Pain in the NECK Next body part to repair
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4 users
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ZARDOG
2 months ago
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
51 posts

Need an excuse for your limited performance?  

Look to your creator or the process.  At almost 58 I have learned medical science the hard way.  No way are any of us perfect.

MRI's prove this to me. The cervical Spinal canal of mine is smaller than normal. 

Many MRI will show problems but if there is no pain - no need to treat them. 

Most times a neck pinch can be fixed in a month or less, 85% recover with no intervention.

To make coordinating the medical team easy, I built a web page.   Have one for Diabetes, Heart, Hip, now neck.

https://skidome.org/ZardozRen/neck/ 

Posture is a  lifetime goal. If you keyboard for 40+ years the result can be NECK/Shoulder pain. 

The next 10 days will add- EMG Nerve conduction test - Very cool to see how nerves talk. 

Pain Mgmt Doctor who specializes in Cervical Spinal epidural injection. 

The goal is to reduce inflammation of nerve roots C7 - seen to have impinged roots on both sides.

Get off narcotic pain mgmt. ( Codeine I found to be less anti-motivating vs Hydro or Oxy) 

In 2008 - in dual axial traction, which worked well and prevented surgery. That time I  had numb thumbs and index fingers.

I need to try this again with a home setup.

1616495623_ttbbntcpymmn.jpg

Denis - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,220 posts
Very sorry to learn of this.  Sigh!
ZARDOG
2 months ago
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
51 posts

Hi, denis all good a learning experience.  I have gained more info. I can still ski and race just need to understand risks.

At 58 body is worn a bit.  Like a car needs more maint. 

        My mind coach from many years ago would say, no fairness in life, take what you have and make it better. 

Pretty much my body and MRIs prove GOD or whoever .... needs a quality improvement program.

Each of us is different down to our genetic level and we do not choose. Be blessed to be alive.

MORE DATA - MRI is a golden standard - Many have findings but if no pain and no symptoms no treatment.

Dr. Bernheimer my neurologist - EMG/Nerve test- Diabetic neuropathy masked some of the tests, but we did rule out:

MS, Parkinson's, lupus, autoimmune, etc a long list.  B12 was fine, 2  other blood tests for inflammation were very very low. 

He was really good and went out of his way to explain things. He could tell my desire to learn and wanted to know as much as possible about sports performance.

My speed of neuron activate to muscle engage time is 50 meters a sec. avg.

1 meter = 1/50 sec.   We race at 15.6 meters a sec. at the top maybe  7 meters a sec 

Ski racing this matters: 

    I think when to turn to make my first critical turn. Thinking clutters the sensors and the processing. You blow this turn it matters.

    Don't think, Just DO, Trust DO 

When late at gate rules, takes two gates to make up the rhythm, but the usual effect is getting later and later at each gate.

Pain Management Specialist - Dr. Coleman. Anest and Cervical A team doc. Notice I have a team and have a good idea who to use -

Thank my brother-in-law. 

The plan is least invasive, best practice, and diagnostics.  Avoid fusion and surgery if possible.

The plan is mid-Apr 3 to 4 injections. Called a medial branch block.  C2/3 (ear numb) C4/5 (side numb) C7/T1 (impingement and junk)

May work may not but is diagnostic and does not enter the spinal canal. 

1617447993_rubvqquguskd.jpg

The diagram explains where the nerve is located and under fluoroscopy less chance of issues.

Also - PAin mgmt -

Meloxicam. 

Tylenol #3 = 30 mg Codeine + 300 mg acetaminophen   every 8 to  12 hrs. can add extended-release 650 mg acetaminophen 

never go above 3000 mg acetaminophen in 24 hrs and do not drink alcohol

Codeine does not ruin my motivation like OXY or HYDRO.  I need the motivation to do my rehab with stretch bands.

 More info at ARP 19. 

MBB I can have 3 series of shots over 3 months. Again trial and error in science. 

Take care everyone. Get those physicals and lab work done. If you cannot afford there are ways to get it done. 

 Vitamin D deficient, Low HDL, only detected by blood labs. 

