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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 04-18-2011, 10:01 PM
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tumblebug tumblebug is offline
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Default Another newbie

Hi everyone! I found this forum from google searching for "pro-disc c recovery" search. I never would have guessed there was a forum for this! I'm not sure of all of the terminology you guys use in your sigs but I've got a c5 buldging disc that is pressing into the spinal cord and pinching the nerve. Also some degenerative disc stuff (I'm only 27 ) and a LOT of pain.
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2011, 10:19 PM
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tumblebug tumblebug is offline
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Default ProDisc C recovery/questions

I have a surgery scheduled for a discectomy and prodisc C replacement in 5 weeks. I have a herniated disc, C5 I think?? that is touching the spinal cord as well as pinching the nerve. I have also lost the curvature in my neck... not sure if the surgery will help that or not.

I'm a 27yo female, thin build and in moderate shape.

I'm just wondering how recovery is going to go. I am a single mom to a 1 year old little girl and do not have much help available after the surgery. I will be flying an online friend in for the first week to help. I'm just worried about after that first week. Will I not be able to lift up or care for my child??

I've seen a lot of people post that the surgeon told them to just "listen to their bodies" during recovery. I am fine with this as I am well in tune to my body.

I'm just worried about having to take out the garbage, bring the groceries in, change my babies diapers, etc. Is this all going to be impossible/harmful for me??

Also, does anybody know what the driving rule is after this procedure? Is there no driving allowed until the post-op followup (10-14 days), or does it vary by surgeon??

How long were you out of work? I sit at computer for 12 hours a shift and it really strains my neck, I'm worried about going back too soon.


Any experience/advice would be GREATLY appreciated!!
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2011, 02:00 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Welcome, TumbleBug, to our humble community. I hope we can help you! Email or PM me if you need any assistance. In the meantime, how are you managing your pain? How & when did your condition start affecting you?
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Fell on my ***winter 2003, Canceled fusion April 6 2004
Reborn June 25th, 2004, L5-S1 ADR Charite in Boston
Founder & moderator of ADRSupport - 2004
Founder Arthroplasty Patient Foundation a 501(c)(3) - 2006
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  #4  
Old 04-19-2011, 10:08 PM
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jss jss is offline
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tumblebug,

I hate that you're having this kind of problem at only 27 years of age, but welcome.

I've had two cervical fusions in two different surgeries, and then a double cervical ADR in yet another surgery. All of my recoveries went pretty easily; I was 38, 40 and 47 for those surgeries.

I had no problem lifting and holding 40 lbs in the days after surgery (which I did twice). But it was dead weight each time; a squirming toddler is quite another thing, a much more difficult thing. I would imagine managing an active toddler is going to be a challenge for the first two or three weeks. I know that your surgeon is going to tell you not to pick him/her up for ... eight weeks. Barring an emergency, I would encourage you to comply as best you can.

Clear it with your surgeon, but I had no issue in dealing with the daily tasks; garbage, groceries, etc...

After the fusions the surgeon told me not to even ride in a car for two weeks. This was not because driving was bad for my condition, but because an accident before the bones began to grow together could have resulted in more surgery, or even worse. My ADR surgeon didn't say a word about driving in an automobile, so I did about a week after surgery. I'm certain that the driving rule will vary with surgeon; it did with my two.

After the fusions my surgeon didn't want me to go back to work for 2-6 weeks; I'm an engineer and use a computer, oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer, etc... all day. Both times I went back after two weeks. He gave me the option of six weeks because he said that sitting at a computer all day is quite a strain on the neck. The ADR surgeon gave me no guide lines and I was back at work in a little less than two weeks.

Who is your surgeon? Where will your surgery be?

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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  #5  
Old 04-19-2011, 11:45 PM
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tumblebug tumblebug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jss View Post
tumblebug,

I hate that you're having this kind of problem at only 27 years of age, but welcome.

...

Good luck, Jeff
Thanks for the insight! Wow I just typed out my entire spinal history and it told me I wasn't logged in so I lost it.

As for the groceries and things, I live on the top floor of an apartment complex with stairs. There is a lot of lifting/lugging involved in the simple tasks. That's what worries me.

