Spinal Cord Damage after ACDF

unstablevet

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I had ACDF back in December on C-5 C-6. After surgery I was numb from the chest down. After 3 months I am now numb from the waist down and in my pinky, ring finger on the right hand to include that side of my palm. When I bend my neck down I fell like I'm being electrocuted. I just spoke to my surgeon today. My MRI results came back and he told me that I have permanent spinal cord damage from C-3 to C-6. He said my spinal cord is being flattened from C-2 to C-5. The only option is to have complete cervical spine replacement and I am not willing to have such an extensive surgery. I also was given a P3 today which states "This Soldier has permanent spinal cord damage in association with significant degenerative disc disease in the cervical spine". In section 8. Functional limitations and capabilities and other comments it states " There is permanent spinal cord damage demonstrated on mri. Will I receive any kind of rating due to the spinal cord damage or am I going to have a Range of motion test and that is it?
 

gsfowler

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Range of motion for spine, and you can be rated for neuropathy, neuralgia, or nerve paralysis. The conditions should be separated and not pyramided.

Mahe sure you get an EMG so you have quantitative data for the MEB. C&P with the VA just does the pin prick method to check for neurological conditions.

Here is the VASRD as it pertains to nerve conditions. Start at 8510

http://www.benefits.va.gov/WARMS/docs/regs/38cfr/bookc/part4/s4_124a.doc
 

unstablevet

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I asked the neuro surgeon about an emg. He said I could have one done but wouldnt be very affective because it doesnt test the cord only the muscles
 

gsfowler

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The EMG is going to show a quantitative analysis of nerve damage (the nerves ability to control the muscle group), you should most certainly request one.

Make sure the residuals from the surgery are well documented, 3 months post surgery is a little early to assume anything permanent, however if the imaging reflects it, use it to demonstrate the point.
 

moneyblind

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You are doing the best thing right now in ensuring that everything is documented. As a recipient of a massive fusion myself, I can tell you that the nerve symptoms change daily. The fact that the numbness is receding it a sign that healing is still taking place. However, the spinal cord compression showing up in the MRI should not be taken lightly; Best of luck to you brother!
 

unstablevet

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My surgeon said that my spinal cord has signal cord changes at c2 through c5. When he viewed them he told me that my spinal cord looks worse than before acdf. Along with the signal cord changes I also have cord flattening from c2 to c5 and he believes it is due to my spinal cord being draped over my c2 c3 and c4. How would they rate this? I can move my head for the most part so Im sure my range of motion will be fine. What tests other than EMG can I have done. I asked my surgeon about an EMG and he told me I could have one done but that it doesn't work with cord injuries only peripheral nerves.
 
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