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Old 03-21-2010, 03:07 PM   #1
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Need Advice

I've had back problems for the last 25 years. It would come and go, 3 years ago it became chronic. I had an MRI done and saw a neurologist who said I was not a candidate for surgery because of the nature of the damage which is as follow;

-moderate osteoarthritis at the L5/S1 facet joints bilaterally.
-severe osteoarthitis at the right L5/4 facet joint and mild osteoarthritis at the L4/5 facet joint.
-severe degenerative disc disease at L4/5 disc level with marked loss of height at this level.

My family is pushing me to find someone who will operate. I have faith in the doctor I already saw and I'm scared to death that if I find someone who will operate I'll get worst and I don't think I can live with more pain. As it is I take 1 oxycocet every 4 hours. I still feel pain but I'm unwilling to take anything stronger at this time. I was put on the fentanyl patch and it made me really sick and the doctor took me off of it.

I'll appreciate any advice you give me.

 
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:54 PM   #2
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Post Re: Need Advice

Ishbell you need to talk with your PC doctor. Ask for recommendation of a good orthapaedic doctor or nuerosurgeon in your area. Get an appointment and take your mri with you along with anything else,x-rays.cat-scans etc............
I had severe ddd in 2003 and marked loss of height at L5-S1. Had spinal fusion with all the hardware in 2004. It was the best thing I could do for myself at the time. I seen 3 doctors for there opinion before I did anything. You should do the same. To this day I still have the hardware in my back and no problems with it. Once you have back problems you will always have back problems but you can do things to make life more enjoyable.
I just recently had a lumbar laminectomy for a ruptured disc that was pinching a nerve. My right leg was hurting so bad that it controlled my life. My leg is getting better now because of having something done about it.The drugs are just a band-aid. You need to see someone about your condition. Good Luck and keep us informed.

 
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:37 AM   #3
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Re: Need Advice

[QUOTE=parman;4208962]Ishbell you need to talk with your PC doctor. Ask for recommendation of a good orthapaedic doctor or nuerosurgeon in your area. Get an appointment and take your mri with you along with anything else,x-rays.cat-scans etc............
I had severe ddd in 2003 and marked loss of height at L5-S1. Had spinal fusion with all the hardware in 2004. It was the best thing I could do for myself at the time. I seen 3 doctors for there opinion before I did anything. You should do the same. To this day I still have the hardware in my back and no problems with it. Once you have back problems you will always have back problems but you can do things to make life more enjoyable.
I just recently had a lumbar laminectomy for a ruptured disc that was pinching a nerve. My right leg was hurting so bad that it controlled my life. My leg is getting better now because of having something done about it.The drugs are just a band-aid. You need to see someone about your condition. Good Luck and keep us informed.[/QUOTE]



Thanks for your advice, it's nice to get info from people who know what this is like. The neurosurgeon I saw recommended to not operate. I will get other opinions but not in this town the other surgeon is called a cowbow and will operate on anyone, he essentially crippled one of my neigbours who then went to see another surgeon in Toronto but cannot help him because of the scar tissue. I will seek other opinions from specialists. Thank you.

 
Old 03-29-2010, 10:53 AM   #4
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Re: Need Advice

I say get a second opianon. I have the same issues as you with scoliosis. My first nuerosurgeon who had treated me since highschool would not operate basically told me to live with it. I ended up in the hospital form a pinched nerve. There I met an amazing nuerosurgeon who said I needed surgery! I feel 100% better. I would get anther doctor asap.
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Old 03-29-2010, 11:15 AM   #5
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Re: Need Advice

[QUOTE=sbailey76;4214558]I say get a second opianon. I have the same issues as you with scoliosis. My first nuerosurgeon who had treated me since highschool would not operate basically told me to live with it. I ended up in the hospital form a pinched nerve. There I met an amazing nuerosurgeon who said I needed surgery! I feel 100% better. I would get anther doctor asap.[/QUOTE]

I also have mild apex right scoliosis of the thoracolumbar spine centered at the L3/L4 disc level and the vertabral body height is preserved throughout the lumber spine. I'm quoting here because I really don't understand what this means. Could this have contributed to the mess my back now is? UGH, I hate this...........I've changed so much over the last few years, I'm anxious, depressed, always stay behind when family & friends go do things that I know I'll pay for in pain. It saddens me that my husband and son have to deal with this, my husband has had to take on a lot of the housekeeping and it drives me nuts, I used to do the heavy duty spring cleaning and I used to paint my house. I've thought of leaving my husband so he can meet someone who will be a happier, healthier partner. I can't even work anymore so I'm trying to start a home business where I won't have to drive and if it's a really bad day I can do nothing at all without having a boss to worry about.

I think I'm whining now so I'll stop , I'm really happy for you and I hope that I'll have the same outcome........

 
Old 03-29-2010, 04:53 PM   #6
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Exclamation Re: Need Advice

Its a hard reality to swallow but health care in the US isn't universally equal. There are maybe a dozen A grade hospitals... Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, University of Houston Hospital in Texas, Scripp's in San Diego and Loma Linda, near Riverside in California. Scripp's I know specializes in Neurology and John Hopkins and Mayo Clinic cover pretty much all bases.

When it comes to risking back surgery, I'd make the trip to some place where a) you know the neurosurgeon is good based on a referral from someone on these boards or b) do some research online and find a grade A hospital near you, with reputations like the ones I have mentioned. Of course all this is based upon, if you can get the referrals. Personally, I'm lucky to have a brother that teaches at John's Hopkins.

If it ever comes down to the point where I get back surgery, I'm going to get all the possible references I can before I commit to any one neurosurgeon. My cousin lives in Minnesota, but my brother was able to get her a referral at John's Hopkins. Now after 17 years of debilitating arachnitis, she has had a clean and flawless opiate pump implant and is living a pretty normal life.

I spent a week in Minnesota with my girlfriend, while her dad had heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, though they live in south Wisconsin.

Somethings are just too risky than to roll the dice with an unknown. I recently had my first Myofascial Release therapy, but it was nothing like what others have later described as Myofascial Release. I paid for it by being laid up for 5 days which in turn led to a huge family drama. And that was just massage not surgery.

~Myo

 
Old 03-29-2010, 09:00 PM   #7
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Re: Need Advice

You should seek a consultation with an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon and/or Neurosurgeon. A Neurologist should not be providing advice on surgery, but a neurosurgeon can. At least you will know if you are a candidate for surgery or not.
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