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I am so upset, any inpiut would be great

HeidiLynnMHHeidiLynnM Posts: 445
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyon :H .

I went to a neurosergon today finally. This is the first one I have seen so far. First off, he had no bed side manner. He didn't seem to care about how I felt either(pain level, ect.). Well, he looked at my films and showed me what was wrong. I have a herniation at L5 S1, and a annual tear along with like the disk hanging off to the side?! Okay, I already knew this. Well, I told him that I have severe leg pain in both legs, he said there is no reason for me to have that with both legs :T :T :T .

I told him that I have lower back pain, always have for 2 years now. I told him that I seem to get a lot of pain in the lower hip area on both sides too. He told me that he doesnt see any reason to help me without proof that I have severe nerve damage. I have had a emg, he didnt have the report. He said that he will request it. Mind you, that emg is almost 1 1/2 years old.

He said that I may have problems with my hips and it may not even be my back!!!!!!!!!!!!! ~X( ~X( ~X( ~X( .

I wanted to give that man a sucker punch, I was almost in tears, I wanted to run away and scream. He told me to go get xrays on my hips, buttox,ect. and he will get the emg results from ages ago and he will call me.

I am so upset, I hurt so much. :''( :''( . I even told him that I wanted to cry, and he just went along talking. He didn't even seem to care that I was in pain. He told me that for him to do surgery on me may not be the answer. He said that my herniation doesn't seem so large to him :O :O.

I have been going through so much crap with my back over the last 2 years that I can't take it anymore. I have even had non invase surgery for this. This is a work comp case, and I feel like I am about ready to give up and settle with them. I feel like I will just suffer for the rest of my life, and no one will believe me except my pm doctor that has been treating me for over a year.

Should I seek another opinion? Should I just live with this? I can't work because I cant sit for 8 hours, or even stand for that amount of time. He kept asking me if i am working, I swear I told him NO like 3 times that no one will hire me with my injuries :T :T :T :T . I also tried to tell him that my back has gotten a lot worse from the older mri. I swear, maybe I am losing it or I will lose it soon :''( :''( .

Please, any and all input would be wonderful. I just don't know what to do........


  • Hi

    My spine specialist is an ortho.

    From the sound of your post I would get someone else to look at your case.

  • that a doctor would tell me all of this? I don't understand why he had no mind to pay attention to me at all, I just want to cry, thanks for the input.
  • I agree, you should seek another doctor for another opinion. I would also complain about this doctor's bed side manner. They get pain an ungodly amount of money for what they do the least they can do is be understanding and respectful.
  • I am 64 years old.

    A good 50% of the doctors I have encountered act like jerks.

    Put your energy into finding a Dr you feel comfortable with....if your insurance allows.

  • that you had such an arrogant doc! It really is not unusual for a specialist to have an attitude like this but I certainly would not give them my business. I have seen very good docs that have no bedside manner and do not have good communication skills. I do know that an annular tare all by itself can be very painful and most surgeons will not do surgery for this. I know this because I have met 3 people in my state on this forum that were dealing with excruciating pain from annular tare and their surgeons would not operate. They ended up going to my PM and having endoscopic MicroD and laser surgery just like I did. Surgery holds no guarantees though and lots of times even makes the pain worse. There are lots of us that are not surgical candidates and must rely on PM to help control our pain. I know that this is not what you wanted to hear because we all just want to be fixed. You really should get at least one more opinion though. I am really sorry that this was such a let down for you and maybe another surgeon will have a whole different opinion. Good luck to you and please keep us posted.
  • I am glad that you know that a lot of them are jerks ~X(
  • Sorry to hear you were treated this way :(

