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Old 09-25-2007, 10:42 AM   #1
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Does Anyone Else See a Physiatrist

During my appointment with my ortho surgeon last week I was telling him about the pain I have been getting in my hip and lower back. My gait is very awkward since my ankle is fused and my big toe is very crooked. I do not have the ability to push off with my big toe, so my foot points out to the side, and I try to push off with the ball of my foot. I believe all of this has caused my body to be out of alignment all the way up through my knee, hip and spine.
The doctor suggested I see the physiatrist who is in with his group. I had to look up the word "physiatrist" online because I had never heard of it before. I understand, now, that a physiatrist is a medical physician who has been trained to treat stroke and accident victims in terms of total care. In addition to helping someone learn to walk again, the physiatrist can also treat their pain and consult on any other care they may need. They also help with neurological disorders. One hospital said there is no problem too small or too big for their physiatrists.
Has anyone else used a physiatrist for their pain? What are the pros and cons of seeing a physiatrist?
This is all new to me, so I thought I would ask here in hopes that some of you have had some experience with this type of medical treatment.
thanks!
Step

 
Old 09-25-2007, 11:36 AM   #2
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Re: Does Anyone Else See a Physiatrist

Hi Step.....

I have been with my Physiatrist for the past 5 yrs now and I wouldn't change to any one else for anything. I don't think they mainly treat stroke patients and such but treat a wide variety that deal with some sort of rehabilitation over a period of time. The patients at my physician's office are there for a variety of reasons. But mainly ones with spinal problems and the rehabilitation that goes along with spinal injuries and the neurological deficits that come with it. When he signs his reports, scripts, etc., he follows his name with P M & R......physical medicine and rehabilitation. That is, after the M.D. of course. So, with your problems being mechanical and neurological, it makes sense to see a physiatrist.

My Physiatrist has the ability to do his own emg's, nerve conduction studies and such instead of having to refer the patient out to a Neurologist for the testing. I would think most of them do their own as well. Basically, they have a bit more specialized training especially in the spinal area and dealing with neurological problems. I would check with the Physiatrist that is being recommended to you to see if he/she does these tests themselves as well and if he/she treats the types of problems you are having. And these days, more and more Physiatrists are taking over Pain Mgmt patients as well. That would be another thing to ask at the office. It is definitely a plus to have all or most medical problems dealt with and scripts written (if Pain Mgmt is needed) by one dr. I am in a large city and in the past most of the Pain Mgmt dr's have mainly been Anesthesiologists, but now there are quite a few Physiatrists dealing with this as well.

I hope you have as good of luck with this Physiatrist as I have had with mine. As I mentioned before, I wouldn't trade mine for anyting. Hopefully, he will be around for many years to come......knock on wood.

Take care.....
~~~Kitt

 
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Old 09-25-2007, 12:29 PM   #3
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Re: Does Anyone Else See a Physiatrist

I've seejn quite a few at various PM cliics in the last 14 years. Those in private practice often call their specialty physical medicine and rehabiliation. Many also practice PM and some may focos on one thing speciflically like doing EMG's and TINS. TINS is acupubture ony they hook you up to electricity. Like any specialty, they can sub sprecilaize too, but only in the last 5 or 6 years have they had a Board certification process in pain management for Physiatry. Anesthesiologist have their own Board cert process and requirements and neuros' have theirs if they decide to specialize in pain management. That's why their are so many diferent procedures, practices ands beliefs involving PM.

Yup, they have been around at least since the early 90's and it only makes sense they would venture into PM.
Good luck, Dave

 
Old 09-26-2007, 05:25 AM   #4
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Re: Does Anyone Else See a Physiatrist

I am currently being seen by one at this time, It seems to me they do a variety of things including helping to rehabilatate, I would assume that is just away of saying getting you back on your feet again. I was sent to this guy because they are looking into the muscles at this time & his card reads musculoskeletal specialists, along with other things, almost sounds like they treat a variety of med. problems, along with specific testing. Hope this helps, I am alittle confused myself, sounds like perhaps each one can specialize in certain area's, not sure. good luck, Sammy

 
Old 09-26-2007, 08:20 AM   #5
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Re: Does Anyone Else See a Physiatrist

like the others,i too see a psysiatrist.and i really do think,considering your symptoms it would really be beneficial to you to at least consult and be evalated by a good one.my physiatrist actually got me to walk again with my left leg which was totally knocked out of commission during my spinal cord surgery.he was in charge of my acute rehab at the hosp i was Txfed to post op spinal cord surgery.my left hand also was just lame when i got to that hospital too and i was able,.with the help of him and the therepists to get some use back after losing almost all my fine motor skills in it(as you can see by my typing not everything came back but its usuable again).without the extensive real working knowledge of the mechanics of and how the nerves run within the body by my physiatrist i never would have been able to actually walk out of the very same doors i had been wheeled thru three weeks prior.i still see him now after four years post op just becasue he is my "go to guy' whenever something really freaky starts once again brewing in my now really screwed up body.he has also done all three of my EMGs and has never ever had to "stick' me in the same area more than once to try and find the right spot for needle placement,he just "knows' where every nerve is in the body,even mine with its really messed up anatomy from muscle atrophy.i would very highly recommend one to you for alot of reasons.it certainly cannot hurt to go for that eval and consult about your issues.i really think it would help you.give it a shot and see what happens.good luck and please keep us posted.Marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 09-26-2007, 08:22 PM   #6
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Re: Does Anyone Else See a Physiatrist

Thank you all for the response! This is very valuable information. I believe I will try the physiatrist out and see what he can do for me. By the way, what is EMG?
Thanks again!
Step

 
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