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New Member Introductions If you just joined, please introduce yourself here. Please add a signature describing your spinal history (use the "User CP) and ask us how we can help you get started.


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  #1  
Old 12-20-2013, 03:08 PM
jaevans jaevans is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 3
Default New member here

Greetings all,

Just a quick hello to introduce myself and describe my symptoms.

My name is John. I first began experiencing issues around 1985-86 while sitting at the dining room table - While reading the mail, I sneezed and the pain shot down my left arm. The pain was so unbearable and I had difficulty sleeping. PT, home traction, muscle relaxers, etc. made my issues manageable. I've had recurrences over the years, perhaps on average of 1-2 over 4 years. I could still maintain an active lifestyle through hiking, running, biking, etc.

Recently the pain has returned but with slightly different symptoms - some pain near the top of the shoulder blade along with loss of strength and function in my left hand. I turned 58 this past summer.

I'm set for an MRI on 2 January with the potential for steroid injections and a neurologist referral. I keep doing my homework, reading all I can about my conditions and treatment options.

Thanks in advance for everyone's contributions here. I appreciate it.

John
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C4-5 broad based disc bulge with prominent posterior osteophytes, narrowing of spinal canal and bilateral severe neural foramenal narrowing
C5-6 broad based disc bulge with prominent posterior osteophytes, and moderately severe bilateral neural foramenal narrowing
C6-7 mild broad based disc bulge, rather large left lateral posterior ostephyte and sever left neural foramenal narrowing
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  #2  
Old 12-21-2013, 10:58 AM
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jss jss is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,411
Default

John,

Wow! That's a long time to have endured those symptoms. Welcome, you'll find a lot experience and willingness to help here.

Loss of motor control is ALARMING and has happened to me three times. Aside from frightening, its down right frustrating to not be able to comb your own hair or zip up your fly.

When you get the results of your MRI you should know exactly what you're up against. Some people get long term relief from the ESI's. If you end up having them, hopefully you'll be one of the lucky ones.

Good luck, Jeff
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C4/5 - ACDF in 2000
C5/6 - ACDF in 2002
C3/4 & C6/7 - M6 ADR, Nov 2009, Barcelona
Conceded defeat to a manifestly disingenuous BCBS-TX in my quest for reimbursement, Jan 2011
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  #3  
Old 12-21-2013, 11:37 AM
jaevans jaevans is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 3
Default

Thanks Jeff,

I appreciate the words of support. The discomfort has never been constant or consistent, except for perhaps a tiny loss of function that I could live with and manage. As long as I could pick up the guitar or mandolin and play (I was never good - I only play for myself), build electronics projects, etc., I was fine. This time it is different though.

When I went to the neurosurgeon 5 years, he felt I was a good candidate for surgery but I brushed that off and didn't delve any deeper as I wanted nothing to do with it and my symptoms were manageable. Now I'll get a new MRI and have 5 year then and now images for comparison.

I've always stayed active but did quit running 19 years ago as I didn't want to increase any damage, plus the discomfort would increase if I ran. Heck, I used to do slow marathons and ultras, but now I limit my activity to walking, stretching, hiking, backpacking (shooting to finish section hiking the colorado trail), and work around the house.

Hopefully, this is a positive turning point and not one of loss for the remainder of my life.

Thanks again,
John
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C4-5 broad based disc bulge with prominent posterior osteophytes, narrowing of spinal canal and bilateral severe neural foramenal narrowing
C5-6 broad based disc bulge with prominent posterior osteophytes, and moderately severe bilateral neural foramenal narrowing
C6-7 mild broad based disc bulge, rather large left lateral posterior ostephyte and sever left neural foramenal narrowing
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  #4  
Old 03-01-2014, 10:01 AM
jaevans jaevans is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 3
Default Update - diagnosis and course of action

Greetings all,

Since I am retired military I have the option of using a military medical facility for treatment, especially since Tricare will not cover ADR. This past Thursday, I met with a neurosurgeon at Brooke Army Medical Center (part of the San Antonio Military Medical Center complex).

Since my symptoms of loss of strength and dexterity in my left hand are indicative of issues with the nerve at C6-C7, I am scheduled to receive a Globus Secure-C device in early April. I have disc bulging and osteophytes at C4-C5 and C5-C6 but they are not as severe as the osteophyte issues at C6-C7 and the doctor does not recommend treatment with those areas until they become symptomatic.

A posterior foraminotomy is an option I am not considering since the area affected is behind the affected nerve and hard to get to from the rear with the nerve obstructing access. The doctor also mentioned an anterior foraminotomy but this has the risk of damage to an artery leading to the brain with the possibility of causing a stroke. Removing the disk and working the osteophytes anteriorly is the best option in my opinion.

Further options down the road might be a fusion at C5-C6 and an ADR at C4-C5. Brooke does not like doing multiple levels of disc replacement since it can lead to instability in the c-spine but they have had great success with such hybrid surgeries.

Brooke likes to stay within FDA guidelines as much as possible and my surgeon is conservative on many topics. I am very comfortable with his experience and knowledge.

Again, no insurance charge to Tricare Prime will be incurred - this is why I am able to get an ADR without fighting insurance. I am also glad that Brooke was taking eligible patients outside of the local area, that they perform ADRs, and that they were willing to treat a retired military member. This may not always be the case due to workload, personnel resources, and funding.

I will report in the post-op section after surgery.

John
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C4-5 broad based disc bulge with prominent posterior osteophytes, narrowing of spinal canal and bilateral severe neural foramenal narrowing
C5-6 broad based disc bulge with prominent posterior osteophytes, and moderately severe bilateral neural foramenal narrowing
C6-7 mild broad based disc bulge, rather large left lateral posterior ostephyte and sever left neural foramenal narrowing
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  #5  
Old 03-01-2014, 09:59 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,920
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Hey John, welcome.

It's been a while since I heard about Globus. I myself had to use the search function to review what's been posted:

ADRSupport Community - Search Forums

Remarkably little since 2005! Pls drill down on the topics and talk to patients and doctors about their surgical experiences.

Good luck with your next steps!
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Fell on my ***winter 2003, Canceled fusion April 6 2004
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Founder & moderator of ADRSupport - 2004
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