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Anyone know anything about C7 fractures?

(11 Posts)
Thatsnotmyotter Thu 07-Mar-19 11:38:56

DH has broken his neck. C7 fracture which appears to be the least bad neck injury he could have ended up with (falling headfirst off his bike at 30mph). He’s currently in A&E waiting for a second MRI before they make a plan. He’s currently in a very industrial looking collar which the spinal team have said he will likely have to wear for 12 weeks.

Does anyone know what the normal recovery process is? They have mentioned surgery is a possibility. I’m a bit overwhelmed at the moment!

OP’s posts: |
Maykid Thu 07-Mar-19 11:41:32

My mum aged 94 broke her neck in a fall and had to wear a rigid neck collar too but even at that age she made a full recovery after a few months.

southchinasea Thu 07-Mar-19 21:24:35

Yes I fell and fractured C6 and C7 in a horse riding accident 3 years ago. Wore a collar for 4 months and had surgery. Have made a complete recovery and returned to full time work and all activities. My neck and shoulders do get a bit stiff and achy at times but pilates/ walking/ massage all help with that.
Please do ask any questions and I will try and think back and help. It is all quite overwhelming at first.
Obviously everyone's injury is different. But absolutely possible to make a full recovery.
Ask as many questions as possible to the spinal team. I found the physios especially helpful.
What sort of collar is he in? I had a miami j brace. It was annoying but you do adjust. Does he have nerve pain in his arms or any loss of fine motor control in his hands, ie pen grip etc. These were signs my fracture was unstable and I did need an operation (not realised until a couple of weeks after the fall).
At first he is likely to be very tired, I remember even sitting up to watch 20 minutes of TV was hard. Also not easy to slow down and probably need to take time off from work etc. But within a few weeks I was enjoying building up my stamina for walks and spending time with family and friends.
Hope you have more information now and hope he isn't too uncomfortable.

Thatsnotmyotter Sat 09-Mar-19 22:56:35

Thanks both. Sorry it’s been hard work the last couple of days. Still feeling a bit shellshocked tbh. DH is (was?) a reasonably high level amateur athlete and this has thrown an enormous spanner in the works, let alone with having a young baby... it all just feels a bit shit.

@southchinasea He is VERY tired. It’s totally out of character for him but he’s sleeping most of the time. Do you mind me asking how long you had off work? DH’s company are bastards and only pay statutory so we really can’t afford for him to be off for weeks... this is a real worry for me but I’m trying not to let it show! How long did you need help washing/dressing etc. For and what kind of help/care did you have? We’re currently staying with my parents because we have a 6 month old and I woudln’t manage both of them at the moment but I don’t know how long we will realistically need so much extra support.

He also has a terrible migraine type headache with visual disturbances... I have no idea if this is normal or if it’s something I should be worrying about! Does this sound familiar at all to you?

OP’s posts: |
Thatsnotmyotter Sat 09-Mar-19 23:02:12

I never even answered your questions!

He’s in an Aspen collar. Best for his long thin neck apparently! I had to take it off this morning to wash him. Bloody terrifying tbh.

His weakness (down his right side) appears to have subsided but he’s still got a lot of pain when moving. It seems okay if he’s flat. He’s got numbness/tingling in a couple of fingers but was told that’s normal. If he’s upright for any length of time, he’s in agony and feels sick.

OP’s posts: |
greenelephantscarf Sat 09-Mar-19 23:10:31

wrt sick pay - has he got insurance via his sporting association?

Thatsnotmyotter Sat 09-Mar-19 23:17:51

Fucking hell. I’ve just seen that he could have had accident insurance through British Tri but didn’t.

I think there is some grounds for a legal claim due to the appalling state the bike path is in but it’s not guaranteed and we really aren’t those kind of people...

OP’s posts: |
greenelephantscarf Sat 09-Mar-19 23:24:02

oh bother, sorry sad
can you trawl through other paperwork for insurance (bank account, life insurance etc?

Thatsnotmyotter Sat 09-Mar-19 23:27:38

Our critical illness and life cover isn’t aplicable apparently. Not sure we’re covered by anything else but obviously I will do some investigating!

OP’s posts: |
southchinasea Sun 10-Mar-19 18:52:02

Yes I felt very dizzy, sick and headachy for the first few days- that sounds very familiar. Spent lots of time lying flat. I had been briefly concussed in the fall.

I needed help to dress/ wash etc for a few days, but could quickly manage this myself, though remember it being tiring and being quite slow! Needed help with household jobs and shopping etc as wasn't allowed to lift- I think that could have been for 6 weeks, not sure if that was more because I'd had surgery (anterior discectomy and fusion of C6 and 7). I had food shopping delivered and friends/ family popped round daily at first. After a couple of weeks staying with my parents.

Eating/ drinking/ swallowing was a bit tricky in the collar at first- I found a straw helped for drinking tea and coffee! I tried to sleep on my back at first but the physio said it was okay to sleep on my side. I would get uncomfortable in the brace and got up for a wander around/ change of position after a few hours in bed and then slept better the second half of the night. Shirts with buttons were easier than tops or jumpers. Reading with a book on a table or cookbook stand was easier than on my lap. Sitting opposite people rather than to the side and turning your whole body when crossing the road etc helped- it's surprisingly restrictive in the brace and you have a much narrower field of vision.

With work, I think it will very much depend on his job. I needed longer off due to teaching young children- there was no way it would have been safe for them or me, with the neck brace being so restrictive. If he has an office based job it might be easier to phase back in?? I would say I needed 6 weeks at least to feel more like myself again. I had much longer and went back once the brace was off and fractures had fused- after 4 months or more.

If he's always been active and sporty I think the chances are he'll make a great recovery. Probably harder initially as more of a shock and contrast to before. But he'll be motivated to get back to former activities and hopefully good at making a bit of a training plan and building up fitness steadily. I found a fitbit really motivating for seeing my improvements and gradually getting more and more active.

southchinasea Thu 21-Mar-19 06:52:23

How is he doing now?

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