    Was there a reason you saw a neuro rather than an ortho? Just curious.
    I would agree with the others, try to get a 2nd opinion. It is useless to work with a doctor whom you do not trust, and with whom you cannot establish a good relationship. Just my $.02.
  • I am not sure why I went to see a neurosergon?! :? :? :? :? :? I was referred to this one from my pm doctor. What is the difference in the two? I swear that this doctor did not care how I felt at all, I wonder if I should go get the hip x-ray for hees and hawws?
  • Go to an Ortho if it is at all possible. I hear so many stories like yours and it just ticks me off to no end. I recently went to a Neurologist about some new excrutiating headaches I've been having since my wreck. He basically did a sobriety test on me. Asked me NOTHING about having been ran over by a semi. Didn't listen to one word I said to him when I told him I know what a migraine feels like and this aint it. Told him my MRI showed a Chiari 1 Malformation and do you know what he did? Told me I was having a migraine and gave me a prescription for Topamax (which I refuse to fill because of the side effects) and told me to come back in 6 weeks if I didn't feel better. Heidi go google Chiari I Malformation. I swear it will scare the living daylights out of you.
    I really believe that doctor's who have titles that begin with an N really could care less. I'm sorry for any NS reading this but this is just my opinion which I'm entitled to.
    GO SEE AN ORTHO! PRONTO! You've lived with this long enough. Does WC make you go see this quack? If you need money to go see an Ortho you just holler honey and we'll take up a collection for you. You've got kids to take care of and I know your husband isn't well either. It's time for you to do something radical. We're here for you. >:D< That's for having to put up with such a jerk.
  • Just move up here with me and I'll drive you to my doctor personally. Can you tell I'm just really p****ed at the way you got treated? I am so lucky to have my doctor. I tell him all the time how much I appreciate him because I could have ended up seeing one like the one you encountered. I am blessed and I know that!
  • I am def. going to take your advice about a ortho surgeon. I just need to find one?! I live in the north country of upstate ny. I have to travel at least 3 hours to get to Albany. I also need to find someone that will take work comp. I can't afford to see a doctor like this. We live off of my husbands ssd along with some of his pension. We are both crippled 8> .

    I just feel so horrible tonight and feel like I am not being heard. Work comp actually didnt send me to the neuro I went to, I was referred there. I had also heard good things about them. I guess there will not be a good opinion for them anymore.

    I just need to start searching now for a ortho I guess. I just need to calm down, I just feel so upset :S
  • Big hugs honey >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< . You truely are a sweetheart. Thank you so much for your kind words, I really do appreciate it.
  • This is just my opinion but I have heard from tons of doctors that when it comes to surgery of the spine you are usually better off using a neuro. Because an Ortho is alot rougher during surgery (used to dealing with bones) where a neuro is much gentler as they are used to dealing with nerves. I am not suggesting that you use the jerk only repeating what I have heard from lots of docs and it makes sense to me. In the end you need to be confident with the doc that you choose no matter what type of specialist he is.
  • That's the first time I've EVER heard that. The only real difference in the two of them is that an ortho can't work inside your spine. I would find it hard to believe that my doctor was "rough" with me because he was an ortho and not a neuro. I would think that they all use the same care and the same tools. Not trying to start an argument so PLEASE do not take offense. I know how easy it is to be misread when it's all in written word. But I know I watched ACDF surgery on youtube and it was done by a neuro and it didn't look very gentle to me. So I wouldn't want Heidi to be discouraged about an ortho because they are considered to be rougher than a Neuro. Heidi, My offer still stands sweetheart! you're in my thoughts today.
  • I think they're conditioned to hear that somebody is "in pain" and, so -- it doesn't really mean too much to them.
  • I would most definately go to another doctor. I have been there and it stinks. I went to my ortho during a time when I could not stand up straight, literally. I hobbled in there hunched over to see him, with tears involunarily running down my face, and he still ignored my pleas and would not even talk to me about pain meds or surgery. He acted like I did not exist, and that anything I had to say about my own body was irrelevant. I fired him and went to the doctor that ended up doing my TLIF (after some additional research that is). Find someone who will listen to you and sees you as a person, not a paycheck.

    One Love,

  • Hi there. I'm 2 1/2 weeks out post op for L4-L5 fusion/decompression. My surgeon is orthopedic and all he does is spinal work. I checked his credentials carefully. He had several fellowships in spinal surgery which is a very desired thing in a orho surgeon. During my surgery, he had a team of neurosurgeons up from Atlanta (I live about 45 miles north) to monitor my spinal cord during the surgery.

    Good luck and keep looking for someone who isn't a jerk. I don't like doctors to begin with but the guy you've been dealing doesn't deserve to operate on a mouse!

    Good luck, dear. I'll keep you in prayers. Please let us know what happens. Kathy in Atlanta
  • Yep, time for a new doctor. I had an ortho and couldn't be happier. He's a skilled surgeon and has a great bedside manner. He even gives hugs! >:D< >:D< He's about in his mid-thirties, good looking as all get out! Since I'm in my 60's, I get to flirt like crazy with all the good looking guys! =P~ One of the benefits of being old!

