hi,

I was wondering if Dr. Young and/or medical personal could answer my question and any other comments if any would be appreciated.

I am 48 yr. old female with Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy. I had fusion surgery 12/09 C5/6 7/8, Osteopytes compressing spinal cord removed at C3/4. My gait has been altered since 12/08 about 6 months after the pain down my neck, shoulders into hands began. I began to have very heavy legs, wide based stiff gait at times barely able to walk at all. Although my gait was never normal again it waxed and waned thoughout the time it started up until my surgery and still continue to have difficulty walking.

I had a MVA when i was 20 and had head trauma and my neck cracked the steering wheel from direct trauma. i had no idea about disc problems or ddd back then. I was hosptilized for 4 days concussion etc. but all these years later I had this rapidly progressing myelopathy.

I still walk with wide based gait, my legs are still stiff, although better I still cannot walk long distances (use a cane for this) or walk up stairs without a struggle, run participate in sports etc. As i say although my gait is better I am 8 months post op and it just doesnt feel as though I am going to regain all the function in my legs. Most important I cant produce any "power" if i force myself to try and run etc. my legs are like rubber. I have been told by my neurosurgeon, physiatrist, pain management and PT that It may never return and of course no one can give me any other answer. I was told by my surgeon and physiatrist that people with Myelopathy are usually always left with permanent deficits. I am still in PT 8 months post op and PT many months before surgery. I am not even discussing the pain i still have down my are and hand and numbess intermittently. Although better I have accepted I will always have some pain I guess.

So my question is: Is there anything that can be done for a person like me who had injury to their spinal cord but is not paralyzed? I am grateful I can walk but my life is a shadow of what is was. I dont work, am on disability and workers compensation. I was always physically active and in good shape, and I just feel like im being told that basically my gait has a crap shoots chance of returning to normal function. I would like to think that this is not all there is for me. Is there anything else that can be done for me? Any help for my spinal cord?

thankyou for your help.

sincerely,
m.