PLEASE TRY TO HELP ME DECIDE. I HAD A DISCECTOMY ON JAN.9, 2005. I WAS INJURED ON OCT.28,2004 AND HAVEN'T RETURNED TO WORK, NO DR. WILL RELEASE ME. I HAD A SECOND OPONION FROM A NEOURO. SURGEON AND HE FEELS I NEED EXPLORATORY SURGERY. HERE'S MY DILEMA. AN ORTHO SURGEON DID MY FIRST SURGERY AND SCAR TISSUE FORMED CAUSING FOCAL NEURITIS AT L5/S1 WHERE THE SURGERY TOOK PLACE. I CAN FUNCTION WITH THE PROPER MEDS. RIGHT NOW, BUT CAN'T RETURN TO WORK. IF I HAVE THE SECOND SURGERY TO CHECK TO SEE IF DISC WAS LEFT ALONG WITH THE SCAR TISSUE THE NEURO. TOLD ME I HAVE A 50% CHANCE OF GETTING BETTER, A 50% CHANCE OF STAYING THE SAME, AND A 10-30% CHANCE OF GETTING WORSE. THE DAMAGE THAT HAS OCCURED TO MY LEG (WEAKNESS AND SHRINKING) CANNOT BE REVERSED, HE IS JUST TRING TO EASE THE PAIN. WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE ME??
Last edited by Dealing in Pa.; 07-15-2005 at 08:26 AM.
You need to ask yourself if this is the level of activity and the kind of life you want to be at right now. I'd consider getting a 2nd NS opinion. Since you're in PA, it might be worth a consult with Dr. Jho to see he might have some MI surgeries that could help you.
I also beleive (personally) that sometimes surgery can help you arrest muscle atrophy and then with PT you can regain at least some more strength, so whatever you do, don't just roll over. Get up and get the info from the doctors to make an informed decision. Imagine where you will be a year from now if you just didn't do anything.
I've Thought A Lot About About Those Exact Questions, Thanks For Bringing Them Up. What Bothers Me Is The Percentage Of Recovery And Going Though That Surgery Pain Again. And With The 10-30% Chance Of Getting Worse, I'm Even More Concerned. Any More Oponions? By The Way Whackedback, Thank You Very Much For Your Reply. The Neuro Did Tell Me Though, That My Leg Is Going To Remain At It's Current State Due To The Nerve Damage.
Thanks For The Reply Quietcook! Both Of My Surgeons Are Spine Specialists. The Ortho Is The Spine Surgeon For The Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Team, He Works On Million Dollar Backs, And My Neuro Is The Head Of Upmc Pittsburgh's Neuro Center. Upmc Is A Teaching HOSPITAL For Univ. Of Pitts. Medical School, And He Is The Top Spine Specialist There. My Meds Will Be Controlled By Him After The Surgery And Then Turned Over To My Pm Physician. Also After 6weeks I Will Be Evaluated For My Recovery Level. He Was Being Totally Honest With Me About The Percentages Due To My Scar Tissue Problem. I Asked Him About Adocon L, And It Has Been Pulled Off The Market. He's Wanting To Try A New Product Which He Describes As A Celephane Type Substance That He Wraps The Nerve With, And When The Scar Tissue Regrows, It's Designed To Attach To The Substance And Leave A Pathway For My Nerve. Have You Ever Heard Of That??
Last edited by Dealing in Pa.; 07-15-2005 at 01:42 PM.
Hi "Dealing in Pa" I posted a week or so back to see how you were doing when you did not post back I was worried. Now I know. Question I have is who is the doc from UPMC and is the other one Dr. Werries who you recommended to me.
I have seen him a few times. I know our situations are different but who is more thorough. If you remember me I had my first surgery at Shadysid upmc with Wecht, and I strongly feel that they just tell you want you want to hear , collect their (in my case, $28,000.) then told me he could not help. I also picked up an hospital acquired infection which gave me pneumonia and congestive heart failure. He never came to see me.
I like Werries, he did and EMG/Nsomehting test which showed my S1 is compressed, today I had a myelogram orderd by him.
Wecht should have done that. I did find another spinal specialist at AGh, I see him on Tuesday for just an opinion. Daniel Altman, please let me know if you have heard of him. He does have a fellowship.
I did not search and educate myself enough last year, I just wanted the pain to go away and to be able to walk and get back to work. I don't trust UPMC Presby or Shadyside. I should have waited and found more info. on Daniel Wecht. Check out their websites, education and specialties.
Don't be hasty, check out the web-site called spine universe. go to Web MD, John Hopkins and just read. I can't advise, I know you are in a lot of pain.
And you really need to go back to work. What hopitals does this doc work at, (some are really dirty) did you research all of what he said he wants to do, how did he come to these conclusions.
One thing I have learned is a myelogram is about the only way they can really see, Wecht never did one on me. Also, after my surgery when he did not do what he said he was going to do, (trim the buldging discs)
which were the start of my problem he just said very arrogantly the he just didn't. And I was dismissed, I complained to the office when my pain was still there and no one called me back, neither Wecht or anyone. I have no faith in that entire group. The website they have makes them all look like they specialize in everything.