    Hang in there, sweetie. You will find the right doctor who will be more caring and understanding. All docs, ortho and neuro, have to be rough during surgery at times, and then very careful also. They know what they are doing.
  • I'm sorry you didn't have a good experience with this Dr. My Dr.s are neurosurgeons but I would have gone with an ortho with no problem if he had the experience and reputation but for me it just worked out I ended up with a NS- the key is to find a doctor you like and that you feel comfortable with -don't get too caught up in the NS/Ortho trap. May I ask how long it has been since you had any new films or MRIs done? My biggest problem ( grade 1-2 spondylolisthesis) was found on plain ole x-rays. So you need the plain films and a recent MRI. I also had the nerve conduction studies done which came back showing problems. Surgery has not resolved the nerve issues I have, I'm stuck with them. Try to get a second and/or third opinion if you can get them. Don't give up. I hope you get some answers and some relief soon!

  • I am not sure what is going on in my head. I feel like after he saw my films that he thought that I have nothing majorly wrong with me :T .

    My mri that I brought to him was very new, from november. I do have a ortho that I am going to try to call on monday. I am just feeling kinda down :( .

    I really didn't go there to hear that I needed surgery, I just wanted someone to listen to me, and figure out what is going on. He just didn't seem to care. My husband wants me to find a surgeon closer to home and that is Burlington. We really can't afford for me to travel a lot. My work comp is not paying me, we are actually in a appeal right now again. They have never actually paid me. They are offering to settle but I told my lawyer that I want to see some doctors to get opinions first! I guess my first one wasn't too good :O :O .

    I just need to move on and see if I can see someone that will listen to me. You guys are so great, thanks so much for all of your wisdom.
  • I think having your pain validated is a massive issue. It was for me. My own surgeon is ortho. He is a man of few words which makes it hard for me.
    But, One day wrote 3 pages of my own list of symptoms and history and handed it over. I wrote pain diary too.

    One day, he said, you do not need to tell me about your pain - I know you are in trouble.
    That for me - I nearly cried to have my pain validated. Finally I felt like I wasn't going insane.
    Suffering pain is very lonely. Not even your nearest and dearest can see it.
    24/7 the pain grumbles along and so do we.

    Find a doctor that will listen and one who you feel comfortable with, otherwise you are wasting your time...you'll end up going to see someone sooner or later.

    Finally, I didn't think they could see pain on an MRI??
    Good Luck

  • Thanks for giving me a good smile, how can they truely see pain on a mri? Thanks for your words, I do appreciate it truely >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • I also have heard and read the same thing about Neurosurgeons being much better in handling any cases involving nerve issues. Orthopedic surgeons do not have the same training Neurosurgeon's do. They may train in similar areas sometimes, but the Neurosurgeon's require much more extensive training, in general. My Neurosurgeon specializes in image guided brain surgery, and spinal decompressions and fusions. She had a LOT of training. The other two partners in the practice did as well, and all have a lot of awards and are members of many different institutions. One surgeon there specialists in minimally invasive techniques of all spinal surgery.

    I've seen two Orthopedic surgeons and I despised them. One of them told me I didn't need surgery just gave me meds, but yet, first visit with the NS she told me I needed to get the pressure from the broad based herniation off my nerve before it did permanent nerve damage, and it was while she was inside that she found there was not just a herniation but DDD. The first Orthopedic surgeon I saw years ago for my Cervical issues said the same crap. Didn't need anything but meds. Well, those issues have resurfaced hardcore. I just do not like Ortho's and I will stick my Neurosurgeon or one of her partners. I have had AWESOME experiences with them, and that's where I feel comfortable.

    This is all just my opinion and my experiences, things I've read, researched, etc... So no need for anyone to come in with a red pen and start correcting anything I said. It's MY thoughts, views, opinions, and knowledge. That's it. You have yours, I have mine. Let's keep it that way. Lol. Not looking for any more arguments with anyone for ANY reason.
  • I can only agree with the others in saying that you need to see a different surgeon and try to ignore this one.
    Basically he is not worth wasting you energy on :D

    Some suegeon both ortho and neuro can be extremely arrogant and ignorant but thankfully that is not all of them.
    I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful Ortho who listen to every word I said before he even looked at scans reports etc.
    My previous Ortho who did my lam/discectomy was just like the one you saw. A complete a****** who listened to nothing I said and ignored my pain.
    So keep looking around and you will find the surgeon who suits you.

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • you had an appointment with a jerk. Please don't lump him in with all neurosurgeons - I think he was just a bad apple.

    My first 2 surgeries were with orthos and I won't be seeing another one again. Ever. I found the neurosurgeons I've dealt with to have a different kind of experience. Granted, if someone doesn't have nerve damage, it might not be that big of a deal BUT anyone can develop nerve damage at any time from untreated problems. That is the risk you face.

    I hope you can get some other opinions, even though the cost is steep. Never getting better has a cost that can't be computed.

