It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

  • Need input after 2nd opinion & PT w/traction. Confused!

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 06-12-2009, 05:51 AM   #1
    Likea
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: May 2009
    Location: Jacksonville, Florid
    Posts: 16
    Likea HB User
    Question Need input after 2nd opinion & PT w/traction. Confused!

    Hey, everyone. Wanted to give an update on what has been happening along with my questions.

    I did start PT and just had my 6th visit. At PT they put me on heat, did some manual traction and muscle work. Then did traction on the machine. I was worse after the first traction session. Next visit the PT did traction manually and discovered I needed my head tilted a certain way or it aggravated my condition. The subsequent sessions went fine but no noticable improvement from using it. At this point I have to decide to either continue with PT to see if it eventually helps or quit and save my money and benefits for after surgery. Other excersises (like chin tucks) activates the nerve so they weren't able to find much to help in that way.

    I did go for a 2nd opinion to a neurosurgeon who is no longer doing surgeries. I did not tell him I had already seen a NS regarding the problem because I didn't want anything to influence what he told me.

    He said that in his opinion, the MRI report overstated the degree of stenosis and cord involvement. (Report said C5-C6 canal narrowed to 7mm and cord flattened, C6-C7 disc mildly effacing cord) The original doctor did not spell it out but now that I think about it, it explains why he wasn't more concerned about having surgery quickly. The new doc said that there was definitely issues going on there and he felt that I would need surgery eventually but it wasn't an emergency situation. He also put more emphasis on the C6-C7 area where a bone spur was pressing on the nerve at that level that the MRI report didn't even address except for the disc bulge.

    He said he would try the PT and traction before doing anything. Although he did say I should be seeing some improvement by now. Bottom line was he didn't propose surgery as a means of preventing nerve / cord damage - he didn't think it was at that level right now (short of a car accident, bad fall, etc). He said I needed to let my pain, quality of life, etc be my guide. I could tell he thinks surgery should be last resort. That said, he said when I have surgery I should have a two level ACDF. He said I should use a neurosurgeon and his recommendation is the doctor I went to first.

    So - it's good to know that I'm not in imminent danger of cord damage. I'm just confused!!! Do I try to wait it out longer in case I "heal" or do I go ahead with surgery? Which, incidently, I had just set on Monday for July 28th. I needed to have a date for planning purposes and since PT wasn't doing anything for me. This doctor is very busy also so I wanted to make sure I got a date that would work for me.

    So - should I continue with PT / traction and should I keep my surgery date? I think my hubby is getting tired of all this back & forth. Thanks for all the help. Cathy

     
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 06-12-2009, 03:34 PM   #2
    jennybyc
    Inactive
     
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Posts: 3,892
    jennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB User
    Re: Need input after 2nd opinion & PT w/traction. Confused!

    Hi Cathy....good idea to see a non-operating neurosurgeon. He has nothing to gain by giving you his advice. That's why I saw my neurologist and let her tell me what to do....no conflict of interest.

    So here is what I was told with my 2 neurosurgeon visits. The first one said to wait. I was down to 6mm at the smallest but had several areas of compression but he told me the possibility of my becoming paralyzed from an accident or bad fall was about 3%. My chances of paralysis from the surgery was also 3%. So he wanted to wait until my chances of becoming paralyzed accidentily were higher than the risk of it happening in surgery.

    Surgeon #2 felt differently. He felt that the purpose of the surgery should not be to prevent paralysis should I fall or get into an accident but to stop any further progression of the numbness and weakness I already had. Spine surgery to stop numbness and weakness has a 70% success rate. He felt that since I was a painter and crafter that losing any more of my hand function would make my life less enjoyable.

    So I weighed the options. It seemed to me that surgeon #1 was more concerned about his own reputation. He never even asked what I did for a living or for leisure. Surgeon #2 was concerned about the quality of my life and so I went with him and had the surgery. Mind you, the disasterous complications no one could have seen but he worked very hard to make me as well as I can be and I can and do still paint, so it worked. And I got on SSDI and Medicare to boot! So I got to retire early and hubby can retire when he wants. Otherwise he would have had to work until age 72 to keep me in medical insurance as my company didn't offer it to part-timers and I could only work part-time due to all my arthritis. So all in all, it worked out well. I just have these rods in my neck.......

    So weigh your options and remember one thing....the retired surgeon may not be up on the latest surgeries now available. The older docs tend to be very conservative after seeing years and years of unhappy patients. Fusions used to be a terrible operation that caused nothing but pain. Not anymore. the newer options for fusions(especially the anterior entry)have made it so much easier.

    A lot to think about and we're all here to support you whichever way you decide.

    giant gentle hugs.................Jenny

     
    Old 06-13-2009, 06:30 AM   #3
    Likea
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: May 2009
    Location: Jacksonville, Florid
    Posts: 16
    Likea HB User
    Re: Need input after 2nd opinion & PT w/traction. Confused!

    Thanks, Jenny. Interestingly enough, neither doctor mentioned paralysis rates for the surgery. 3% seems like a fairly significant risk. It's so hard to know what to do!

    I'm so much better than I was say 3-4 months ago, but improvement seems to have halted at this stage since then. If I knew it was just a matter of waiting it out, I would. If I look back at my first imaging test in 1997 when I was having pain thru now you can see the progression of deterioration of the mid-lower c-spine. So it seems reasonable to expect it to continue on that path. And, surgery would be easier on me now than later, presumably. ???