Dr. Jho is a top nuerosurgeon, not a spinal specialist according to AGH's webpage on him, but good luck getting an appointmen, I tried in the spring, they said they would call me back, after 2 weeks I called them and they said no I could not get in, my doctor could not get me in because he was going away till September. I was willing to set up an apointment in September but she said no they could not do that. I don't want a doctor who is that busy, my luck I will get them to operate on the day they burn out. What all does Werries say, since I migh let him operate.
Like everyone the last thing I want to do is another surgery but I really want my life back or what I can get of it back. Let me know your thoughts, sorry this is so long.
Whatever decision you make will be the right one for you. Let me know who you decide and why you made the decision because I have to do the same Take care
GCB in PGH
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Last edited by moderator2; 07-16-2005 at 06:43 AM.
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I have read, and have been told from spine specialists that if you ever encounter a surgeon who wants to do exploratory surgery on your spine..
run as fast as you possibly can away from that doctor. Think about it...it's your SPINE. There should always be a complete diagnosis and understanding of the problem before even thinking of undergoing surgery on your back.
Thanks For The Replies! Gcbpgh, The Neuro I Am Seeing Is Dr. Spyro At Presby. He's The Lead Spine Surgeon There Trained By The Retired Head Of The Dept. I Found Him Through A Referral From My Pcp. As Far As Dr. Altman, I Hear He Is Good, My Attorney Wanted Me To See Him But I Could Not Get An Appt. Soon Enough. I Think Werries Did Me Right, I'm Just Not Fond Of His Aftercare And It Came To My Attention That He's A Comp. Dr. And He Tries To Get You Back To Work Asap, Sometimes Like In My Case Too Soon. He Started Me On Work Hardening Way Too Soon, And The Pain Was So Severe It Actually Made Me Vomit Amd Left Me Stuck On The Couch For Three Days! After That When I Went Back To Him In Severe Pain, He Didn't Even Examine Me And Handed Me A Script For Esi Shots And Sent Me Out The Door. Now I'm No Sissy To Pain And When I Say It's A 9 It May Be Someone Elses 13 On A Scale Of 1-10! I'm A Truck Driver And Furniture Mover For A Living, Pain Is No Stranger To Me. I Hope You Do Well And Everything Goes Fine, My Prayers Are With You! Cabikerchick, I Know What You Mean By Run With Exploratory, But I Need To Explain A Little More, This Is Why I Need Help Deciding. When I Took My Mri's To The Neuro, There Happened To Be 4 Of The 7 Surgeons From The Dept. There That Day. They All Looked At My Mri's Together And Two Felt It Was All Scar Tissue, And Two Felt There Was Residual Disc Along With The Scar Tissue. That's Why My Neuro Gave Me The Odds He Did Because It's Unsure What's In There, And The Mri Was Done With Contrast. Do You See Why I'm So Confused?? Nothing's Clear And Absolute Desicions Can't Be Made Until They Are In There! Help!!!!!!!
I called Altman's office on Tuesday and got an appointment for next Tuesday, call back , they may have had a cancelation or a new receptionist.
I don't like the exploratory either I worry about UPMC placing too high of an importance on teaching and experimenting plus I think its a dirty hospital ( maybe because I picked up my infection at their hospital) but recently the Post Gazette had a big story on hospital acquired infections, I don't know if you seen it. Not good. Pennsylvania is the one of the few states that makes them report all hospital acquired infections. When I talked to Shadyside last fall asking how many they had they told me my infection was not reported because I could have given it to myself. Can you believe it. I had a complete physical 3 days before surgery and I gave it to myself. I never in my life had this type of infection, I have been too tired to pursue this issue but I will. Have you had a myelogram? Did anyone order it before they decided to do the exploratory? I understand how you need to go back to work but moving furniture might not be in your future, have you thought of another field you might qualify to earn a living. I am in real estate and I know how hard movers work, how could Werries think you were ready. O
I just tried to find your doctor in UPMC,s website and nothing comes up, is he new, how long has he been practice?
GCB in PGH
I just checked again and the only spine specialist that I come up with are Kang and Donaldson. Is one of them retiring? I can't find anyone near the spelling of the doctor you named. We can go to heathgrades and do a check on him, I'll do it for you, this is just too important. Also, the AMA, I really listen now to Quietcook, its the most experience speaking. I wish I had paid attention before my surgery with Wecht, I feel like I lost a year of my life and more if I now have to have his surgery redone. I feel like a nag now but let me know if I can do anything. Take care.
GCB in PGH
I would try either Kang or Donaldson because they are the only spine specialist listed with UPMC and also try AGH with Altman. Also, what I am thinking about but need more info is pain management where you get a complete block, I can't remember what it is called, should last for a few months and I can get back to work. With all the pain all the time it is affecting my memory. Whatever I do, it will only be with a spinal specialist because of the nighmare of my last year with such a top neurosurgeon. There is a pain clinic run at South Side UPMC that a nurse told me about when I had my myelogram on Friday. It might be worth checking into. With scar tissue does time heal it? Did Werries give you any other options available? He gave me a perscription for garapentin, it is too soon to say if its helping. he said it will help with healing. Let us know what you do. Take care,
GCB in PGH