Neuro Nurses please advise

Specialties Neuro


I am unsure if I should post here or ortho for this question is this.

1.I was wondering what kind of symptoms your cervical fusions patients complain about if they are having non union?I ask because I have recently had a cervical fusion......and to be quite neck simply does not "feel right".I feel like my arms are "weighted" down on the interior aspect ....and things as simple as eating popcorn are difficult because I cant seem to make my index finger and thumb grasp like I need for them to.I am now 2 months post op.....and my neurosurgeon kinda blows off my complaints.I had 3 herniated discs preop....and because it was wcomp....he only did a single level fusion(took care of the worst one).Is this maybe normal?I mean am I expecting too much too soon after surgery?I am scared.....because before surgery I had the radicular pain but not the incoordination.So I am seeking ADVICE.....and ANY postings are very much appreciated.Thank You.:confused:

kc ccurn

243 Posts


The cervical fusion pt's I take care of are immediate post op in the unit so I'm not sure about the 1-2 months down the road. I would think though that if you are having symptoms, i.e. the fine motor coordination problems that you didn't have before, and the NS only fixed the one of the herniations, that your neck needs to be re examined. Did he do a follow up CT for alignment or MRI to look at ligaments, etc?

Who cares if it was workmans comp, his (the NS) behavior is unacceptable. If something just doesn't feel right, than it isn't until proven otherwise. You need to go back to your hospital and let them know the difficulties you are having with your neurosurgeon not giving appropriate care and demand a second opinion from a neurosurgeon of your choice or threaten to get a workmans comp attorney (be prepared to do this too) because this is a cervical neck injury, not something to be taken lightly, this can have serious life changing sequela. Make sure also that you are documenting on your own your symptoms, when you discuss them with your doc, employee health, anybody and what your discussion with them was, what they did or didn't do. Keep a log of everything.

You, unfortunately, are going to have to be your own advocate because with workmanscomp, they're not going to beat down doors trying to get things done for you-you'll need to do that.

Good luck and let me know how things are going! -Kris


215 Posts

Specializes in OB, M/S, ICU, Neurosciences.

It sounds like you may have developed some compression. Which level was fused? Have you had RECENT films done of your neck? Is there any plan to re-MRI you for another look at those nerve roots? Have you had PT or OT yet? It's not unusual for there to be some residual symptoms following surgery (especially sensory sx), but it sounds like you have a new motor deficit, and that is definitely NOT normal, especially this far out from surgery.

Please, for your own sake, follow kc ccurn's advice and get another neurosurgeon to look at you. Let the WC folks know about your problem--and your plan, since they are the ones paying the bills, and think about getting an attorney. Good luck!


554 Posts

I have seen a non workers comp doctor...and he ordered an ct myleogram...and a mri of my shoulder.The mri of my shoulder showed progressive changes and bone spur formation that is limiting my rom to my shoulder.the ct myleogram showed anomalies to not only my c5 area(area fused) but also to my c4 c5 c6 c7.They couldnt even get the thecal sac to fill during the myleogram of these areas....indicative of rupture.The workers comp doc blwe off my complaints and the workers comp case manager is unbelievably uncaring.I mean.....I love my job......but no one is listening to me when I am telling them I can feel this damn plate moving in my neck.the migraines are so debilitating that I can not even sit up for over an hour.It is debilitating ...and NO ONE is willing to listen.I am scared.Very scared.Its terrifying to hear a pop in your neck and feel the plate move.But the worst part is it is draining my life out of me.I am in pain......and it seems like people hear the word workers comp and they close their ears....and after all this time I am now probably left with these results.I am scared.

kc ccurn

243 Posts

I am sorry that you are meeting with such resistance. What has your director had to say about this? What does your consulting doc think about prognosis?

I think you have every right to be scared. You need to talk to a workman's comp lawyer. If you need any referrals, PM me, I have a contact who is a workmans comp lawyer here in CO. Maybe he knows someone in TX. But I would not let this go without a fight. Your original doc and case manager are being neglegent!!! I hope that things get better for you! We're here for you, an extended support system! Good luck-Kris

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