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Spinal Rant

Jul 02, 2008 - 2 comments

cervical spine




degenerative disc disease

So tomorrow I go for my 1st visit w/ a surgical Ortho doc in the same practice as my Pain Management doc.  This is as close as I have come to accepting that I may need surgery.  I am TERRIFIED!  I don't want surgery.  I want the doc to tell me that with my conservative methods I can reverse or at least stall the progress of the disease.  I want him to look at me and say "Heck no, go have kids and live your life, you are doing a great job and it will all be fine.  You are too young for surgery."

My family is soooooo not helpful.  Well, at least one of my aunts is being great.  But 2 others have shown their concern by telling me I should stop "courting" surgery and inquiring as to how this is affecting my work.  Well yeah it is affecting my work but is that really the issue or is it the fact the I have 4 levels of degeneration in my cervical spine and I herniate disc's like they're going out of style and I have only just turned 30?  Not to mention I just told you that my program that I began, got up and running and maintain to support Hispanic patients in our community was listed as one of the hospital's accomplishments and that my VP is thrilled.  And you say that's nice but is your neck affecting your work?  Bite me!

Anyway, I am counting the hours til my appt with the doc.  I am having a hard time focusing on other things as I am just so apprehensive.  There just aren't a lot of options for a girl with a busted neck.  Fusion will limit my range of motion so much and the FDA has only approved disc replacements for single level use.  So will I be able to mix them?  Can you give me one disc replacement and fuse the rest?  All of these questions are just swirling around in my mind.

My boyfriend is so over talking about it too so when I saw this journal tool, I thought, A HA! I can rant and rave and get it all out and go home and act like a sane person who is not obssessing over things that I have no control over.  :)
Oh well, I will just have to wait til tomorrow.

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Avatar universal
by jwicklmp, Jul 02, 2008
Hello, I just had a lumbar double spinal fusion 3 weeks ago today. Although I realize your problem is cervical let me just say that having this fusion surgery was the best thing possible. The excruciating pain I was in before is gone. The only pain remaining now is the healing pain and gaining strength in my back muscles. I was pretty sore the first couple of days in the hospital, but it was managed with a pain pump through an IV. I was up and walking the second day, with a walker. After 5 days in the hospital I could walk with a cane, I now after three weeks can walk without the cane. I would recommend surgery if you have been is such awful distracting pain that takes away the quality of your life and focus on work, home and family. As for limited mobility you will be fine, and learn to adapt , the body is an amazing thing and we do adapt. To just be free of the daily gnawing dibiltating pain I was in before has given me so much more freedom in just three short weeks. Talk it over with your doctor, but having just had my surgery, and reading online testimonials of cervical and lumbar surgeries from other bloggers and such, I feel with todays medical advancements and technology you would really benefit. Therefore you can get back on track and get on with your life improving the quality of your life all the way around. Isn't that really what counts? I wish you all the best. Take care, Julie

Avatar universal
by Iloveequus, Jan 18, 2009
Thanks so much for the posts.  I have been in 2 rear end collisions, I was hit first in Spring 2007 then Spring 2008.  I have had radiating pain and numbness down my right arm into my hand.  Lots of conservative treatment...traction, massage, pain meds, accupuncture.  It has been getting much worse now, and the pain meds and muscle relaxants don't work very well now, sometimes not at all.  My main doctor is a neurosurgeon and has been very conservative.  But now I am faced with surgery, 3 levels with fusion and titanium plate.  I appreciate the positive posts as I prepare myself mentally.  Surgery is 2/11/09.  Can anyone tell me how long you were out of work with the anterior approach fusion?  How much did it limit your movement?  Thanks, Melissa

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