Almost exactly two months ago I wrecked my bike severely compressing my neck and spine. I still have pain. My neck is still very stiff. It was time for a follow up.
Quick version: I'll be fine.
Nearly ten years ago I had a spinal fusion of C6 and C7 in my neck. A disk had popped out of place and was pressing on my spinal cord. I had an ACDF (Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion) done to remove the disk and replace it with a spacer. It looks sort of like this...
After my recent accident I've been concerned that the impact and compression had damaged another disk. I've been experiencing similar symptoms to what I went through before the ACDF procedure. Specificall, pain behind a shoulder and down my arm with a bit of numbness in my hand. However, this hasn't been nearly as bad this time around and it's been improving slowly over time. That said, it's been two months.
My doctor today had me get an MRI on my neck to have a better look. He ordered the MRI. I went down a floor in the facility. MRI took about fifteen minutes. He had the images on his screen almost immediately. This same procedure in the states might have taken weeks or months. This entire visit took about an hour. I do have a small amount of impingement between C3 and C4, but he thinks it will be fine. If it gets worse instead of better he told me to come back and we'll have another look.
This is from the MRI I got yesterday. I got a link via WeChat that allowed me access to this on my phone. The slider on the side let's me go forward and back through the entire 3D scan. It's pretty cool. The red arrow shows the tiny impingement at C3.
Recommendation is acupuncture to help speed up the healing and to try and keep good posture at all times. That's rough. I'm a sloucher. Activity helps me get loose and I feel better after being active. I played a bunch of golf during the summer. Not sure that was wise, but I wanted to play. This being more sedintary over the past few weeks has caused me to get stiff all the time. Another difference lately is I haven't been taking any Advil and I'm just living with the subtle pain. Hoping that it slowly diminishes with more time.