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Old 02-10-2005, 06:39 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: northern Michigan
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rowboat HB User
Now my neurosurgeon is testing me for rheumatoid arthritis for my back pain??????

This is so frustrating! I've been going for aqua therapy for the past 4 weeks per my neuro's instructions. My therapist told me last week to set up an appointment with my neuro for next week because the pool is not helping me. I get no relief. So when I set up the appointment, he told me to go for blood work before I see him. I couldn't understand why he would want blood work when he knows that my L5-S1 disk is gone. My best friends mom works at the lab I went to, and she said the tests he ordered are standard for checking for rheumatoid arthritis. Anyone have any thoughts?

All I know is when I go see him on Tuesday, he better have a solution for me because I am tired of being in constant pain.

Thanks for giving me a place to vent and look for support!!

Becky

 
Old 02-10-2005, 01:55 PM   #2
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zoey1 HB User
Re: Now my neurosurgeon is testing me for rheumatoid arthritis for my back pain??????

First off i know and understand your frustration but there is a bright side if it is determined about RH

He can then refer you to a RHumotoligst that can look at your situation from another standpoint. THere are tons of good meds that can help with imflamation, zero in on pain and stop or slow down degenration of the joints that can contriubute to pain and fatigue.

And another note, my best form of pain managment for my troubles have been my Wonderful Rhumotoligist!!!!!!!!
I wish more folks that docs metion arithuts of neck or back, would insit on a referal to a rhumotologist..........

Take care and good luck i wish u answers and releif soon it can happen !!!!!!!!!

 
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Old 02-10-2005, 10:07 PM   #3
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Re: Now my neurosurgeon is testing me for rheumatoid arthritis for my back pain??????

Hi Becky,
Welcome to the boards. I recently joined and am very impressed with the wealth of info on these boards. I read your post and wanted to share a personal experience with you.
In 2000,I was diagnosed with RA.Prior to my last decompression lami,I had alot of hip pain. I wasn't sure if this was coming from L3.I went for an MRI and from L2 down ,I had varying degrees of spinal stenosis.The surgery went well and within 3 weeks,the pain returned.I was diagnosed with FBSS. My pain management doc and I felt that there was some inflammation in the spine. When I went back to the neuro she felt it was inflamed due to the RA. I spoke with my rheumi and he was adamant about his opinion which was that RA does NOT affect the thoracic,lumbar or sacral vertebrae. One may get osteoarthritis in these areas. I hope that your tests come back negative for any of the auto immune diseases. Should this be the case,would you consider a pain management doc???? Living with pain is not living.Wishing you inner peace.

Marianne

 
Old 02-11-2005, 07:14 AM   #4
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rowboat HB User
Re: Now my neurosurgeon is testing me for rheumatoid arthritis for my back pain??????

Thanks for your encouraging words. I had a really rough day yesterday. I called my best friend and asked her if they got the results of my bloodwork (I know, she's not supposed to tell me, but what are best friends for?) She said they tested for CBC, sed rate and CRP. She said CBC was normal, sed rate was normal, but CRP was positive. She said that is the one that usually look at to indicate RA. I was pretty blown away for a while. I was convinced it would all come back fine. but then I did some looking on the internet, and it said that the CRP test just indicates acute inflammation. Couldn't that be caused just by the L5 and S1 rubbing together with no disk in there? I know, I'm reaching, but this is not a diagnosis I was prepared for.

I called my neuro's office to see if they got the results (I knew they'd been faxed) and to see if there was any more blood work he wants before I go down (my best friend told me they can do another test that's fairly definitive). They said the ones he ordered should be fine. So now I guess I just sit and wait until Tuesday. It's gonna be a loooooooong weekend!

By the way, just out of curiosity, what is FBSS?

Thanks for all your help!

Becky

 
Old 02-11-2005, 10:09 AM   #5
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zoey1 HB User
Re: Now my neurosurgeon is testing me for rheumatoid arthritis for my back pain??????

i don't know what those abbrivations stand for but after 8 months post op still severe pain muscle spams weakness fatigue, they did more blood work exrays another mri, and it was determined that i had Ankolosing Sondilututs
which is commonly refered to A S ,"broom stick back" chronic imflamation of the spine... Eventualy as illness progresses if not inturpeted the spine will fuse together......

I was in strong denail everything i had went through previously was saying na it's still not a year after surgery....

But saw a spine specialist that also confered with another in his practice and he agreed with the newest finding of the Rhumatologist.
That yes rh can affect the spine and every other soft tissue / joint
and active imflamation is painful..............
For now anti imflmatiors desiease modifiying drugs, and pain killers is what i am using currently........... is there a light? i am told there is less pain after the fusion takes place and that once active imflmation is under controll it will only involve flare ups...............

 
Old 02-11-2005, 05:39 PM   #6
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aikidoka96 HB User
Re: Now my neurosurgeon is testing me for rheumatoid arthritis for my back pain??????

Hi Becky,
Your friend is right in that a positive CRP does indicate inflammation.
FBSS stands for failed back surgery syndrome.
i know it is easier said than done but try to channel your energies into something else until you see your doc on Tuesday. Let us know what happens.

Marianne

P.S. Every doc has a different opinion but it is ultimately up to us to be an informed consumer. Best of luck to you.

 
Old 02-11-2005, 07:42 PM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Ft. Worth
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myspine HB User
Re: Now my neurosurgeon is testing me for rheumatoid arthritis for my back pain??????

Hi Becky
My understanding is the CRP is inflammation, but the sed rate does have to be elevated in orfer to follow the dx of RA, so that should be some good news I hope that is what you find out. Good luck.
Funny when I had my exploratory surgery for poss. hardware removal I ended up having a 2 level decompression last month, they said that there was absolutly NO inflammation. Well how could there be inflammation after 6 different type of steroid injections and medrol pak everything was shrinking, the tissue, inflammation, my brain , I told them everything was shrinking but my a*% LOL Anyway maybe you got a laugh out of that. Good luck, I hope tomorrow is a better day.
shelley

 
Old 02-13-2005, 05:40 AM   #8
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rowboat HB User
Re: Now my neurosurgeon is testing me for rheumatoid arthritis for my back pain??????

thanks, I needed a good laugh! What I don't understand is how I can have an acute inflammation when I have had 6 steroid shots over the past year. GRRRR!

I did actually manage not to think about any of it yesterday. Ok, so that was because I had a severe migraine all day, but hey, whatever works to take my mind off it, right?

I will let you know what he says Tuesday. Hopefully, he says he can fix it!

Thanks again!!

Becky

 
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