Monday, June 23, 2014

Back In The Neck Brace

If you recall, I lost the use of 90% of my right arm about a month ago.  I went to see my doc, who sent me to an orthopedic surgeon, who looked at things, shook his head, and referred me to a neurosurgeon.

I went to the neurologist today.  He reviewed my MRIs, looked at my xrays, and declared that I needed surgery on my neck.  Something in there is pinching a nerve.  Probably two somethings, he said.   No, he didn't call them somethings.   He was spouting all kinds of medical jargon.  All I heard was blah blah blah disks blah blah blah fracture blah blah blah surgery blah blah blah I need a new sports car blah blah blah.

This is more damage from getting whacked with the tree last August.  It will be done on July 3rd.  The doc is going to remove the disks in my neck and replace them with bone grafts and screws.  I'm going to ask him to replace them with springs so I can be a bobble head.

It looks like another eight weeks in a neck brace for me.   ~sigh~.


  1. I wish you success and quick healing. Hopefully you get the use of your arm back. That will be worth being in a neckbrace.

  2. As this is delicate, complicated surgery with potentially serious problems if done wrong, I might suggest checking out your surgeon on Healthgrades and Vitals, two websites that provide background info and patient reviews on doctors. You can find a surgeon in your area who apprears to have ideal credentials on these web sites. Also, be sure to ask your surgeon if he has done this particular surgery many times before -- you DON'T want to be at the beginning of his learning curve.

    Good luck!

  3. Dave,
    I just had this done a month ago and, while uncomfortable for a few days after the surgery (which goes in through the throat) is bearable. I had minor immediate improvement (aching numbness in both hands went away) but for feeling to return to fingertips is taking longer. It took the orthopod five hours to grind away all the unwanted hooks and spurs and replace five discs and screw in the brace at the back of five vertebrae. I would make the same decision to have surgery again. Best wishes.


  4. This is no small undertaking... and I agree with jschieff above. The first neurosurgeon I consulted had a home gym that 'all the other doctors envied'...your doctor has sports cars? The profit motive adds a big old nudge to the sales pitch.

    Let it be said here and now that you will not become bionic as a result; you'll have to rethink your patented methods of bulling through things. My standard advice to young people (not that you care or asked) after encouraging them to travel.. is to use tools that protect you and use tools that limit the wear and tear on your body.

    Did you pick hip or cadaver bone from their menu? I've studied this subject for some months before I made my choice both of whether or not to have the surgery, and if I had, which method I'd choose to replace the disks with. My 2nd opinion neurosurgeon suggested that new artificial disks were coming along, which may be still stuck in the pipeline.

    In any case, I'm glad you chose to have professionals involved rather than hie yourself off to Tractor Supply & Cervical Joints to do it yourself. Meditation and breathing can be good augments to both before and after, if you can dig it. Wishing you well....