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Hello to All, just joined, looking for advice

JuliesssJJuliesss Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in New Member Introductions
:S Hello to all. I've been reading spine-health and the forums for quite a long time, but now it's time to ask for opinions.
In the 7 plus years since I started with back pain, I've gone through 3 rounds of PT, the last with slight success; also have had a number of injections of steroids with not much success at all. Seems like this time, the pain is not going away, although it varies in intensity.
My left thigh is numb and burning. If I stand or walk for any period of time, I start having lots of pain in my thigh, my hip, and then my back, with waves of spasm.
The ortho doc I went to finally said he thought a laminectomy would help me, with possibly a 95% chance of improvement. I thought about that, and then decided to go to a spinal surgeon. After his evaluation, he said he wouldn't operate, only 50% chance of improvement, not enough encroachment on the nerves.
My problem is I still have the pain no matter what the 2nd doctor says. I'm thinking of doing 1 of 3 things: seeing either a neurologist or a neurologic surgeon; going back to ortho doc #1 and letting him operate; or going to an arthritis doctor for an evaluation, as I have serious DDD going on.
If the laminectomy would clear out L2-L3, it would help a great deal with the pain in the left leg, so this is my favorite choice. I'm just wondering what others think.
Thanks for having this page, I love all the advice and can really empathize with everyone in back pain.


  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    The one suggestion that you'll get from many of the members here is to go to fellowship-trained spine specialist/surgeon. I can't stress enough how important it is to have a surgeon that specializes in the spine and who ONLY works on spines.

    I'm sorry you're having these problems, but you've come to the right place for support and advice. Also be sure to check out some of the articles and videos in the main SH area.

    Take care and please keep us posted.
  • Hi Cath,although i am also new here my back problems started out alot like yours.I did go to a ortho who did specialize in only spines in 6/08 withe severe spinal stonosis,he told me no theraphy would help,I still toughed it out untill 10/08 when he did the lumbar laminectomy,I did recover well from that but still had other things going on and had to have sugery again last month 7/20/09.Dont let any one talk you out of the sugery if thats what you feel is best,we are the only ones who know when enough has been enough. I wish the very best to you and for you and pray the answer will come to you god bless and good luck p/s its my opinion and only my opnion that 50% better is better than what i was going through
  • Welcome to SH. I went to a neurosurgeon at a spine center,did all the conservative therapy and had to have a fusion. I had spondylolisthesis and surgery is usually the only option.

    I wouldn't recommend going to an arthritis doctor as more than likely you'll be referred to a spine doctor for your back.

    I get the feeling you'd do well to go to see a neurosurgeon for another opinion. It can't hurt to go and would clear your mind that you have seen every type of spine doctor out there.

    Best wishes to you,

  • Hi Juliess,

    Welcome to this site, where someone will undoubtedly have had what you've got! There's also so much advice and support here as you've seen.

    I'm not a medic, but glancing through your history, are you sure your problems aren't being exacerbated by the L5/S1 herniation compromising the root? That's a classic, but then everyone's different.

    In your position I would most definitely see a spinal neurosurgeon now; he/she will almost certainly examine you, redo your MRIs then take it from there. Spinal neurosurgeons specialise in what you've got, so it makes sense to see the right person before opting for invasive surgery.

    Good luck with whatever you choose to do and from what I've seen of this site, you've definitely found the right place!

  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i had a double laminectomy which was successful at the back pain and leg pain until many years later.. :D you definitely need to gather more info and two opinions which coincide!! =D> that is the purpose of two opinions!!!! :? so do some more homework and good luck!!! :D Jenny :)
  • I was happy to read the replies...obviously I have a lot to think about, but I'm leaning most towards another opinion, hopefully with a spinal neurosurgeon. Going to look into some docs in a larger city on the east coast.
    In the meantime, I've been taking pain pills which help a little, using ice, which feels very good, and trying not to aggravate the situation.
    Thanks for taking the time to answer...I appreciate hearing other opinions, it helps to know that others understand.
  • welcome....i think we met briefly in chat...i didnt stay long on chat cause it kills my neck...too many people to concentrate on....you have to be young...anyway you got some good advice and judging by your history you have a few areas of your spine that may be causing pain. my neuro surgeon always said to try to fix the worst area first. you mentioned an ortho surgeon...does he specialize on the spine?
    anyway keep us posted and i hope a spine surgeon has an answer....pete
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