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Traction no longer helping.

As some on here know I have been using traction for the last year to try and buy more time before an eventual 3 level, c4-c7 ACDF. Over the last month my symptoms have gotten worse. I have a 30 minute commute morning and evening and have to change hands on the steering wheel frequently as the hand on the wheel goes numb and thumb index and middle finger begin to tingle, and upper arm and back ache. Condition is worse on left side but has been becoming more prevalent on right.
To top it all off about a month ago I was cleaning out the fish pond of a couple of years of gunk and slipped and landed on my tailbone. It felt like a lightening bolt had shot up my spine and took about 15 minutes before i could stand up.
I saw the surgeon yesterday and he did his standard nuero test on my arms and noticed significant weakening on my left hand, arm and bicep. I already have no reflex on my left elbow.
So Monday it's off to get an MRI to see if I can hold out a little longer. Just hoping for nothing on the emergency side so I can schedule the surgery for after the first of the year. My niece graduates Nursing school Dec 13 and I don't want to miss that.
laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched


  • I know what you mean by your hands and fingers going numb and tingling, I have that same thing. I have all the pain and tingling and numbness only in my left arm so I just drive with my right. Driving is one of the most painful things I have to do and I have a 20 minute commute back and forth so i hear you load and clear. The falling sucks, now your tailbone is killing you too.
  • Every time I see the surgeon he has you fill out a pain profile (1-10) and has figures front and back that you can put symbols for where you have aching pain, stabbing pain, numbness, tingling etc. At the end he has you write a percent of pain that is due to neck, arms, upper back, lower back and legs. Since most of my issues on that day were cervical related he said we would concentrate on my neck for now. I do have intermittent pain in my tailbone, which he said I might have broken, but at the time I filled the sheet out I wasn't experiencing. This morning I have had some pretty severe tingling in my toes when I stand up. Hope it's only temporary. My follow-up for the MRI is not until Nov 5, he is already booking appointments in Jan and he slid me in during his lunch. I'm going to keep a list of other symptoms I have between now and the 5th of Nov to give to him.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
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  • Had my appointment with the surgeon yesterday and had him show me on the MRI where my symptoms are/should be coming from. essentially the worst disc is C4/C5 where I had a prior lamenectomy. The disc is bulging into the canal and appears to be touching, but not denting, the cord. Several of the nerve roots from c4-c7 are so narrow it's hard to see how a nerve could fit through, left side much worse than right at most levels. So in January I will have 3 level ACDF, 6 weeks in aspen collar, unknown how long off work, but have 2 weeks of sick leave and 6 weeks of vacation on the books.
    It is possible, but unlikely that some of my toe and feet symptoms are from cervical, but more likely lumbar. Last Lspine MRI 2 years ago showed dessicated discs at l5/s1 and bulges l4/l5 l3/l4 and osteo arthritis.
    hopefully after the cervical surgery heals I will have an overall decrease in symptoms and put off any lumbar fusion until way in the future.....
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • Davrunner, I am so sorry to hear that you can no longer put off the surgery. I hope everything goes well. What day in January are you scheduled? I am right behind you. Will be having surgery February 3. I too have trouble driving. I have a 20 min. commute. I find it is easier to hold the steering wheel at the bottom instead of up top to steer but even that will send the burning sensation down my arms and into my hands and into my shoulder blades.
    You are blessed to have so much PTO. I will only have accrued about a weeks worth when I have my surgey so planning to go back to work at the 2 week mark but we'll see how it goes.
    I will be praying for you and I hope all goes well. keep us posted on how you are doing before and after you surgery. :)
  • Appreciate the support and will pray for you outcome as well. I don't have a date yet, waiting on the surgeons office to call with a date, shouldlbe the 3rd week in January I wanted to get past the Holidays so I can support people taking time off and to attend my nieces graduation in December. I got a surprise in the mail when I got home yesterday, a federal Jury duty notice for the entire month of December. I don't know how to break it to my niece.
    I have to call in every Friday to find out if I'll be needed the following week, My only hope is that they won't need me the second week and I can make a whirlwind trip to Albuquerque
    I'll stay in touch and let everyone know how my preps are going.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
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  • threebearstthreebears Posts: 45
    edited 11/07/2013 - 5:39 AM
    Dang! Sorry to hear you have been called for possible jury duty. I hope it doesn't mess up your plans for your nieces graduation. I couldn't believe when I read you were called fro jury duty though because I just got a notice in the mail a couple of weeks ago as well. I have sent a letter asking to be excused so I hope that I will not be called. I really don't want it to interfere with my surgery. My timeframe that I was given was anytime between December and April. Just in the same time frame I am preparing for, having , and recovering from my surgery. Great timing huh? Just my luck:)
    Anyway I will be thinking of you and sending well wishes your way:) it seems like long ways away but it will come quickly.
    The best to you:) Stay in touch:)
  • susabellssusabell Illinois Posts: 241
    Davrunner I am so sorry to hear this news :( I will b thinking of you. Your lucky to have all that PTO. Just walk, a lot and rest a lot afterwards. I'm sure you will feel so much better afterward.

    Gentle Hugs ,
    ACDF C4-C7 5/13/2010. Synthetic Bone Graft Failed Fusion.
    PCF C4-C7 8/13/13. Rods and Screws Fused in 3 Months with Autograft.
    C6-C7 Spineous process Surgically Shaved Off 3/11/14.
    Sciatica 3/11/16 Left Leg prescribed Medrol Pack 6 days also Physical Therapy.
  • I did jury duty for the City/County last year and it exempts me for being called up for another 10 years, the exemption doesn't apply to the Federal Court though. I don't mind doing my civic duty, just wish it was at a different time.
    Susabell - no problem with the walking but will need someone to go with me as Sarah, my dog, will want to go on every one of them with me. She is pretty smart, when I had my knee replaced she wouldn't leave my side.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • Seems since I've made the decision to have the cervical fusion my lumbar spine has decided to be jealous and act up. Feels like I have a golfball on the left side just above my hip. When I had my latest cervical mri the Dr. decide to wait on lumbar because I had rated it as only about 30% of my pain. Depending on the time of the day it is now anywhere from 50% to 70%. My back actually feels like the different sections are battling for attention.
    Anyone else experience this?
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • I've been doing some research and I'm discovering that many seem to suffer from this darn ringing in my ears that started right after my first surgery on my cervical spine. I do hope this is not going to be an issue with you after your surgery, it is very bothersome. Can you please let me know if you do or do not end up with it after your surgery. My surgeon says it is not related, but had no ringing before surgery, not even the 6 days in hosp. before the surgery, but had it right after, not sure exactly when, I was in quite a bit of pain and discomfort for a few days. Also like to know of anyone else that has this and if lifting your head up with your hands makes it stop or lessen.
    Since our spines are meant to work together as a group, when one area is affected, yes the others may begin to "battle for attention" as you put it. Plus the longer you go without treatment in an area, the area will become more agitated. Think of it like senses, you lose one, the others become stronger. Only with the spine, you lose one, the other have to compensate. If you baby your movements for your neck pain, your back has to compensate for it and your back having an injury, has increased inflammation and pain. JMO and experience on the issue.
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