The World ACM Association is concerned
with the number of ACM patients who have a difficult time convincing insurance
companies and courts of the fact that ACM symptoms are often triggered as the
direct result of trauma to the head or spine. The following testimonials are
just a sampling of the many ACM sufferers who have been tragically affected with
the condition due to trauma. If you wish to use these testimonials to help your
case, please contact the individuals at the addresses listed following their
Thanks and Good Luck with your fight.
I) I was at a stop sign on November 3, 1995 when I was hit
head-on by another car. Since then I have had all sorts of problems. Before my
accident I was very healthy, working out every day etc. Now I have Arnold Chiari
Malformation. Unfortunately, I had to go through 6 neurosurgeons in order to
find one that specialized in ACM. I have had six surgeries since my
accident...four of which were for ACM and SM. .I deal with chronic pain every
day now since this accident.
II) I was diagnosed with chiari during the summer of 1986.
I had few symptoms at that time , and a neurologist told me then that if the
chiari ever became truly troublesome, then surgery would be an option . In
December 1996 , I was a passenger in a car that was stopped to make a left turn.
We were rear-ended by a car going around 50 mph , and the back of my head struck
the seat/ head rest. Within several hours, my symptoms got worse and continued
to worsen for several weeks. Headaches and dizzy spells became constant along
with many other symptoms commonly associated with ACM. One afternoon I passed
out several times in my yard while trying to get into my house. A friend drove
me to a nearby hospital where I was admitted and observed for several days.
After seeing several specialists and undergoing many tests, it was discovered
that my tonsillar herniation (ACM), which was 5 - 8 mm before the accident, was
now 8 - 12 mm. It was explained to me by a world renowned ACM expert that my
tonsils had herniated further due to the head blow.
III) In March of 1997, I sought treatment from a
chiropractor for what he told me was a pinched nerve in my neck. He treated me
twice daily for about 4 months. About 6 weeks into the treatment I began to get
headaches and pain at the right base of my skull, although I had never been
bother by headaches before this. The headaches continued, along with neck pain,
shoulder pain, and pain and numbness in the right arm and hand. I also began to
get pain down the right side of my face, down my ear and into my shoulder. He
treated me almost 200 times in the span of 9 months. He whipped and jerked my
neck every time that I went to him. The adjustments were extremely
painful---which he said wasn't abnormal. He would often adjust me in the
morning, and I would have a killer headache within a half hour of the treatment.
It was only when I sought an opinion from a prominent neurosurgeon that it was
discovered that I had ACM. When I asked him what affect all of the neck
adjustments had on my ACM, since I was asymptomatic prior to that, he said that
"you were standing over a tiger pit, and he pushed you in".
IV) I am 23 and I was injured at work. I was hit in the
back of the left side of my head by a door which weighed about 80 pounds. I had
severe pressure headaches initially after the accident and they have continued
ever since. About 6 months after the accident I started to get other symptoms
such as severe dizziness. After I spoke to the doctor about all of this he
finally ordered the MRI of the neck area. This is when I was diagnosed with ACM.
So then I was referred to a neurosurgeon at USC. This doctor stated that my
accident did aggravate the ACM. Then I requested a second opinion and that
doctor (from UCLA) agreed with the first doctor.
VI) In 1994, I was a passenger in a car that ran a red
light, hitting another car head on. I was checked out at the local ER and sent
home, with mild head injury, whiplash etc. The next day I woke up sick to my
stomach, my left arm was numb, and I began having severe headaches and neck
pain. After 2 years of suffering with symptoms, the doctor finally sent me to a
neurologist where is was determined I had partial complex seizures. I spent one
week at the neurology unit of University of Penn. Medical center. The doctors
there confirmed that my seizures were caused by the car accident. I continued to
have other symptoms so an mri was done, finding the ACM. I had my first
decompression in March 1997. We were not aware that ACM can be started by a
trauma, although our neurosurgeon did say it is very possible. Before my
accident, I had went to the doctors only a few times over a seven year period. I
was very healthy, never had anything wrong. After the accident, in a two year
period, I had seen the doctor over 60 times.
VII) I am 43 years old. I was diagnosed with ACM in 1994,
I had just had my lower jaw manipulated and drawn forward because of a TMJ
diagnosis. The symptoms that started after my dental work were headaches,
numbness on the left side of my face, and pain between my shoulder blades. I had
a standard decompression preformed at that time. I went for 7 years relatively
symptom free. In the summer of 1997, I fell, striking my head on a rock.
Symptoms such as severe constant headache, left sided weakness and numbness, and
vertigo started to be daily problems. After six months of testing, and being
told that the decompression had been a success, I was referred to Dr. Milhorat.
I still had compression of the cerebellum, and the accident had brought on
symptoms. I had another decompression surgery preformed in June of 1998. The
symptoms were greatly relieved.
IX) My husband is a lineman for the local electric
company. In the summer of 1997 he fell from a utility pole. Actually, he slid
down it and landed on his feet. 3 months later, the symptoms started, numbness,
tingling, etc. We didn't connect the two right away, as he was first diagnosed
with carpal tunnel syndrome, and was treated for that. Since then we have often
wondered if that "jarring" his body took when he landed at the bottom
of the pole may have begun or accelerated and chiari symptoms.
X) I had a major car accident 12 years ago. I broke my
neck at C-5 and C-6. All of my many acm symptoms started after that.
XI) I know that the onset of symptoms began early in my
marriage. My first husband was abusive and I got hit regularly in the head and
neck area over a four year span. I know that the physical abuse I suffered
helped my symptoms to increase. Maybe this will help someone who is in the same
situation that I once was.
If you would like to add your story here,
please contact Chip.
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