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Dr Subbanna MD
Dr Subbanna MD, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5291
Experience:  American Board Certified Neurologist, Internal Medicine
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December 11, 1992, I was involved in an MVA with a Texaco tanker

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December 11, 1992, I was involved in an MVA with a Texaco tanker truck and fractured C4-C7. The anterior cervical fusion was unsuccessful as the cadaver bone didn't fuse but the posterior cervical fusion with 2 Halifax clamps, wiring and harvested iliac crest fused nicely and I have been symptom free and enjoying a healthy active lifestyle for the last 20 years. In the last 3 months, I have noticed a sensation that I can only describe as bone on bone grinding in the neck and almost a catching that releases when I move my head laterally. Each time I look left or right, I hear popping and grinding that can be felt and heard. However, I have no neurological symptoms or pain at all. I have been treated twice since June for muscle spasms in the area that will not release but I have no neurological pain, numbness or any such symptoms. There is a little Swan neck deformity when I sit at a resting position but nothing else is problematic. Is this something I need to seek advice and treatment for or wait until there is pain or numbness? My assumption is arthritis above and below the fusion section but I wanted to just see if this is something that raises any alarm bells. Thank you in advance for any insight. Darren
Hi, I am Neuro Doctor, an American Board Certified Neurologist with vast clinical experience.

No, these symptoms do not indicate anything serious because if there was anything serious like pinching of spinal nerve root or compression of spinal cord etc then you would have had additional symptoms like muscle weakness, numbness, tingling (pins and needle feeling) etc, but the absence of these symptoms indicate there are no major or serious issues with the cervical spine. The symptoms you have been recently experiencing including the bone on bone grinding feeling, the muscle spasms, popping sound etc are due to development of some arthritis in the cervical spine which may be part of aging process or may be also contributed from the previous fusion, but there is no evidence clinically for anything serious or major. Treatment wise; physical therapy, heat pads, muscle relaxants like Baclofen, non steroidal antiinflammatory agents like Naproxen or Ibuprofen (if severe pain is present) etc are the mainstay of treatments for this cervical spine condition like arthritis.

Although this does not look like anything serious or major however you may still get this examined by your clinical doctors just as a precautionary measures, and also possibly undergo a cervical spine scan too to gather additional information regarding the precise cause for your new symptoms however I once again strongly reassure you that based on your symptoms possibilities of any major or serious cervical spine complications are extremely less likely.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. And if you feel you have received the answer to your question please rate me Excellent to compensate me for the time and effort put by me in answering your question.

Best regards,

Neuro Doctor
Dr Subbanna MD and 2 other Neurology Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Darren, when your time permits please go through the above information and let me know if you have any further questions and I will be available for further discussions.

Best regards,

Neuro Doctor