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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical

I had ACDF with instrumentation (C5/6 C6/7) Jul 21 09 after 4 1/2 years of trying to get the military to take my right arm numbness and pain seriously. Found a great doc who in turn referred me to a great surgeon. After the surgery, I could again feel my right hand but the pain has not gone away. I am terribly depressed and frustrated. I can't sleep as the pain and aches can be excruciating at night. I returned to work in Nov 09 but that is proving to be very difficult also. My neck just plain hurts with shooting pain in my arms. I go to bed at night feeling as if I had gone 10 rounds with an MMA fighter and wake up the same. I am miles away from my original medical support(long story) and have to start the whole process over again to find a doc in the military system who doesn't think that I am making all of this up! Also, I am curious to know and I haven't really gotten a good answer as of yet-will it be possible to wear body armor with full gear(including ammo), weighing roughly 35 lbs and a kevlar helmet that weighs about 3 lbs. and function normally again? The thought of any weight on my head and base of my neck makes me cringe!! Thanks!!!

~X(
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  • suzanne40356 said:

    I had ACDF with instrumentation (C5/6 C6/7) Jul 21 09 after 4 1/2 years of trying to get the military to take my right arm numbness and pain seriously. Found a great doc who in turn referred me to a great surgeon. After the surgery, I could again feel my right hand but the pain has not gone away. I am terribly depressed and frustrated. I can't sleep as the pain and aches can be excruciating at night. I returned to work in Nov 09 but that is proving to be very difficult also. My neck just plain hurts with shooting pain in my arms. I go to bed at night feeling as if I had gone 10 rounds with an MMA fighter and wake up the same. I am miles away from my original medical support(long story) and have to start the whole process over again to find a doc in the military system who doesn't think that I am making all of this up! Also, I am curious to know and I haven't really gotten a good answer as of yet-will it be possible to wear body armor with full gear(including ammo), weighing roughly 35 lbs and a kevlar helmet that weighs about 3 lbs. and function normally again? The thought of any weight on my head and base of my neck makes me cringe!! Thanks!!!

    ~X(
    On the other thread I had just hit your post to reply, and blingo...it was gone! My surgery got rid of a lot of the pain down my arm and hand, but I did not gain the strength back (my NS feels even though 4 months out, when the disk popped, it may have caused permanent damage!) and I can't feel most of my hand, nor the bottom of my arm! I am glad most of that pain is gone.

    As you can see by my handle, I am (err now was) a pilot in jets and helicopters. I tried to fly goggles after my C5/6 fusion was complete and solid. I then just past a year had my adjacent level go! The weight of the helmet with the goggles probably hastened it! Due to ROM issues and medication (Lyrica - love Lyrica!!) I am grounded and in process of applying for disability retirement!

    Helmets and me no longer get along! Each of us is different Suzanne, so it might be that once you are fused, you can once again return to carrying the gear and wearing the helmet again. The best I can suggest is once you are cleared, try in baby steps! See if your "new neck" will allow it. You might find that all is good, but just don't push it. I did and it is costing me as except for C4/5, I have issues on the rest of my levels. Good luck with it, and of course, let us know how it goes!!

    One last thing? Did they do any follow up x-rays? If so, are you starting to fuse yet?

    Brenda

    To fly if fine, to hover divine!!!
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hi Brenda, thanks for the reply! I am losing what's left of my religion on a daily basis. My neck is fusing like a champ so the doc told me but I have no idea what is with all of this pain! I have a very limited ROM which makes it difficult to drive, I can't imagine what flying would be like! I know that my C3/4 is ready to go as that showed up on the original MRI. I think it is the chronic part of this that drives me crazy. I wish for a normal day where I can even walk my dog without hurting. The Army has no sympathy for people like me, everyone at work thinks that since I had surgery and had the audacity to take time off for that surgery, everything should be just peachy now... :(

    Thanks again!
    Suzanne
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  • Howdy Suzanne,

    10 year Army vet here! 79-89. No they don't have sympathy! I am very sorry to hear you are going through that. You had an ACDF, did the doctor state if there were any issues he wasn't figuring on when he got in there? You had issues for a number of years - hopefully it doesn't mean permanent issues for you. It can take years of compressing a nerve root, or like me, one "zap" when the disk herniated!

    I will keep you in my thoughts. Thoughts of which go to you getting relief! The top of my C6/7 fusion let loose around week 5, and then I was put on a bone growth stimulator. My only concern (due to unrelated/different pain) is is this stimulator helping my bone spurs grow that much faster?!? I asked my NS, and since this technology is fairly new, he isn't sure.

    Unfortunately your co-workers are like any other! If they can't relate, and or "see" the pain, they just bloody well don't get it! I had an Enforcement Assistant tell me (and this particular day *I* was NOT in the mood), "Oh, I have a pinched nerve, I know how you feel!" I blew up at her, as this is like the 3rd time she has said that. I told her that when her pain levels are constant at 6+, come talk to me, otherwise "I don't want to hear it"... I think she got the message this time. Suzanne, try not to let them get you down. They truly don't understand - and hopefully they never will! Nerves suck!!! Of that, I truly believe. I do too see where religion starts taking a hit. Remember this, "Bad things happen to GREAT people!!" There are tons on this site that share our pain - actually do understand. If you need to vent, I am here. You can PM me too if you wish. Take care. :-) *HUG*

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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