn't have any answers, of course, and keeps telling me these problems can't be from the surgery he performed, that it's going to get better, but it only gets worse by the week. I've begun to lose feeling in the right arm and hand again, I have terrible hip pain and have been falling down 3-6 times per day...it's like the front of my foot doesn't lift up like it normally should.
I'm currently going to a world renowned clinic in the hopes they can help repair what nerves he's damaged, and I'm hopeful for that. I had to cancel my EMG and my CT scan last week, as I didn't have insurance since I lost my job. Now that I have temporary medical coverage, I'm going to reschedule ASAP to try to get some answers.
I've been referred to PM finally, after 8 months of medications that don't do anything but cause problems, and provide no relief. That appointment is coming in the next week and a half, and I'm excited to see if she/he can provide some help.
I know a lot of you are going through what I'm experiencing, so I'm sorry if I sound like a newbie :-p
If anyone could offer some advice, hope, ways to get comfortable, medicines to possibly speak to my PCP about, I'd really appreciate it. I'll list my current medications below...and I hope I'm not breaking a rule, if so I plead ignorance and apologize in advance.
Vimovo 500 mg 2x's per day--does nothing
Morphine ER 45 mg--does nothing for about 4 hours, then makes me slightly drowsy-still have bone pain
Zanaflex 8mg 3xs day-keeps some of the spasms away, but not many
Klonopin 1mg 3xs day-keeps me from killing people/pulling my hair out in frustration
Neuronton-900 mg 3xs per day-still have significant nerve pain, but it's better than nothing at all
I take 4 different antidepressants per day-I'm sure you've been there as well
I take 2 different sleep meds-but I can't sleep at night. Usually makes me a tiny big groggy and that's all.
I appreciate anyone taking the time to read this and anyone who could offer anything to help, I'd appreciate it. As I said earlier, I don't really sleep anymore, so if you need someone to keep you company, let me know! :-)
DJ Welcome to Spine-Health
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ACDF's from C3-C7. Osteoarthritis in T1-T2