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The Big File All issues not easily categorized in the above forums are here. Comments on general health, diet, "getting comfortable," and more are here.


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Old 04-16-2008, 08:08 PM
cmac cmac is offline
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Well, I'll have to say first, that I am very glad I stumbled across this website during my many recent nights of relentless research. It has been great reading everyone's story, and I now feel like I am not alone. I was in a motor vehicle accident on Nov 12, 2007. As a result, I found myself first battling whiplash with major neck and back pain, but luckily no broken bones. Being the rebel and thrill seeker I have always been, I figured a couple days and I would be back up and running again. Unfortunately, my body disagreed and now over 5 months, I am on the verge of what I would consider major surgery. When I was first injured, the drs followed the standard protocol of meds, rest, and then physical therapy. I quickly knew something was wrong, but I had to go through the steps most insurance companies require as we all go through the healing process. Several weeks after the accident, I went to my first PT session. I ended up having a tremendous amount of pain in my neck down to the middle of my back. My blood pressure dropped extremely low which caused a lot of concern for the therapist I was seeing. To make a long story short, I finally had an MRI which showed bulging discs in my neck at c4-5 & c5-6 & a herniated disc at c6-7. The Drs did not see any major compression of my spinal cord or nerves, but I continued having a deep aching pain (sometimes sharp) in my neck, radiating down to the middle of my back and shoulder blades. Once the pain persists and inflames my nerves, I start having episodes of pain down my upper arm and my left hand has occasional numbness. I was actually surprised that my injuries were in my neck, since I was almost sure I had damage in my thoracic area due to the pain I was having.

After my MRI results, my Dr seemed to move a little more aggressively. I had 2 epidural steroid injections in my neck, but to no avail, they were unsuccessful. Since this wasn't effective, he referred me to an orthopedic surgeon who basically gave me three choices. 1 - live with the pain. 2 - Anterior Cervical Discography and fusion (ACDF), 3 - Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR). To help with a decision, he recommended a discogram to confirm the pain source and help pinpoint the damaged discs. I had the discogram last Thursday; definitely, not a fun procedure, but I think it really helped me decide that I need to move forward with surgical intervention to help me get back on a road to recovery. I have an appt. with the Orthopedic surgeon this Friday to review my discogram results and discuss/schedule my surgery.

In an earlier appointment, the Dr. mentioned that because of my age (37), good health, and only one level of damage(c6-7) I was a good candidate for ADR. This site has really given me a lot of insight on the procedure itself, and the expected outcome, should I take this route. From all that I have read, I am definitely set on this procedure over fusion and am ready to confirm this with the Dr on Friday. Actually, I am so set on this, that I would be devastated if it turns out this isn't an option and my only choice is fusion. I will just wait to see before I get too worked up about it. Although, just like this whole process, it is easy to start thinking way ahead of myself and getting too worked up, anxious, excited, and frustrated before I really know what will happen next!

Anyway, I have been reading everyone's story, looking for feedback, encouragement, and light at the end of this tunnel that one day I will feel normal again. The most difficult part of this whole ordeal has been dealing with the fact that I can't do the things I was doing before the accident. I was just playing in my first season of an organized singles tennis league, working out on a regular basis and running several nights a week. This has all come to a screeching halt since then, and I have become depressed that I can't exercise or live a normal life. I can't even pick up my kids without paying for it dearly afterwards, and more recently, I feel like my radicular pain has escalated and is even affecting my right side now, when initially it was just my left.

Sorry, I am babbling now, but I was compelled to create an account and tell my story. I feel like I still have a long road ahead of me and that a forum like this will be important as I work through the recovery process. I know my injuries pale in comparison to some members here, but we are all affected and need support and encouragement along the way. I appreciate the level of support you have provided to many who have stumbled across this website as I have, and I hope to communicate with you in my journey ahead. One day, I also hope to be able to reciprocate by sharing my experience and encouragement to others in need.

I will keep posting updates as I move ahead and expect to have a better timeline after my appointment on Friday.

Thanks for listening and allowing me to share...

Cmac
__________________
MVA Nov 2007
38 yrs old
Cervical Injuries
2 bulging discs - c4-5 & c5-6
Herniated disc - c6-7
conservative treatments/procedures: meds, PT, 2 epis, positive concordant discogram
ADR ProDisc - C @ C6-C7 May 6, 2008
Paralyzed Left vocal cord - d
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2008, 05:26 AM
berry berry is offline
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Cmac

Thanks for sharing your story, I can relate to how you feel as your symptoms are very similar to the ones I had pre-operatively.

There does seem to be great success with cervical disc replacements and you may be pleasantly surprised, should you proceed to surgery, that the recovery journey is shorter and easier than anticipated.

Best wishes for the future

Lynda
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Cervical Activ C, C5/6 & C6/7, Feb 2008
Craniotomy and excision frontal lobe brain tumour, May 2006
Lumbar ProDiscs, L4/5 & L5/S1, Feb 2004

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  #3  
Old 04-17-2008, 08:34 AM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Cmac, welcome to our community. I look forward to catching up with you soon.
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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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  #4  
Old 04-17-2008, 08:57 AM
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Terry Terry is offline
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Welcome to our little group of spineys . A little crazy, always empathetic and compassionate, and just plain good people.

Sorry we have to meet in these circumstances but you will learn a lot here.

