Hello gang. I will be officially at the 13 week mark on Monday the 14th.
I wish I could say things are awesome, but they are not.
I had an x-ray and all the hardware is in place. That's good.
Yesterday I had to have a closed MRI done on my Thoracic spine. (I never, every want to do a closed MRI again!!)
Let me bring you up to speed. I had ACDF on 3 levels- c5c6, c6c7, c7t1- fused with cadaver bone on 11/15/10. Prior to surgery I had pain and stiffness in my neck with numbness and tingling down my left arm and the week prior to surgery left handed weakness. I also had headaches every day- for 6 months+.
I was hurt back in April 2010 (job injury). I was hit in the head on the upper left side with a steel plate(hard)and it jerked my head and neck to the right. I went through 6 months of Therapy, Massage, Chiro adjustments, Cervical Traction, and a series of 3 Epidural Steroid Injection shots. Which provided minimal relief for a very short time.
Post surgery I have no headaches. I woke up in recovery with weakness on the Right Side. I couldn't use my Right hand. It scared me. I had to squeeze a sponge piece to strengthen my hand for about 2 weeks. It is back to 100% now (at least I think it is- and doc said strength was good).
I also woke up with numbness on my left side. It goes from below my left breast, left side of back, left side of trunk/stomache, left side of perineum, all the way down the leg to the tips of my toes. My left side and my left foot feel COLD all the time. I get shooting pains in the left side. Sometimes burning sensations, too. During the day it is painful to walk at times. And I know walking is the best thing for the recovery process. So it ticks me off that it is painful.
I have been to see the surgeon a few times since surgery. His answer is that "I moved alot of stuff around in there and it will take time to calm down." I take it as...Cervical problems are taken care of. Surgery was a success. He is done.
I talked to my work comp doctor and expressed my concerns at my appt. I was at 10.5 weeks post op with no change in my left sided numbness. He ordered a EMG/Nerve Conduction study to my LLE. The Dr. who performed the EMG gave me a script to get an MRI of the Thoracic spine. He hypothesized that I may have had my back injured during the operation. While unconscious they had to transfer me from the bed to the OR table and back again post-op. SERIOUSLY??? They could have injured my Thoracic spine??
He also explained the whole spinal column thing, cervical spine and the nerve functions, thoracic and lumbar, etc.
He said that Cervical nerve issues would not cause the numbness I have right now. I could have had a nerve completely severed (during surgery)and it would affect my arms, not below that.
I had the closed MRI done yesterday and I have the images on a CD. I can see them, but have no clue what I am looking at. They were focusing on T7 and below.
I had no back pain prior to surgery. I had no back issues that I made complaint of. I just don't understand what could have caused the left-sided numbness. First I thought it was from the Cervical operation. But once the EMG doc told me it was probably Thoracic related, it totally threw me. I am totally confused now!!!
Could the initial injury have caused back injury as well? The surgeon decompressed the Cervical spine and then the Thoracic spine said....HELLO..there is problem here, too!!??!!
I just don't know. Any other spineys have these problems?
Please reply. Thanks!!