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SPINAL CORD DAMAGE

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by BROWNST100, Apr 20, 2009.

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  1. BROWNST100

    BROWNST100 Member

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    I have been experiencing a loss of movement on my left side. I cannot open or close my left hand and my arm and leg seem to have a mind of their own. I also started to experience severe tremmors of the left arm and leg. At first they thought i might have had a stroke but after several cat scans, there
    was no evidence of a stroke.

    My next step was being refered to a neurologist. After a lenghty examination
    he said I am diagnosed with...MYOCLONUS...only the second case he has ever seen.
    I was sent for a series of MRI's on my spinal cord. The neurologist just called to inform me that I will need surgery. Seems like my spinal cord has suffered damage at some time and it is pressing against a disk, in my neck, causing these problems.

    Has anyone gone thru this procedure before? Any info. would be appreciated before this surgery.


    vern
     
  2. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    Please take what I say with a grain of salt - I have not seen the scans, nor a history, and what you state is not 100% clear, BUT...

    There is good science that says non-surgical intervention for back injuries has an equal outcome to surgical ones.

    I am making an assumption here, but it sounds like you somehow damaged you spinal column (NOT the cord directly) - this damage has lead to bone/muscle damage and a damaged/ruptured disk. It is the disk placing pressure on the spinal cord that is causing the problem.

    Specific physical exercises can be very helpful here. Likewise injections of chymopapain (enzyme which digests disk material in the spinal canal).

    Surgery should be held as a last resort... Typically they will go in from the front of your neck - it is rather scary and the recovery can be very uncomfortable (healing over a highly mobile area will always be uncomfortable)

    Get second, third, and forth opinions...
     
  3. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Get multiple opinions and do it fast- they can transfer your xrays and MRI/Cat scans by email or CD now- ask for that

    You only get one shot at this- make sure its right

    regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  4. claybrdr

    claybrdr Well-Known Member

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    I've had 3 disk surgeries, all very successful. Sometimes surgery is the only solution so don't eliminate that just out of fear or some quack idea someone else surfaces.
     
  5. Onceabum

    Onceabum TS Member

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    Good Luck, Vern, in whatever you do. Right now it sounds like other opinions might be a good thing.

    Best,

    BB
     
  6. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    claybrdr, sorry but I gotta call you on this one - Quack ideas??

    I am in the rehabilitation field - we have been pioneers in this field for nearly 50 years and our experience is that surgery should always be the last step.

    There is very good scientific evidence (from third parties - surgeons, neurologists, major hospitals, etc.) that surgery has no better resolution of these types of injury than much less invasive procedures.

    I do not discount surgery, but it has to be the right time, for the right reasons, and I personally think after all other venues have been exhausted.

    Chymopapain is an enzyme derived from papaya - as with any procedure there are risks, but this is much lower than with surgery. It has been around for many years. One injection and if all goes well, the problem is solved. Seems like easy logic to me.

    Again, it may not work for all.

    Exercises technically have the highest success rate of all treatments (go on, do a search for it - you might be surprised). This is to say that if you enter the correct regime and stick to it, there is the lowest rate of recurrence here, surgery has the highest rate of recurrence.

    You state you have had three surgeries - all for different conditions? That would be remarkably rare - or have they had to 're do' one or more (a very common scenario with spinal surgeries).

    Kinda makes my point...

    Food for thought.
     
  7. tomaso

    tomaso Member

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    much of what has been said here is correct but do not jump the gun. the neurologist gave an opinion but they do not do the surgery. you will be referred to a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic spine surgeon. some need to be fixed, some do not. in my practice the majority are offered conservative care but some need surgery. many are not fixable from a surgical standpoint (too much injury, not enough compression seen, questionable diagnosis). do not rush to say yes or no, but do not wait to get an opinion. cord is like brain, you do not grow any more and where your illness is arrested may be where you stay. we are neurosurgeons and have a bias. but if you see a specially trained ortho spine guy that is good as well. they should tell you how often they do these operations. if the answer is uncommonly, ask them who to go see for it. do not be shy, just do not be unpleasant. tmc
     
  8. BROWNST100

    BROWNST100 Member

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    I was told this morning to get a soft collar and wear it. He also said I will need surgery on my spinal cord. He ask whether I had ever been in a bad accident
    or anything that may have caused this.

    I haven't been involved in an accident for 20+ years, no other bad circumstances since 1972. So who knows when the damage started or occured.

    Appointment at neuro surgeon on the 29th. of April. He pushed me ahead of others
    after looking at the cd of my MRI's.

    Vern
     
  9. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    BROWNST100,

    The collar is not a bad idea - what he is trying to do is extend your neck a bit, as well as support the structures of the neck.

    If all goes well this will reduce the pressure on the spinal cord and you might see the symptoms decrease (even go away...)

    Tomaso is right on - stated differently 'if your only tool is a hammer every problem tends to look like a nail.'

    Good luck

    David D
     
  10. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Vern, Like has already been said, do not delay. I would get at least one more opinion before surgery. I wish you the best my friend, keep us posted.
     
