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YOUR NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS!!!!!! Second opinion!!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Now I'm just pissed, disgusted and down right agitated!! After all my posts that everyone was great at responding to and helping me get over the hurdle and make a decision, i'm back at square one. I went for that second opinion ( actually 4th opinion at this point) today. He is the cheif of the neurological institute at a big hospital near my home in New Jersey. Now, remember, my MRI report stated that I have three cervical herniations that are indenting my spinal cord, and severe spinal stenosis, in short. I have seen my "spine" doc who looked at the report and films who sent me for an epidural then to a neurosurgeon. I went to a neurosurgeon who read the report and viewed the films too and suggested discectomy with a double level fusion.I also sent my report to a neurosurgeon who, after looking at the report also stated I probably needed surgery, although he wanted to see me first before making a definite decision. So, like I said, I went to the other doc today fully expecting him to just reinforce what has been told to me.....THE EXACT OPPOSITE HAPPENED!! First, he said he looked at the films and he thinks they exaggerated the report. He feels I have "mild" stenosis, and that I am not a surgcial cannidate at this point. He also said that he feels I am young (36) to be having this kind of surgery!

FIRST, how can there be a 180 degree different opinion in my stenosis. Severe and mild????? AND, how can they be sooo far off in treatment opinions????

I am so fustrated. Any of you know who have read and responded to any of my posts that this was a huge decision for me. Now, I just feel totally disappointed, fustrated, confused and angry! I am an RN.....I know that there may be different opinions in health care, but for one doc to say SEVERE steonsis and one doc to say MILD???? COME ON!!!!!!!
SO, now I plan to cancel the surgery scheduled for the 23rd. What i'm going to do next, I have absolutely no idea, deal with the pain I suppose. I am so down!


  • what made me decide to have the surgery-not really what the doctors said about the MRI's. But get a Myeolgram--that was what the surgeon needed to see because my normal MRI's also showed things looked too mild for my spasms and pain level. I wasn't willing to deal with the pain-I wanted relief and asked the doctor to find the problem because I wouldn't stand for the pain or meds forever.

    I'm so sorry and understand how you can feel this way after all this time and effort you have put into this-but it's just one opinion and even the best doctor can have a bad day and be wrong. Good luck!
  • At least you are getting as much advice as you can. Honestly, if you feel you need surgery, then only you can decide that - Lets say if three doctors say surgery, but the forth say no surgery... It's kind of like the Trident commercials, oh come on, laugh, just trying to lighten the mood.

    Seriously, worse case scenario, you want it out a bit, if nothing helps, then rethink your surgery option.

    When I went to another neurosurgeon, first thing he said was that he couldn't operate on me... Ordered a new MRI... When I went back, he said I needed surgery, just like the others had said. So, after reviewing newer images, things changed with him as well.

    How old are your films?

    I have had some mid/lower back pain... I did not get my report from my thoratic MRI impression, however, my ortho looked at my films and said he didn't see anything really wrong, or what could be causing my pain.

    Well tonight I went to see a new chiropractor (my wife's new job is working with two, so it doesn't cost me personally anything)... Well, I brought all my stuff, but she had already reviewed all my MRI reports and film... She informed me sometimes the radiologist don't see, or even look for things other then herniated disc and major stuff.

    My ortho wants me to maybe get trigger-point injections, and also see a rheumatologist... Tonight my wife's boss says after reading everything, and what she has seen, she thinks I might have a herniated thoratic disc, which is very uncommon!

    Point is, completely different then what my ortho said, and my ortho was dead on from the start about my cervical issues.

    Anyway, just be glad you are able to learn this all out now, so in the end you know you got all the information you could.

    Tomorrow I go back to have her review all my results from everything done tonight, and look over my MRI's together (she is also having her husband look them over)... I had this ROM device hooked up to me to measure how my spine is working (guess I will know for sure how well my ROM is after ACDF - LOL), had some other thing read my back and how my muscles are actually working (pretty cool, where I hurt, you could actually see the difference on the screen from other areas).

    Like you, I was competely thrown for a loop tonight... Many things this chropratic doctor found/said matched my last WC theropist who also did some adjustment work to me, but she said I have a lot of things going on in my back.

    During the exam without me even saying anything, she could pick right up on some areas that bother me... Pretty cool stuff, as I always thought chiropractors were nuts.

