Two fusions in 11mths., mylopathy, chronic pain, more ?'s
Hi everyone! I'm new to this. It all started in Nov. 2009 when a huge TV on a roll cart wasn't strapped down and fell off onto my neck. It ended my teaching career. They fought my Worker's comp claim and I didn't get anything
even though it was their negligence. I had major lower back pain. I had several lumbar epidural injections. None of them worked. I had a L4-5 fusion with a disectomy, spondylolisthesis, fractured vertebrae, removal of 2 large cysts, and none graft. This surgery was in April of 2010. Recovery was long. I had piriformis syndrome after. I was able to go to PT and pain management through my WC attorney. I had a 24% whole person impairment rating. I got let go from my teaching job and now have a mountain of medical bills. I stayed focused on getting healthy. My insurance changed to Kaiser in August 2010. I continued to have pain, trouble sitting, etc. The physical therapy dept. put me in a cervical traction machine. I felt a pop and went into instant agony after that.
They did an MRI but no one would read the results until January of 2011!!! I had an injection in my C -4-5 on Dec. 24, 2010. Iraq injection that worked. I felt like my head would explode. Kaiser was so busy they contracted me out to Boulder Neurosurgical Associates. Thank you God! Found out later my condition was very serious and I needed to be seen ASAP. I saw BNA in Feb. 2011. I had just turned 50 yrs. old. The PA's exam was the most thorough ever. He found out I had myelopathy. I cried when I saw the images that nothing was surrounding the dura around my spinal cord. Without an ACDF fusion for myelopathy, I would probably become a quadriplegic. So, I was in excellent hands. In March 2011 just 11 months after my first fusion I had another! Thanks to God, I healed. My myelopathy was halted. I felt like I had been given a gift. Physical therapy was paying the co-pay and getting sent home with exercises. They didn't believe in " touchy, feely" modalities like massage, acupuncture, dry needling, etc. Basically,the stuff that made me feel good. Somehow, I had to exercise and motivate myself.
It's now Oct. 2012. I've had numb hands, cold tingling and numbness down my leg, increased pain in my shoulders, arms, right leg, right side of my back, and right fanny cheek. I had to get a checkup for my fusion. They did flexion/ extension X-rays. They show retrolisthesis in C2-3 and anterolisthesis in C-3-4. One measures 2.8. I have radiculopathy and a damaged nerve at L4-5. I was told to "my neck is more flexible", walk for 30 min. And get a Pilates DVD since I can't afford yoga or Pilates classes. This was a physiatrist from Kaiser. I was told to wear splints on my hands at night for the numbness. They won't do anything unless the retro and antero measures 4.0. Well, I've researched these last two things I have extensively. It's frightening. Any opinions? I think I should change insurance here soon with open enrollment. I'm scared. I feel no one will listen to me or they don't care. This is my only life. They are good about giving medication. Anyone have any advice? Should I get a 2nd opinion? My gut tells me something isn't right. My neck grinds now. I live on my heating pad. I'm doing my stretches but I don't want things to get worse......thanks for listening to me.