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Did a really dumb thing

slowpoke60sslowpoke60 Posts: 139
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, I haven't been on for a while, I had surgery last July and after the doctor took another MRI, he said that all of my disk are just about gone and that he could no longer help me.

So I have been just putting up with it, but I was feeling a better, so we took a vacation last month and we decided to go tubing. But that was a big mistake. I got thrown off of the tube and tumbled down the rapids, hitting rocks all the way.
Since returning home, I have had a lot of more pain and still have a really sore spot on the left side of my hip pretty close to where I had surgery. Then today, I have had really bad pain that circles around me just under my breast.

I don't really care about the doctor that did my other two surgeries and have been thinking about going to another doctor in our town.

Sorry about this being so long, but my question is: Do you think this will get better on it's own, or should I go to a docor?
Thanks for all the help during my surgeries.



  • Joyce I can certainly understand you wanting to go tubing. It's just starting to sink into me that there are so many things I will never do again. And that list is going to grow.

    Sounds like you are ready for another opinion. My thought however is to step back from the surgeons. If you've seen some of my other posts you will see a common thread about going to the correct doctor. I firmly believe that surgeons should stick to operating not diagnosing. Now that's a fine line in many cases.

    I think you should step back and go to an orthopedist or my preference a neurologist. Let them look at all of you. Even if these latest aches and pains go away it can't hurt to have a good doctor lined up for when u need him in the future.

    Hope you feel better fast.
  • Hey Joyce,

    The issue with tubing is one those oh well things in life. You went you tried it and you got injured, now what? Sense the pain has been on going for so long I would go get checked out. If it was just pain and soreness from the tubing it would have gone away by now.

    Now me personally my surgeons diagnoses everything on my spine and takes care of all directing all issues relating to my spine. I went to two different nuerologist in the past and both just deferred me back to my surgeon. They made some recommendations on test but really didn't help much sense I was already under the care of a surgeon. A surgeon is the only one who can determine if you need surgery or not, after all they have to do it. The rest just order test and what not, but a surgeon has the final say so. But I have full faith in the surgeon I am using.

    Do you have a different doctor or surgeon that you may feel is better? Sometimes it is hard to find another surgeon to take over once we have been operated on? They are typically hesitant to jump in unless it is very very obvious. Whom ever you end up seeing just be sure to have all your records and recent test with you. Some of them only except films and not radiologist reports. Also you may want to have a journal of sorts to describe what is going on and what makes it worse and what helps the pain and the exact symptoms your having.

    Keep us posted on what you end up doing.
  • I understand what your going through. Don't beat yourself up, too bad anyways. I've had multiple surgeries and I crashed on a snowmobile ride 1 1/2 years ago. It's hard when you just wanna do something fun and not live in a bubble. Unfortunately we do kind of have to put ourselves in a bubble. I know now I will stick to Kayaking and snowshoeing for my outdoor activities. Anyways you need to get looked at again and make sure you don't have more damage. The doctor you had should not be a doc. You need to get a couple of new opionions and find someone who will at least try to help you. Sometimes you have come to the end of the line on what can be done, other times you just need to knock on the right door. Hang in there and let us know what happens.
  • Hi Joyce.

    I'm sorry that you tried something and that it ended up hurting you and now you know that's something you can't do. I did something similar yesterday, but not to the extent you did. I'm so sorry you're hurting today.

    I have to disagree with Kris and agree with Tamtam - going to a neuro or ortho just to be referred to your surgeon or a new surgeon is a waste of time, for both you and the neuro or ortho. I've always had my surgeon diagnose my problems because, like Tam said, he's the one that's going to go in there and fix it, or at least send me to one of his associates for conservative treatment.

    An alternative is to go to your PCP and have him/her take some x-rays and then refer you to a new surgeon if the x-rays warrant it. But yes, I think you might want to go to the doctor to get checked out. It can't do any harm and might be what you need.

    Take care of yourself, never go tubing again, and please keep us posted.

  • Hi,
    Sorry I have been so long in answering. I have tried to give my back and right hip a couple more weeks to get better, but this thursday it will be 4 weeks and it is about the same. I don't trust the doctor that did my surgery so I am going to go and see my General Physician tomorrow and make an appointment with him and let him help me decide on what to do.

    Will let you know more.

    Thanks again for the replys
    I really appreciate you guys.

  • Joyce forgive me for sidetracking here. Often on this forum people ask what doctor they should go to and my response is almost always to start with a neurologist or orthopedist. My experience with surgeons is that they don't want to see a new patient until they have been throughly examined by one of the others. Again in my experience the surgeons only do surgery and I have had several tell me this directly. My current surgeon has had my neurologist order the new MRIs and he already knows he will do surgery. But he wants my neurologist to be the treatment coordinator for pain management, surgeon and tests.

    On the flip side of this I am always wary of going directly to a surgeon because they make a living doing surgery. And there are lots of dishonest doctors who recommend surgery because they need the rent payment. Not all but enough.

    But of course if you have a surgeon who you have used before and who you feel is willing to see you. In Joyce's first post she said the surgeon said he couldnt do anything for her because of her multiple advanced problems. I still stand by stepping back to a neurologist who might see something different. We insist on second opinions to have surgery -- why not get a second opinion when a doctor gives such a life affecting diagnosis?

