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Ginger W.
07-24-2008, 04:13 PM
I just wondered if any of you have ISSUES in your cervical spine as well as your thoracic or lumbar curves. My cervical spine sticks straight forward and there ought to be a natural curve in that region.

For years, I'd get terrible neck pain. Then, my physical therapist got me a Saunders Home Trac Unit. It's a rather expensive traction device specifically designed for the neck. MUCH better than the over-the-door type. Between using this device three times weekly and strengthening my upper body with Pilates, I have been able to keep pain-free in my neck area.

Apparently, I am not allowed to use the traction unit since my surgery two months ago. Nor can I lift weights in Pilates, as I did pre-surgery. Sooooo, the neck pain is back.

I am interested in knowing if some of my fellow scolis have STRAIGHT cervical spines that get them into trouble. I don't know if this problem is a twin sister to scoliosis or if it's just MY issue.

titaniumed
07-24-2008, 04:35 PM
Hi Ginger

Yes my neck is lacking its natural lordosis and is straight, and yes it is bothering me lately. So I can assume you asked DR B about the traction and he said no. Did he say at any point down the line if traction would be ok?

I still have 15 more days till I see my Doc, I will have to ask him also.

Im a 46 year skiier, So you know I love Utah! I once drove to Snowbird from Reno in 6Hrs 15 min to the parking lot!

Ed

Susie*Bee
07-24-2008, 04:37 PM
Ginger-- just wanted to say I'm so very sorry to hear about this problem. :( I hope you get some good info and help-- you've been through so much and are such an inspiration with your infectious smile and great wit-- and sharing all you've been through over the years.

debbei
07-24-2008, 04:57 PM
I'm sorry Ginger, that you are having neck problems. I hope you figure something out. Have you contacted the Dr.'s office about it?

sccrm08
07-24-2008, 05:00 PM
Ginger,

My x-ray reports always stated unusual straighting of the Lordoses in the Cervical spine. This always seemed funny to me since the rest of my spine wanted to curve ways it shouldn't.

Anyways as you can see in my signiture I had problems with my cervical spine for many years and ended up with a bulging disc which caused a great many problems with my left arm. I also had a problem that was described as a vertebre slipping forward when I tried to bend my head forward (instead of my neck curving naturally forward, the vertbre would slip and spine would look like it folded).

I did many years of traction, but that even started making things worse as time went on. I ended up having C4 thru C6 fused and have not had problems since. I do need to be very cardful since I had the scoliosis surgery a year after, C7 thru T2 are at risk from the pressure of both fussions.

For years I asked if the cervical spine issues had something to do with the scoliosis and was always told no. I should of gone with my instincts and saw different Dr.s as when I did see my surgeon, he said the way I sat and held my head could have been working against me.

good luck,

HaleyMom
07-24-2008, 05:27 PM
I am interested in knowing if some of my fellow scolis have STRAIGHT cervical spines that get them into trouble. I don't know if this problem is a twin sister to scoliosis or if it's just MY issue.

My daughters Dr pointed out her straight neck on her xray and mentioned that he's never had a AIS patient that didn't have a straight neck. If he sees natural curvature in the neck he gets suspicious and always looks for other underlying causes of the scoliosis.

I have mild scoliosis and a straight neck. I did 3 months of traction, 3 times a week. Hated every minute but it did wonders for my neck pain and headaches.

Good luck
Lisa

Shelgrl66
07-24-2008, 09:29 PM
I just wondered if any of you have ISSUES in your cervical spine as well as your thoracic or lumbar curves. My cervical spine sticks straight forward and there ought to be a natural curve in that region. <<<<<<

I have the exact same problem, along with severe stenosis, etc as well. I will also need to have surgery on this also. I am currently fused from T5-Sacrum. Mine is attributed to the stress put on my neck from prior surgeries, along with complications of several years of suffering with flatback syndrome and subsequent severe kyphosis. I have no lordosis at all, it's completely straight. There is also severe crunching whenever I move it at all, which will actually cut into something in my neck. My limbs are continuing to get progressively weaker and losing more feeling, etc. I know being on a computer doesn't help our situation with the neck either.

1981-Harrington/Luque instrumentation T9-L5 for 30 degree thoracolumbar curve.
1990-Revision surgery-Broken hardware/flatback deformity/pseudoarthrosis-Cotrel Dubousett instrumentation with extension into sacrum. (never done correctly)
1995-Revision surgery-Severe flatback deformity/kyphosis-Moss Miami instrumentation (T5-sacrum) with titanium cages (back/front/back procedure), thoracoplasty, total reconstruction with osteotomies. (surgeon did surgery while coming down with chicken pox and developed encephalitis with brain damage, etc during 14 hr surgery)
2005-Car accident-spinal cord injury/myelopathy from top of rods/hooks at T5. Surgery to remove hardware, with exception of cages. Permanent damage.
2008-5th surgery pending for severe stenosis in cervical spine, as well as lumbar spine because of prior surgeries.

Ginger W.
07-25-2008, 12:06 AM
Dr. Boachie's nurse told me no traction for a year after surgery.

