Cervical radiculopathy

sussle

Rabbitt Bartholomew status
Oct 11, 2009
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Wow, looks like heavy duty surgery, best of luck with the recovery!
What exactly was the surgery called, did it involve fusion?
I'm dealing with something similar although definitely not as bad as yours. Doc is recommending prosthetic discs (C4-6) and I'm trying to figure out how tough the recovery will really be.
this is what the hardware looks like - fusion and disks - and this where it goes:

hardware.jpg
 
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Swallow Tail

Michael Peterson status
Oct 6, 2017
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That looks so gnarly. Again I wish you a speedy recovery.

Isn’t the larynx in front of the vertebra? Where’d that go?

I have PT next week because whenever I surf my neck and shoulder (trapezius?) hurt, while surfing and for hours after, getting progressively worse if I surf multiple days in a row which I did this past week. I’m always hoping for some magic bullet exercise…
I’d try upping the paddle ability of your boards. A combo of a little wider nose and a lil more volume. Doesn’t need to be drastic - like adding an 1/8” of width at 12” from nose…along w PT/strengthening.

It solved the issue w me.

This is the hardware I have in my neck


IMG_6913.jpegIMG_6912.jpegIMG_6911.jpeg
 

sussle

Rabbitt Bartholomew status
Oct 11, 2009
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I’d try upping the paddle ability of your boards. A combo of a little wider nose and a lil more volume. Doesn’t need to be drastic - like adding an 1/8” of width at 12” from nose…along w PT/strengthening.

It solved the issue w me.

This is the hardware I have in my neck


View attachment 169872View attachment 169873View attachment 169874
wow, how do they get that in there, between the vertebrae? i mean, i can see the teeth are designed to hold it there but how do they get it there in the first place?
 

Swallow Tail

Michael Peterson status
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wow, how do they get that in there, between the vertebrae? i mean, i can see the teeth are designed to hold it there but how do they get it there in the first place?
Great question- I forgot how. I’d image they have a reverse clamp that opens and holds the space open while they clean out the space and put ‘em in.

Yeah, just those teeth hold the plates in the vertebrae

I was in the water 6 weeks post surgery. Pretty awesome.
 
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sussle

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Great question- I forgot how. I’d image they have a reverse clamp that opens and holds the space open while they clean out the space and put ‘em in.

Yeah, just those teeth hold the plates in the vertebrae

I was in the water 6 weeks post surgery. Pretty awesome.
i think I like your set-up better than mine (not that it matters, at this point). yours looks less like fusion and more like straight disk replacement, whereas mine is definitely fixed tight and bolted in. i'm sure there are good reasons to do it one way or the other but it's all pretty amazing med tech, imo.
 

Swallow Tail

Michael Peterson status
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i think I like your set-up better than mine (not that it matters, at this point). yours looks less like fusion and more like straight disk replacement, whereas mine is definitely fixed tight and bolted in. i'm sure there are good reasons to do it one way or the other but it's all pretty amazing med tech, imo.
Mine was straight up disc replacement only. I’m fairly certain they can’t do those if it’s more than 2 levels - too much instability and why you have different/a bit more hardware.

it is truly amazing. We’re very lucky
 
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One-Off

Tom Curren status
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The marvels of modern medicine.

When I surf now the whole trapezius from the neck to the shoulder is tense and in "pain."
I kind of know it's not really the muscle but there I am in the lineup, massaging it, to no avail. I try to deep breath and relax telling myself it is just a little nerve impingement, again to no avail. I hope there is some non invasive way to lessen or at least prevent this from getting worse.
 

Swallow Tail

Michael Peterson status
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The marvels of modern medicine.

When I surf now the whole trapezius from the neck to the shoulder is tense and in "pain."
I kind of know it's not really the muscle but there I am in the lineup, massaging it, to no avail. I try to deep breath and relax telling myself it is just a little nerve impingement, again to no avail. I hope there is some non invasive way to lessen or at least prevent this from getting worse.
You mentioned something similar above, below is my reply, worth repeating ; )
Also - nerves go through muscle so when they’re “over doing it” they can aggravate nerves that are already inflamed/angry. Then there’s more pain n those muscles tense up even more, compounding the problem further.

