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Just Venting....

caitycccaityc Posts: 268
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Long story short.... I am collapsed at L5 S1. Was told in the past I was operable, but one surgeon wanted me to lose weight first, another wanted to try conservative treatments first (insurance change, so I had to switch surgeons).

Flash forward to present day, we moved to Arizona, and I had to start all over. Was blind sided when this new AZ surgeon told me I was inoperable, that surgery would not help me because I have DDD. So when I was in his office that day, I didn't think to ask him why so many others are good surgical candidates, but I'm not. I was so shocked because this surgeon was just so kurt, and sharp, and I feel like he just rushed me out of there. He spent literally 2 minutes reviewing my MRI.

Anyway, I left him 2 messages several weeks ago, and one late last week. His office/nurse calls me today and tells me that if I want to speak to him I need to make an appointment!!! At that time he will go over everything with me in detail. I made it clear several weeks ago, and last week that I just had one question. So today I told the nurse it was one simple question, and if I had to make an appointment to get the answer, then never mind.

Basically, I feel that since he can't treat me, he is dismissing me. I am not going to pay another $30 co pay, so he can collect another $250 for an office visit, when all I had was one question. I have never come across this in my life. :)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a whiner, and generally am VERY accepting of others actions, right, wrong, or indifferent. But I feel like this doctor just totally handed me a death sentence, then dismissed me.

I have applied for SSD, and will probably ultimately get a secone opinion. But geesh! He can't call me for 5 minutes?

I'm probably more upset about this then I normally would be because of the way he treated me in his office.

Thank you all for letting me vent. :) You are all such great people.



  • Eve brought up a very good point, and that is to talk to your PCP. In my pain journey, any time I see my PCP she has complete notes from all the other doctors I have seen. I am able to ask her questions and she can intelligently answer because she's got the complete picture. Sometimes the specialists don't have info from other specialists and can't see the whole picture.

    Sounds like it may be time for another opinion too!

    I hope you can find someone that will move forward with you, it sure sucks when you are completely blown off by a surgeon.
    Spiney hugs >:D<
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    You've got every right to be upset! I can't believe some surgeons. He should have explained his reasons to you. If this is the way he and his staff treat patients I think you should probably be thankful he didn't want to do surgery. Imagine having problems after surgery and needing to talk to him. Probably be the same answer then. I hope you can find a good surgeon that will discuss this with you because if the other two were considering surgery they evidently thought you were a candidate. Good luck.

  • I'm sorry you can't get one simple question answered over the phone..that's ridiculous! He could at least relay his response through a nurse or something.

    I'm not sure about not being a surgical candidate just because of DDD. When my problems started my doctor saw I had it severe but was willing to operate. At first he discussed maybe doing a fusion and discectomy and then he chose only microdiscectomy. Well, I still ended up having a fusion later on.

    I also agree on getting a second opinion. Take care and I hope things work out for you.
  • Obviously this doctor is not right for you - my suggestion instead of second guessing him is just to request a copy of your medical records in writing. It should state in there why you are/aren't a surgical candidate, as well as his assessment of what is wrong.Its so frustrating when you get conflicting opinions from different doctors!
  • can take away our hope and hope is what fuels our drive to get better. just move on and try to forget his terrible manner.... youll find a better dr.
  • all so much! He even went so far as to tell me the other 2 surgeons I saw in CA also knew I was inoperable, but led me on by telling me to lose weight first, or by wanting to try conservative treatments. He says he finds that a lot from his patients that come from CA. He said in his opinion I am not too big for surgery, and the bottom line is that if I was fixable, they would have fixed me. I was told by the CA doctors that there was a chance the surgery would be unsuccessful, so maybe this AZ doc is right? I am also bulging at L1 L2, and as we all know, a fusion could pop that disk in no time. Maybe that's what he meant?

    My whole issue really is the way he treated me, and having to make an appointment for a 5 minute discussion. Geesh!

    Thanks again to all of you for all of your support. It means so much.....

  • Caity don't give up!

    I saw an Ortho Dr. that was very dismissive and downright rude! He had me in tears afterwards.

    It was a humiliating experience, the nurse had me undress completely (in a VERY exposing paper napkin of a gown), the dr. came in, had me walk and bend over (YES, exposing everything)then he told me he does x-ray cortisone shots. I asked what kind of medicine - wanting some details, and he got all huffy and was gone within seconds - literally shutting the door as I was trying to ask a second question. I think he saw me for about 2 minutes total.

    I was so upset that I did not remember until later that he mentioned 'well, with your scoliosis..' said with a shrug - WHAT??? I have never had, and still don't have scoliosis. HOW could he get it so totally WRONG??

    After that I chose a physiotherapist and was eventually referred to my NS - who, as you know from my signature, did a fusion.


    Do PT, go to a Physiotherapist if you can, see your regular dr. and get his opinion, ask around the community for recommendations, do what you can to lose weight (I know, been down that route - it's not easy when you can't move!), just be doing everything you can until you can get what you need.

    Best of Luck!
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