By Donna Westfall – May 4, 2018 – Can a stiff neck indicate a major problem? On Friday, April 28th, Roger Gitlin went to his doctor complaining of a stiff neck, pain and inability to turn his neck. He was sent to Sutter Coast Hospital. There they took an MRI and didn’t like the results. Next he had a CT scan. The news; not good. Roger’s disc called C1 degenerated. His C2 was in the process of degenerating. He was flown out to UC San Francisco Hospital. On Sunday, they performed surgery fusing C1 and C2 to C3.
C1 (called the atlas) and C2 (called the axis) are the two topmost vertebrae. The atlas, C1, is the topmost vertebra, and along with the C2; forms the joint connecting the skull and spine.
The are many nerves going through the spinal cord. So, when disc’s degenerate, there’s pain, and numbness radiating down. Your shoulders, arms and hands are affected.
Roger says, ” I owe my life to Dr. Bolger in Radiology and Dr. Pak in the Emergency Room at Sutter Coast Hospital. All.Sutter Health staff were better than exemplary in delivering their skills to me. Thank you, Neuro surgeon UCSF Dr. Clark and his incredible staff for saving my life. Thank you Orthopedist Dr. Greg Duncan and my family doctor Dr. Kevin Caldwell without their expertise, I would not be here today. The work you do is incredible.
We wish Roger a speedy, pain-free recovery.