—————

I’d try upping the paddle ability of your boards. A combo of a little wider nose and a lil more volume. Doesn’t need to be drastic - like adding an 1/8” of width at 12” from nose…along w PT/strengthening.

I have two boards that are near identical. One I can do 2-3 hr sessions even if there’s a bad rip/tons of paddling 2-3 days in a row. No problems. The other - a 1/16 less thickness n a touch narrower nose …. One easy short session Puts me out of the water for over a week in a lota pain that affects everyday life.
 
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sussle

Rabbitt Bartholomew status
Oct 11, 2009
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The marvels of modern medicine.

When I surf now the whole trapezius from the neck to the shoulder is tense and in "pain."
I kind of know it's not really the muscle but there I am in the lineup, massaging it, to no avail. I try to deep breath and relax telling myself it is just a little nerve impingement, again to no avail. I hope there is some non invasive way to lessen or at least prevent this from getting worse.
tbh, PT went a long way towards eliminating the pain that went along with my situation....i was in terrible pain last spring, but three months of PT (at the therapists) and then carrying it on at home for the rest of the summer seemed to eliminate just about all the pain. what it did not do is restore the functionality that i had been losing in my left hand....and once i had the MRI/cat scan/EMG, it was obvious why - my neck was a shambles ( see before pic, above).

if it's helpful, i can scan the take-home sheets from PT and get you a copy - they are specifically for the cervicular radiculopathy (pinched nerve) diagnosis.
 
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One-Off

Tom Curren status
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tbh, PT went a long way towards eliminating the pain that went along with my situation....i was in terrible pain last spring, but three months of PT (at the therapists) and then carrying it on at home for the rest of the summer seemed to eliminate just about all the pain. what it did not do is restore the functionality that i had been losing in my left hand....and once i had the MRI/cat scan/EMG, it was obvious why - my neck was a shambles ( see before pic, above).

if it's helpful, i can scan the take-home sheets from PT and get you a copy - they are specifically for the cervicular radiculopathy (pinched nerve) diagnosis.
Thanks. Thsat's good to hear. I actually have an appointment with a PT in 10 days. Obvioulsy all my strength training is not targeting the right areas. If it's from disc compression in the neck I don't know that any exercise will help, but I'm hopeful...
 

Sharky

Phil Edwards status
Feb 25, 2006
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For me, traction was pretty much useless. Didn't help. Too far gone. Strengthening my neck was key. At first I just relied upon indirect strength training, the ripple effect as it were, via shoulder/trap training. Then I started strengthening the neck directly with resistance bands. I would avoid neck bridges if you are to the point where you are reading threads about neck pain. I would also avoid harnesses and big weight. But there are some adaptive levels of direct neck resistance training that almost everyone can do. Starting with a light band and isometrics. Just hook the band up, maintain posture and walk back until you have sufficient resistance. Then hold for ten seconds. Move forward, adjust band and walk back to the front, rear and the sides. Eventually,


I was told in my early 30's that my neck was ruined. I was told no more surfing, no more contact sports of any kind. I was given opiates and told to make the best of it. Eventually I figured out what I needed to do on my own. And I have decades more surfing etc done. I made no concessions. With very little pain. If you are looking at yourself in the mirror and you have a pencil neck? If your neck just kind of goes straight down from ears without angling off to the sides? Get to work. Necks strengthen relatively quickly.
 
