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How many opinions did you get?

HeidiLynnMHHeidiLynnM Posts: 445
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi guys :H :H . I know that I am a pain with all of my posts! ;) .

I have a question though of course. As some have seen in my other post about going to the ortho surgeon today it was not good at all for me :''( . I just want answers, and someone to listen to me besides my pm doctor!!

Anyhow, so far I have seen two neurosergons that could not do anything for me, and today a ortho that says that I have a 50/50 chance of getting better after getting fused. Oh yah, leg pain may not even go away either :T :T

What I am getting at is, how many surgeons did you see before you actually felt a relief, and felt like someone understood you? I am actually going to call the office I went to today for a referral to another surgeon. This is a surgeon that I have heard good things about(you never know though).

As some of you know, I am on workers comp. My lawyer told me that I can go to as many doctors as I want to, so I am going to just do that. I need to know more, and find a good doctor to help me.

So, am I the only one that has had to go through this? Today was just a killer for me :S .



  • I went to some of the most repurable nueros in the state, one told me there was nothing to operate on and go home, one wanted me to repeat all the therapys I had gone to and not helped at thier clinic, and ortho that said he wouldnt touch me, 2 other nueros that gave me injections, and a ortho that wanted to do a three level fusions, plus others I have forgotten. The last one I had that did my surgery was awesome, he totally made me feel confident. He didnt want to do any more than 1 level do to previous discogram and after ins co made me re do discogram, it showed that 2 were really painful. So I ended up with 2 level instead of three that nuero wanted.You need to feel confident in whomever you choose. Dr can make or break your recovery> Hope this helps
  • Five - neuro. & ortho; 4 votes for fusion, 1 against. HeidiLynn you are not obligated to have one surgeon work on you; every surgeon has negative outcomes - that's the nature of spine surgery, so don't let one good or bad(i.e. your husband) sway yoru opinion. Trust your gut instinct.
  • Good luck with your decision!
  • I saw my general doctor, whom sent me to pain management, then sent me to the spine surgeon.

    Spine surgeon said he could fix me, I said ok, thats about it.

    So technically one :D
  • Went to two doctors.

    One Orthopedic surgeon & one neurosurgeon

    Both super highly recommended.
    Both had the same conclusions (microscopic discectomy)

    Either would have been good choices for the surgery.

    Went with the orthopedic surgeon since he was in my plan and is the spine professor for UCLA in which he teaches for the Orthopedic, Neurology & Bio-Mechnics dept all focused on spine treatment. And he does this surgery everyday of the week (maybe even up to 4 a day)

    And I was lucky that his bedside manners were awesome to boot!

    Good luck and don't settle on a surgeon unless they have your complete confidence.
  • 8.
    Eight surgeons throughout California and 1 in Phoenix.
    I did not inform any of them about the other consults.
    If I have to be honest, I will say that I wasn't really
    shopping according to their bedside manners.

    For me, it was about their past work, their current work and their skill level / technique.

    I truly believe there is a right surgeon with the right solution for every case. Just a matter of finding him/her.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Talk to absolutely everyone you come in contact with. There are more spineys out there than you realize. And ask why they recommend someone in particular.

    One of the many reasons I chose my ortho was because of his stellar reputation throughout the local courthouse. I know this sounds weird, but my dad was a medical malpractice attorney and I grew up hearing about all the drs in town. It's not about the lawsuits against the drs necessarily, but their reputations......every dr gets sued and every dr is known in the courthouse. Have your attorney ask other attorneys in the courthouse who they would go to based on reputation. If he doesn't use the courthouse in the city you've been driving to for medical care then have him ask a friend who does. Just think of it as another way to add names to your list of drs to interview. This is your life. Do whatever it takes to get it back. Good luck.

  • Heidi,

    If WC pays for the consultations, get some good references and see those docs. personally, I only saw an OS and an NS, then went back to my PCP whom I trust, and she very strongly recommended the OS. I had a very good feeling for him too, so I went with him. I couldn't have selected a better surgeon. So get all the info you can get, talk to different people (nurses, other doctors are good sources of info) but at the end, go with your gut feelings!

    Good luck,

  • I am so glad to be here:). I am just at a total loss for words, I am so tired of the pain. I am tired of these doctors looking at me like a idiot when I tell them about my pain. They have no clue at all why I have leg pain :''( :''( :''( . They are supposed to be the doctors!!!!!!

    I just dont get it. The last ortho I just saw did not even want to hear what I had to say. I told him about the stuff I had researched about my back/herniated disk/tear/ leg pain. He totally disregarded me ~X( ~X( .

    I am just about to give up and live with this pain forever. I am tired of work comp, and them telling me I need to work and that I am more than capable. I am sick of it all. I do have a lawyer, and have fired two others.

