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raykemble (@ray666)

Balance, high blood pressure medications, and …

Neuropathy | Last Active: Jul 22, 2021 | Replies (26)

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@njh

Hi @ray666
I had a similar experience. I staggered when I walked and my legs were weak from Myelopathy. I had neck and shoulder pain and radiculopathy in both arms and hands. I had Ossification of the Longitudinal Ligament that was flattening my Spinal Cord at C5/6 and C6/7. I had an Anterior Discectomy and Fusion with Cadaver Bone and Titanium Plates and Screws in 2006. I had a difficult recovery with a lot of pain and ended up with a Paralyzed Vocal Cord. I could barely whisper. The Surgeon said there was a possibility I would never get my voice back, but fortunately it suddenly returned 3 1/2 months later. I had severe pain in my shoulders and arms for 3 months and numbness and tingling in my right arm and hand that lasted for a few years. The reason I had so much pain is because I can’t take Opioids. I took Darvocet (no longer on the market) Robaxin, and Gabapentin. After 4 months I was able to resume most activities but I had Tricep weakness for a few years where I had difficulty raising my arms above my shoulders. I had PT for about 8 visits to help with the shoulder pain and release the arm nerves with nerve glides. It did not resolve all of my issues, but improved them. It was a difficult surgery for me. But one Surgeon I saw told me if I were to be in a car accident and hit my head on the dashboard I would be paralyzed. I had a well trained Neurosurgeon who did his Fellowship at Cleveland Clinic, and the Hospital built a new Neurosurgery Wing for him. It’s not an easy surgery for everyone.

NJH

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Replies to "Hi @ray666 I had a similar experience. I staggered when I walked and my legs were..."

Hi, @njh. Thank you for sharing your story. As I believe I mentioned in my earlier post, I'm just beginning to learn about cervical stenosis. Until yesterday, I had no idea in what direction I should go to find answers. Stories like yours are an immense help. From what I have learned so far, my difficulties may still be somewhat limited––which I find amazing, considering the onset of symptoms was a decade ago. To rank my "complaints," my No. 1 difficulty is walking: I fell as though I'm walking on the deck of a ship rolling about in a moderate sea, not a stormy sea, only a lightly heaving sea. Otherwise, my issues are minimal, comparatively so: some neck and shoulder tightness (not pain(, and (if it is related, and some of what I've read says it may be) some deterioration of my handwriting (no hand pain, however, nor numbness, really). I look forward to learning more about this condition. Posts like yours, and this forum in general, are most welcome! ––Ray

@njh Thanks for sharing your experience. I have wondered if plates and screws make a difference in the pain after surgery and I did not have any hardware placed in my ACDF, so was it easier for me? I also had a lot of hands on physical therapy with myofascial release before and after surgery (when I was healed enough). This let my tissues be looser and easier to retract during surgery, so less pulling on my neck to get to the spine. I think that probably helped a lot. I did have to be very careful not to swallow wrong in the beginning.

We do have different experiences and it is a big surgery. I wanted to let you know (or anyone else) that there are treatments for a paralyzed vocal cord after cervical spine surgery. Mayo does a procedure that places an implant that allows the vocal cords to meet again, and that restores the voice. My surgeon told me about that when he told me about the risks. Here is a Mayo page that describes treatment, scroll down for the information.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vocal-cord-paralysis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20378878

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