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One-Off

Tom Curren status
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For me, traction was pretty much useless. Didn't help. Too far gone. Strengthening my neck was key. At first I just relied upon indirect strength training, the ripple effect as it were, via shoulder/trap training. Then I started strengthening the neck directly with resistance bands. I would avoid neck bridges if you are to the point where you are reading threads about neck pain. I would also avoid harnesses and big weight. But there are some adaptive levels of direct neck resistance training that almost everyone can do. Starting with a light band and isometrics. Just hook the band up, maintain posture and walk back until you have sufficient resistance. Then hold for ten seconds. Move forward, adjust band and walk back to the front, rear and the sides. Eventually,


I was told in my early 30's that my neck was ruined. I was told no more surfing, no more contact sports of any kind. I was given opiates and told to make the best of it. Eventually I figured out what I needed to do on my own. And I have decades more surfing etc done. I made no concessions. With very little pain. If you are looking at yourself in the mirror and you have a pencil neck? If your neck just kind of goes straight down from ears without angling off to the sides? Get to work. Necks strengthen relatively quickly.
I do stretches in the three planes of motion. It's weird how much noise it makes. Maybe all joints are noisy, we just hear the neck because of proxmity to the ears. You can also do the stretches with some resistance applied with the hands. Sometimes I do the neck stretches while doing a wall squat. Kill two birds. I thik I'll do that more after reading this-

.

The neck bridge I do is a modification of the glute bridge. On you back lift your bum off the ground. Normally your shoulders afre on the ground. If you slightly lift your shoulders uou are supporting a lot of weight with your neck but your neck is still aligned neutrally. At first I did it with some support with my hands at my sides.

Oh, and everytime I check there seems to be no clinical evidence of efficacy of neck or spine traction for pain, except in the very short term. Duffy's results may vary.
 

Autoprax

Duke status
Jan 24, 2011
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BS couldn't talk for months after and they didn't know what would happen.

Vocal cords respond well to exercise.

They are just a pain to do.

La, la, la, la.
 

One-Off

Tom Curren status
Jul 28, 2005
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tbh, PT went a long way towards eliminating the pain that went along with my situation....i was in terrible pain last spring, but three months of PT (at the therapists) and then carrying it on at home for the rest of the summer seemed to eliminate just about all the pain. what it did not do is restore the functionality that i had been losing in my left hand....and once i had the MRI/cat scan/EMG, it was obvious why - my neck was a shambles ( see before pic, above).

if it's helpful, i can scan the take-home sheets from PT and get you a copy - they are specifically for the cervicular radiculopathy (pinched nerve) diagnosis.
Hey Sussle , hope the rehab's going well. I was wondering if you can share what exercises the PT gave you that eliminated the pain before your op. I deal with it every session and for the rest of the day afterwards. Then the next day it's gone.
 

One-Off

Tom Curren status
Jul 28, 2005
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Drove all over looking for surf. Ended up going out at El Porto. I hate surfing El Porto because of the crowd but it was the only game in town. There were no gaps in the crowd and unless a wave came right to you there was always someone on either side of you paddling for the wave. At a certain point I wasn't getting any and a right came to me. I was late and knew it but thought WTF, might as well go. I went. Got pitched, somehow landed on my back and then did a vicious whiplash. I felt a sharp pain in my neck and heard LOUD cracking. I feared the worst. Luckily I came up and could move my limbs. My neck was in pain so I was scared to move it and gingerly paddled in. Once on the beach I very carefully started moving my neck. it was OK unless I looked left. Looking left produced a sharp pain. On the drive home, making right turns I had to turn my torso to look. I got home and took three 200mg Advil.

I'm going to double down on the neck exercises now. I want to look like a linebacker in hopes that will protect my neck. Fuk that scared me.
 
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One-Off

Tom Curren status
Jul 28, 2005
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Weird how I strained/whiplashed the neck and today, 48 hours later, it’ my shoulder that is in pain. Advil didn’t help. Going to ice it and rest a couple days. I have to look back over this thread to suss out some RX.
 

Swallow Tail

Michael Peterson status
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Weird how I strained/whiplashed the neck and today, 48 hours later, it’ my shoulder that is in pain. Advil didn’t help. Going to ice it and rest a couple days. I have to look back over this thread to suss out some RX.
Pain Can radiate into shoulder, arm, hand, fingers. sounds like nerve is still inflamed/angry.

ice it for 20 min at a time 2-4x a day. And take it easy for like a week at least. Give the inflammation time to calm down

When mind gets bad and won’t get better w rest - usually happens a couple times a yr I get a 5 day course of prednisone to knock the inflammation down- that almost always does the trick.
 
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