Hi everyone! I'm Sarah, 26, from Missouri. My ordeal began about 6 years ago. I was hit from behind by a truck going about 50 mph and had severe whiplash. Over the years I went to chiropractors, had deep tissue massages, but nothing seemed to help with pain in my left shoulder and neck. Finally, when my hands began falling asleep, I went to my doctor and an MRI revealed herniated discs at C4/5 and C6/7. The C4/5 was larger, so I opted to do cervical epidural shots on it. I did two shots, realized it wasn't helping, so quit. My spine doc gave me the option of fusion surgery or live with it, but said he'd hate to do surgery on an active 26 year old. So I decided to try and live with it for as long as I could.
Well in May I was involved in a serious car wreck. A CT scan showed what they thought was a microfracture around the C4/5 level, so I was sent onto a better hospital where an MRI revealed that the disc was just bulging much more there. So I decided to go ahead with the surgery, because the pain was getting to be way too much. I was approved for the artificial cervical disc replacement surgery and had my operation on July 3rd, which would make me about 11 days post op now.
For the first few days I didn't feel too great. I was in a lot of pain and had trouble sleeping. Now I am able to drive, have pretty good mobility, and my pain has decreased (although some is still there). I did have some problems with my scar on the front of my neck though--I used cheap bandgages and had an allergic reaction and broke out in a rash all over my body and the incision became slightly infected. I go back to see my spine doc the 16th for my 2 week follow up and am anxious to see how my recovery compares to others. I'm not going to lie, I still have pain, and I still have trouble sleeping, but hopefully in the next few weeks to months I will be back on the road to leading a normal life again.