I've suffered from back pain since I was 14 years old. I honestly think that carrying the heavy books back and forth to school in the backpack was the culprit. Whenever I would mention the pain to my doctors they would tell me things like it was my bad posture, etc. Never once did they do xrays or anything. It has come and gone as time goes on and I figured it was some "nobody knows" thing like fibromyalgia or something.

Long story short (since the long story got deleted *sniff*) I threw my neck out one night last spring in my sleep or something. Woke up with horrific torticollis and couldn't move. I just figured it was a muscle strain and never got medical attention for it.

A few months later it happened again but this time my right arm was numb down through my pinky. Headed to the ER since I couldn't move my ear from my shoulder. Xrays came back normal.

I followed up with my PCP who ordered an MRI. By the time I got the MRI results (herniation with disc degeneration) I was starting to feel better and opted to wait it out. That was back in Oct '10.

Between then and now the pain in my neck has gotten so severe I am unable to wear a lanyard around my neck or even a shirt with a collar. The numbness and tingling is spreading. At this point I decided I should follow up with somebody to get the ball rolling. I was thinking a steroid injection.

Made an appointment with a neurosurgeon. He discussed the different options with me but said that I would likely end up needing surgery anyway. He left treatment completely up to me. Listed me every single option available and the likely outcome. I decided to go home and think about it and then call back.

After another day of pain I called and scheduled my surgery for about 6 weeks out. He made it clear that I could cancel my surgery up until the time they put the mask on me to put me to sleep.

Started me on Naproxen and gave me a script for PT (which I start tomorrow) The last MRI that I had was back in Oct and I'm afraid that things have gotten much worse since then. I had already lost the curvature in my neck back in Oct as well. I'm really afraid that things have progressed a lot since then.

Just today at work the numbess spread from my pinky to nearly my entire hand and also feels like it's traveling up my neck and into my face. (It calmed back down once I got off of work.)

I was going to come here to ask what the best option is at this point.
A) Go to the ER where they can do a STAT MRI and fup with the surgeon. I know what to say in the ER to get my way.
B) Call the surgeons office to see if they will order an MRI before surgery since this one is 6 months old and symptoms have progressed.
C) Just wait it out until surgery in 5 weeks.

As for pain management, I am sticking to natural remedies at this point. Stretch, relaxation, hot and cold, I also have a TENS unit. I develop a tolerance to pain meds very quickly and therefore only use them as a possible last resort. Plus I have a kid to take care of, and school and work and can't just lay in bed in a medication induced coma - although some days I wish I could!!!

All of this stuff is new to me. For so many years I was basically told it was in my head. I'm so nervous that it's progressing so quickly. I would honestly feel better at this point to have a full spine MRI and follow up with my surgeon before I go under the knife. I had a thoracic MRI done when I was having severe pain last spring but the radiologist read it "normal" so that's what my PCP told me. I'm interested to have somebody that actually knows what to look for - look at it.

If my discs are already degenerating this quickly and I'm only 27, what's it going to be like when I'm 50!?!?

At this time I would prefer not to name the surgeon or facility.
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  #6  
Old 04-20-2011, 08:14 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Question

TumbleBug, your situation sounds unusual, even when compared to the diversity of patients in this community. Though you've had some pathology since age 14, the rate of recent changes you describe sounds concerning. I'd like to know more about what you recall from 1998 that might be relevant to your spinal health. Do you really think carrying books could have caused this? Our bodies are tougher and more resilient that this!

Have you seen doctors that are not specialists, but look at the whole person's health? E.g., DO, ND, functional or integrative medicine doctor? If you have a systemic problem, an orthopedic fix might only address part of the problem. It just depends on where the pathology manifests; locally or systemically.

