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Discussion Starter #1
OK this has absolutely nothing to do with tractors, and its long.. so skip it if you're looking for tractor info.. Im just venting or whining or whatever...

a little about myself.. almost 21 years ago i was in a motorcycle accident.. broke my back, was paralyzed.. spend 3.5 months in 2 hospitals.. had spinal cord damage.. was very very very lucky.. slowly (took about a year) most of my muscles came back.. not all but, enough that i can walk, do yard work.. cant run and dont have normal strength, dont have normal bladder/bowels.. but what the hell, considering i was told i would NEVER EVER walk again.. hey, i cant complain..

(funny, ive never met any members here, only know you all by your posts, and you now know more about me than most of my acquaintances)

so anyway with a broken back, back then, they put harrington rods in, grafted with some bone from my hip.. These are pencil width rods about 12-14" in my back.. 1 of them on either side of my spine wrapped in wire to fuse it together..

all was well... but a 4 weeks ago, i was sitting around messing with a PC.. doing nothing strenuous when all of a sudden i got a wicked sharp pain in my back and chest.. it lasted about a week and finally i went to the ER to see what was up. I was concerned cause i have those damned rods in my back..

Well they came back with Xrays and said.. good news.. nothing wrong with your chest.. BUT its strange, it sort of looks like one of the rods is bent.. if it still hurts have it checked..

so yesterday i went to my doctor.. brought the xrays.. my doc was like 'Thats not bent, its broken!!" so the top 2-3 inches of the rod in my back snapped off.. Nice... he seemed to think it was serious..

he made an appt with a back doctor for me to go to tomorrow.. (no messing around.. not sure if thats good or bad, he called and spoke to the doc himself.. again, not sure if thats good or bad)

im sort of messed up about it.. hope it does not need to be removed.. not looking forward to any sort of back surgery.. but dont want a 3 inch piece of brass floating around my back.. and now every time i bend im worried ill do something bad... you know.. pop into my spine, or go through something... (probably over worrying) could not have happened at a worse time... spring is always busy around the yard and up here.. spring weather will be here in a few weeks

The good part: tonight, my lady will take the trash out.. (no lifting till i find out whats up)

well thats my problem of the day/week whatever..

now that ive vented i feel better.. (except for the rod)
sj
 

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I've said a prayer for you and will continue until we hear how you are doing. There has been a lot of advances since your original repair job, maybe they can fix you up better. DON"T be shy about asking questions! Ask what the best and worse possible outcomes of what ever he says treatment will be. Ask what other alternatives are available. And if surgery is what you need, check out the guy/gal doing the work, contact the hospital beforehand and ask if this Dr. has complaints in his file. Call the state medical board and ask the same question. Get as much info as you can to make the best decision for you. Just like some of the tractor guys do when contemplating a new purchase.
 

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SJ,

About 20 years ago I fell asleep going around a curve, at night, near my home. Luckily I kept going slightly to the left. My car hit a telephone pole, shearing it off, climbed a small tree and fell back on it's roof into a small drainage ditch. I say luckily because if I had gone to the right I could have ended up in the lake!

I woke up, unbuckled my seat belt, and fell into the roof of the car. Both the front and rear windshields had popped out and about 10 inches of water and mud was flowing through the car. I fell into the the middle of it. I was able to roll the side window "up" (open) and crawl out. I got a ride home, took a shower and some other foolish things you do when you are in shock. When my neighbor got me to the hospital I couldn't walk.

CT scans showed I had crushed 3 vertebrae. If my back had moved another 1/8th of an inch, it would have cut my spinal cord. I eventually was given the option of inserting rods in my back, along with a chunk of hip bone to fuse some bone or just let the vertebrae heal themselves. After a lot of checking around, I chose the surgery and had one of the best Orthopedic surgeons on the west coast. The rods are stainless steel about 12 - 14 inches long and connected below and above the damaged area with curved clamps and held in place with SS lock nuts. They look very strange when you see them in x-rays.

I found out later that if I had chosen natural healing instead of surgery/rods, and something had happened, here's what they would have had to do: Open my belly up, move my internal organs aside, break my back again from the inside, rearrange the organs and sew me up again. then roll me over and install the rods.... My doctor told me he couldn't tell me this before my decision as he was bound ethically not to try to sway my decision to a surgery he would be performing).

I spent 9 months in a full body cast, neck to below my groin. My Dr. told me the bones would heal in about a year and if I had no pain, I could leave them in. If they really bothered me, or became painful, I could have them removed. However, that would require another surgery and the possible chance of infection.

