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Learn how a lumbar disc herniates and
can cause lower back pain
Sciatica is leg pain caused by a
problem in the low back.
See how a disc degenerates and how it can cause pain and other symptoms
54 years old. I broke my C1 in a dirt bike accident in July 2016. After 2 months in a brace it was determined that there was no healing and I needed fusion surgery. I was absolutely gutted as even though I was still in a neck brace, I felt great and thought I was on the way to healing.
In Sept 2016, I had C0 (occiput) to C2 fusion with hardware. Three days before fusion surgery, 2 pins put in my skull to hang 35 pounds of weight for 3 days before the surgery in an attempt to pull my sinking head back up where it belongs. Laying on my back for 3 days while my head was in traction. In fusion surgery, 7 screws and a plate in the skull, 2 long screws in C1 and C2 each. Connecting the skull to the uninjured C2, 2 rods bridging it all. I never smoked and with my natural bone harvested from my hip during the surgery, I fused solid and strong. I have very little range of motion (ROM) both left and right and up and down, it kinda sucks. I am basically one straight bone from my skull to my C2. Therefore, all the articulation starts from the C2/C3 joint on down. When I look down, the major bending starts at the c2/c3 then c3/c4 joint and so forth.
I am lucky to be semi-pain free. Some days, when I try "sightseeing", looking left and right, my neck muscles get tired and tight, I call it "lead head" as my head feels like it weighs 100 pounds on my neck. Other days, I forgot I had a neck injury. However, again I am lucky to be pretty strong and feel I can do anything, including race my dirt bike again. I would do it, but the risk of hurting myself is just too great as riding motorcycles you often hit the ground and crash.
Winter just ended and I logged more miles on my snowmobile then I ever have before. I can say even after 8 hours in the saddle of my sled riding quite aggressive, I still feel great. I kick the hell out of riders younger than I, even with a fused neck.
I write this to give some of you a glimmer of hope. There is life after fusion. Does it sucks to have this happen? Oh yea, no doubt. It's hard to turn left and right, difficult to work in tight spaces, somedays your neck hurts like hell. Is life over as you know it?.. hell no. I am so bummed I can't race motocross any more. What hurts is I am strong enough to do it, however, it is simply too risky as there is many times you crash on a dirt bike. But I can do almost anything I want. Jet ski, snowmobile and even offroad if I am careful. I work all day, some days in the office, some days in the Bobcat (now outfitted with backup cameras). Driving is a bit more difficult, but I have hand mirrors in the drivers area to help me see.
I would give anything to take that day back. But I am extremely lucky. I was paralyzed from the neck down for about 10 minutes after the crash. I was lucky to get my feeling back in the life-flight. Even more fortunate to have a successful fusion surgery and now, living fairly normal including a lot of fun times on my snowmobile and jet ski. When I get down and blue, I always remember really how lucky I am.