WHOLE BACK AND HEAD INJURY AFTER A TERRIBLE FALL
I fell on August 1st 2019 from a 6.4′ ladder, all away to my whole back. The ladder moved, and projected me on a hard floor. I even heard the crack it did on my back, especially in the middle of my back,
After months of doing nothing to even understand or do the tests necessary to diagnose the extent of my injuries, I just learned yesterday – something I knew already because of my weakened legs, the numbness, the fatigue, the pains and my readings here, on Mayo Clinic articles – that I have a spinal cord damage.
I am in the UK now because I came as a tourist on October 2019 and hoped to stay a while, but I couldn’t go back to the US because of my fall and also because of COVID 19.
To make it short, because of lack of test, diagnosis and treatment, I can now hardly walk, stand or do whatever I used to before my fall. In 6 months, I became a true old woman not because of my age, but because of the suffering and lack of treatment.
Now I need to know: can something be done, still, or am I going to go worst everyday, as it was my case since my fall, to finally become totally paraplegic, paralyzed, or worse.
I say worse because now, I have additional symptoms I never had before: blisters in my skin, some kind of painful pimples, rashes, head pain and confusion, memory loss, terrible fatigue, nervousness. My life has become a nightmare.
I want to add that in 2013 I also had a brain aneurysm surgery (no rupture) and since my fall, my head also has problems: pituitary cyst, injury near my clips, CSF or possible hydrocephalus.
If anybody had this kind of experience, or some of it, I would love to know what was the outcome.
Thank you very much for your kind support, all of you, and hope and which everyone a wonderful recovery.
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Spine Health Support Group.
I am so sorry. I had I believe 7 hours surgery for my aneurysm and I believe I never completely recovered, I mean without any trauma nor some side effects like huge fatigue, sleeplessness, head pain, etc.
It was a treatment only, no rupture, and sometimes I have doubts. Should I have done it?
Prayers to you and all with all my heart
@ergodesign, you are posting perfectly here. All your messages plus the replies from members are in this discussion. To see them all in chronological order, click this link https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/whole-back-and-head-injury-after-a-terrible-fall/ When you get to the bottom of the page, click VIEW MORE to continue reading.
Like others have said, I also encourage you to contact Mayo Clinic. At Mayo, physicians work as teams. Thus you don't need to contact a specific neurosurgeon. Instead call or write to the main Appointment Request office at the campus of your preference (AZ, FL or MN). You'll find all the contact information here: http://mayocl.in/1mtmR63
Ask them about options to get a preliminary second opinion.
@ergodesign I saw this story about what United Airlines is doing to sanitize planes and create a safer environment for flying. I wanted to pass that on since that is a concern for you to return to the US for medical treatment. You'll need to check with what ever airline you choose on your end to see how they are managing this. I'm thinking about you and hoping you are finding a path to a resolution. https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/afraid-to-fly-exclusive-look-behind-united-airlines-covid-19-safety-features/ar-BB15Xjd3?ocid=msedgntp
@ergodesign No apology needed. Yes, I saw your post with the other symptoms. You might want to get a COVID test to clear you to travel and I'm sure you are doing your best to stay safe. Mayo would assess all of your symptoms and involve any department they need and do that as a multidisciplinary team, so don't feel like you have to figure this out before you can fly to the US. You might need a travel companion as it sounds like you don't feel well and are not moving well due to your injury. When you get to Mayo, you can use a wheelchair there which makes it a lot easier and it's good to have someone to push. They also can find escorts for you if you are on your own. Mayo is cleaning wheelchairs between patient use. As a prerequisite to any surgery at Mayo, you will be tested for COVID. They can't do surgery if you have an active COVID infection. They will also test for general health or any condition they suspect. I just went through this myself after breaking my ankle. I have had 2 procedures with the 2nd one at Mayo a couple weeks ago and I just got a new cast this week and having to keep my foot above my head to keep it from swelling.
