i wrote a long intro post a while back ( https://www.spine-health.com/forum/newbies-welcome/new-member-introductions/hi-new-posterlong-time-lurker-florida
), and finally saw the neurosurgeon yesterday (5/25/12).
the appointment didn't go as planned, i expected to talk about lumbar & si joint surgeries & possible fusion, but during my exam by the pa, she noticed that my reflexes are "hyper", did a few little diagnostic tests with me, and based on those tests and the fact that my hands/arms have been going numb/i've had the dropsies since my accident in october, it was decided that i need a cervical spine mri on tuesday, and another appt with the pa & neurosurgeon on wednesday. they think that i have a serious spinal cord compression in the cervical region, and if they're right, i will need to undergo acdf surgery before they begin to address the lumbar & si joint problems, or they would run the risk of paralyzing me from the neck down during intubation.
i was and am okay with the idea of fusion in the lumbar & si joints - i've had months to make myself comfortable with it,and do lots of research/prepare myself, but the idea of having my neck fused/possibility of paralysis is completely freaking me out - it wasn't within the realm of anything we expected, and it feels like it came out of no where (it does explain the dropsies and numbness in my arms, but i just assumed those were the results of a pinched nerve/something relatively minor & not scary!).
i trust my neurosurgeon fully, and know that i'm in good hands, but... what am i in for? unvarnished truth please - if i need acdf, i'd like the unsugarcoated truth about recovery and what my life will be like - will i be able to turn my head after fusion? will it affect normal, everyday stuff that i take for granted now? i guess i just want to be able to wrap my mind around it so that i don't have unrealistic expectations.
any information, support or guidance will be greatly appreciated
(quick background - i'm 33, slipped on a wet flight of stairs on 10/31/11 & essentially blew out all of the facets of the lumbar & part of the thorasic spine, both si joints, tore a few discs, etc, and apparently also managed to screw up my neck. i don't like to do anything halfway lol i've had 3 diff steroid injections, facet blocks, 5level bilateral rfa, & exhausted all conservative treatment with no lasting benefit full info is on the thread referenced above)
again, thanks for reading through, and i appreciate any insight/support/guidance any of you can provide!
Slipped on a wet stair case the morning of 10/31/11, landed flat on my tush & blew up my spine & both SI joints.
3 level ACDF C4-C7 7/11/12 (collapsed discs & severe cord compression)
lumbar fusion to be scheduled once healed from ACDF