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  • RaymondC1987
    Post count: 2

    Hello, My name is Raymond and I come to you with a questions and concerns regarding my recent visit with an Orthopedic Spine Specialist. I was recently diagnosed with torticollis(right turning). I was issued an MRI of my cervical spine which I have been told shows a Right paracentral C6-7 Prolapse with an annular fissure. I was told this meant that my disc was essentially collapsing and pushing out of the back against a nerve. Surgery is a scary thing for me but this condition has extremely limited my life and my quality of it in turn. I was told that an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion would correct the problem. I have been unable to find any information relating a pinched nerve in this fashion or this surgery in general as a way of correcting torticollis. My question to you would be, is this a safe procedure and is this known cause and cure of torticollis?

    To give you a brief description of symptoms, it began to set in around 8 months ago. I noticed it when I was at work, mainly when stressed out and only when I was in certain positions that my head would pull to the right. It was not constant at the time but over the past 2 months it has become a constant battle. My head constantly pulls to the right unless i have it supported up against a high back chair, wall or laying down in bed. I can also stop the spasms if I touch the side of my face or neck for the most part. It causes headaches if I have to be up for an extended period of time and a lot of pain in my neck and the longer I’m up, the stronger the pulling becomes. I have had to stop working because of how bad it has progressed and I’m desperate for some answers and relief. I’m more than willing to do the surgery but I’m desperate for some insight. I have searched high and low and have not been able to make any connections.

    I sincerely thank you for your time and expertise.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Post count: 8660

    Torticollis has many different causes and disc hernation is one of them. If you are assuming a neck position to prevent pain and the pain is caused by the herniation, this would be an indication for an ACDF. I will tell you that this presentation is unusual and I would want to prove that the torticollis is originating from this disc herniation.

    First, a good physical examination would be helpful. Do you have shoulder and arm pain in certain positions that is reduced or eliminated from the assumed rotation of your neck (torticollis position)? If you do not have shoulder/arm pain or this pain is not relieved from the torticollis position, I have doubts as to the relationship of torticollis and the herniation.

    Torticollis can be caused by muscle contractures (the SCM or sternocleidomastoid muscle is a common offender), by a neurological disorder or by a rotary subluxation of C1-2. I do not have this written up on the website as of yet so you will have to do some internet search for more information.

    Finally, if the herniation is the cause of the torticollis, a selective nerve root block (see website for explanation) of the compressed nerve root should temporarily relieve the torticollis.

    Please let the forum know what happens and how you are doing.

    Dr. Corenman

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    Post count: 2

    Hello again. I would like to update you on my progress. Since my last post I had been seeing a chiropractor for therapy, adjustments, and neck traction. In the past few weeks I have made progress mechanically but no symptomatic progress. I have extremely bad knots in my neck, right shoulder, and upper back between my shoulder blade and spine. I was recommended to have lidocaine trigger point injections and saw an orthopedic surgeon about them yesterday. Luckily for me, The doctor I saw had gone through exactly what I am dealing with. He is the first person I’ve talked to that could truly understand my pain and has given me another option and some great answers. He himself had the lidocaine injections which only worked for 3 days before the spasms returned so I did not have the injections done. I have been put on a 6 day regiment of steroids to help with inflammation which will be followed up with a direct injection of a steroid into the effected area of my herniated disc (c6-7). I have been told that this will either knock the problem out completely, or it wont work at all. If it doesn’t, it sounds like surgery is my only option. The doctor is highly confident that the herniated disc is the cause of my torticollis as it was the same cause for him. His experience with the surgery was great being in and out of the hospital the same day, no need for pain medication, and it took him about 4 weeks to get his voice back. He said it was an instant relief and cure for his torticollis symptoms and is confident it will be for me as well. I’m hoping the steroids will work, however if it does not I think I am finally comfortable having the ACDF surgery done. Monday of next week I go to see a doctor to talk and prep for the spinal injection, I’m on day 2 of my oral steroid dose and I’ll know monday when I can have the injection done. I will keep you posted on my progress. Thank you for your help and information, I greatly appreciate it. Any insight on my current status would be appreciated as well.

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