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Re The Pain in my Neck

October 27th, 2009 by Madeleine

I have just come from seeing my orthopedic surgeon to get the results of my recent MRI scan (following injuries sustained in a car accident in March 08).

He has recommended more surgery.

He wants to remove the disc replacement that was done Dec 08 and replace it with a spinal fusion.

I am pretty devastated.

I need to pull myself together and make my deadline then think about it some more I guess.

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7 responses so far ↓

  • Madeline, this is some tough news to take after all you have been through. The cumulative effect of such, seems to intensify the impact of the moment, and it wears one down [Read Psalm 142]

    We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

    Let us know if there is anything practical we can do… U know how to contact me!

    Can I say, this is even more of a reason to do something bloggers!

    and then


  • Hi Madeline

    My mother had a spinal fusion about 30 years ago – and it was a huge success – she was in a lot of pain, prior and at 73 she is more athletic than me. All the best.

  • Madeleine,

    Please try a couple of Alexander lessons before deciding. It may be that your alignment, and tension throughout your body is creating extra pressure in your neck and could be changed with lessons, making the fusion unnecessary. Once your neck is fused, there’s no going back.
    .-= My last blog-post ..The Anglican Experiment is Over =-.

  • I’m sad Madeleine. I really hope you’ll get a second opinion. If you’re doing good work for the Kingdom we know who doesn’t like it, and its not unheard of for trusted professionals to make mistakes.

    Fr Neuhaus:
    “The stomach pains and intestinal cramps had been coming on for almost a year. My regular physician, a Park Avenue doctor of excellent reputation, had told me long ago how pleased he was with the new techniques for colonoscopy. It meant, he said, that none of his patients need die of colon cancer. His partner, the specialist in these matters, did one colonoscopy and, some weeks later, another. After each mildly painful probing up through the intestines, he was glad to tell me that there was nothing there. Then, on Sunday afternoon, January 10, 1993, about five o’clock, after four days of intense discomfort in which there was yet another probe and yet another x-ray, I was at home suddenly doubled over on the floor with nausea and pain. The sensation was of my stomach exploding.

    My friend George Weigel was visiting and he phoned the doctor’s office, but the doctor was on vacation. The doctor covering for him listened to the symptoms and prescribed a powerful laxative. (I said that this story would smack of the commonplace.) Much later, other doctors said that the prescription might, more than possibly, have been fatal. They said they never heard of several colonoscopies not detecting a tumor, and shook their heads over a physician who would prescribe a laxative after being apprised of symptoms indicating something much more seriously wrong.”

  • We did disc replacement because it was superior to spinal fusion. So I am not happy about having to go backwards in technology, though I appreciate it still has good outcomes like Tracy alluded to. I have no choice, we cannot re-do the disc replacement because to remove it he will have to take some bone so there will be nothing to attach a new disc replacement too.

    I asked him how vital he thought it was and he said if you were my wife, mother, sister, daughter, I’d say do it given all the pain you live with and how long this has been going on for.

    However, he said there no guarantees that this procedure would be the solution but it was worth a try. When I heard that I asked if waiting a while to see if the very slow improvement I have been having would continue – especially in light of the TARPS (The Auckland Regional Pain Service) course I am supposed to do next month. He agreed that it would not cause any harm to wait and give the Pain course a try so we left with an appt in February to discuss surgery then and a plan to try everything reasonable, including second opinions, in the mean time. Although I have to watch for neurological symptoms as there is visible pressure on a major nerve.

    So yes Lucia, I will contact the Alexander technique people and see what they think of my injury and the liklihood their treatment can help. And yes Martin I will seek a second opinion as this time around it is not as cut and dried that surgery is essential as it was when I had ruptured and herniated discs.

    Anyway thanks everyone for the support. I have managed to process it enough to shove it to one side so I can keep working on this deadline – Fri 12pm!

    .-= My last blog-post ..Guest Post: Israel – Definitely One Subject Where One “Size-R” Does Not Fit All! =-.

  • Oh good, Madeleine, I’m so glad that you’ll try the AT!
    .-= My last blog-post ..The Forces of Darkness are gathering =-.

  • Well, it could be worse – they could suggest an amputation 😛
    .-= My last blog-post ..Brian’s Cult =-.