Terry Newton
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1980 ruptured L4-L5
1988 ruptured SI-L5
1990 ruptured C5-C6
1994 ruptured C6-C7
1995 Hemi-Laminectomy C5-C6, C6-C7 Mayo Clinic
Bicycle Accident 2004
MRI, EMG, Facet Injections, Epidural Blocks, Lumbar Discogram.
Stenum Hospital Surgery November 4, 2006
Prestige Disc C5-C6, C6-C7
Maverick Disc S1-L5, L4-L5
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  #5  
Old 04-17-2008, 10:45 AM
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Cirobi Cirobi is offline
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Welcome to the group. Everyone here is very helpful and willing to answer questions. I've bugged a few people along the way while I prepare for my own ADR surgery this summer and just plain figure things out. There's a ton of great information to absorb. I am sorry to hear you're going through so much pain currently, but hopefully you will get some good news on how to best proceed when you meat with the surgeon.

~Sara
__________________
*************************
31 yrs old
Lumbar herniation L5/S1

- Did mild PT, some chiropractics and self regulated pain management since initial sports injury in Spring 1997.
- XRay and Bone Scan Jan/Feb 2007
- PT March to May 2007
- MRI Jan 2008
- Disco positive at L5/S1 Feb 2008
- ADR surgery at L5/S1 on June 23rd 2008 - Prodisc
- Recovery - so far so good!

*************************
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  #6  
Old 04-17-2008, 10:46 AM
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CindyLou CindyLou is offline
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CMAC,

Welcome to the group, and thank-you for sharing your story, albeit, unfavorable conditions. But that is precisely why we are all here. We will root for you, answer whatever questions we can, and just, hopefully, provide the support system you need.
__________________
CindyLou
bicycle accident 6/19/01
2 compression fractures, T12, L1;
vertibroplasty @ above levels, 9/15/01
4/06 hip labral tear repair
4/07 Lumbar ProDisc replacement by Dr. B., 3 levels; L3-6
7/2/08 ALIF of L6-S1
7/30/08 Removed bone cement.
8/7/08 Diagnosed with pulmonary embolism, double pneumonia, collapsed left lung, pleurisy, pleural effusion.
3/10/09 right SI Joint Fusion; seeing light at end of tunnel, for first time in 8 years!!
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  #7  
Old 04-17-2008, 06:49 PM
cmac cmac is offline
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Thank you all for the warm welcome! You are truly a genuine group and inspiring as well. Today has been a rough day physically and to top it off, my Dr. appointment just got pushed to next Wednesday... I guess you just have to take things day by day and stay positive regardless of what comes your way. I'll provide an update later next week.

Thanks again to all for your support!
__________________
MVA Nov 2007
38 yrs old
Cervical Injuries
2 bulging discs - c4-5 & c5-6
Herniated disc - c6-7
conservative treatments/procedures: meds, PT, 2 epis, positive concordant discogram
ADR ProDisc - C @ C6-C7 May 6, 2008
Paralyzed Left vocal cord - d
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  #8  
Old 04-18-2008, 01:53 PM
Lisibug Lisibug is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 157
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Welcome to the forum but sorry you have a reason to seek us out! I've had 3 cervical ADRs implanted just over a year ago with good result. If you have any questions, I'd be really happy to help.

With whatever surgery you and your doc decide you need, hope you feel a whole lot better.
__________________
Lisa
Back/neck pain with chiropractic treatment 3 x week in 1973 (age 13) for 1 year and pain since then due to falling off horses
headaches since age 17
Onset of severe fibromyalgia in 6/95, undiagnosed for 2 years while lived in UK
About 1998 o
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  #9  
Old 04-18-2008, 06:44 PM
JL JL is offline
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Welcome CMAC to the club no one wants to belong. Thanks for sharing your story.

As tough as it is, it actually sounds hopeful and this is the place to be.

I remember being exactly where you are when you describe the light at the end of the tunnel. I could even remember the fear and perspiration the nights I would log on here at 2am. I wondered if I would ever get better, doubting the possibility, yet never loosing hope.

Never give up was one members' advice.
__________________
(Bill) 14 yrs L5-S1 pain & tear
Discography 2003 DDD
10 yrs. chiropractic
6-14-05 L4/5 & L5/S1 Prodisc Yale New Haven CT Dr. James Yue
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  #10  
Old 04-23-2008, 07:10 PM
cmac cmac is offline
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OK, I had my appointment with the surgeon and I have scheduled my surgery for May 6th. I am happy that I will finally have the opportunity to get better, but I have a few questions I would like to ask:

1. The artificial disc is the Prodisc - C. Does anyone have any input on the success of this disc and how are they doing in their recovery?

2. Also, The Dr. said this would be an outpatient surgery and I would be leaving the same day. Does that seem reasonable, and has anyone had this performed as outpatient and left the same day as well?

3. What would be a realistic expectation of recovery? He said I would be Ok within a week or so and I could probably get back to work within 2 weeks. The big thing he said was I wouldn't be able to lift or perform any strenuous activities for 2-3 months. Based on anyone else's experience with a cervical disc replacement, does this sound OK?

I would appreciate any insight here. Thanks again for welcoming me into my new cervie group! Unfortunate circumstances, but looks like I'll be a groupie for life now!

Cheers!
__________________
MVA Nov 2007
38 yrs old
Cervical Injuries
2 bulging discs - c4-5 & c5-6
Herniated disc - c6-7
conservative treatments/procedures: meds, PT, 2 epis, positive concordant discogram
ADR ProDisc - C @ C6-C7 May 6, 2008
Paralyzed Left vocal cord - d
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