My first surgery at Mayo resolved all of my pain and symptoms of spinal cord compression. I returned to a normal life and pain free. It is a long recovery, about 3 months, and then doing physical therapy. The surgeons are true experts and my surgery was done before much damage happened. I did loose muscle in my arms and shoulders because of the cord compression, about half of the muscle mass. As I got worse, it took 2 years for me to find a surgeon who would help me which is why I came to Mayo after being turned down 5 times by surgeons who didn't connect my symptoms to the problem. It has been 3 and a half years since my spine surgery and I got strength and muscle back, but not all of it. There is probably a deficit of 25% less than I had before I lost it. No surgeon will promise you that surgery will fix pain. I was not promised that, but I knew that my pains were caused by my spine problem because I could change where the pains were if I turned my head, and I had charted the progression of symptoms over several months and how it changed. I had bone spurs and a ruptured disc pressing into the front of my spinal cord in my neck, and that moved across the cord with my head position. The goal of surgery is to decompress what is getting squeezed and to try to regain normal function, and to prevent further damage that would progress if no surgery is done. Prior to spine surgery, I did have numbness and tingling in my legs and an uneven gait that happened when muscle spasms moved the alignment of my cervical spine. My physical therapist was realigning everything and I would walk normally again until the next spasms happened. Since surgery, the spasms calmed down. I can still get one if I do something that provokes it, but it is easily resolved by massaging the muscles with my hands. Your case will be different than mine, and you go into surgery with hope that after you've healed, it will improve your life. Even if it only stops the progression toward disability, that is still a good thing because your life would be harder with a permanent disability. With modern medicine, having the choice to prevent disability is a good thing. Many people don't get that choice. Let me know if you have further questions. I am happy to help.
Hi ergodesign! Just read about your accident. FYI: I had brain surgery for subdural hemotoma in April 2019 from a fall. Fyi: short story. I was sent to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola,Fl. They specialize in head injuries for all plus military. (I was sent from Alabama to Florida for surgery). I don’t know if that’s closer to travel to for you. Just wanted to pass it onto you. God bless you and God speed to USA. !
@princssd Sorry a bout your fall. It must be very scary to have a brain injury. Take care and update me how you are getting along. Prayers sent your way.
I’m doing good, lilypaws. Just some memory problems. I am fortunate that I have an apartment in my daughters house. So I’m able to set my own schedule. Fortunately, I didn’t injure my spine from the fall. I just have pain from my scoliosis and osteoporosis. I feel fortunate to be alive. God helps me to be strong.
@princessd Do you see how I started your post. It helps to put the persons address you are sending a message too as I did. Have you seen a doctor, special surgeon, for your osteoporosis and scoliosis? For the osteoporosis you need to see an endocrinologist. I give my self injections every day of Tymlos to increase my bones. I was a surgeon at Mayo at Rochester, MN and he did a fusing surgery on my back from T-10 to my pelvis. It was a big surgery, 9 hours. I had degeneration with caused my scoliosis. Do you have any pain in either of your buttocks or legs. You could have a pinched nerve as I did between L-4 and L-5. The surgeon said I must have been in a lot of pain. I am on pain pills every 3 hours. Oxycodone and then Tramadol and change off every 3 hours. My surgeon was excellent and he said now it's God turn to hear me.
@lilypaws thanks for your reply. I get Prolia injections for my osteoporosis. Also taking oxycodon+tylenol for pain in back. I can’t take anything else cause I also take warfarin for my artificial aortic valve. It’s 38 yrs old and I have to keep my blood very thin. Also have an aortic aneurism outside of valve. So surgery would be risky cause can’t be off warfarin unless it’s an emergency. So I also had a stroke after my brain surgery (Emergency) and being In hospital and off warfarin for a month. However, Jesus did His miracle again. Because I had no side effects from it. He’s saved me from so many surgeries I shouldn’t have lived thru. But thanks for your input. I will check out an endo. dr. Maybe they can help. No pain in hips or legs. I’m sorry for your pain too! God bless you.