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C5 Palsy

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Old 10-20-2017, 11:55 PM   #41
Jastek
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I bought one from local rehab supply company. About $800, but was covered by insurance.

Make sure it can do "Russian" stimulation. Otherwise, it's just a tens unit and that is not what you need. Ask your PT to recommend a supplier.

If you want details of the one I have, let me know.
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Old 10-22-2017, 06:22 PM   #42
barbara thorn 1
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Originally Posted by Bloosman21 View Post
Hi all

I wanted to share my experience thus far as information on C5 palsy seems scarce and what IS out there contain various prognosis and outcomes.
I've read many stories on this horrible dilema, some uplifting and some make me feel quite fortunate I'm at where I am.

I had a posterior laminectomy at C5-C6 Oct. 2016 to remedy extreme spinal cord compression which was stealing my leg function as well as effecting both arms in very negative ways(numbness, coordination, strength)...
I would lose touch with my feet as if they were'nt even there.
Could move them if I thought about it but it was as they if they didn't exist, especially when driving...SCARY!

Any ways, after surgery that night in bed and unbelievable pain, I experienced just ripping, burning, unbearable type pain across my left shoulder.
Long story short, next day my left deltoids were completely dead as was a portion of my bicep and also the radial muscle that runs from your bicep across the top of the forearm and into the wrist...

My neurosurgeon sent me immediately for another MRI to be sure there were no problems with the fusion or hardware shift (rods and screws) and the MRI looked GREAT, spinal cord completely decompressed was the good news, most likely severe tethering of the nerve root, bad news and causing what he explained to me as being something called C5 Palsy...

Without getting too windy here I just want to quickly sum up how things progressed and hopefully this will lift some you out theres spirits.

MONTH 1: Pure hell, just the horrible pain one would expect from a posterior approach to the spine, a place my NS said God did not want us to be .
Around day 30, pain was starting to get less with plenty of Norco but the left arm and deltoids were useless mostly. Could not hold a dinner plate, a pot of coffee. Couldnt even throw the blankets off my body without the other arm. Had to get creative to learn to pull up my pants. Putting a tee shirt on was a joke. I feel for some of you out there. I've read your stories, I at least had a fairly healthy right arm with all the normal pains, numbness, tingle of course, but functional.
C5 palsy is not just physically debilitating, but emotionally devastating.
I was soo depressed...
I'm a 55 year old in good shape, 180lb, 5-10, and work on an underground crew which demands strength and agility...I felt like this was all gone and I was doomed.

MONTH 2: Pain was still present and getting out of bed was a little easier.
BIZZARO! So I was sitting on the couch watching a movie with my girlfriend and BTW my savior as she has helped me so much!...and out of the blue I got this painful JOLT shoot across my left shoulder. Much like the first night after surgery. Something felt different though, I looked at my girl and said "Babe, something weird just happened"...So I stood up and started moving things around a little to see if there were any changes. Just like they say, there will be some spontaneous resolve at times. It dawned on me that my forward deltoid was firing. I could lift my arm so much easier, not without lots of drag mind you as the rear deltoid was still dead, but I realized later that night as well as in the morning that putting a tee shirt on and off became almost effortless.
I want t mention that at this point I started a physical therapy program (very light) just to keep the range of motion going...VERY IMPORTANT
I got a little cocky even at the end of month 2 and thought I could chop a little firewood as it was December now...MISTAKE...I was so worried that I may have fouled up my fusion due to pain and what not...
IMPORTANT: Take it all real easy, lots of rest, physical therapy and patience.
PS...a little Norco and an occasional beer didn't hurt either!

MONTH 3: So January 2017 came...Happy New Year!
Still doing physical therapy, BTW this was all done at home after an initial visit to a PT guy and had some direction.
I've been pushing some light weights as my NS has given me the go ahead to push 30 lbs as my last xray looked good regarding fusion.
My left arm is still very weak and deltoid in the rear is not firing.
I must say though, that I've been experiencing alot of nerve burners on my left shoulder deltoid area and alot of muscle spasm at the failing bicep and forearm...I'm convinced that this is nerve regeneration going on as its a very slow process and even slower depending on how bad your initial nerve damage may of been during surgery. Why do I say this?

Today is Feb. 2017...Over the last week I have had the following improvement
Three weeks ago I could only curl a 1lb weight with my left arm due to the forearm and bicep failure...today, for the first time I curled a 5lb bar, 3 sets, 10 reps. I look at my forearm and can actually SEE the muscle flexing where there were was nothing a week ago. Its firing, but weak. More PT!!!
Its like they say, spontaneous resolve can happen...
Today during my PT session, I could feel ease in lifting with the rear deltoid;
I think its slowly coming back now as well...my NS told me that MOST C5 palsy cases will resolve within 3-6 months...
All I can say to everyone is stay positive, do any physical therapy you can, and believe that will get better because it can...

