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anyone riding with a fused neck?

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  • Original Poster

    thanks for the encouraging stories! I have a bad cold and will be going to to GP to see if I have bronchritis.

    I can hardly get out of the wheelchair to walk to do anything right now without becoming breathless!

    I think my numbness in my left fingertips might always be there. Since I had a stroke in 2007 and had numbness in my right hand and have survived it, I am ok with this.

    As I don't have a horse right now, maybe this summer I will sit on my daughter's horse. IF he is good! LOL

    I wondered if I was reaching when I asked this question! apparently not!


    • #22
      Dam! You guys are starting to bum me out! If this scapular pain is as common as I'm now starting to believe, why can't the Drs. pinpoint the cause?

      I went yesterday and he ordered another MRI. At least I don't have to go through another EMG test. If I'd known what that entailed, I would have just had the Dr. come to my house and watch my reaction when I grabbed the electric fence

      HM7- I still have numbness in my left fingers also. It's reduced some since my surgery, but in the last 2 months I have a new symptom. My fingers started cramping and I have nerve pain in my thumb. So far it hasn't happened while I'm riding. Mainly it's when I'm typing and a few times when I'm driving, and eating. Unfortunately, it hasn't slowed down my eating any. I've gained 10 lbs. since my surgery
      "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George


      • #23
        fused neck

        Hi- I was a prelim eventer when13 years ago I injured my neck when my horse galloped into a groundhog hole- I had fusion of C3-4-5 the next day and was in a wheelchair-I improved over 3 months time and could walk. I rode after 4 months with someone leading me-the mental fear was bad at first, but I really wanted to ride.I did trail rides for years and bought a calm horse!
        Over 13 years( I am 55 now) I tried to event again at the lowest level, but have no courage, so really I just trail ride and do dressage shows. I have carpal tunnel type problems pretty bad, and neck pain off and on, a tingling/pain that I am used to in my hands, and weak hands. But pretty good for a person who was told " you may not hold a pencil again".My surgeon told me I was not to ride ever again, but for me life is riding. I actually have fallen off twice since my accident and landed on my butt and shoulder on purpose! Good luck to you!


        • Original Poster

          well, today(1/15) is the first day I have been on-line since last Tues!

          when I visited my GP on Tues night, she sent me to the ER, saying she thought I had blood clots in my lungs. I was admitted with many blood clots in my lungs and legs. I now have a sieve in a vein to catch the ones in my legs.
          I will be on a blood thinner and all that means for at least a year.

          It seems that because I did not walk enough, the clots developed.

          I am finished with riding. I cannot risk any more damage.


          • #25
            Originally posted by HannahsMom7 View Post
            well, today(1/15) is the first day I have been on-line since last Tues!

            when I visited my GP on Tues night, she sent me to the ER, saying she thought I had blood clots in my lungs. I was admitted with many blood clots in my lungs and legs. I now have a sieve in a vein to catch the ones in my legs.
            I will be on a blood thinner and all that means for at least a year.

            It seems that because I did not walk enough, the clots developed.

            I am finished with riding. I cannot risk any more damage.

            I'm so sorry to hear this. I know you have a lot more going on than I do, but "never say never!" Did they give you any kind of excercise plan? Before I even started physical therapy I was walking in the house. Marching through the hall, and up and down my 2 little stairs into the dining room
            "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George


            • Original Poster

              No, no exercise plan. Nothing was said to walk and keep moving to keep blood clots from developing.

              In fact, the PT staff at the rehab, was rabid to send me home with a wheelchair! If I didn't get one, I was not going home.
              Once home, I was always so tired so I used it and napped all the time. the PT guy suggested I walk a bit, but not to the extent I probably needed to do.

              because I was walking a bit, just not a LOT!

              I'm just tired of this whole thing now. I hated being in ICU - no privacy and I was not allowed up until the hepafrin was working at a theputic level.

              feels like it will never end! LOL!


              • Original Poster

                I just came back from visiting with my hubby's horse. Met a friend at the barn. Her opinion of my scapular pain is that it might be because I am "stiff" from wearing the brace and that as I heal more, it may get better.

                That I may have the pain in my shoulders from turning at my shoulders and not my neck. Don't know. hope so. today it was painful!

                as to the not riding part, she suggests I address it again when I am healed. I am going to wait. I suspect I won't be healed this year (2012) so I'll be looking at 2013 to consider riding again.


