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Fusion C7 - L1 with spinal cord damage

After a year of symptoms like trouble walking, I was finally given an MRI which showed damage to my cervical spinal cord. My spinal cord was just hanging in my neck being bumped by my vertebrae. You could see white matter (the inner spinal chord) on the MRI. I could barely walk when I had surgery on Aug 3rd. After three months, I can walk again but my muscles feel tight all the time. I get fatigued after just walking. My toes feel like mush. My balance is bad. I used to be quite active playing tennis, hiking, biking and skiing. I wonder how much I will recover from this. I am going to PT twice a week. My surgeon is not very hopeful. Has anyone had similar experiences?


  • My neck MRI showed the I had cervical discs herniated with the spinal cord hung up on a bone spur. Sounds very mild compared to what you saw. My head felt like it was going to fall off and the pain was excruciating. It took 2 surgeries before a fusion took. That was in 1994/6. I am still working on my balance. You are still "post-surgery." Give yourself a year of recovery and working on your walking, balance, and muscle tone. I found Isometric exercises really helped without adding pain. My surgeon told me to give it 2 years for the nerves to heal. What I had then is what would be permanent. He was wrong on the 2 years' limit, the nerves do seem to continue to improve longer than that. Give yourself some time to heal.
    Still Walking
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