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Old 05-18-2011, 06:59 AM   #1
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What kind of doctor should I see?

I could really use some help deciding on what type of doctor I should go to. I've already been to a lot of different ones but I'm in pain and nobody has helped much. I have Osteoarthritis of the spine. My MRI reports say -

Central herniated disc with moderate spinal cord compression at C5/C6.

Minimal disc bulge at L3/L4

Ridiging at: T6/T7, T7/T8, C4/C5

Foraminal Stenosis at: C4/C5 (left only), C5/C6 (bilateral), L3/L4 - L4/L5 - L5/S1 (bilateral significant).

Neurosurgeon sent me to Rheumatologist. Was on Humira for a while with little relief. Went back to Neuro.

Neuro then sent me to Pain Management. I had a few series of epidural steriod injections (ESIs) and they helped. I went back every 6 months for the past few years to get ESIs (could only get either neck or back - had to choose). Self medicated with Tylenol and Advil for pain.

Last set of ESIs, Pain Management Dr sent me for another MRI of my neck. It was the same and he told me I needed to see an Ortho doctor.

Went to the Orthos dr. What a joke he was. He told me he KNEW I had nerve damage (even though I know I don't) and sent me for a nerve study. When the results came back normal, the doctor said that I must have stress at home and I should relax. HUH?!?! I fired him.

Now I don't have any doctor. I'm due for another ESI and my body is hurting both neck and back. The Tylenol and Advil aren't cutting it. Where do I go now? Surgeon? Rheumatologist? Pain Management Dr? Ortho Dr? I'm so lost and have pain. Help please.

 
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:38 PM   #2
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Re: What kind of doctor should I see?

If I were in your shoes, I would get an opinion from another orthopedic spine surgeon, making sure that he/she is fellowship-trained, and devotes his practice to issues of the neck and back exclusively. Be sure to take all your test results with you or have them available to the new doctor...and tell him/her your history with pain management.

Is your pain in your back or is it a sciatic-type pain, running down your leg, or perhaps in the hip or groin?

If the ortho spine surgeon does not feel that surgery is necessary, you might want to look for a physiatrist (Doctor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) if you are unhappy with your pain management doctor. This specialty does everything short of surgery to get a patient back to a functional state....

Have you had trials of stronger medications for your pain?

It sounds to me like your pain may be coming more from nerve compression caused by the foraminal stenosis and herniated disc than from arthritis.

If there aren't any ortho spine specialists in your area, I would suggest a consultation with another neurosurgeon from a different practice or hospital.

I hope you're able to get some answers soon, and some relief from your pain.

 
Old 05-19-2011, 04:05 AM   #3
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Re: What kind of doctor should I see?

[QUOTE=tetonteri66;4757946]Is your pain in your back or is it a sciatic-type pain, running down your leg, or perhaps in the hip or groin?[/quote]
My back pain is like a large square. It runs up and down from my tailbone up to around the waistband of my pants. And it runs about a hand length wide on either side of the spine.

In my neck, it runs from mid neck to a little bit further down than the top of my shoulder blades.

[QUOTE=tetonteri66;4757946]If the ortho spine surgeon does not feel that surgery is necessary, you might want to look for a physiatrist (Doctor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) if you are unhappy with your pain management doctor. This specialty does everything short of surgery to get a patient back to a functional state....[/quote]
I don't think we have any in my area. I was looking online and didn't see any. Are they known by another name?

[QUOTE=tetonteri66;4757946]Have you had trials of stronger medications for your pain?[/quote] I was these very short term in the past (one at a time) and none of them did much good - I still had to take Advil with them. Ultram, Percocet, and Flexeral. The only thing I continue to take prescription wise is Prozac.

[QUOTE=tetonteri66;4757946]It sounds to me like your pain may be coming more from nerve compression caused by the foraminal stenosis and herniated disc than from arthritis.[/quote] That's my fear. That I'll see a surgeon and hear not only do I need surgery, but I need two of them for cervical and lumbar spine.

[QUOTE=tetonteri66;4757946]I hope you're able to get some answers soon, and some relief from your pain.[/QUOTE]

Thanks you so very much for your help. I really do appreciate it.

 
Old 05-19-2011, 07:38 AM   #4
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Re: What kind of doctor should I see?

[QUOTE=carscheles;4757320]I could really use some help deciding on what type of doctor I should go to. I've already been to a lot of different ones but I'm in pain and nobody has helped much. I have Osteoarthritis of the spine. My MRI reports say -

Central herniated disc with moderate spinal cord compression at C5/C6.

Minimal disc bulge at L3/L4

Ridiging at: T6/T7, T7/T8, C4/C5

Foraminal Stenosis at: C4/C5 (left only), C5/C6 (bilateral), L3/L4 - L4/L5 - L5/S1 (bilateral significant).

Neurosurgeon sent me to Rheumatologist. Was on Humira for a while with little relief. Went back to Neuro.

Neuro then sent me to Pain Management. I had a few series of epidural steriod injections (ESIs) and they helped. I went back every 6 months for the past few years to get ESIs (could only get either neck or back - had to choose). Self medicated with Tylenol and Advil for pain.

Last set of ESIs, Pain Management Dr sent me for another MRI of my neck. It was the same and he told me I needed to see an Ortho doctor.

Went to the Orthos dr. What a joke he was. He told me he KNEW I had nerve damage (even though I know I don't) and sent me for a nerve study. When the results came back normal, the doctor said that I must have stress at home and I should relax. HUH?!?! I fired him.

Now I don't have any doctor. I'm due for another ESI and my body is hurting both neck and back. The Tylenol and Advil aren't cutting it. Where do I go now? Surgeon? Rheumatologist? Pain Management Dr? Ortho Dr? I'm so lost and have pain. Help please.[/QUOTE]

You could go from doctor to doctor till the cows come home, get this pill and that pill get another MRI or two, ask around for more help. You need treatment before you become completely chronic and have pain for ever. Dont doctors refer patients for what ails them anymore.
James

 
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