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Have severe neck injury. MRI showed protrusion going inwards. Unable to lift weight. Now depressed

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
Answered : 341 Questions

in 1997 i severely injured my neck - discs c56 and c67. Last year 2012, i had another bad situation as i had tried to return to work and I re ruptured disc c67. I had an MRI done which showed the protrusion was going inwards this time, not out. my physiotherapist said I had to rest my neck for up to 8 weeks - with physio and that I cannot lift anything even marginally heavy or I could re-rupture. I am in constant pain and have suffered from depression and psychosis - this was after the birth of my now 6 year old daughter. I believe the injury was the root cause of my depression as I had a very high powered job and was unable to work after 1997. My current job is working for under 16 hours a week during term time. I rely on others to do the lifting and moving of tables ( I teach health care in the home to young mums) and cannot work longer hours because of the pain in my neck and down my arms. Do you think I could be liable for DLA - I want to work more hours but just cannot.My husband does all the housework at home and the cooking as I cannot lift the heavy pans or load the dishwasher. I feel a bit useless really.
Posted Sat, 11 May 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Sunil 5 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

C5, 6 and 7 are common site of disc protrusion, patient who have had disc protrusion in past need to be very careful to avoid recurrence of protrusion. Avoiding aggravating activities and Physiotherapy is an important part of protrusion treatment and you should follow the advice of your physiotherapist.

You can take NSAIDs or other painkillers to reduce pain. If symptoms do not improve with physiotherapy and medication then you may also need epidural steroid injection. After failure of these conservative treatments, surgery is indicated.

You should also be more concerned about your thyroid function, as hypothyroidism can cause depression/ psychosis and could be the cause of recurrence of your spinal symptoms. You should be frequently monitored for your thyroid function (TSH, T3 & T4) and taking proper medications. Hypothyroidism can make previous conditions worse.

Yes, you can be liable for DLA if you cannot carry out routine activities for last 3 months. You can be provided with attendant.

Hope it helps. If you have any further question I will be happy to help.

Wish you good health.

Dr Sunil
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have severe neck injury. MRI showed protrusion going inwards. Unable to lift weight. Now depressed 11 hours later
Thank you for your to the DLA - is this for the mental health issue or for the neck issue - or both? I take 100 micrograms of thyroxine. I have also had 3 steroid injections in my neck/back. 6 years after my daughter was born I have diastasis recti quite severely. I still look 8 months pregnant and am asked at least once a week when baby is due. This is not doing my mental health any good. I also cannot excerise to tightten up muscles because of my neck injury. HELP !
Answered by Dr. Sunil 13 hours later
Thanks for writing back.
DLA is for everyone with physical impairment whatever the cause may be.
As you have had steroid injections before you may need more or surgery can be the next option. If you can not deal with Diastasis recti by performing specific exercise it can be corrected surgically.
You should consult with your doctor if he needs to adjust your thyroxine dosage. You may like to talk with surgeons about possible options for your neck and abdominal problem.
Hope I have answered your query.
Take a good care!

Dr Sunil
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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