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Who do I believe?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My God everywhere I read, everyone I talk to - its all different and I don't know who or what to believe. That is the hardest part for me. Reassurance is great but how do I believe it when I hear so many different things. Doctors, Friends, research they all are different. Jeez is there odds or true statistics anywhere. My Doc says 80% get 80% relief 10% get 100% relief and 10 % get no relief at all.


  • Are you talking about surgery will be 80% or so relief? Get a 2nd or 3rd opinion from another Neurologist or Orthopedic Surgeon. If the nerves are comprimised the Dr will tell you surgery is necessary. But in my case surgery is not. Luckily I have a good disability benefit at work where I can heal up to 2 years and keep my job. I would get another Dr's opinion if it's surgery you need. Others who have had surgery where it failed to make them feel better at least they were getting stabilization fo their spine which may otherwise cause even worse consequences. Thank goodness there are ways of relieving pain with new technology everyday like a Spinal cord stimulator that helps relieve pain as well as meds. Good luck with whatever decision you need to make. 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 had 3 Doctors tell me the same thing. I have cord compression on two levels that may cause permanent damage. This guy is suppose to be the best in the State of Utah.

    He said the statistics were:
    80% of patients have 80% of their pain eliminated.
    10% of patients have 100% of their pain relieved.
    10% of patients have no relief at all

    He also said he has done several thousands of the exact surgery with great success. My friend that took me to see him is an ICU nurse and his wife is a surgeon. They hear only great things of him and his work. So I think I am making the right choice in selecting him.
  • Welcome to Spine Health and good luck on your surgery. I know it can be frustrating to get several opinions and not have real statistics. The back and spine are very complicated and everyone's situation seems to be different. I guess that's why it's hard to pinpoint that one thing might work for you.

    I've noticed that there is a lot of ruling out what could possibly be wrong and that's how some docs can pinpoint what will/will not work to make you more comfortable with your pain.

    You will say tons of people that had exact same symptoms and surgeries, however, they may all have different outcomes.

    Please do not get discouraged. It sounds like you have done your research as far as having a good surgeon that you can trust so that's a great start there. Secondly you found Spine-Health. Here you will get tons of support and understanding with your daily trials good and bad.

    I wish you the best of luck on your surgery and your recovery.
  • Hi onemind

    I completely empathise with the way you are feeling, but I think what paulgla wrote is very important. I am meant to have a fusion this May 19th and although a little wary, I felt OK from what the surgeon said in the last meeting (although he didn't give me enough reasons why I needed it, just said I needed it). However, the more information I have from the forum and people who know someone who knows someone who have had it (in life), the more worried I become about it to a point where I even started to reconsider whether to have it or not. Sometimes we can get information overload (as I have), but I think it is important to focus on what your own diagnosis is and what your surgeons are saying. Everybody seems to be different with different experiences. It is natural for us to seek the experiences of others when faced with major surgery, but ultimately we are individuals with individual issues.

    There are a lot of very supportive people on this forum as you have seen from the responses to date, but if you are unsure then I would recommend a second opinion from a medical professional. They are the ones that know your particular situation.

    Good luck with everything
  • Go with your guts and what makes the most sense. Don't be blinded by science or authority.
    It is your body and pain.
    Medicine is not an exact science but as long as what is said makes sense and you trust the doctor in charge of your care...

    The members here will offer different opinions from varied experiences but you will see a common ground of support.

    Good Luck.
  • onemind711

    I had the same surgery 3 weeks ago for similair symptoms. I too was overwhelmed between Doctors ,websites, and people I talked to. So much information to absorb and it's scary because no one wants surgery or to make wrong decisions.

    Up until my pain started I didn't know the difference between neurologists, neourosurgeons, orthopedics, cervical, lumbar, etc, etc, etc because I didn't have to. Your back works and your living your life. Then one day you're in pain and you have to bone up (no pun intended) on this stuff. It's daunting.

    Stick with this site brau, there's a lot good folks that can empathize with you. Also go to the sticky for post op must haves-there's some good suggestions in there. Good Luck.
  • MY husband had those same disks done and he was back to w ork in 4 months and is 100% FINE NOW! you have to be the one to decided no one else!.....80% is a huge success rate!!!!...and could you live with 20% of the pain your having now? i was told the same numbers for my alif i was like done do it today but thats just me i want any part of a normal life they could give me@ best of luck to you please keep us updated huggssssss
  • The FDA approves medicine and medical devices and what they can be used for...by having clinical trials to determine if they are safe.

    Companies have marketers getting doctors to use medical devices and medicine for "off-label" use. Doctors get bribed, companies make money...congress looks the other way for a time allowing "medicine to be practiced"...cuz it's making money.

    Pfizer was fined $2.3 BILLION over Bextra, Zyvox, Liryca, and Geodon being used for off-label uses.

    Ely Lilly fine $1.4 BILLION over Zyprexa being marketed for offlabel uses.

    Stryker Biotech indicted for marketing illegal use of it's OP-1 putty used in spine surgeries. Marketed it could be used in a way not approved.

    TRUST NO ONE. Congress is allowing people to be maimed/killed by things being used "off-label" because it makes $$. You sir are expendable.

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