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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure if this is the correct forum or not, but it's as good as any.

I found out last Friday that this intermittent pain in my neck requires disk surgery on my neck to remove a couple of really bad disks. This means that they will need to fuse the vertebrae together. Don't really see the necessity of generating a lot of details about it, but this has been ongoing for a number of years and has finally gotten to where the only thing left to try is surgery.

The surgeon says that when they fuse one vertebrae it usually reduces the range of motion by 15%. So, with 2, the range of motion will reduce by 30%. Frankly, my range of motion isn't all that great now, without the surgery and it wasn't clear of the reduction would be from present limits or from normal limits.

The question I have for the members is: Does anyone know if the reduction in Range of Motion will seriously impact my ability to safely ride my Burgman? If you've had disk surgery or know of some who has that rides or rode, it would be great to know if you or them was able to continue riding once you or they recovered.

Frankly, now that I've discovered how much fun it is to ride, I really don't want to have to give it up.

My poor little 650 keeps begging me to go riding and it's breaking my heart.

Thanks,
Joe
 

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Joe,

I have had multiple disk surgeries, in my case in the lumbar (lower back) region. I can ride, but I have to be aware of how the impacts on my spine are being taken. If I start getting stabs of pain, it's time to quit for a while until it settles down. This can take an hour, or it can takes several weeks depending on how quickly I react (or don't react, sometimes I get stubborn & ignore it, almost always to regret it later), & how severe the shock is (avoid potholes & rough rail crossings like the plague).

My mother has had the neck fusion you describe (5 vertabrae), & her range of motion is quite good. They key here is lots of hard work after the surgery during Physical Therapy (or as those of us who have been through it term it "Pure Torture"). You must also always be aware of your hour to hour condition. The weather (mainly barometric pressure changes) will have a large impact on your ability to function at peak effeciancy & you must learn to listen to what your body is saying to you & ACT on that information.

The other key element to a successful recovery is summed up in one word: PATIENCE! Do not force yourself to go too far, too fast. You will get frustrated at the apparent lack of progress, you will get angry because you'll feel tied down, limited, trapped, a prisoner. All of these will pass & you will be fine in time, but you must give yourself the time your body needs to A) HEAL & B) ADAPT.

I know this sounds scary, and it is, there's no getting around it. But with proper forewarning (which they never seem give adequately), & the proper mental attitude, you'll come through just fine. It took me until my 4th surgery to figure all of this out and adapt my mindset appropriately. Once I acheived that, the remaining 10 were easily mastered and I recovered much quicker (yes, you read right, that's 14 total surgeries, I was seriously broken, still am, but I'm getting better every day, hell I've been fighting this battle for 14 years!).

I know that in reading the precedeing you're probably saying to yourself "F___ that! No way I'm gonna let them do that to me!"

Trust me, I have no reason to lie to you. If you are at the point where your only option left is surgery, then find a good doctor, one you feel comfortable with, & have it done. It will probably take 3-4 months to fully recover, but 3 or 4 months compared to a lifetime trapped in your own body, in pain & suffering all the time, well you can figure out that equation yourself.

If at any time before, during, or after you feel the need to talk, to bitch, complain, or just be reassured, please feel free to contact me. I'll be happy to listen, encourage, chide, whatever to make it easier for you.

You can always reach me here or on my cell, which I'll be happy to provide via PM if you so desire.

Good luck, God bless, & for God's sake don't let the bastards get you down!
 

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Let me drop an opinion on you and you can take it any way you want it.

Recently no less than three friends of mine have had severe back and neck pain, have been diagnosed with bad or buldging disks, and have had the surgery.

About 9 months ago I couldn't even ride my scooter over 40 miles because of a very severe back pain. It felt like a sword going through the middle-left sided of my back and out the front of the ribcage. I went to a chiropractor with no success except for a day or so relief. It was so bad that I was taking off of work in the afternoon to go home and lay down. It was horrible!!!

Because of my friends, I was sure I knew what I was in for.

But someone I worked with said to give his sports massage theropist a shot. So I did. Three treatments and my back pain was GONE. Not reduced or livable, but GONE. He also got rid of my cronic foot pain and even some carpel tunnel issues that I had, and I didnt' even tell him about that.

I go back every six to eight weeks and have the guy work me over and I have been fine ever since. The theory is that muscles store tension and pull your skeleton one way or the other resulting in the buldging and pain that you are suffering.

Perhaps you might wanna give this a shot before you let the western docs try to cut you up.

Just my $.02
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Wyldman,

You may be hearing from me via PM at some point in time. It gives me some consolation to know that I will ride again and won't be waving bye to the burgie.

Bechotea,

In the last 4 years since this started being a real problem, I've had 3 Nerve Blocks done as these require almost no down time, and I actually had some success with them. Limited and certainly not long lasting, but it has 'relieved' some of the discomfirt.

I spent 3 months last summer going twice a week to an accupuncturist and that certainly helped some, but not as much as I expected. During that time he sent me to see an Massage Therapist and that had limited success also. I've been to physical therapy also and that too had limited success.

I've looked at the MRI and, frankly, I don't need a medical diploma to see that something is definitely wrong. Here's a technical rendition: The Bulge on the C4-C5 disk is such that it is pressing on the Spinal cord, to the extent that the spinal cord is 50% compressed. Add to that, some bone spurs on the opposite side of the disk that are also pinching the spinal cord. The bulge on the C5-C6 disk is such that is is also pressing on the spinal cord, to the extent that the cord is 25% compressed. There are also some bone spurs on the opposite side of the disk that are pinching the cord also.

The bottom line is that the doctor told me, I need to limit my driving and my riding for the time being, because even a minor accident could cause spinal cord compression injury and there's really no way to correct that. As to specifically for riding, the only thing I have to be wary of is falling... I need to avoid that at all costs. Not something that is easily done.

So, I am reluctant now to see anyone that does spine manipulation, because I am sorely afraid of injuring the spinal cord. Not saying that it will or that it won't help. Just afraid.

The prognosis for not having surgery doesn't look good either. The radiology report from this MRI was able to compare it to the last MRI in January 2004. Specifically, the radiologist commented that the disk showed significant change from then to now. Therefore, there is no way to know if it is still changing or not. If it is still changing, then there will be a point in time where I will develop more symptoms than I presently have. And, my risk factors for permanent loss of motor skills will continue to rise every day.

Yeah, the doctor painted a really ugly picture for me.

Joe
 

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Well, you tried the accupuncture and massage, and that's really all you can do is give it a go. At least you didn't jump straight to surgery. As for the guy I went to, he's one of the best. He even works on the athletes at the olympics. He never really concentrated on the back itself, but rather worked every part of the body. I couldn't believe it worked myself.

I cannot comment any further as my situation was addressed by alternative methods. Nevertheless, I wish you luck. Like I said, we have had three surgeries around here and while all three people have realized success in the long term, it is a challenging situation to say the least.

Again, good luck!!
 

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That's a bummer. I sympathise with you. It's not until it goes bang do we realise just exactly how much we use our spine for almost every activity.
I would concur with the opinion that surgery should be avoided if at all possible. There is no guarantee that even successful surgery will relieve your symptoms. If it really is the only way, and in your case it seems you have exhausted all the avenues, make sure you get the best. You want someone who specialises in spinal surgery, particularly necks, not just a general orthopod or neurosurgeon who dabbles. I agree with the need for really good rehab post op, and with the need to take things slowly and not undo a good surgery with undue haste to get moving.
I'll keep you in my prayers and wish you the best for it.
 

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I am really sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing. I will keep you in my thoughts.
 
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