    Oh well, I'm hoping I can get some relief without more meds or injections, so let the fun begin - LOL

    Again, I hope you get the relief you need, and hope everything works out for you!!!
  • I hear the disappointment in your voice but if I were you I would take a deep breath and think about it long and hard before you say no to surgery and go with the Chief. You were already mentally prepared and it's hard to have to restart that train of thought all the way back at the station. I don't understand why can you not go with the Dr.'s opinion who suggested surgery and not let the chief inside of your head. I've worked around a few hospitals before and I know some chiefs who are more into pushing papers and barking orders rather than actually helping patients. Keep some perspective here and DON'T blow off surgery. The longer you wait the worse it can get. You're a nurse you know that part. Don't make any hasty phone calls in the morning.
  • We all know what they say about them...but I can repeat it here LOL!

    If you weigh this particular doc's opinion as high as all the other 3 combined then you have your answer. I do, however, recall you saying that you had found a surgeon that you were very comfortable with, if I'm not mistaken, and that you respected his opinion as well. I agree with Tonya, give it some time to think it through and don't make any hasty decisions. Surgery is a big deal and, while getting more than one opinion is necessary many times, if you get too many you're always going to find differences.

    Hang in there. You're a smart lady and you'll know what's right for you.

  • I Had the same thing happen to me and I also decided to not have surgery (at least yet).
  • Maybe get a copy of your mri films. Maybe they are bad quality and hard to read.

    You can also try to read them yourself, if the quality is ok. Not to suggest self-diagnosis - but the MRI films are not hard to read if the stenosis is severe. You can clearly see the spinal cord being pinched and the lack of cerebral spinal fluid in certain areas around the cord at the herniated levels. Other levels that are not herniated will help show what a "normal" level should like. My mri looked like a train wreck. It was very clear I was a "serious" case.

    Finally, I understand your frustration. I personally went through alot to get where I am now (8 weeks post op, acdf 2 level c5-7). Don't discount surgery or ignore it if the pain persists. Watch out for neurological signs of stenosis (myelopathy). If you really do need surgery - waiting too long could cause permanent nerve damage. You are kind of young - but I just turned 40 and in hindsight was probably a surgical candidate a couple of years ago.

    Hang in there and keep fighting for the right answer.

  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    First of all neurosugeons are chikens .... Get evaluated by orthopedic surgeons ONLY! Bottom line is how bad is the pain, radiculopathy, parethesia, etc? When you can tolerate no more .... when the pain meds don't work anymore .... you will beg for surgery.

    Good outcomes!

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Im with you on this one,.. I love my NS and never even went to a ortho guy for my neck...
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    who completely under treated me for my 1st surgery .... It was another NS who covered his butt and kept me in severe pain for an additional 8 months .... It was an ortho who had the guts to re-do the poor efforts of the NS. So in my experience .... a NS messed up .... another NS covered for him .... and it was an ortho that at least gave me a chance.

    Just my opinion(s) right or wrong .... good or bad .... I appreciate you not deleting my post.

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • We are a democracy here. You have an opinion. You're entitled to it. I think that many people have had bad experiences with various types of doctors. So that probably isn't the first bashing of an NS post that Paul or anyone else has heard. I had an ortho do my surgery but that was only because he was part of a practice that had done my wrist surgeries. They say bone I say Ortho. They talk about my headaches and I think Neurologist. But I am just wired like that. But since surgery I have learned that there are some terrific Neuro's out there doing cervical surgery every day. It's just too bad that yours wasn't one of them and you had to deal with the consequences.
  • That would be terribly frustrating!! My first 2 surgeons were Ortho, and between the 2 of them, I was left with permanent nerve damage. My 3rd surgeon and the one who finally fixed my back amazingly well was a neurosurgeon who did his best, but the nerves were already shot.

    So for me, I would say if you have any nerve involvement at all, definitely see a neurosurgeon, but we all seem to have different opinions. (We moved in the middle of the 3 surgeries, and that's why I had 3 different surgeons.)

    I hope you get another opinion that helps make sense of it all. I don't know how they could be so polar opposite!!

    Good luck,

  • Hello,

    My surgeon stated the same thing to me about my age but I pushed to have it done and I am very glad that I did.

    I had a one level fusion disk replacement on 12/9. Good luck to you I will pray that you get the relief you need.
  • I had an Ortho and a Neuro. Both are well known and highly qualified, and they did what they were supposed to. I only wish I felt better.
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