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Neurosurgeon Appt

Kris-NYKKris-NY Posts: 2,207
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Well yesterday I went for my appt with the head of neurosurgery at one of the big hospitals in NYC. THank goodness my husband went with me for a few reasons. The traffic was awful - I can't believe I used to drive in that everyday. Second I am very glad that he heard what the doctor had to say.

I had asked in another topic whether "big" was better. Well this doctor takes the big bad cases and he was fantastic. He doesnt look at the radiologist reports. He looked at my MRI and CT from Feb and then the CT from May. His opinion is that the severe arthrosis at C6/7 is the source of this new pain (and maybe some of the previous). This is also the source of the clicking that I hear in my neck.

He thinks there may be some nerve impingment at T2 but that is not a major concern.

So he wants a new MRI and he wants facet joint injections to determine if this is where the pain is coming from. All this will be done under the direction of my neurologist and pain management doc who are local, which is great.

Here's the solution. If it proves out the way he expects it will be a posterior fusion from C5 down to T2. He explained that he needs to do this because to fuse c6/7 he needs to support it above and below to be successful. While he's in there he would take care of any T2 problems (gee thanks).

So the journey continues. Next week will be MRIs and disability forms. Then the week after I see the head of orthosurgery at another major NYC hospital. Can't wait to see what he says. So far the orthosurgeons can see nothing and the neurosurgeons see what is going on....interesting.



  • Howdy Kris!!!

    I was thinking of you yesterday. It sounds like how my NS handles imaging. He will look over the report, but he goes over the films and x-rays himself, and then explains what he sees and answers my usual million questions! Sounds like you found a good one woman!!

    Like you suggested, gonna keep an eye on how this goes for sure, that way if my guy doesn't want to fix what I know in my body is a mess, I know who to go to! Gee, interesting reason to visit the big apple eh?

    I'm funny, I am sad that you may have to go down this new road of fusion, but the other part of me is sooooo happy that you are finally getting answers!! I hope that doesn't sound too odd. Congrats on finding a good one woman! *HUGZ* Please keep us up on how it goes. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I'm glad you found a good NS who sees some issues that are causing your pain. Best wishes for the the MRI and the diagnostic facet joint injections. 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
  • Kris,

    I am confused but you know that is not easy to do. If he believes there is issues at c6-c7, why add c5-c6 into the fusion? From my perspective what he is saying will then expose the c4-c5 if he is fusing the c5-c6. The one thing I have learned in spine surgery more is not always better. The more levels fused the more ROM you loose. No if he is running hardware next to c5-c6 that makes sense but adding it to the fusion will only place the stress back at c4-c5. Same thing happens with going down the spine. Eventually all the weight of the fusion has to land on something.

    I am glad he is going to run some other test to confirm that before doing surgery. I only question so much as take it from me what start out as some thing rather easy has just caused my spine to cascade out of control. Because the weight of the fusions has to go on to something. I hope the injections help though to reduce some of your pain. Keep us posted.
  • I'm not really sure of all the details. He said he could do it posterior not anterior. But this might include a side incision I'm guessing. From what I understood, and I was in shock, he was saying that because the c6/7 was the problem it would have to be a fusion over the junction. He said this was very hard to steady so it would have to go up a level to c5 and down into t2. Not sure if that is all fusion or just hardware. He did say that he could fix the t1/2 problem at the same time so I am guessing he would fuse this level after taking out more bone.

    I need to do alot more research, if I can find it, on fusing this area. The good part is that the base would be the thoracic area which is stabilized by the rib cage.

    I'm happy that someone is finally seeing the cervical problems. None of this was there a year ago or even 5 months ago so it's not normal arthritis like some doctors have said. I hate it when they brush off things.

    Oh and I have an answer for my clicking. It is my c6/7 that clicks/cracks when I move my head. I also have some increase to my pain when I move my head alot like in shopping when you look at the shelves. ANd I can get some relief if I reposition my head.
  • Well I'm glad it sounds like your getting to where you need to be. That's quite a fusion but it sounds like he's very confident.
  • Kris, it sounds like you are going in the right direction.

    I hope you get some satisfaction/relief soon.

  • Well I have two MRIs scheduled. THey will only do one piece at a time. The neurologist isn't convinced that injections are appropriate. I told him I'm not thrilled with the idea because of all the horror stories I have heard.

    This week I need to get my disability and STD straightened out. Once that is done I can relax a little.

    Thanks for all your kind words. I need that support as I go through this process.
  • Howdy Kris!

    Glad to see these appointments are now scheduled. I figure it is more puzzle pieces to complete the puzzle! Who knows, they might find they can address your issues in a different and better way? Fingers will be crossed in your favor woman!

    Of course, let us know how it comes out. :) Support *HUGZ* as always my friend!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Kris- I wanted to tell you that I did have an ESI at C8/T1 about a month ago. I begged my NS to do something. I was ready to kill myself.

    I used a different dr than I did for my lumbar injections. I felt eveything. That being said the next day the pain was gone (nerve block worked woohoo). I felt pretty good for the last 3 weeks. It came back with a vengence last Friday :o(. I finally got through to my NS nurse today and I had orders for my new T-spine MRI called in. I will say the injection caused some referred pain lower down until my body absorbed it all.

    Anyhoo- hang in there. I hope you get some relief soon.


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