I've been to one ortho doc that says I need laminectomy for the stenosis and fusion for the spondylolisthesis. He said he would do them both at the same time. My PM doc said he does not see the spondy but I do need surgery for the stenosis at L4/5. I have an appt. with a neuro surgeon on Dec. 5th to see what he has to say. What do you do when you get conflicting opinions? I've only had one MRI in April 08 will either of these doctors want more test or x-rays before a surgery. If so what kind of test checks for spondy. I know I have the stenosis as both docs showed it to me on the MRI. Will they need to test my disc also?
Some doctor are better than others at reading MRIs....I would get 3 opinions and make sure your dealing with a doctor who does this on a regular basis....fellowship trained and all that......ask questions about the doctors who are telling you all this ...you will learn quickly.
I have seen many Dr.'s. They all see my spondy, but only the surgeon has seen my disc tear/ bulge/ disc disease. I have so far had an x-ray and an MRI, but the surgeon has ordered more tests before coming up with a plan. I am having a CT scan on Monday to give him more info about my spondy fracture, and I will be having a discogram Dec 2nd to give him more info about my problematic disc. I would assume any surgeon will want as much info as possible before doing a major operation.
It is also good to get more than one opinion. Just make suer you stick with the one who has the most experience, highest rate of success, and who you feel the most comfortable with.
Listen to your heart and it sounds like it is confused which is a signal that you need additional opinions to get down to the bottom of diagnosis and that all your questions are fully answered. I personally would recommend that you go to a teaching hospital such as John Hopkins or a university hospital. I would even ask your pm doctor if a family member had a back problem that required surgery who would he want them to see.
You say that you have been to a ortho doctor. Is his practice limited to spinal surgery? Spinal surgeons have additional training exclusively in spine surgeries. It is at least 2 to 4years or more experience.
Good luck and may you soon feel more at ease with your decision.
Thanks to all of you that have helped with my decision. I have decided to get more information from the ortho doc. I know he does spine surgeries but also does other ortho work too. I will know more after seeing the neuro on 12/5.