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Hello

MargaretMMargaret Posts: 15
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in New Member Introductions
:S Hello
My name is Margaret and I have a history of back pain, sciatica and a herniated disc. My GP sent me for an MRI which revealed a herniated disc, two bulging discs, arthritis, DDD, stenosis at L5-S1

My friend suggested that I see a rheumatologist because of the arthritis. I have been in a lot of pain over the past few months but my doctor does not suggest going to specialists, other than pain management for cortisone injections. He doesn't feel that surgery is an option because he says that the stats show that surgery does not always help. I told him I wanted to speak to specialists and know ALL my options.

I feel quite depressed today and found your webpage and thought I would see if you can help me. My GP has only told me to take Tylenol or Aleve.

HELP!

Thank you, Marg
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Comments

  • Welcome to spine-health,it sounds like you need a stronger pain med other than the Tylenol or Aleve....
  • Thank you for the welcome. I am navigating the site. I feel that my GP is not interested. I think I will visit the walk-in clinic tomorrow and ask for some stronger pain medication.

    Marg :?
  • Welcome to SH, we're glad to have you here. I think it would be a good idea to get a second opinion on the matter. Since you have a herniated disc, you may need to have a microdiscectomy to decompress the nerve. How long have you had the back pain and sciatica? Are the injections helping you any? Is it your GP saying you shouldn't go to other specialists except pain mgt. because I really think he should refer you to a spine specialist to handle your care. Only the spine doctor should make the determination if you need surgery, not a GP. Does the pain doctor give you medicine for pain, or is he just doing injections for you?
    Ask your GP if he will refer you to a spine specialist. He should not deny you that request because it is your right. If you have a hard time, you can self refer if you have a PPO. You would have to get your films and records from pain mgt. If you have to put your foot down with the GP for a referral, do it. Ethically he must honor your request. Take care.
  • I appreciate you taking the time to answer. I just had an appt. with the pain management doctor yesterday and have not set up any appt. to begin the cortisone treatment. I know you are right - my GP should honour my wish to seek other threatments if I want to.

    I have had back pain for years now and had a herniated disc 15 years ago which improved with conservative treatment, although I always had backache with varying degrees of pain. I have had this herniated disc since October (8 weeks ago)and because of that, I was sent for an MRI which showed herniated disc, bulging discs, DDD, etc. I just don't seem to be getting much better. I live in Ontario, Canada and don't know of any spine specialist but will ask my doctor when I see him tomorrow. Thanks again. Marg

    O:)
    meydey321 said:
    Welcome to SH, we're glad to have you here. I think it would be a good idea to get a second opinion on the matter. Since you have a herniated disc, you may need to have a microdiscectomy to decompress the nerve. How long have you had the back pain and sciatica? Are the injections helping you any? Is it your GP saying you shouldn't go to other specialists except pain mgt. because I really think he should refer you to a spine specialist to handle your care. Only the spine doctor should make the determination if you need surgery, not a GP. Does the pain doctor give you medicine for pain, or is he just doing injections for you?
    Ask your GP if he will refer you to a spine specialist. He should not deny you that request because it is your right. If you have a hard time, you can self refer if you have a PPO. You would have to get your films and records from pain mgt. If you have to put your foot down with the GP for a referral, do it. Ethically he must honor your request. Take care.
  • When are you going to the pain management Dr? I also agree that you need to tell your Dr. you're having pain and hope he treats you accordingly. If not you really should get a new Dr. Your Dr. needs to see how the nerves are by ordering further tests. If you were seeing the PM Dr. he could order some things for you including meds. I hope they help you at the walk in clinic tomorrow. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I hope your appointment goes well tomorrow. I know the medical systems runs differently in Canada and it can take a long time to get in with a specialist. Do the pain doctors prescribe painkillers there, or do the GPs? Here in the US some GP's (PCP,family doc) may do it and it's not a lot due to the strict DEA laws. They usually stick with Schedule III medications like Vicoden, or Percocet. For the stronger ones like Oxycontin, Morphine, or Fentanyl it will be done at pain clinics. I hope your doctors are taking care of your pain.
  • I also have severe arthritis in my facet joints. The PM may be an excellent choice as the best relief that I have found to date comes in the form of a rhizotomy (nerve burn) which my PM performs. So, don't be depressed yet. Your PM may have lots of choices for you. Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • Hi and Welcome to Spine Health.

    As you can see, there are many many more options than just a GP telling you to get cortisone injections. The key is to have a doc (normally a specialist and normally a PM specialist) who takes on your case and manages it. That way this doc can determine what tests if any need to be done and what procedures if any need to be done.

    I hope you are successful in getting some pain relief, even if it is an interim "band aid".

    "C"
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