Does this thought process make sense to you? I hope it does! I have more questions, as usual, but don't want to drive you crazy. More later.
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"Harrison" - info (at) adrsupport.org
Fell on my ***winter 2003, Canceled fusion April 6 2004
Reborn June 25th, 2004, L5-S1 ADR Charite in Boston
Founder & moderator of ADRSupport - 2004
Founder Arthroplasty Patient Foundation a 501(c)(3) - 2006
Creator & producer, Why Am I Still Sick? - 2012
Donate www.arthropatient.org/about/donate
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  #7  
Old 04-23-2011, 12:29 PM
jgoods jgoods is offline
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Hi,

You might want to try an ESI at the SMART clinic in Sandy, just to buy you some time. I had a few done at this clinic; 2 worked well, but 1 only worked for a short period of time.
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L3/4 - Disk desiccation with left paracentral herniation that compresses the left L4 nerve root within the lateral recess.
L4/5 - Disk desiccation with an annular tear, disc height loss & a broad based central disc herniation that compresses the descending L5 nerve roots bilaterally.
L5/S1 - Disk desiccation with a central disk herniation and annular tear that has led again to bilateral lateral recess narrowing with potential compression of the descending S1 nerve roots.
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  #8  
Old 04-28-2011, 11:36 PM
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tumblebug tumblebug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrison View Post
TumbleBug, your situation sounds unusual, even when compared to the diversity of patients in this community. Though you've had some pathology since age 14, the rate of recent changes you describe sounds concerning. I'd like to know more about what you recall from 1998 that might be relevant to your spinal health. Do you really think carrying books could have caused this? Our bodies are tougher and more resilient that this!

Have you seen doctors that are not specialists, but look at the whole person's health? E.g., DO, ND, functional or integrative medicine doctor? If you have a systemic problem, an orthopedic fix might only address part of the problem. It just depends on where the pathology manifests; locally or systemically.

Does this thought process make sense to you? I hope it does! I have more questions, as usual, but don't want to drive you crazy. More later.
That actually makes a lot of sense. I just remember my neck and thoracic back hurting me all day and night when I was about 14. I told my parents but they just rolled their eyes. I was probably 70 pounds at that age, carrying probably 50 pounds in a back pack daily and from class to class. I was always complaining that my bed hurt my back. I've probably gone through 6 mattresses in the last 10 years.

But.. I do have symptoms of an autoimmune disorder, but blood work keeps coming back normal.

PT today nearly killed me today. 25 pounds of c-spine traction and I could barely get up from the table afterwards. Not going back. Surgery is in 3 weeks and 2 days. Also received my MRI images on a cd this afternoon. Should load those up.

Oh and both of my parents have bad backs so I'm guessing most of this is hereditary. Who knows. If I could just find ONE good doctor that will sit down and go through all of my history and crap. But everyone just wants to send you to somebody else.
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  #9  
Old 04-29-2011, 11:20 AM
Terese64 Terese64 is offline
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Hi Tumblebug,
When I had my two-level Prodisc-C ADR two years ago, I was told not to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk for almost two months. The only exercise allowed was walking and I had to slowly increase each week over an eight week timespan. I had a hard time swallowing and always felt like I was choking and didn't eat for almost a month (but at least I lost 20 lbs!)

Unfortunatly for me, the surgery just caused more pain and I'm scheculed to have the ADR's removed and then a three-level fusion done in two weeks, which I might be cancelling due to being so scared!

I wish you all the best,
Terese
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~Terese64~
01/31/08: MVA
03/17/09: ADR PRODISC @ C5-C6 & C6-C7
12/29/10: INFIX cage fusion@ L4-L5 & L5-S1 using anterior retroperitoneal approach, curettage and bone grafting left iliac crest, and placement of Transfacet Pedicale Screws
05/12/11: Explantation of failed Prodisc ADR @ C5-6, C6-7. Autograft and Allograft Fusion of C4-5, C5-6, & C6-7 with plating from C4 - C7.
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  #10  
Old 07-17-2011, 01:21 AM
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tumblebug tumblebug is offline
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Default **Update 8 weeks post-op**

Things went well! The "listen to your body" thing is hard to do when your on pain meds and pain-free. I kept trying to go off of the pain meds because I thought I was healed, only for the pain to come back with a vengance. I needed both the pain meds and the muscle relaxers for 4-5 weeks. Returned to work after 6.5 weeks.

For anybody having this surgery - don't try to be superwoman/man. Don't stress about needing the pain meds for weeks, and I almost needed the muscle relaxers MORE than the pain meds. The worst part was coming off of the medications and I had horrible RLS in both ARMS for about 4 nights, as well as withdrawl depression.

My soft collar was my best friend for those 5 weeks. I still put it on occasionally to give my neck a bit of a rest when I feel that it needs it.

I'm very pleased with the results, and extremely glad that I had this done.
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