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Help, Don't know what to do

slowpoke60sslowpoke60 Posts: 139
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Just got back from seeing another doctor on my neck and back.

I have C-5-6 C6-7 HNP Stenosis in my neck
and Severe Spondylosis at T11-T12, T12-L1 and L1-L2.

The first doctor that I went to is a orthopedic doctor and the second one that I went to today was a Neurologist.

The first Dr. recomments surgery on my neck and middle and lower back.

The second Dr. said no surgery, because I did not have any nerve damage, just to take the shots and hope they will work. He said sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. When I ask wasn't the shots just a stop gab measure and not a fix, he did not answer me. When I ask him what if the shots do not work, then what? He still did not answer. I guess he did not know what to tell me except that I would just have to put up with all the pain.

I would appreciate any comments on this. I really don't know what to do, I do know though that I can't continue to hurt. I can't hardly do any house work or ride very far in my car. If I do very much of anything it puts me in tears.



  • A neurologist generally supports any type of treatment that avoids surgical intervention, so it is only natural for him to not support or speak about surgery.

    Can you possibly get in to see a neurosurgeon for an opinion?

  • He (the second Doctor )is suppose to be a neurosurgeon. He specializes in Microsurgical treatments of the back, neck and spine. But he will not do any kind of surgery because he did not see any nerve damage, in fact they said that I did not even have to return to him. Just go to the pain clinic for the shots.
  • If you speak with an OS or a NueroSURGEON, they tend to lean their decision making towards surgery (even my NS said so :-)... A neurologist specializes in the brain (epilepsy, seizures, etc)and that may also be why the neurologist didn't have answers right off the bat. I'd agree with haglandc... may be wise to see an NS. For me, i'd be more interested in comparing notes of the OS and NS.

    Best of luck
    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
  • The second doctor was a Nuerosurgeon, at least according to them, I read a lot on this site that people with the just about the same problem that I have, has had surgery and has done very well. I have also checked other web sites of hospitals that do this type of surgery with very good results. He will not do the surgery because he doesn't see where I have, for sure, anything pressing on a nerve. He saw the images on a disk that I had gotten from the first doctor, not the actual MRI or xrays to form him opinion.
  • Maybe you should get a third opinion from a spine specialist, be it ortho or neuro and see what they say.

    Personally, I got tired of the "band-aids." I got to the point of s**t or get off the pot - I know it has to be fixed, so let's just get 'er done.

    Just my two cents.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm sorry you're in so much pain. I have a diagnosis almost like yours and I started PT today. I saw a neurosurgeon too and she wants me to have PT and then injections if the PT doesn't help. My therapist today said even she doesn't think therapy will help and that she doesn't have a lot of faith in the injections. My NS didn't give me a return appt. either. Just said to call if this doesn't work then we'll discuss surgery. I just hope they don't put it off and I have to survive another summer with this! I hope you get relief soon. I can't tell you what to do, I'm there also. Feel free to PM me if you'd like to talk more.
  • Hi joyce,

    You mentioned that the NS said you have no nerve damage. Do you have any symptoms (pain, radiculopathy, etc.)? I mean, if you're struggling with pain management and symptoms then maybe the surgery is the way to go? I suppose in addition to the docs advice... you have to factor in your current quality of life, and what impact starting surgeries might have on your future quality of life given your diagnosis...I don't know anything about that myself as i don't have spondylosis... Just a thought.

    Take care
    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
  • Ive been researching surgery outcomes on 3 different back boards for almost a year now. Seems to me that 80-90% of people do get significant relief from surgery. But yes, there are a small % of people whom actually end up worse. But I think thats quite rare. Thats my impression. Give the conservative treatments a chance to work though. I know of people who get full relief with epidural injections and other conservative treatments. If that fails, why live with a poor quality of life? I think the risk of surgery is worth it if you are significantly suffering.

    I know Im fed up with my pain. Ive dealt with it so long that in a funny way, its pissing me off and I want to fight back. Im going all in for a 2 level ADR. I have no quality of life now, so surgery is a no brainer even with the risk. So Just waiting for a surgery date.

    Good luck!!
  • I am going to go ahead with the surgery. I can't even ride 30 miles from my home to the closest town where we shop.
    I did not have very much confidence in the neurosurgeon after I saw and talked to him.

    I have tried PT with no help, the shots, I don't think I want to try them, they are only a temporary fix anyway. I want it fixed all the way. The quality of life is not very good if you can't do anything without hurting so much.

    Thanks for all of your input.


  • Hi Joyce,

    sounds like you've given it alot of thought, and it sounds like a good decision for you... quality of life is so important and if you confidence in the OS... Go for it!

    Best of luck and keep us posted on when you have op,
    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
  • I will let everyone know how it goes. I am not looking foward to the surgeries, but I'd rather have them than live with this. As I read here on the site, it seems to me that if you don't have something done, it only causes more problems.

  • Slowpoke60 - we all feel your pain. I strongly agree with your Dr. that recommended trying the epidural first. Surgery is super serious and can knock you for a loop for a very long time. I was in extreme pain last August - non-stop level 9-10. My neuro, who probably does more procedures than anyone in the Chicago area recommended trying the epidurals first over surgery. He sent me to a Dr. who specializes in the procedures. The epidural is relatively painless - scary to think about, but no worse than a mild bee sting!. Went home, lay in bed for the day. it took a week before I got major relief - down to a level 5-6. Three weeks later I received a second injection. within a week the pain went to a very manageable level - now more of an ache if anything at times - most of the time pain free. I try to be careful with lifting and straining - but personally I would do another epidural before i go for surgery. I can always get the surgery done - but 6 months after the fact i know i made the right decision with the help of my Neuro!

    Good luck!
  • I am going to talk to my Orth. Doctor about the shots, before having the surgery, but I have had one on my right foot with no results at all, and ended up with surgery on it. My foot had nerve damage, they fixed the nerve damage by cutting out part of the nerve.

    I do want relief, but also want something that will fix it for good, (hopefully). So it will depend on what the doctor tells me,

  • My husband drives truck, I use to drive also, but then due to the neck and back problems had to stop driving and just went to riding, now I can't even ride in a car very far, much less the truck.

    I want these problems fixed so that I can return going back out with him.

    I know some people recommend the shots, but I am just not sure about them.

  • At the end of the day - you need to be the most important part of the decision. Your foot is different than the neck. The epidural purpose is to "try" to shrink the disk so that it doesn't get compressed - not to deaden nerves. If it works great - if not not, surgery is always there. As an FYI, the neuro scheduled me for surgery in case they didn't work at the same time he referred me out.
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