I still have the rods in and they bother me once in a great while but not that much at all. I do not plan on having them removed...unless they broke like yours.

So, bud, I know your pain and concern! I certainly would get detailed CT/MRI scans and see of the bones are fully healed. I would check the infection rate at the hospital, resumes of the surgical team that would perform the operation, recovery rate of the Dr.'s patients, as much info as you can to make you comfortable with your decision.

I will be thinking of you. Please keep us informed.

Greg
 

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SJ, feel free to vent any time buddy!! My prayers are with you. Take it easy, and best of luck with whatever comes along by way of options. Keep us posted as to what happens.:friends:
 

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don't feel bad there's always that tractor to shine angel l'm not good at this kind of things but good lucky hope all turns out ok when l was a kid l had 6 or 7 surgery on my ears still can't hear that good and had 3 hernias :blacksuit l have not had any broken bones but l'm still younghula
 

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You guys depressed me totally....I'm really to hear sorry about your conditions. You have my prayers and sympathy's

I guess I'll be selling my bikes this spring....:eek:mg:

Duc
 

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Man I hate to hear that, my prayers are with ya for a speedy recovery from this.
 

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Take care SJ, keep a good outlook about it. Worry will just make you nervous and tighten your muscles. Feel free to vent anytime.

Mark
 

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Originally posted by ducati996

I guess I'll be selling my bikes this spring....:eek:mg:

Duc
Well going by your name, I would be more then happy to take one off your hands:D :D
 

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Originally posted by Ingersoll444
Well going by your name, I would be more then happy to take one off your hands:D :D

If you are serious probably within a month I may unload both
1995 Yamaha Vmax and a 1999 Ducati 996....

These machines are in better conditon that than factory, and never have been abused....

Its not a money issue for me, but I cant seem to use them enough
and of course the danger part after reading posts above....
But I go through this every year since I've been on the street
(second thoughts) and after my first ride of the season I'm hooked on holding on to them.....

Duc
 

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lol no I wish I COULD afford them. Been a Ducati fan sence before they were trendy. Would realy like to get a nice early "new style" 900ss LOVE the looks, and sounds of that bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi guys..
Thanks for the thoughts/kind words/prayers..

I went to the docs on friday and the doctor said 'strange your rod is broken but not where i would have thought it would be broken, but not to worry.. The thing will not have to come out'

What a relief.. He said even though it snapped, there should be enough scar tissue around it to keep it where it is..

I grilled him, asked about yard work, shovelling etc.. and he said no problem.. i just needed to get an ultrasound to ensure that i have no blood clots (that is sort of standard procedures for spinal chord folks) but i am not in a chair and am pretty active.. the ultra sounds proved negative.

So I am good to go.. Now its time for spring cleanup.. Yeah...

Thanks all...
 

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Great news, SJ.

Take care, don't overdo it...but no need to "baby" it either unless you get more pain.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #18
greg, that was a very interesting story.. that must have sucked.. 9 months...

when i have the rods fused.. i was put in a body cast like the one you had.. but they only kept it on for a few weeks till i was transferred to a 'spinal cord' hospital (university hospital in boston) .. there they cut me out of that friggin cast and put a molded back brace on..

Before the body cast, i was on a stryker frame, Greg probably used this too.. for those others, its basically an ironing board type of thing.. you lie flat face down or face up on it.. Then for me at least, every 4 hours, they would put an ironing board type thing on top of me.. like a sandwich, and roll it over so you would lie face up.. 3 weeks in that thing.. Then the body cast.. but the body cast was horrible, it was like a big turtle shell, at the time i had no return in my legs at all and the giant body cast on so i was like a turtle upside down.. I was very glad to get that giant thing cut off and get the back brace...

the brace or body cast allowed me to (and greg too, im guessing) to be abe to sit up.. while the rods were setting up, before the cast I had to lie flat either on my back or stomach on that stryker frame..
 

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So has the pain that got you to the doctors in the first place gone away (hopefully!)? Any discussion on what you should do if the pain comes back? Glad to hear you don't need to go under the knife, and I hope you continue to improve and enjoy life. Take care of yourself, you might be around longer than you think.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
the doc thought blood clots.. but that tested negative.. he said that the rod may have been broken for years? or maybe not.. i did not have any old Xrays to compare it too..

Not sure why the back/chest pain.. for the most part, it went away after a week & a half.. l still feel it but not as bad and if theres nothing going on.. ill assume its just a little back pain..

I am sort of glad i went to this doctor.. he's a spinal cord surgeon so for my history, he's a good doctor to have....
Im going back to him in 3 months for an xray, but if my back gets sore ill go back to him sooner..
 
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