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  • Visit to Neurosurgeon tomorrow... what to expect

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    Old 01-03-2017, 04:58 PM   #1
    DarcyBee
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    Question Visit to Neurosurgeon tomorrow... what to expect

    I'm so nervous... I have an appointment with the NS tomorrow.

    I've been in so much pain for so long.

    What should I be expecting for this appointment? Will the tests hurt?

    Should I bring a friend to help me take notes?

    The thought that after all these years there *might* be relief from this slowly increasing pain (and now clumsiness and numbness). My GP just sent me home with pain meds and muscle relaxers.

     
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    Old 01-04-2017, 06:44 AM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Visit to Neurosurgeon tomorrow... what to expect

    Don't be anxious. Nothing done at this initial consultation should hurt. The doctor will talk to you to learn about your symptoms and what impact they are having on your day to day life. Give this some thought before you go in so you can be more specific than Saying "I'm in so much pain." Be prepared to say specifically where the pain is located, the quality of pain ( is it sharp, jabbing, ongoing ache, is there tingling or any numbness down on arm, etc.), what makes it better or worse, time of day it is more intense, etc. Jot down your thoughts and bring them with you to the appointment if you think you might get rattled during the appointment and forget everything! ('Which is not unusual!)

    I would imagine the doctor will perform a basic neurological exam and physical exam and will correlate what he finds with what he sees on the MRI.

    Then he will probably recommend a plan for treatment. Generally conservative measures are tried first before surgery is considered.

    Come back and tell us how it goes. Good luck.

     
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    Old 01-04-2017, 07:50 PM   #3
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    Re: Visit to Neurosurgeon tomorrow... what to expect

    How did it go?

     
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    Old 01-05-2017, 10:38 AM   #4
    DarcyBee
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    Re: Visit to Neurosurgeon tomorrow... what to expect

    Hi Teri! Thanks so much for your help.

    It went very well!! I was glad I didn't even have to take off clothes and get into one of those horrible paper gowns.

    From the minute the doctor walked in, I felt super comfortable. He is caring, sweet, smart, and even incredibly good looking.

    He did the neurological tests, and let me know I am not in an emergency condition, but obviously in a lot of pain from the nerve impingement. I have the option of surgery - artificial disk replacement or ACDF- they need to do bone density tests, more xrays and CT scans to see if I am a candidate for artificial disk replacement. I could also have epidural injections and/or PT. The choice is up to me. I'm going to ahead with surgery. I hope that I am a candidate for Artificial Disk Replacement. The advantages are many.

    I feel very empowered that I can decide what I want to do about my neck. 20 years of ever-growing chronic pain enough. The pain has gotten in the way of just about everything I like to do, and if I have a possibility that surgery will help, I am ready to go! I will go get at least one more doctor's opinion, but I really (REALLY) like my doctor.

    Thanks again Teri! I really appreciate your great responses!

     
    Old 01-05-2017, 10:54 AM   #5
    DarcyBee
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    Re: Visit to Neurosurgeon tomorrow... what to expect

    I forgot to mention, he will be replacing two discs with the artificial discs (hopefully!) Or a two level fusion.

     
    Old 01-05-2017, 02:02 PM   #6
    teteri66
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    Re: Visit to Neurosurgeon tomorrow... what to expect

    That'/ great that you hit it off. Did he show any preference for which way to proceed?

     
    Old 01-05-2017, 03:35 PM   #7
    DarcyBee
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    Re: Visit to Neurosurgeon tomorrow... what to expect

    He said he'd rather do the artificial disc replacement. There is better range of motion longterm, and less repeat surgery due to the fact that fusion can cause damage to the surrounding discs over the years. I actually asked him if it was your neck that needed the surgery, which would you choose, he said ADR without a question.

    The only downside to the ADR compared to ACDF is that there hasn't been more than 10 years study - so there are no studies about long term problems that may arise, but in the years it has been available the studies all show it has an excellent success rates. If there were to be problems, it is possible to do an ACDF.

    I will have to see if I meet the anatomical requirements, and that I don't have osteoporosis before I can be qualified as a candidate for ADR.

    He has done a lot of these surgeries. For the first time in a long time, I feel positive about my neck.

     
    Old 01-05-2017, 09:08 PM   #8
    teteri66
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    Re: Visit to Neurosurgeon tomorrow... what to expect

    It is very important that the surgeon has done many ADR surgeries. Do what you can to verify that.

     
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