    I am sorry, I just feel lost. I feel like I just dont know what to do anymore...............
  • Heidi -- have you exhausted all efforts with a pain management specialist? Have you had injections and nerve burning and all that stuff yet? I was able to delay surgery for 10 years with pain management. First my pain management doc said I was out of options, the degeneration was too far along and nothing was working any more. Then I went to the top ortho surgeon in New York City. Then got a second top opinion by another surgeon in New York. All said I was out of time and things were getting worse (scoliosis and degeneration) and had to be fused sooner or later--and at 49 they felt better to do before menopause/old age.
  • Heidi, i went for three and glad i did. My first NS maintained there was nothing wrong with me for 3 months. I took all of my films and went to a teaching hospital and saw a ortho. His opinion was on the other end of the spectrum, so I sought a 3rd opinion. The last 2 drs one a NS and one an ortho had the same advice . YOU MUST GO WITH YOUR INSTINCTS!!!IHad I not followed mine I would have been in a wheelchair.
    Good Luck ,
  • I haven't had nerve burning yet but I have had all of the injections, ect. I feel like they got me no where. I am sorry to hear that you got so bad!!! I feel like maybe I won't get that bad? I was told by the ortho that my disk will eventually dissapear(i believe or grow back, not sure). I asked about the leakage and tear to see if it will degenerate, he said that over time it will get better?! I have had this for 2 1/2 years, not thinking it is getting better.

    I have my fingers crossed that I might be able to get to the bottom of this. My pm doctor suggests surgery, in my opinion, I have none ~X( .
  • Heidi,

    I went from my PCP to a physical medicine specialist who ordered the MRI. After discussing the results, he sent me to pain management who then referred me to my surgeon (orthopedic).

    I did a lot of research about lumbar spine conditions and treatments before the appointment with my surgeon. When we met, he not only told me what he saw on the MRI, he showed me. My research told me his diagnosis was accurate. He spent a lot of time discussing options, so he did not try to ram a quick spinal fusion down my throat. He even gave me a choice of hardware for my procedure (facet bolts or rods and screws) and said I could change my mind and choose the other option right up to the moment they wheeled me to the OR.

    He offered me time to get a second opinion, but I did not believe it was necessary. On the MRI, I could clearly see the disc bulge, the "black" disc, and the partial collapse of the disc space. My research told me that a fusion was the only real choice, unless I wanted someone to mess around my back multiple times.

    I later learned from the local Red Cross office that my surgeon is the doctor that other doctors in the area go to when they have back problems. I can't think of a better, unsolicited recommendation than that.

    Perhaps you can visit your local Red Cross and see if they know of a good orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon in your area.
  • Heidi,
    for years, i waited to see if some alternate procedure would be invented so I wouldn't need more fusion. But disc replacement is still an iffy procedure and most docs won't do it--so fusion it is.
    When it gets bad enough, you'll have to do it. Just be sure you go to a really top surgeon. Don't let anyone practice on you--go to someone who is top.
  • I have to travel to see many of them. I am trying to get into another surgeons office. I am trying to get my pm doctor to send a referral seeing that they are my primary doctor. I haven't seen a pcp for this. It is all so hard with work comp. It is a pain in the butt! I am hoping that I will be able to get into another surgeon to see what their opinion will be. Thanks everyone for your input!!!!!
  • I went to my EMG and the Neurologist sent me to Ortho and refused surgery. I went to another Ortho who refused to do surgery. I've been to 2 PM Drs and I forgot to ask my family Dr for another referral to Ortho. After a year it's getting old for me. But Heidi if your EMG was indicating nerve damage keep looking. Can't give up yet. 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 have the same thing as you do almost!!!!! I will not give up, I cant. I am in too much pain :S . I just don't understand why they don't seem to believe me :?

    I am looking into a few other places to be seen at too. I hope that we can all get the answers we are looking for!!!!!

  • I've even tried different meds and everything stays the same I mean the pain. I changed from Naproxen to Celebrex and there's no difference. I wonder if I should ask my Dr if I shouldn't stop some of these meds. Except the MS Contin which doesn't work completely but way better than without. And I need Serax to help me sleep. And the Lyrica. I have to find another Ortho I'm going to the PM Thursday and will ask if he could give me any names. Can you put your history in your signature? I have a poor memory of what people have had done. Good luck. 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 went to over a dozen Dr’s before someone finally did an MRI and figured out what was wrong. The sad part is they all gave pain pills like candy but never once knew what was wrong until I woke up one morning and could not move my neck and my right arm was in terrible pain, so they sent me for an MRI. After the MRI I went to 2 neurosurgeons, ( i used the first and am very happy) I just wanted to double check surgery was necessary. Hang in there I know it is hard, but you need to keep trying. I hope you find a Dr that will help you soon.
  • I am so afraid that the ic for work comp will think that I am doctor shopping. They will say that I am looking for the answer I want so that I won't settle.

    I almost want to call the ortho that offered the 50/50 chance on the fusion. I also have one more neuro surgeon that I want to go see. I guess my pm will put in the referral tomorrow. I am so stressed about this ~X( ~X( ~X( .

    I will put up a siggy for everyone to read!!!
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