    ( ( HUGS ) )

  • Heidi:

    I have no experience with workman's comp., but I know that there are others on this forum who have and I am sure they will offer you some help.

    It sounds like regardless of what kind of case you have, you should not go back to that doctor, you should get another opinion. Find a doctor who is considerate and respectful.

    Don't give up.

  • I agree with everyone too, forget him!!! WOW what a jerk!
    There are always debates about neuro versus ortho but basically if you choose an ortho they must have a fellow in spine surgery period. That is my opinion of course but the reasons why are obvious I think...Also a reputable spine specialist is another option.

    I know nothing about workman's comp but it sounds like they hold out hoping you'll settle compared to the potentially long amt of time and money to get you functional again.

    Keep in mind a doc can look at the same MRI film of 10 different people and ONE can have symptoms!! So stand tall you know something is not right and that's the bottom line. It sounds like a pretty big herniation? The annular tear is shown in studies to be quite painful for some folks as the DDD rears it's ugly head.

    The annular tear is most significant in that the tough, outer cartilage material of the disc called annular fibers starts to tear and causes the fluid in the center to "leak" thus the herniation. You can have annular tear without herniation it can be a bulge or no affect to the center but still painful! So point in fact is yours has leaked. Maybe why they add that unless they see other tearing in the disc? You might ask about that....just an idea, whatever you think and are comfortable with of course....

    I would have walked out of there frankly...& yeah I would talk to them about the guy and explain what he recommended and decide w/them about the x-rays???, again I don't know how it works at all... It sounds like you need to request a report of the EMG and take it with you along with everything else you have for the next opinion,

    You will find someone it's much more difficult from what I've read on the boards for workman's comp cases. if they want to settle does that mean they know something is wrong?

    Good luck friend we can all relate as we all know we are in pain even if most can't relate >:D< >:D<
  • I hate hearing how you were treated! I went to my family doctor when I started with my pain (it came out of the blue, and I just woke up with it). He acted like it would go away on it's own and wasted weeks until he finally recommended an MRI. When the MRI came back, he would not even talk to me about it. It was in a sealed envelope, and my doctor said to contact one of the neurosurgeons on a list he handed me, and said I had to have surgery or I would be in the same (level 10 pain) and possibly paralyzed the rest of my life! He would not tell me why, and he would not tell me what was on the MRI. Just basically, good luck with that, have a nice day. I was in intense pain and really frightened!

    When I started calling neurosurgeons, they didn't have appointments available for two weeks (I think they usually have the referring doctors help get patients in?). Finally, I had my mom drive the envelope with the MRI in it over to one of the neurosurgeons and asked the staff to see if the neurosurgeon would just look at it and work me in if it was an emergency. I got a call first thing the next day. My disk had ruptured (annular tear), and it was protruding 1 centimeter into my sciatic nerve. Thank goodness the Neurosurgeon cared because my family doctor (who my family and I have gone to for 15 years) didn't care that I was in terrible pain (that no pain meds could help) or that I was scared to death!

    I sympathize with what you went through, and I hope you find another doctor soon. I think either an ortho or NS can help, but a NS may be best because it sounds like you are dealing with the same thing I was (the L5S1) with the disk pushing on the nerve. By the way, even though my right hip and leg were far worse, I did have some pain on both sides. If it's inflamed in your back, it's not unusual to have symptoms on both sides of your body.

    I also hate to say this, but I get the feeling there may be some discrimination going on in your case because you are a worker's comp case. There is no excuse for that because you are still a patient; nevertheless, we've seen it here time and time again where doctors won't listen and jump to their own conclusions (usually ones that justify doing nothing) when worker's comp is involved. In worker's comp cases, the patient gets the run-around, but so do the doctors. It takes forever for them to be paid, they are often brushed off for months, and the docs hate the lawyers and the legal system as much as the patients do. No excuse to be jerks, because they are still supposed to help the patient (or at least "do no harm").

    Please keep us updated on how you are doing! If you can get to Texas, I would gladly take you to my NS, too!


  • The disc material that leaks out from annular tears is very irritating to nerves. It can leak out in different directions and make both legs or just one leg hurt.

    I notice you also take Tramadol. Usually that is contraindicated with psych meds and I and noticed you are taking depression meds. If you are having no problems, fine, but hopefully the same doc prescribes your meds and knows that there can be serious side effects. Sides effects such as anxiety, tremors, etc.

    You need another doctor. I know that some doctors don't like work comp becuz of the hassles. I'm sorry he was such an ass to you, you deserve better.
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