Zardog

ZARDOG
13 days ago (edited 13 days ago)
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
51 posts

Update:  Interesting findings. 

 My cervical spinal canal is 50% smaller than normal. Birth defect. 

The MBB (medial branch blocks) and RFA (radios frequency ablation)  treatments in April worked for pain relief and off narcotics,  but they have worn off and pain did go down to .1/10, now coming back to 2 or 3 /10. Still off narcotics. (narcotics opioids over the long term will change your brain structure and kill motivation and mood as it messes with the dopamine neurotransmitter.)   I had no issue coming off narcotics. 

I have completed all non-invasive tricks to fix the issue. Chiro, PT, Medication, Nerve blocks.

I have multiple opinions and cervical fusion is the only way to address the issue.

This is my MRI and the docs taught me how to read them.

Side view MRI  - white is spinal fluid liquid cord is grey. you can see the discs all are bulging.1622375655_ohhuipfjikak.jpg

This is sorta good disc but still a bit compressed.

1622374627_cykpbvqtvfkc.jpgThis is the worst at C6 total compression ( 5.2 mm where it should be 14 mm.) No fluid (white an very squished ) 

1622374700_kpkaoituqpun.jpgThis affects fine motor skills, finger dexterity, balance.  called myelopathy.

My Goal was off narcotics, then the ability to ski regularly, if I have to give up racing I am ok with that I can still coach.

Downtime is 2 weeks - then 2 to 4 weeks ( during the 6 weeks lots of narcotics and no driving) 

I am ready mentally and I have an "A" team for doctors.   BTW my hip replacement was 150% success.

The plan now is to strengthen the neck, upper body, and arms for 30 days.  Stretch bands, lightweights, and bike riding for cardio.

I did not figure on 2 major surgeries and covid year all in one.

Life throws curves -- keep swinging. 

skidome.org  my link for tracking this journey. 

If you can send positive thoughts my way, it does help. 

I should invest in titanium :o) 

Feeling good and mentally prepared and motivated.  July Surgery and I hope to be on Snow by January 2022.

ZARDOG 

bousquet19 - DCSki Supporter
12 days ago
Member since 02/23/2006 🔗
701 posts

Zardog,

Great attitude!  Sending prayers for your treatment, comfort, and recovery ... and for your A-Team of health professionals responsible for your diagnoses, treatments, therapy, and care.

Hoping to see you on the snow again in January.

Woody

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
12 days ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,857 posts
Best wishes for a great outcome. Getting back on the snow is a good motivation.
ZARDOG
6 days ago
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
51 posts

Thanks all, Snow family is the best family!  Skiing has been a godsend for my energy level and exercise and mental health. 

Expensive not really vs owning a boat or 3 gun competition. 

Many have gone through the procedure and the ones with PREhab, mental toughness, and friends' family support do well.

I actually took a Stanford course on MRI how to read.  

https://youtu.be/mJVEtq5GsJk 

The cord compression can affect fine motor skills, diaphragm, brain fog, not just being number in hands fingers. I am not numb.

2008 I had numb of thumbs, index finger no MRI, and traction fixed the issue.  I got 13 years pain-free.

Thanks to the masters ski racing group on FB. many have the same issues I have. 

Epidural shot Jun 16 to keep me off narcotics, after Surgery narcotics are needed 6 to 12 weeks. 

Time to self-motivate to do the prehab. 

I even bought my pass for next season.  

The hard part is picking your team, a lot of great doctors but how to pick is not easy.

When I say a TEAM- PCP, Cardiologist, Chiropractic, PT, Neurologist, Cervical Surgeon, pain management anesthesiologist, 2ND opinion group.

Cost so far - MSRP 20K$ in 6 months,  actual paid is 8K insurance and 2K from my budget, In July I have Aflac, short term disability, and HSA ~ 300-400$  I figure surgery = 25- 30K$ 

ZARDOG 



Denis - DCSki Supporter
4 days ago
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,220 posts

Ed,

I wish you all the best.   You’ll be ready for medical school by the time this is over. 😀

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