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Old 07-06-2006, 02:18 PM   #1
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What type of surgeon is best? Ortho spine or neuro & how do you deal with emotions

I have so many questions so I'll just keep posting. I've been referred to an orthopedic spine surgeon (I don't know if he has specialized training-I assume and hope so). Is an orthopedic or neurosurgeon best in consulting about surgery? Also, how do you all deal with the emotional ups and downs of all this? I don't know what to expect in terms of healing, future surgeries, disability, etc... What sorts of things do you do to help maintain a positive attitude-sometimes I feel pretty worried especially with the foot numbness, tingling.

 
Old 07-06-2006, 02:53 PM   #2
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Re: What type of surgeon is best? Ortho spine or neuro & how do you deal with emotions

First, relax; surgery today is far better than just even 20 years ago. Many surgeries today are cut and dry and done everyday. The trick is finding a surgeon that does them everyday. It is not like finding a taxidermist for the cheapest price.
The quality of a surgeon depends on his specialty. An Ortho that only works on spines only, is far better than an Ortho that does a little bit of everything. I saw a Neurologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit; he did mostly brain surgery and some spinal. He was to busy for me as he did serious operations for people that needed his time with brain cancers and worse. If your problems are in the head, see a Neurologist, however, a Orthopedic will get you buy. It would be a wise choice to check out hospitals on line and find Orthopedic surgeons that only work on spines day in and day out. It is worth the drive if you can find one in your State. As far as the ups and downs emotionally, I'm a guy, so I donít go up and down, just kidding, I was not wanting a fusion, and looked for everyway to get around it, but now I am going through with it, as I am not getting better with the way I am handling it. When I see and hear about young men and women in the armed forces that loose a limb and are permanently disabled, my problems of freaking about getting surgery is so small, compared to what those young people go through. Look for a reputable hospital, stay away from the little local hospitals that bring in teams to work on spines occasionally, find a surgeon that does only spine everyday. I know it is scary, but you are not the first to go through this trial. The sooner you get it done, the sooner the healing will start. Moreover, this too shall pass.

 
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:04 PM   #3
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Re: What type of surgeon is best? Ortho spine or neuro & how do you deal with emotions

hi,I got one of those surgeons,he deals with the brain,his partner does more spines,who never even met.I'm not at all happy,its WC besides and they could care less if ya died tomorrow.I can't get another doctor,if I don't take the surgery,I loose benefits,its just so difficult to have to go through all this,so many risks so many new pains,and further degeneration all the way down the line,and yet they want to have a functional capacity evaluation too,as if I can go out and do back flips.stinks!

 
Old 07-06-2006, 04:18 PM   #4
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Re: What type of surgeon is best? Ortho spine or neuro & how do you deal with emotions

With my daughter we went to an orthopaedic surgeon. He has a specialty in pediatric spines/scoliosis. I definately agree with Coast Guard Dad. We also went to a very large hospital in the metro Detroit area and we got the best care we could. She was in a brand new section of the hospital with state of the art OR for orthopaedics. Her pediatric ortho and his adult spine specialist both did the surgery. Both have fellowships.

Second opinions did me a world of good. You may also think about that before agreeing to surgery. So I can't answer if an ortho or neuro is better, but just make sure they have the fellowship in spines. cas

 
Old 07-06-2006, 08:31 PM   #5
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Re: What type of surgeon is best? Ortho spine or neuro & how do you deal with emotio

tlc,

Which one to see??? It's a matter of preference and what is available in your surrounding area. It's a flip as which people say they prefer, but one thing that is constant, they should specialize in the spine. I used an ortho surgeon that specialized in the spine, and so far.. I am pleased with my choice 11 weeks post fusion at L4/L5.

The emotional rollercoaster.. it's tough at times. I am a super upbeat and overly happy person. Even with that.. it's certainly gotten the better of me a few times over the past 3 years. Thank god I have a wonderful boyfriend and he has been my stronghold through all of this. He makes me laugh everyday.. all the time! We just have the best time and have had to make some adjustments in our lifestyle for the time being.

One thing I am conscious of at all times, is never to take my anger out on anyone over this. It's no one's fault, including me. I figured that out pretty early on, and it's important to realize that the loved ones around you are going through it right along with you. And they too feel helpless that they can't take away your pain and have to sit and watch you go through it all. It's a frustrating situation for all those around the situation.

It's important to know what's going on, be as informed as you possibly can be, as knowledge is power. It's also important to try and live as "normal" as you can and try to keep it from consuming you. Don't put yourself in harms way doing so.. dont misunderstand me.. just try and not let it be your "only" focus though inside your body.. it truly is. That's natural.

I always greet each day a new and take it for what it is.. a new day with all sorts of new outcomes. Somedays are obviously better than others, but I drive on and strive to be well again.

