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New here, from Montana where there are FEW neurosurgeons to choose from!

wahelawwahela Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello everyone! I am new to the site and SO very grateful to have found it and all of you who DO understand what life with back/neck pain is REALLY like. I am on full disability due to being legally blind. I have 3 over-lapping auto-immune diseases, DDD of entire spine with recent cervical fusion surgery, lumbar surgery 10 years ago and now facing a serious surgery of the thoracic spine area. There are NO thoracic suregons in this entire state and I am not sure if Medicaid would even pay for a consult out of state. Anyway, that is a summary of my health issues.

I am grateful to find so many others out in the web-world here that have great advice and encouragement to offer others facing these issues and the ungodly, never ending pain that goes with spinal problems. Sure am happy to be here and meet all of you!



  • Any chance of a visiting doctor at a nearby hospital? My mom and I were talking about how her retinologist group does circuits into northern Arizona to see patients. I would call some of the hospitals to see what they do when they need a neurosurgeon.

    Good Luck
  • Gosh...I have no clue how Medicaid works BUT thoracic surgery is the least common area of the spine to be worked on b/c it's so well protected by the rib cage and what not b/c the vital organs sit in that region of the body.

    I would contact Medicaid to see and if not, I would contact a doctor that you may want (like at a reknowned clinic...not sure if I can mention any but something like Cleveland Clinic or Mayo Clinic or another speciality institue) and see if they'd accept out-of-state-medicaid.

    If nothing else, one of them may be able to offer consult on what Kris-NY is recommending.
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. am sorry to read of your pain and your dilemma. i hope you find some type of solution soon. please have a look around and make yourself at home. stop by anytime.. there is usually always someone to chat with! good luck and i hope you are feeling better soon! Jenny :)
  • Hello Jenny, DNice and Kris! So very kind of you all to give me your opinions here and welcome me to this WONDERFUL site. I have been trying to read through posts and information here so that I can make good decisions regarding my care for the future. Since I have several auto-immune illnesses on top of the total spine mess, things get REALLY complicated when dealing with my health. Right now I have my primary care Dr along with a cardiologist, rheumatologist, neurologist, pain mangement specialist, neuro-opthamologist and neurosurgeon all on board. So, (giggling) I hate to say, I am the medical communities WORST nightmare to deal with. So many issues all over lapping and impacting other things that it gets real interesting for the specialists dealing with me! LOL!
    From what I read on these boards as well as the informational things, having the problems in my thoracic spine IS incredibly rare. The only thing I can think of is that I have osteoporosis and have always been put on HIGH doses of Prednisone (steroid) to deal with my auto-immune flare ups. Thise two things have probably contributed very much to the degenerating spine and the rare thoracic issues I am facing.
    I am INCREDIBLY grateful to meet all of you and be able to share with you in your battles/successes while dealing with spine issues. So, I thank you all for responding and introducing yourselves to me!! Have a wonderful and blessed day,
  • Hi Shelley,
    I am from Montana too(eastern part where it's colder than a witch's t**).I now live in Nevada.
    I had my first cervical fusion in Kalispell.The neurosurgeon I had has since retired,but his partner is still practicing,PM me if you would like his name,I'm not sure if we can do that kind of thing on a post.I hope you find good support here.For some reason it helps just knowing you are not alone! You have alot on your plate....I will keep you in my thoughts....have a good day Sagehen
  • Thoracic degeneration is not that rare. I think it is more than since the fix is so drastic many doctors will ignore it. I have heard people say their doctors tell them the problem can't come from the thoracic even when it can.

    Glad to hear you have a full team of doctors. Hopefully they can work together to get you the best treatments.
  • Hi Shelley,

    Welcome to the SH forum. Sorry to hear of all of your problems but glad you found this site. You'll get lots of great support and information here. :)

    I live in Bozeman and have a marvelous spine surgeon who does complex surgeries (including thoracic) which nobody else in the state will touch. If you're interested, PM me and I'll share his name.

    Best wishes to you1

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
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