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Spinal Stenosis, Disc Herniation, Radiculopathy

Naughty NettyNNaughty Netty Posts: 1
edited 01/07/2015 - 5:22 AM in Depression and Coping
Hello. I am new to this so please be patient. Thanks. I am a 50yr old female. I was suffered injuries to my cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine on my job. I have been off of work since 2009. I have been declared disabled by Social Security. I have a never ending work comp case. Over the past several years i have been steadily deteriorating. I will get no where with my legal case it seems as i am not yet permanent stationary. As long as I need treatment I wont get a settlement. I am severely depressed. I lost my ability to earn a living and help support my family. I have lost all of my independence. Its been a tremendous blow. I had surgery on my neck, an anterior fusion, in 2011. It went well enough but I did not receive as promised by my surgeon, relief in my painful, numb arms and hands. As bad as they hurt, later I was told I have carpal tunnel and ulnar nerve damage in both arms, nothing prepared me for the pain that was to come in my right leg. At first I started periodically "losing" either of my legs. It would just collapse. Then I developed pain down the outside of my right leg and before I could even discuss it with a Dr., seemingly over night my foot went numb and I couldn't move my toes. Somehow even with it numb the pain was horrendous. Then I started tripping and falling. I also would lose my balance. It seems weird to me but if I close my eyes I feel I will fall. I have to hold on in the shower. I also started having trouble stepping over things. Eventually I was diagnosed with drop foot. My husband noticed one day my lower right leg looking smaller than the left. I had begun to atrophy.I have had this issue for over 2 years now and have lost over 1/2 inch in circumference compared to the other side. My lower leg and foot have now suddenly begun to always feel like ice to the touch. It will feel like ice even when I'm in a hot shower. I'm worried my leg is dying and I will lose it. I have tied about this and the UNBEARABLE pain to my many Drs over and over again. No one is doing much I believe due to work comp. I finally saw a neurosurgeon. He happened to see my most recent MRI films of both my lumbar spine as well as my neck. I was there for the low back. I have several herniated discs and spinal stenosis and I've developed osteoarthritis. Problem is he said he wont touch my lumbar spine unless he first operates on my neck! Apparently just below the previous surgery levels, my spinal cord is being compressed and nearly pinching off my spinal cord. I certainly don't want to be paralyzed! He also said he has to place me face down for the lumbar surgery but my neck isn't stable enough. I was in tears I need relief if possible from the leg pain. Then he said he wont operate at all unless I stop smoking for 3months AND gain ten pounds. Smoking will be difficult. It eases my anxiety but I will do what I need to do. Weight gain is a bigger issue. I have gone from 125lbs before I was hurt to 89lbs. I have tried and tried to gain. I believe I lost the weight due to my pain pills. I feel hopeless. Incredibly sad. I have such a hard time walking across my own house. My husband has bought me a wheelchair out of his pocket and a walker. They have been a blessing. I just still feel like this will never end. I feel cheated. Its not fair. I'm so lost. Does any one else have all these issues? Any hope?
We're gonna need a bigger boat!


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,693


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • rtconant1rrtconant1 Posts: 341
    edited 01/07/2015 - 2:35 PM
    I feel for you. I wonder that your doctor initially gave you false hope about your acdf on your neck years ago. I had acdf back in September. I had a disc that was herniated and was compressing on my spinal cord. I was also diagnosed with myelopathy and radiculopathy of the arms. There is a whole long diagnosis that I cant remember everything. My doctor did not promise anything but the fact that I wont lose anymore function than I already did. He did not promise that I would be pain free. Most people that have the acdf done do bounce back and are as good as new as they say. But some people have different complications that slow down healing. As promised, I have kept the function that I had. I have pain all day, everyday. I take medication 3 times a day for the nerve pain and the muscle flare ups that still happen. I am clumsy and I drop things constantly. I cant reach down to pick stuff off the floor without searing pain. I haven't held a baby in years because I am so afraid of dropping the baby. I also get pain down my legs and sometimes not able to walk. Just sitting too long causes my toes to go numb. I also have horrible headaches from the nerve issues in my neck.
    Some of your issues with walking and clumsiness issues could very well be from that area in your neck that is compressing on your spinal cord. To me it sounds like you have a severe case of myelopathy. This is just my opinion and based on what I have experienced and read on the subject. I am definitely not a doctor or anything.
    I just wonder if you should see a personal injury lawyer about the issues that you have. Especially when the workers comp isn't doing anything to compensate you. Workers comp works for the company, not the injured employee. My brother in law went through a similar issue and finally won a settlement but didn't get anywhere until he sued. Its sad to have to go that route.
    I hope that something happens soon. I know that it is hard to deal with their ultimatums. Just do your best to meet them so you can have the work done.
    Tracie C
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