                • #28
                  I rarely venture over to this forum, but I just did and found this thread which I have read with great interest! Thanks to everyone for sharing your inspiring stories. Now I'll share my story/novel

                  In April 2011, I was standing in the stall with a horse and woke up on the floor. Multiple fractures in C5, C6 burst fracture and spinal cord compression ~ C7. I had a C6 corpectomy and C5-C7 fusion. I wore a C Collar for 3 months.

                  According to my MRI, I should have had some pretty major deficits. Luckily, the biggest problem I had was with my hands. I had very little strength/control over my hands which has since mostly returned

                  Originally posted by Geroni-mo-oh-oh View Post
                  My question to those of you who damaged your spinal cords is, how long did the neuropathic pain last?
                  I am still experiencing pretty severe nerve pain in my hands, especially on the back of my hands. My surgeon says that it WILL go away eventually, and I'm impatiently waiting for the day. I tried Neurontin which really helped, but gave me a rash. I also tried Lyrica at multiple different doses, but it totally made me a stoner and unable to work. One thing that does help is keeping the hair off of my hands. A breeze strong enough to move the hair on the back of my hands is enough to cause incredible pain. Every few weeks I use Nair to keep them hairless, which seems to help tremendously. Plus, my hands feel really smooth

                  I waited 7 months to get back in the saddle, and it was the hardest 7 months of my life. My fusion was taking forever, but I promised myself and my husband that I would not risk riding until I was fused. I actually moved to another state not long after the surgery, and had to go through several surgeons until I found one that I was happy with to continue with my follow-up. One of them wanted to operate again to put more hardware in my neck because I was still having some numbness in my leg 4 months out. I found another surgeon that is board certified in both neurosurgery and orthopaedics, and he prescribed a bone stimulator instead. Monthly radiographs showed that I started making tremendous progress towards fusion after I started wearing it, and I will continue to wear it for several months. In October I was declared clinically fused, and given permission to ride "as long as I don't fall off."

                  Sitting back in the saddle for the first time felt like finally coming home. I was also doing physical therapy for my neck at the time, and my therapist wanted to know WHAT I had been up to. All of a sudden, my neck seemed to "loosen up" and also get stronger. I don't know what exactly about the riding created such a change, but I was officially "released" from physical therapy not long after.

                  I haven't started riding "seriously" yet, and am sticking mainly to some low key hacking. I will probably wait until it's been a year to start jumping again. It's nice to hear about those of you that are competing with neck fusions!
                  *Absolut Equestrian*

                  "The plural of anecdote is not fact...except in the horse industry"


                  • Original Poster

                    AE - it is good to hear your story and the positiveness of it. I am now doing PT, my neck is very stiff as one can imagine after wearing a collar for a couple of months!

                    I still want to ride! that darned desire is still w/me.

                    My hands are a lot weaker and I'll have to do some work w/squeezing clips for strength, but it is easy for one w/knowledge to check my hands and say that is C7 damage!

                    AEAre you riding with any kind of vest? Right now, my hubby has a horse that I would not ride. the horse is not trustworthy to not spook.

                    I would love one of my own again, but it would have to be a saint and those are hard to find!


                    • Original Poster

                      I finally remembered to update this thread!
                      an update:

                      I am in PT, where he manipulates my head and neck. He is trying to free up my 1st two vertebrae so I can turn better. we are also working on strength exercises to make my shoulders stronger - to help hold my head and neck up better. when I am tired, my head sags and I cannot stop it for long.

                      I am driving, but backing up is a nightmare because I have such limited turning.
                      any traffic merging on to my lane or me merging into the left lane is horrible as I cannot turn enough to be safe. I still do it tho, just stop at the ends of some ramps.

                      I am also working PT - 3.75 hours and I get tired when I go back home.

                      Now, what you are waiting for. I doubt I'll go back to riding.
                      At least not this year, maybe in 2013.

                      Due to the stroke I had in 2007, I don't have much balance. I think if I was "normal", I might have stayed on that horse! but I don't want to second guess what happened.

                      I don't want to have to deal w/the surgery, being in the hospital and PT again.
                      and I have a new "normal" which is not all that great so I really don't want to lose what I have.

                      I have managed to be at peace with myself over my decision.



                      • Original Poster

                        tjm123 - I sent you a private message!