compression injury at C3-4

Specialties Neuro


Ok, my dad had all these transient symptoms.. not being able to write a check, ect. I persueded him to see a neurologist when the fp found nothing... Case is now that c3-4 has a compression fx and so does c7-8 which the doc said is "elective" to operate... I previously explained to my father that at the c3 level you would lose innervation of the diaphram and stop breathing.... After seeing the doc, he is not allowed to even drive a car... His surgery is scheduled for this saturday (feb 21) because of the surgeons schedule. My question is ... what should I be looking for post op besides neuro checks, and above that the airway... Sounds bad but I assume he will be on the floor.. and the least I can do is look after my dad while they run their butts off.

bellehill, RN

566 Posts

Specializes in Neuro Critical Care.

My first thought as a neuro floor nurse is to tell you to go home and get a good nights sleep. The nurses on the floor deal with neuro surgery patients everyday and they know how to take care of them. They will be doing neuro checks all night along with vital sign checks. Talk to the floor nurses and feel them out, maybe they will want your help and maybe not. You may not even be able to stay, check the policy.


104 Posts

Thanks! its just hard to put myself on the other end! I guess I just needed to be told.


164 Posts

Specializes in Trauma, ER, ICU~CCRN,CNRN.

Hopefully with an injury that high, he will go to ICU post op. At least for the first 24 hours. Try to keep your cool. It's definately no fun being on the other end, especially when you know so much....

bellehill, RN

566 Posts

Specializes in Neuro Critical Care.

elizzy is right, he will probably go back to the ICU overnight. Just remember all the advice you have given your patient's family members about going home and follow it!

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