I'm going to keep working on strength now and will go back to work April 4th on a months light duty to start...I'll stay in touch...any feedback, questions from you all experiencing this what I call, "streak of bad luck" will be answered if you'd like....Take care all for now...Tim
October 22/2017/
I too developed C5 Palsy after anterior C4-5, C5-6 fusion Sept. 5th. 2017. Arm was fine before surgery, now left upper arm and deltoid is paralyzed.
Never was told this could happen. NS said arm would be 3-4 weeks before able to use again. It will be much longer than that. I am so thankful for people who tell their story to the public that this also happened to them.
It has been month and half since surgery and I am in PT 3x week.
My left upper arm has improved slightly, by that I mean, I can lift it slightly from my body. Not able to raise arm yet independently. Working very hard to regain strength in shoulder and deltoid. PT jut told me it will be another couple of months before full use of my arm. Arm still very weak, but better then right after surgery.
Thank you for giving me hope this will get better. Will just take a lot of time.
Will write again. Barbara
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:21 AM   #43
maribren
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jastek View Post
I bought one from local rehab supply company. About $800, but was covered by insurance.

Make sure it can do "Russian" stimulation. Otherwise, it's just a tens unit and that is not what you need. Ask your PT to recommend a supplier.

If you want details of the one I have, let me know.
If you don't mind sharing the details of yours I would be greatly appreciative. No insurance here but I will pay. My PT didn't really have a recommendation. He suggested I asked someone who had a good outcome with the use of a specific model.
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Old 10-25-2017, 05:27 PM   #44
Jastek
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It is made by SpectraMed. It the Polaris Athlete (don't have a model number), but picture is attached. You can also see the settings that I use. These settings came from advise of by rehab doctor and me trying different settings. It is pretty small, about the size of a deck of cards, but it is powerful. Make sure you get one that has 2 channels and Russian stim capability. To get one that has high current output capability (Russian stimulation), you have to have a prescription from a doctor. Anything that says "TENS" is probably not what you want. Amazon wont sell one because of the prescription requirement. Here is a link to one that looks similar to mine Polaris TENS | Dual Channel TENS | Medi-Stim, Inc..
Attached Thumbnails
C5 Palsy-ems-jpg  
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:12 AM   #45
Peter24
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Default 1 week post surgery

Thanks Jastek, if found your post very helpful in a better education of my issue. I had Posterior surgery a week ago. Right cervical three four five Hemilaminectomy, foraminotomy. (no fusion) 60 year old male.
While in recovery I found no use of my right deltoid. Since Im new to C5 Palsy I would be interested in anyone’s experiences. Are exercises useful in the regrowth of the nerves or is it more to keep from getting a frozen shoulder. I read one white paper that talked about the use of steroids, has that been useful for anyone? Also the fact that i had no fusion, positive for rehab?
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:05 AM   #46
Serimile
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Default New to this right side c5 palsy

I've read this thread from the beginning and there are a lot of helpful things.
I had an anterior c5 c6, c6 c7 discectomy and fusion in 2014 with no complications and a posterior c2 c3 foraminotomy and c3 c4 lami with c3 c4, c4 c5 fusion in 2017 that resulted in a c5 right side radiculopathy immediately upon awakening from anesthesia which was "corrected" with a c5 right side foraminotomy 9 weeks later. I am now 6 weeks post op from the corrective surgery and getting pt and ot 3x a week but seeing little progress.
I have the deltoid and bicep paralasys and did not get any therapy during the 9 weeks between surgeries so I've had terrible muscle atrophy. I am wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and if they have had any progress and if they have followed up with any legal actions.
Sorry I got to writing this before an appointment and didn't get to finish all my thoughts as it takes a while to type...
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:33 AM   #47
TheGirlGeek
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Thumbs up You inspire me!