Hope this helps you some, and I hope that you get on the otherside of your pain very soon. Keep posting and let us know how you are doing. Tammy

 
Old 07-06-2006, 08:49 PM   #6
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Re: What type of surgeon is best? Ortho spine or neuro & how do you deal with emotions

I just read replies to my posts. Thanks-they were so nice to read-realistic yet upbeat. I'm going to save these and read them in the down moments. And I know what you mean CoastguardDad; when I see or hear of soldiers and others who are seriously injured like being blinded, losing a limb, etc or people who lose a child it puts what's happening with me in perspective.

 
Old 07-06-2006, 08:52 PM   #7
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Re: What type of surgeon is best? Ortho spine or neuro & how do you deal with emotions

I would see both even if it had to come out of my pocket. You only get one back and one spinal cord. A Neuro did my husband's surgery and it went great. I checked them out on the net, the license, schooling, accredadations (sp?) ect.

Do your research before going into surgery. Ask around. My husband's was WC and he came out like new, well, except he can no longer look back, lean his head forward, or to the side, but no pain. (double level neck fusion).

But, he followed all of the rules and came out fine.

Good luck,

 
Old 07-06-2006, 10:24 PM   #8
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Re: What type of surgeon is best? Ortho spine or neuro & how do you deal with emotio

[QUOTE=tlc6] Also, how do you all deal with the emotional ups and downs of all this? I don't know what to expect in terms of healing, future surgeries, disability, etc... What sorts of things do you do to help maintain a positive attitude-sometimes I feel pretty worried especially with the foot numbness, tingling.[/QUOTE]

Well, for one thing, the foot numbness shouldn't worry you any more than the sciatic pain, so far as I could say, as both are the result of the same things: Nerve roots being compressed. I have the same, and I can certainly tolerate the occasional numbness or "pins and needles" feeling better than the knife-in-the-thigh stuff.

I can not tell you very well how to deal with the "ups and downs"--as I said in your other thread, your condition seems, on the surface, quite similar to my own, including the long wait to see the surgeon. During that month that I had to wait, I scared myself more than was necessary, because, though I had a decent idea of what the actual problem is, I had no way of putting it in to context against other people's experiences. All I can say, then, is that I think we have similar conditions; I was told that surgery certainly is not the first thing that's to be tried, and even if it is, he's talking about endoscopic discectomy--far less frightening than what other people here have endured.

Last edited by HBMod07; 07-07-2006 at 09:48 AM. Reason: Please only quote what part of the message you are replying to and not the entire message.

 
Old 07-07-2006, 12:57 AM   #9
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Smile Re: What type of surgeon is best? Ortho spine or neuro & how do you deal with emotions

Hi and Welcome . I'm pretty new here too and had a fusion at L4-5 on March 30th. I used an Orthopedic Surgeon with a fellowship in Spine Surgery. Mine happens to do mostly back surgeries. I made sure to research him extensively before I ever made the appointment.
I think for me at the time, it was more about the skill of the surgeon, his outcomes of surgery and his expertise.
As far as dealing with the ups and downs, well, I haven't mastered that yet, today was one of those days, but it's a day by day ordeal. I suggest educating yourself as much as you can about your condition, the various treatment options, and about your doctor and his expected prognosis.
Good luck to you,
Sandi

 
Old 07-08-2006, 05:48 PM   #10
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Re: What type of surgeon is best? Ortho spine or neuro & how do you deal with emotions

My opinion is to see a neurologist AND a neurosurgeon that has completed his spine fellowship program.. I say this because I started to see a very good neurosurgeon that came well recommended, but I found that he sucked at finding the problem BUT was good at cutting you up and fixing the problem.. That is all he did.. He cut you and did a good job of it.. However, by consulting with other neurologists that had LOTS of years of experience, you can get them to help identify the problem besides the obvious, such as a herniated disc.. I even went to see a rheumatologist, and he told me to get tested for AS (I forgot what it stands for.. something like Ankylosis Spondolitis, or something like that) since it caused severe muscle spasms and low back pain, and symptoms that were very similar to disc problems... My Neurologist NEVER even mentioned that.. Also, an neurologist said that it could be Facet Syndrome, and to get tested for that.. Once again, the surgeon did not mention this.. But, the surgeon did operate on a few of my friends, and they ALL were hopping around within weeks and are doing great..

So, the moral of the story is to see several doctors to get their opinion, and then find a good surgeon that does nothing but that if you need to get operated on..

Bye for now..

Maurice

 
Old 07-08-2006, 08:57 PM   #11
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Re: What type of surgeon is best? Ortho spine or neuro & how do you deal with emotio

Hello, I agree with the others. It doesnt matter if it is neuro or ortho, as long as they specialize in the spine. As for the emotions...I am normally very upbeat and I depend alot on faith to get me through those times. But lately, I have been more and more on a rolercoster of emotions. So, I have started seeing a life coach. It's basiclly a therapist that specializes in living with chronic pain. She has been wonderful to get me back on track and to help me find ways to live w/o pain.

Please keep us posted,

Lorie
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