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Herniated cervical disc with spinal cord compression

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  • #16
    Originally posted by not.in.MY.town View Post
    So out of the 4 doctors you consulted, only one would even consider surgery? That ought to tell you something.

    Spinal surgery is generally a last resort when all else fails, and in most cases the risks outweigh the potential benefits. Plenty of people end up with far worse problems including limited range of motion. More weight and stress is placed on the surrounding discs, so they begin rapidly deteriorating, and you'll wind up with more surgeries (which might end your career).

    I don't see why a doctor's medical advice would be any different based on your job. If surgery at this point is medically ill-advised for a plumber, then it's also ill-advised for a cop. Besides, if you actually were to (further) injure your neck on the job, then your agency would be financially responsible for all of it. If you end up needing surgery, they'll have to pay for it. If you can't continue to work, then they'll have to medically retire you. To me, that seems preferable over rushing into a risky surgery that may just aggravate your problems (and potentially prevent you from returning to work).

    ^^^ All of this is assuming that you are (or soon will be) capable of returning to work and performing your duties (albeit with some pain/discomfort).

    Edited to add: Have you consulted an attorney? You were rear-ended while waiting at a traffic light...so surely, there's going to be insurance coverage. A good attorney might be able to help you navigate all these issues.
    Yeah both are same type of surgery and I'm actually seeing if artificial disc replacement would be an option. That's even better recovery time.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Shineysideup21 View Post

      Yeah both are same type of surgery and I'm actually seeing if artificial disc replacement would be an option. That's even better recovery time.
      I don't know why the recovery time would be less based upon the material used.

      FWIW, my surgeon explained that the lower cervical discs account for very little of the potential range of motion, and that the actual range of motion is generally limited by the muscles themselves. I had the bottom three (C5/C6/C7) fused and plated, and I don't really notice any loss of mobility.

      He also said this is a very strong type of repair- he has done this for pro football players that have continued to play at the professional level after...

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Aidokea View Post

        I don't know why the recovery time would be less based upon the material used.

        FWIW, my surgeon explained that the lower cervical discs account for very little of the potential range of motion, and that the actual range of motion is generally limited by the muscles themselves. I had the bottom three (C5/C6/C7) fused and plated, and I don't really notice any loss of mobility.

        He also said this is a very strong type of repair- he has done this for pro football players that have continued to play at the professional level after...
        Yeah one of the surgeons has used the Manning football player story that he has a fusion and plays football still blah blah blah lol.

        Did you have major symptoms? Other than my right arm numbness at night and right shoulder blade burning I wouldn't say I'm so severely symptomatic to account for this surgery needing to be done. Factor in my job into the equation and that seems to be the tipping point to why It would be advised to just do it. It just sucks. This whole situation sucks.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Shineysideup21 View Post

          Yeah one of the surgeons has used the Manning football player story that he has a fusion and plays football still blah blah blah lol.

          Did you have major symptoms? Other than my right arm numbness at night and right shoulder blade burning I wouldn't say I'm so severely symptomatic to account for this surgery needing to be done. Factor in my job into the equation and that seems to be the tipping point to why It would be advised to just do it. It just sucks. This whole situation sucks.
          Yes, it sucks, and significant constant pain 24/7 can be very demoralizing.

          I had significant symptoms- like you, I was always in constant pain, with flare-ups regularly, that took several days to calm down. In addition to that, I also had problems with the other muscle groups in the area getting sore from tensing up trying to crutch the problem. I had all the typical numbness and tingling in my fingers.

          One day I was at the range qualifying, and at the command from the 3 yard line, I drew my pistol, and as I brought it up to point-shoot, I saw it cartwheel out of my hand and land at the base of the target. It was the strangest thing, because my brain did not tell my hand to let go of it. I knew at that point that this was becoming a major deal.

          Sleeping was difficult. Once I found a pillow position that did not aggravate the pain, I would do just about anything to avoid moving.

          This all came to a head one day when one or more of the failing discs simply fell apart. I wasn't doing anything strenuous, it just happened. I spoke above about what the pain was like from that. The ER staff couldn't see it on their imaging, but a chunk of one of the discs had fallen into the channel that one of the nerves runs out through, and was pressing on it. When the surgeon got in there, he found it and removed it.

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          • #20
            Don't over-think this- surgery is always the last option, but when it's time to get it fixed, you won't need anyone to tell you that it's time to get it fixed, you'll be telling them.

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            • #21
              I don't know what your domestic situation is, but I simply could not have done this without an absolutely spectacular wife.

              It was already more than I deserved for her to deal with supporting me through my second academy at ages 43/44. Every academy is different, but the physical aspects of this academy were beyond the requirements to become a Navy SEAL.

              Then she put up with all my [email protected] leading up to my surgery, which was no little thing.

              And she put up with me during my recovery. When I woke up from surgery, the pain was about 80% gone- it was amazing. But I went home in a neck brace, and was not initially able to even lift my head on my own. Even simple stuff like getting dressed, required help from her. Eventually (and slowly) things got better, and within a year, I had passed all the tests to join our SWAT team...at age 50.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Aidokea View Post

                Yes, it sucks, and significant constant pain 24/7 can be very demoralizing.

                I had significant symptoms- like you, I was always in constant pain, with flare-ups regularly, that took several days to calm down. In addition to that, I also had problems with the other muscle groups in the area getting sore from tensing up trying to crutch the problem. I had all the typical numbness and tingling in my fingers.

                One day I was at the range qualifying, and at the command from the 3 yard line, I drew my pistol, and as I brought it up to point-shoot, I saw it cartwheel out of my hand and land at the base of the target. It was the strangest thing, because my brain did not tell my hand to let go of it. I knew at that point that this was becoming a major deal.

                Sleeping was difficult. Once I found a pillow position that did not aggravate the pain, I would do just about anything to avoid moving.

                This all came to a head one day when one or more of the failing discs simply fell apart. I wasn't doing anything strenuous, it just happened. I spoke above about what the pain was like from that. The ER staff couldn't see it on their imaging, but a chunk of one of the discs had fallen into the channel that one of the nerves runs out through, and was pressing on it. When the surgeon got in there, he found it and removed it.
                Wow that's crazy. So for me it comes down to several factors. The biggest really sounds like an insurance policy for my job. Make sure I'm back 100% and don't have to worry everytime I get into a fight with a perp, respond to a lift assist,etc. The numbness, obviously if it gets worse is a major problem as you had. The burning pain is just a constant annoyance. I'm leaning toward just getting it fixed and being done with it.

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