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Surgery and more

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Old 02-26-2013, 04:31 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Cumberland, Md United States
Posts: 2
jan11 HB User
Red face Surgery and more

My neurologist refered me to see a neurosurgeon as I had Herniated disc in my lower back with pain shooting down my let to my foot. Herinated disc pushing on my nerve root. L5 S1. I could not sit at all due to the pain. I stood or paced. There is only on (2) nureosurgeons in my area and they work together. So I went and had surgery beginning of February. I has a back surgery "laminotomy" . I also found out I have scolisis. He didn't say much about it so I assume its not that bad. He also said by looking at old and new MRI's that I had a bone spur in my neck.I also have degenerative disc disease in both my back and my neck. I assume this comes with age. I had orginally set up an appointment with my doctor "neurologist" to check both my back and neck out. Unfortunately this herniated disc happened before I could go. The doctor told me he could get rid of the leg pain but not my back pain.I didn;t understand this and he was not forthcoming. I've have had 5 shots in my back in the last 4 years by my neurologist.
Today I went to see my doctor and I had called previously to let them know I still had leg pain,was told to tell doctor when I saw him. I told him and he said give it time it will go away? it mostly is behind my leg at the calf. I also still have a numb foot. Then I preccded to tell him that I have trouble sleeping at night as my back hurts.. His answer to this question was I must have something on my mind. No my back hurts but he didn't want to hear any more. I still also need to see about my neck, andfind out why I have alot of headaches,stiff necks and get dizzy. "About MY WORK" I work with intelectualy Disabled Adults in a work enviroment. It is extremely busy all day, I am frequently lifting up to 50lbs-Stooping-bending-reaching-pulling-pushing.. My doctor also told me that I have another bulging disc that is related to my age" okay not sure what this means either. . I do not want to see this doctor again as I feel he doesn't have my best interest.
Should I go out of town and get another opinion?? Please I need good feed back. I want to finish with my back before having my neck checked. But I am afraid of the neurosurgeons who work in my area.. never again.. Please help on some feed back on what you think is in my best interest??????

Last edited by jan11; 02-26-2013 at 05:12 PM. Reason: added a paragraph.

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Old 02-27-2013, 02:23 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Fairfax, VA
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Re: Surgery and more

I can only give you my opinion based on my experiences, as I'm not a doctor I've had 4 procedures done on my spine - a laminectomy and fusion (posterior) in Oct 2009 and a repeat of the fusion (same location) anterior and posterior in 2011.

What I can say from my experience (ymmv), I unfortunately had the back luck of being referred to a spinal surgeon that no longer works in the DC metropolitan area. At the time of my initial surgery, I was told he was the best in the area and he had "great hands" and he was a Washingtonian rated doctor. Sadly, I had tremendous problems after my initial surgery (he put screws in that were significantly too long), and have found out over time that this surgeon was "chased" out of the area by his peers because he was doing shoddy work.

My second back surgeon did a great job, and it seems as though I have a decent amount of stability in my spine (though still some stability issues). Unfortunately, the fusion didn't fix my pain. I still have degenerative disc disease (yes, extremely common as we get older, though not everyone gets pain from it), spondylolisthesis, spondylitis, bulging discs out the ying yang -- the list goes on .. Ultimately, my spinal surgeon said I need to keep checking in with him every 6 months or so to make sure my hardware is still in one piece, but he said he can do nothing for the nerve pain - says it's permanent damage from the years upon years of compression on my nerves, and possibly from the first surgery I had.

I also have scoliosis (a double S-curve in my spine), which quite possibly causes a portion of my pain, and likely a portion of my migraines as well. If the scoliosis is fairly minor, most spinal surgeons won't even mention it other than in passing because the treatment (fusion)/the cure is worse than the problem.

I really think you should get a referral to a pain management specialist that is willing to work with you in all aspects of your pain management - from injections to PT to medications as necessary. It often takes a long time (I'm still going through this process after more than 20 years) to get the results you want, but you need to be your own advocate for your health. If something doesn't help, keep working with your doctors and have patience. I know it's hard!

I wish I knew doctors in your area - but I'm limited to giving a recommendation in Fairfax, Va (quite a drive) or maybe Frederick, MD (my little sister's pain doc is out there) ... but even that is further than you'd likely want to go.

I hope you find some relief from your pain quickly - I know it's hard! Just hang in there .. a lot of us know what you're going through, and sometimes it's enough to get through the day when you can vent.

All the best!

Old 02-28-2013, 06:50 PM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Cumberland, Md United States
Posts: 2
jan11 HB User
Smile Re: Surgery and more

Thank you for the information you have given me on your experiences. I don't live that far from Fredrick, MD ,but I am so glad you mentioned that. I will check out the Neurosurgens there.
.. as we speak my foot is giving that awful tingling.. I wish you the best.

My sincere appreciation

Old 02-28-2013, 09:27 PM   #4
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Re: Surgery and more

Hi, so sorry you are in so much pain. You get take nerve pain meds for your leg pain like lyrica, neurontin, topomax. One thing once you have surgery you must take it easy and listen to the instructions,no lifting, bending or twisting,

So important there. Did he put you in pt to strengthen your core? Let us know how things go, Cathy

Old 02-28-2013, 09:27 PM   #5
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Re: Surgery and more

Don't forget that you also have the option of going to a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon, if there are any in your area. Their training is almost identical to the training of a neurosurgeon, but sometimes they look at things slightly differently, and they tend to think more kindly about revision surgeries.

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