About computer work and problematic necks . . . I do all my computer-ing in a Lazy Boy recliner and I always have it set at the full reclining position so that it's similar to laying in bed. My screen is attached to an extending arm so I can easily see it while reclining. It's a fabulous set-up for people like us.

Also, the Saunder's Hometrac Cervical Unit is the BEST traction device out there. They used to cost $700, but you can now get a unit for around $350 with shipping included. I know that's a lot of bucks, but sometimes insurance companies will pay. Mine did. I just needed to have my physical therapist order it. In case you don't have a P.T. and you are interested in purchasing a unit, here's a link to a company that sells them:

http://www.dme-direct.com/saunders-cervical-hometrac-deluxe-traction-unit-home-trac/

I am fascinated to read the responses to my question. I wasn't sure that my rather straight cervical spine was connected to my scoliosis. But it seems like the answer is coming back "YES!"

BTW, I also had bulging discs in my neck. They were able to heal by using the traction unit three times a week for twenty minutes. I listened to audio books and podcasts to pass the time enjoyably.

Any other information about this topic would be appreciated. :)

Snoopy
07-25-2008, 06:50 AM
My daughters Dr pointed out her straight neck on her xray and mentioned that he's never had a AIS patient that didn't have a straight neck. If he sees natural curvature in the neck he gets suspicious and always looks for other underlying causes of the scoliosis.

Lisa,

I find this very interesting. My daughter's doctor never mentioned her neck being straight and from what I remember, it never appeared straight to me either. However, what your doctor said about looking for an underlying cause if there is natural curve, makes sense. We've always suspected that Jamie's Kyphoscoliosis was caused by something called Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT). It is a condition that runs in my husband's family and affects the muscles. Scoliosis is a side effect of CMT.

Jamie now has the exact opposite problem from what is being discussed her. She actually has Kyphosis in her neck, which bends it forward.

Mary Lou

briarrose
07-25-2008, 08:52 AM
Hi Ginger,

I can also say that I have a straight neck with no curve. This has been written on all of my MRI reports. I never brought it up with any of the doctor's I saw, but it does seem to be related to scoliosis. I used to have horrible neck pain so I bought a high quality memory foam pillow and it helped me so much. My neck pain was gone the neck morning. I hope you can find relief from your pain.

Shell

txmarinemom
08-08-2008, 06:10 PM
My daughters Dr pointed out her straight neck on her xray and mentioned that he's never had a AIS patient that didn't have a straight neck. If he sees natural curvature in the neck he gets suspicious and always looks for other underlying causes of the scoliosis.

Hmmm ... this made me go look at my sagittal x-ray (attached): I definitely have what appears to be normal cervical lordosis.

I, like others who have posted, had cervical disc issues prior to surgery. I suspect the combination of a compensatory cervical curve and severe whiplash in '96 (I was stopped behind a car on the highway, and my lil' car was smashed from behind by a full-sized truck doing about 60 mph) was just too much (as if *either* wouldn't cause undue stress).

The discs at C5/C6 and C6/C7 began to periodically protrude (about 3 mm) in '97, and until about 2006, I could usually count on them to bulge about once a year.

Over the 2 years pre-op they were protruding more often (from such overly strenuous activities as drying my hair ...), and by the time I had surgery they were almost constantly protruded.

It was unknown whether fusion surgery would have any effect on the cervical pain, and Hanson and I discussed revisiting the topic of cervical plating (if necessary) when I reached 1 year post-op.

My fusion was originally slated for T5-L1: The morning of surgery, Hanson proposed taking T4, as well. ("Eh, sure ... T4, T5 ... whatever ...")

Part of the reasoning was to avoid decompensation (it was questionable whether T4 was involved), but he also thought it *might* help the cervical issues. Who knows whether T5 would have had the same effect, but knock on wood, 6 months post-op, I haven't had a single protrusion.

Ginger, your posts made me think about all the (as my friends called them) "torture devices" I sold and gave away after surgery. I had an inversion bed, one of the over the door cervical traction units (a.k.a., the face squisher - LOL), a really neat device I used for back extension (C:\Users\Pam\Pictures\Scoliosis\Sell-Bun-Thigh-Roller-Massager.htm) (of course my back no longer bends that way!). You name it, if I thought it would give one minute of pain relief, I had it.

Can you use one of the non-pulling cervical rests that simply let your head drop back? There are others out there (and other sites that sell this one), but here's an example (http://www.protherapysupplies.com/pd-dr-real-ease-neck-support.cfm?gclid=COyzzOmq_5QCFQwxiQodNEbe1w)...

I really feel for you ... neck pain is the absolute pits. What a bummer to have your back corrected, only to find yourself in cervical pain again :(.

Best regards,
Pam

green m&m
08-08-2008, 08:28 PM
My cervical spine is lacking lordosis too

Ginger W.
08-09-2008, 10:36 PM
Hey Pam,

Thanks for passing along that link for a cervical rest device. I've emailed it to my physical therapist and I'll get his opinion on my next visit.

Ginger