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Has anyone seen a Physiatrist(rehab specialist)

grandmesamomggrandmesamom Posts: 181
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Has anyone seen a Physiatrist for rehab after a ACDF(my 2nd one)? I had a spinal cord compression that has caused chronic myeloradiculapathy. My arms hurt with weakness and my legs are also weak with alot of spasms. I was in Physical therapy for 3 days and had to stop because it actually increased my pain. My NS now wants me to see a rehab specialist to help evaluate regaining some of my strength.Any idea what this involves and what questions I should ask?Are these specialist able to control pain with the PT? Hopefully it won't be as bad as the 1s round.
Thanks, Bethy


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    for over 2 1/2 years now and she has made all the difference in where I was back then to what I am now.
    She coordinated everything for me, all my medications, ESI, Trigger Points, appointments, referrals, etc
    We have a very good relationship, I can speak to her freely almost to the point it is not doctor to patient. I enjoy that trust, and in return I do whatever she asks in terms of different treatments, medications, etc

    To me, the Psychiatrist help me regain some much what I have lost. And in the past two years when I had spinal problems, but not surgical problems, she helped all the time.

    Good luck, I only hope that you can have 50% of the luck I had with my Psychiatrist and you will still be ahead of the game
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • i went to a physiatrist before my surgery trying to get help with stiffness and weak muscles,left physical therapy for a period of time to do that. i guess he helped me in some ways but i really needed the surgery to get me better.I really didn't see much of a difference between what he did for me and what my physical therapist was doing,but he's just one guy who knows the person your going to see may be much better. good luck with it.
  • First I saw a Neuropsicologist and it was very good they are specialized in traumas and now I am seeing a psiquiatrist, it isn't as good as a psicologist as they use drugs but some help with pain and they are pain blockers. It is good to have someone to talk to when having a crisis so family and friends don't have to go over and over again through the same. It is not that they don't understand but I rather give them a break and talk to my psyquiatrist.
    Good luck and take care!
    If you need to talk you can send me a message.
    (I tend to think that only the ones who are going through this understand it and the rest of the world think we are week and weepy but we are stronger than they think, I would like to see one of my doctors go through one of our really bad days, the morphine days)
  • I am currently working with my pm and a rehab doc. It sorta feels like a second opinion. he is going to try Botox on my due to the spastic muscles. He has a different idea of what might be wrong with my thoracic.

    Good luck on your appt. What I have read is that they are to be diagnostic about acute and chronic pain. and work from a perspective of the 3 main nerves, muscle and bone. So it can be a terrific compliment to what is already being done for you.

    take care
  • After my first surgery I was eventually referred to a physiatrist whom I credit for getting me out of a wheel chair. He was very thorough in his examination and got me into an inpatient spinal rehab unit where my physical rehab really began. From there he was in charge of my different therapy, and when I stopped making progress, he helped get me to a new physical therapist. He was very knowledgable in spinal issues, and he was always encouraging and helpful. Surgeons are more get in, fix the problem, and turn you over to someone else. A Physiatrist is the perfect doctor to take over your care while you are in hte rehabilitation process, in my opinion. the only thing my physiatrist did not do was injection epidural injections.

    Unfortunately he no longer practices here locally and it is not practical for me to travel 2 hours away where his office is now located. I have a new physiatrist who is in charge of my rehab, work restrictions, disability information, etc. and I look forward to her helping me regain every bit of strength I can.

    My vote for a physiatrist is that they are invaluable in helping with the post op recovery rehabilitation. Pick one who specializes in spine issues and I would think you wouldn't be disappointed.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I was referred to a physiatrist when I first had symptoms 4 1/2 years ago. I agree with Dilauro; they become an extremely important step to your recovery. My psyio monitors my symptoms & takes time to really listen to me. By visiting with me on a regular basis, she knows how to monitor/change my medications need be, update an MRI, XRAY or other test, send me to a neuro doc for an injection, or try therapy. She also knows when all conservative treatment fails, then it's time to see a surgeon. Now that I've had surgery, my ns, neuro, and my psyio docs work together to help me in my recovery. My Pysio doc has taken the time to explain my diagonsis with me, and has become so close to me that I can call her my friend. I don't know what I would do without her. I have come to have the utmost trust in her. Good luck Bethy, I hope all goes well for you.
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