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What type of surgery is better

ellineellin Posts: 188
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,

I am going to the hospital for the first time to talk about the spinal cord stim. to be put in. First why the psyh. eval?? second how does the trial work??

Now I have herniated dics and other stuff wrong with my back and see that lots of you have had differnt types of surgery why?? What works better???

I was told by a nuro Dr. not nuro surgon that the injections would not work for me and that I need surgery. I send my MRI's in to mayo to see what dept. I would be seeing either PM or nuro surgon they sent me appt. for nuro surgon only to be told by the Dr. that surgery would not help. I am sure if I go to another Dr. he will say surgery so, that is scarey feeling. I would think all the Dr's would be on the same page.

Bottom line I am in so much pain. I am a tuffie but, this back pain has me in tears every day. I do not cry easy but this pain anyone would be crying. I am to the point that I would do surgery if it would help even the 50% that the Dr's have said. I see some of you it helped and some not so good. I have a wait until the 17th of April for the dept at mayo to get the ball rolling on the s.c.s but I am also scared I will fail the psyh eval due to all my pain and that would be a nightmare. Why a psyh eval?? thanks for any input You give me.


  • If you do a search on Spine Health you will see that there are answers to your questions and many more. I'm very sorry that you are in so much pain and feel like you are getting the runaround. Hang in there, it isn't that much longer.

    When you talk to the docs have they explained why they feel that surgery won't help you? Have they explained that an SCS works more for nerve pain than mechanical pain? A lot of back pain is mechanical in nature.

    An SCS is a pain management device. If there is something wrong with your spine that will continue to deteriorate, the SCS won't help it and may not be able to cover all the pain areas it generates.

    Let me know if you have trouble finding the other threads.

  • I am a little confused by your post and am not sure what information you are looking for. If you are talking about the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, I would suggest you go on up the road to the Twin Cities and get another opinion from one of the spine clinics there. There are at least two spine clinics in the Twin Cities that have wonderful reputations, and that treat patients from all over the country.

    I would think you would first want a work-up and diagnosis to know what specifically is wrong with your spine. If it is a matter of herniated discs compressing spinal nerves, there are a number of ways to treat that. Generally speaking, a spinal cord stimulator is held out as a last resort, when all other means of treatment have failed, or are not a possibility, for whatever reason.

    There are no quarantees that spinal surgery will "cure" a patient's pain. It is often difficult to figure out what is causing pain. It is not an exact science. For this reason, most patients get several opinions before going ahead with surgery, as it is a life-changing event, and once it is done, there is no going back. Doctors can have different opinions as to what needs to be done. It isn't like seeing a bad appendix and saying it has to come out. Spinal specialists rely on their past experiences to make the best judgment they can as to what is causing the pain and what they need to do to try to relieve it. Some things are obvious, but others are not. When I was facing a lumbar fusion, I was told I needed a one level fusion by several doctors, and two others told me I needed anywhere from 3 to 5 levels fused...and each of them could make a good argument for his position.

    From reading your post, I would think you would first want to see a fellowship-trained spinal specialist to determine a diagnosis, rather than starting out in pain management. This would be either an orthopedic surgeon who has several years additional training in the spine and back and has a practice devoted only to the spine and back, or a neurosurgeon. I agree with "C" that if your spine is unstable, or running the risk of becoming unstable, having a SCS implanted is not going to solve your issues.

    There are many websites that show how the SCS is implanted, explain how the trial is conducted, etc. Be sure to do some research before your appointment.

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