    I have over 6 weeks till surgery date so I guess I'll just continue along unless something changes for the better. I know hubby is getting tired of all of this
    "should I or shouldn't I?" stuff. Heck -I'm getting tired of it!
    Cathy

     
    Old 06-13-2009, 04:53 PM   #4
    SpineAZ
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    SpineAZ's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: Wisconsin
    Posts: 5,082
    SpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB User
    Re: Need input after 2nd opinion & PT w/traction. Confused!

    Likea:

    It's "Murphy's Law" that the closer you get to the surgery date sometimes the better you feel. Then you wonder if you need surgery. I think I felt better in the week before my ACDF than I had in a long time. My guess is that I was subconsciously so relieved to know the surgery was coming that I had relaxed a bit. Every time I thought "maybe I should put it off" I'd have a twinge of the pain and say "Oh yeah, that's why I need to do this".
    __________________
    Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

     
    Old 06-15-2009, 05:38 AM   #5
    Likea
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: May 2009
    Location: Jacksonville, Florid
    Posts: 16
    Likea HB User
    Re: Need input after 2nd opinion & PT w/traction. Confused!

    Thanks, SpineAZ. I really DON"T want the surgery. But I guess no one does. I do have another 6 weeks before surgery so there's time in there to cancel if I should make a miraculous recovery. I'm just going ahead with the idea that I'm having surgery and see what happens between now and then.

    Cathy

     
    Old 06-15-2009, 11:02 AM   #6
    SpineAZ
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    SpineAZ's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: Wisconsin
    Posts: 5,082
    SpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB User
    Re: Need input after 2nd opinion & PT w/traction. Confused!

    If it's any consolation.....even though I didn't get 100% relief from the surgery I did get 80%. I can't imagine having gone forward without the surgery. Let me know if you have any last minute questions or concerns!!
    __________________
    Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

     
    Old 06-15-2009, 03:32 PM   #7
    Likea
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: May 2009
    Location: Jacksonville, Florid
    Posts: 16
    Likea HB User
    Re: Need input after 2nd opinion & PT w/traction. Confused!

    It does help to know that. I know there are no guarantees going into this so hearing that you are satisfied you did the right thing is helpful. I do appreciate your input and I'm sure I'll have plenty more to ask about before D-Day!

    Have a good one!
    Cathy

     
    Old 06-16-2009, 12:49 AM   #8
    gooseberry
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jun 2009
    Location: sydney nsw australia
    Posts: 22
    gooseberry HB User
    Smile Re: Need input after 2nd opinion & PT w/traction. Confused!

    Hi Cathy,

    In June last year I had a fusion from c2 - t2 which came about as a result of a very successful laminectomy in 2000 from c2 - c3 which saved my life but left me with a slipped vertabrae. The surgeon who did the laminectomy referred me to another surgeon for the fusion, and that surgeon referred me on again to another - my absolute confidence in the third surgeon and his ability made the difficult decision to go ahead with the surgery easier. He provided me with journal articles to read and case studies of patients he had treated which was a great comfort and informative to me. The 20 million dollar question is do you wait and see what happens or do you go ahead - I can tell you that I am still recovering from my surgery, it was without doubt the hardest thing I have personally had to endure, but actually doing it after all the waiting around was a relief to the worry of what could happen to me in the future if I didnt have the surgery or I suffered an injury during the surgery. I had spinal chord damage so there was a bit of urgency to my situation but I wouldn't have done it until I found a surgeon I was completely happy with, who proved his ability to me and also satisfied me that he had no self interest in my decision other than to see me have a better life.

    I think having confidence in your surgeon is paramount, and he or she should prove to you their ability to you by providing case studies etc, because surgery is a big undertaking with risks and benefits that need to be weighed up. Being on the other end of the surgery, I can say that for me it was a bigger success than I thought it would be and I feel better in my body better for it, I wish for you that whatever your decision is it makes you feel better.

    All the best,
    GB

     
    Old 06-17-2009, 03:05 PM   #9
    Likea
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: May 2009
    Location: Jacksonville, Florid
    Posts: 16
    Likea HB User
    Re: Need input after 2nd opinion & PT w/traction. Confused!

    Gooseberry - thanks for the input. I do have total confidence in the surgeon - at least in regards to his skill! And, it really does help to hear of positive outcomes. I pray you will continue to be healthy. Cathy

     
    Closed Thread

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
    Brain atrophy suffer. Help I need some input and guidance waynel Brain & Nervous System Disorders 16 08-03-2010 11:21 AM
    Cervical spinal stenosis-need help reading MRI Likea Spinal Cord Disorders 24 06-15-2009 05:36 AM
    Severe cord compression & chiropractor HarleyLdy61 Spinal Cord Disorders 7 02-04-2009 12:25 PM
    L1 S5 Bulge what now? Lyrica & ADD? Female ?ís RE Menses & RE Sex (Blush) owie Back Problems 10 02-04-2007 02:27 PM
    Help I need some information about DRX9000 potent Back Problems 4 09-08-2006 04:36 PM
    C5-6 and C4-5 real bad C3-4 and C6-7 not good - I need help sned2121 Spinal Cord Disorders 13 04-16-2005 09:32 PM
    Diagnosed w/degenerative arthritis of spine, suggestions & input??? mimirea Arthritis 10 02-08-2005 02:40 PM

    Tags
    acdf, cervical, spinal, stenosis, traction



    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:14 AM.





    © 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!