  11. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    I just recovered from surgery for a very similar issue. I had a couple of vertabrae moving out of place, so surgery was my best option before I was unable to walk. They fused C-4 thru C-6. I still have issues after surgery, since there is still some impingement in the posterior portion, but the c-spine has stabilized. I was slowly losing my arms and legs, mostly on the left side. My strength has improved. I'm six months out of surgery and just getting back to shooting again, on a very limited scale. I also have other issues further down the spine, plus carpal tunnel issues, but the surgeries for the remaining issues might not be warranted at this time. The only ones I'm considering are the carpal tunnel on the left hand and the surgery to decompress the remaining portions of the c-spine.

    My advice is to get a second opinion and see a Neurosurgeon that does that type of surgery. Mine is basically the top in C-Spines in the area. Three surgeons and two neurologists gave close to the same advice. Two of the surgeons were well qualified neurosurgeons.

    I will tell you that I put the surgery off for as long as I could. The pain and weakness was progressing rapidly and I'm sure I would have been in serious trouble within a month or two. One minor accident or jolt and I could have been paralyzed, since the neck was already badly displaced.
     
  12. curly1946

    curly1946 TS Member

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    I'm no expert, I've had 9 back opes. 1 neck, the neck is great never gives me much trouble but the back is screwed for the rest of my life. I wouldn't have papya if they paid me a million bucks. Afriend of mine died 20 mni. after the injection. I had it done fell like they injected me with acid. Had to wait 6mon. after injection before I could have surguery, pure hell.praticing medicine don't be a lab rat. get to agood doctor who knows what the hell he's doing.
    Call me i'll share what little I know Denny Ridenour ,Ill. 618-550-4435
     
  13. trappermike

    trappermike Well-Known Member

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    Watch out for papaya extract stuff. Many people are allergic to it. One of my Boy Scout leaders died in surgery when he had a severe allergic reaction. Don't know how common that is but I would not have it done. 17 years ago I had surgery, discectomy, L4-5 and L5- S1. I was told by GP and a neurosurgeon that the X-ray was normal and there was nothing that could be done. After a year of severe crippling pain, one day the pain was gone and replaced with numbness. I found another GP and neurosurgeon who insisted on an MRI. I was told to have the surgery or loose control of important bodily functions. (I look lousy in diapers). I also had an appointment with a physiatrist??(sp) She is an MD who does everything except surgery and is loved by our Workers Comp patients who she gets back to work and when she looked at the MRI, she asked who is your surgeon? He is good, good luck.

    My advice, DO NOT WAIT TOO LONG. My pain is gone but function as not returned and probably never will.

    Good Luck,
    Mike
     
  14. jsa3107

    jsa3107 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Vern

    What part of the country are you in?
     
  15. BROWNST100

    BROWNST100 Member

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    jsa3107...I'm in south central Pa.

    Vern
     
  16. Jerbear

    Jerbear TS Member

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    As a severe spinal stenosis patient, don't wait and don't do anything that would cause a whiplash. (play with kids, drive without a collar etc...)
    I had Laminaplasty with instrumentation back in 2000 on c-4 to c-7. Now, I have arthritis in my spinal column from c-2 to t-1. My neck is almost locked up tight. Media nerve issues coming out of c-7 on my left side has my left forearm and hand burning since 2001. I thank God every day my neurosurgeon kept me out of a wheelchair. I had no previous symptoms and when I would look up, my left arm would go numb. My spinal cord was in an hour class shape from c-4 to c-7. I was told to get my affairs in order and not drive and do anything that would cause my neck to whiplash. It would mean quadriplegia.

    My doctor told me that your body tells everything you have done to it when you hit 40. In my case he was right. Played sports when I was younger, crashed a few cars, whiplash from a t-bone I was in at the age of 19. I got out of the car and started smacking the lady that hit me. Worked in a new car prep department of a large Chevy dealership. I was taking a brand new car to the showroom for delivery, saw the car coming and curled into a ball, and went for a ride... you might say.The car rolled three times into another car lot and landed on it's roof, I kicked out the windshield to get out and was p!ssed.
    No medical exam at the time, 20 years later... well, above is the result.

    Get opinions, but what ever you do... don't wait too long. You may regret it.

    Good Luck and God Bless....


    Jerbear
     
  17. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    I don't have the personal experiences many of you have, but my mother was dancing at a wedding in October, and using a walker in December because she let a neck problem go to long. Arthritis and bone spurs. Operation was this last Saturday and they say she has at least 4 months of physical therapy before she back on her feet. Don't wait, but get more than one neuro's/surgeon's solution to your problem.
     
  18. MXSHOOTER

    MXSHOOTER TS Member

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    I had 2 crushed disks in my neck they fused c4 c5 and c6 no more pain I should not have waited as long as I did, get it done before the pain becomes unbearable
     
  19. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    I have a fused bone in my neck, I forget which. I also broke my back in 2006. Stress fracture on L-5. The doc, a good one, and a fellow co ordinating between the doc and the insurance kept saying surgery was the last step. I had a lot of rehab and therapy, but it seems I had better luck on my own than with the therapy.

    I never had the back surgery, and am very lucky. I watch every thing I do, and no longer pick up heavy stuff, bend over quickly nor carelessly. At nearly 63, I am in better shape than most folks my age.
     
  20. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Brownie,

    There is a very, very good spinal rehabilitation doc in St. Louis. Listed in the top 100 docs in the nation. He specializes in non-operative rehabilitation of the spine. His # is 314-432-4999. Much luck.
     
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