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Old neck injury - possbly broken?

(10 Posts)
whatdayisit Thu 31-Jul-08 22:46:35

A good friend of mine has lost a lot of weight recently and I am aware he has had a number of hospital appointments. Although he is usually reluctant to talk about personal details (to the point of obsession) I was worried about him and persuaded him to tell me what's wrong.

It turns out he's been having neck pain and has been for tests etc and they are now saying that it could be an old neck injury that was possibly some sort of break and wasn't treated at the time. There could be some nerve damage and if that is the case, it will only get worse and he will be advised to stop driving. Apparently if he doesn't take the advice, he won't be insurable. If he can't drive, he can't work. He has young children.

He (and I) is obviously worried about his health, but his main concern is for his family if he can't work. In true NHS style he has been waiting weeks to have the tests and now has 2 weeks to wait for the results. Does anyone have any experience or comfort I can offer, to try and help him through the next 2 weeks?
Anyone know if the driving thing is true?

I have nerve damage from an old spinal fracture - so slightly lower down. It was treated at the time but although the fracture healed I've been left with a "slipped disc" which sits on a nerve and causes referred pain down a leg.

However it hasn't got worse and this was 12 years ago. I drive fine.

Obviously its different for everyone but they can't just say if you have a nerve problem in your neck/back you can't drive. Your ability would have to be assessed. Hope he gets sorted and pain free soon. There may be treatment they can offer such as steriod injections which can help?

Oh and tell him to ask his doctor about amiltriptaline (sp) - its actually an anti depressent but also works on nerve pain. I was maxed to the eyeballs on all sorts of codeine tablets and they didn't help, this stuff does. My doctors never told me about it though, I had to ask for it. Grrrrrr.

SaintGeorge Thu 31-Jul-08 23:15:15

My DH was similar to Stripey, old injury lower down.

His did eventually deteriorate and he had to stop driving for a while but that was more because of the pain than medical advice.

He ended up having a discectomy and started driving again within a few weeks of the operation.

I wonder if the advice to your friend is because the damage is higher and therefore potentially could effect the upper and lower limbs? Although surely any deterioration of his condition would be over time and a decision over his driving could wait.

Ohhhhh I don't want to hear about people getting worse and needing a discectomy. La la la la.

SaintGeorge Thu 31-Jul-08 23:18:51

Best thing he ever did Stripey. No more sciatica for starters.

Well yes but its the risk of paralysis from the waist down that put me off when I discussed it with the consultant. Would love to be pain free but consultant didn't think I was bad enough at the moment to risk it. Eeeek.

SaintGeorge Thu 31-Jul-08 23:29:28

Good point.

He had 'shrapnel', as his consultant called it, floating around from the original break. Previously it wasn't worth risking an op, but as the bits moved it was 50-50 which was the bigger risk.

You have my sympathies, back pain is a bastard.

whatdayisit Fri 01-Aug-08 18:59:08

Thank you for those - he is very worried. I'm hoping that the doc has said "could lead to" and he's taken it as read. He is a terrible worrier (quietly) at the best of times.

He goes on holiday tommorrow and should get the results as soon as he's back, so fingers crossed for him.

SaintGeorge Fri 01-Aug-08 19:05:15

Sorry whatdayisit, didn't cover the insurance issue.

The only time DH was not covered by his insurance was in the 14 days immediately after his surgery. That is perfectly normal and to be honest I don't think he would have wanted to drive at that time anyway.

Hope your friend has good news.

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