What an awesome gentleman! I had surgery 11-15-17 and 7 days after surgery the C5 palsy began. I loved your layman's version definition of C5 palsy. I have many years of medical background and though I understand, your version was excellent! I had posterior cervical fusion and laminectomy/mass fusion. I felt it very strange I was a star patient until 6 days into my hospital stay I was transported by a maniac for a final CT scan before being discharged on the 7th day. The woman who transported me was out to get me(We shall call her "Hellga" to give you a visual)! She purposely went over a huge dent/floor damage that I pointed out to here getting into the elevator and I howled in pain. I have never howled a day in my life! I was balling my eyes out. She denied she did any wrongdoing and made it I think in one piece to the CT scan. Would you believe me if I told you she took me over the same exact spot on the way back to my room and this time the pain was so intense that I cried out and began sobbing. I stood up and she told me to sit down. I told her that I would not allow her to hurt me a 3rd time, (I shouldn't have let it happen a second time but I gave Hellga the benefit of the doubt). Of course, I made sure that the hospital was aware of what had been done to me and told the doctor the next day as well. Before being discharged about 12 hours after my trauma, all the usual neurological testing was done as it had been several times a day since surgery. I got home and noticed that whenever I used my left arm I was lifting my shoulder but it wasn't until the following day, 8 days out from surgery, when being handed a cup that I was reaching for it but my arm was not cooperating. My son asked what I was doing and I said I was waiting for him to hand me the cup. He said he was and at that moment I told him my arm is out as far as it would go. He got a little upset and panicky wondering whats wrong with mom. I told him my arm was probably tired and I didn't think about again until I tried to pull my pants up and thought this is not normal. For the sake of saving time, I will say that I ended up going to the ER for an MRI. The Neurosurgeon on call thought I might have a blood clot pressing on a nerve or something. MRI normal but was told I got C5 palsy and the rest is history. My pain is more discomfort than pain at this point. I've started PT and am religious about my exercises. I want to improve as soon as I can, I will be a first-time grandma in April and am planning to help care for my new grandson, I will need two good arms. Your progress is inspiring and your attitude is awesome. Your wife must be very proud of you, you're such a hard worker! I will keep reading here about your progress and if I have any significant changes I might even post them. Thank you very much!
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Old 12-18-2017, 10:45 AM   #48
Jastek
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Hey TheGirlGeek. Sorry to hear about your experience. As many of you know, the medical industry (who is supposed to put patients first) is broken. Care givers and doctors have gotten so jaded that they have forgotten the human side of the process.

As for your C5 Palsy, since it started 7 days after the surgery, you might take a little longer to recover. The general thought is that the longer it takes to start, the longer it takes to resolve. Since you only have it on one side, it would seem to me that you are only dealing with a nerve root problem (nerves that run down your arm) and not a spinal cord issue. That's a good thing. I would ask your therapist to start doing nerve stimulation therapy. As I have said throughout this post, nerve stimulation is one of the key therapies that you can do. One home exercise you can try is to get a paint roller and attach it to a pole. Stand facing a wall and use your bad arm to roll the paint roller up the wall. Use your good arm to help. I came up with this exercise because I needed a better way to isolate the deltoid. It worked pretty good for me.

Keep up the fight and it will get better. Don't let a few set backs discourage you.

Thanks for the post and keep us updated.
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Old 12-18-2017, 11:14 AM   #49
Jastek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serimile View Post
I've read this thread from the beginning and there are a lot of helpful things.
I had an anterior c5 c6, c6 c7 discectomy and fusion in 2014 with no complications and a posterior c2 c3 foraminotomy and c3 c4 lami with c3 c4, c4 c5 fusion in 2017 that resulted in a c5 right side radiculopathy immediately upon awakening from anesthesia which was "corrected" with a c5 right side foraminotomy 9 weeks later. I am now 6 weeks post op from the corrective surgery and getting pt and ot 3x a week but seeing little progress.
I have the deltoid and bicep paralasys and did not get any therapy during the 9 weeks between surgeries so I've had terrible muscle atrophy. I am wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and if they have had any progress and if they have followed up with any legal actions.
Sorry I got to writing this before an appointment and didn't get to finish all my thoughts as it takes a while to type...
Serimile - Not sure if the foraminotomy "corrected" your C5 Palsy. Once the nerve is damaged, the only way to correct it is for the nerve to grow back, unless a nerve transfer or nerve graft is done. The foraminal narrowing may have been a contributing cause of the C5 Palsy and that is why they did the foraminotomy. That would have taken the pressure off the nerve root.

Sine you had no therapy in the 9 weeks immediately following surgery, your muscles had no activity and started to atrophy. Keep up the PT. I did not see any real improvement until 3 months, so don't get discouraged.

On the legal front, don't get your hopes up. I live in Ohio and like a lot of states, the laws were against us. I talked to 3 of the top attorneys in my area and all three said the same thing. They agreed that the doctor screwed up, but since my employer continued to pay me during my recovery, the case was not worth the time and effort to get a verdict in my favor. In order to be successful in a law suit against a doctor, you have to prove that they violated the "standard of care" established for doctors. That is a hard thing to prove. In Ohio, malpractice cases have a $250,000 cap on verdicts. This means that the most I could recover from the doctor is $250,000 (absolute bull %$#@). So I was not able to go after the doctor. I have, however, started a campaign to drag this doctor and the hospital through the mud. Might not make a difference, but it feels good telling everyone what a quack this guy is....

Good luck to you and keep pushing on. Don't get discouraged by the delay in recovery. It takes time.

Thanks for posting and keep us updated on your recovery.
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Old 12-18-2017, 11:25 AM   #50
Jastek
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For those of you who decide to share your experience here, please keep us updated on your progress. As much as we like to hear your initial story, it is very helpful to hear how your recovery goes. This post is all about helping people understand C5 Palsy and your recovery will help others understand the process.
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