    Again this is based on my experience in NY. Maybe in other areas doctors divide up responsibilities differently.
  • Neurosurgeon MD www.neurosurgery.org Neurosurgery is a medical specialty that focuses on diagnosis and both surgical and nonsurgical treatment of disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system. Neurosurgeons provide surgical or nonsurgical care for neurological disease or injury. Patients with neurological problems such as spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, vascular disease (e.g., carotid artery disease, aneurysm), carpel tunnel syndrome, pain, head/spinal cord injury, epilepsy, brain/spine tumors, trigeminal neuralgia, movement disorders, chronic back and/or neck pain, herniated disc, and more. Neurosurgeons use many of the same tools for diagnosis and treatment as neurologists as well as surgery. Surgical technologies can include kyphoplasty, laminectomy, spinal fusion, endoscopy, laser, stents, shunts, radiosurgery, and other operative techniques for the head, spine, or peripheral nerve locations. Physiatrist (physical medicine & rehabilitation [PM&R]) Medical doctor (MD) www.aapmr.org Physiatry is a medical specialty that focuses on the diagnosis, nonsurgical treatment, and rehabilitation for chronic illness/ injury and musculoskeletal disorders. PM&R treats the whole person to improve quality of life, addressing physical, mental, and emotional issues during rehabilitation. Helps patients achieve maximal functional capacity. Patients with stroke or other chronic illness, spinal cord or brain injury, acute and chronic pain (e.g., back pain), and musculoskeletal injuries (e.g., sports- or work-related injuries). Physiatrists can help patients with acute or chronic pain and musculoskeletal problems, and can coordinate the rehabilitation for those needing long-term care (e.g., after stroke or spinal cord injury). Physiatrists direct the rehabilitation team. They use EMG nerve conduction to evaluate muscle and nerve function. 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They also provide fitness and wellness education. Nurse practitioner RN with MN www.nurse.org www.allnursingschools.com Nurse practitioner (NP) is a type of advanced practice nursing, with a focus on a specialty area (e.g., family, adult, acute care, pediatric). Collaborating with physicians, NPs ensure many aspects of patient care, including education and physical exams. Patients may see NPs for diagnosis and management of most common and some chronic illness. Working with physicians, NPs monitor the patient’s progress with therapies or medications prescribed for the treatment of spine problems. In collaboration with physicians and other healthcare providers as needed, NPs can diagnose and treat illness, order and interpret diagnostic tests (e.g., blood tests, X-rays), and prescribe medications. NPs counsel patients, and, in some cases, coordinate surgical care from preoperative to discharge to follow-up. Doctor of chiropractic (DC) www.acatoday.org www.chiropractic.org Chiropractic is a natural, conservative care that aims to improve health by restoring structure and function to the spine and other joints. Goals are to restore joint motion, reduce pain and muscle tightness, and maintain healthy spinal discs. Patients with muscle pain and overuse syndromes. Patients with neuromuscular (e.g., headaches, back and neck pain, joint pain, carpel tunnel) and non-neuromuscular symptoms (e.g., allergies, asthma). Chiropractors evaluate the structure and function of the spine, joints, and affected muscles. Treatment includes various types of manipulation (adjustment). Also massage, ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, hot/cold therapies, trigger point therapy, and exercise, acupuncture, and nutritional advice. Massage therapist www.amtamassage.org Massage is a healing art that focuses on the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments) to positively affect health. Improves the circulation of blood and lymph. Eliminates metabolic wastes from muscles. Patients with muscle pain, back/neck pain, stress, and overuse syndromes. Athletes before or after sports. Others want to relax, increase a feeling of well being, and improve energy flow. Massage therapists use hands-on manipulations of soft tissues. Massage techniques vary from gentle to firm. Types include deep tissue, shiatsu, Swedish, trigger point, sports, Reiki, Rolfing, craniosacral, and more. Occupational therapist (OT) or OT assistant www.aota.org Occupational therapy is a skilled treatment, helping patients toward greater independence when a health condition affects daily living. Occupational therapists (OTs) study human growth and development, and how illness and injury affect these. Patients see OTs when health conditions interfere with daily life. Some conditions include acute or chronic injuries (e.g., back pain); limitations caused by stroke, brain or spinal cord injuries, chronic conditions (e.g., arthritis, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis), and developmental / learning problems. OTs assess performance skills, customize treatment plans, conduct home and job-site evaluations, instruct on how to use adaptive equipment (e.g., wheelchairs, splints), and guide caregivers. OTs may guide patients to regain basic skills, and address learning problems. Neurologist MD or DO patients.aan.com Neurology is a medical specialty that focuses on diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment of brain and nervous system disorders. Neurologists care for patients with chronic neurological disorders. Patients with neurological problems such as stroke, epilepsy, headache, Parkinson’s disease, tremor, brain tumors, pain, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and sleep disorders. Neurologists evaluate medical history, and conduct neurological and diagnostic tests for vision, strength, coordination, and sensation. Some tests include CT scan, MRI, transcranial Doppler, electomyogram (EMG), electocephalogram (ECG), and evoked potential. Primary care physician MD or DO www.aafp.org Primary care covers a wide range of general medical knowledge. Provides the first step of care for patients with undiagnosed health concerns, and also continuing care and referrals to a specialist. Specialties include family medicine, geriatrics, pediatrics, and general internal medicine. Patients with undiagnosed signs, symptoms, or concerns. Those with routine healthcare needs such as check-ups, health promotion, and diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illness. Primary care physicians have specific training and skills in giving first-contact, continuing care. They are generalists, caring for most medical and health needs. They are advocates for patients coordinating their care through the health system. Thus, they consult specialists when referrals are needed. Orthopedic surgeon (orthopaedist) MD www.orthoinfo.org Orthopaedics is a medical specialty that focuses on diagnosis, surgical and nonsurgical treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and skin). Patients with problems in any region of the musculoskeletal system. For example, those with broken bones, dislocations, back pain, spine and limb deformities, torn ligaments, and arthritis. Some orthopaedists specialize in a particular area (feet, hands, spine, trauma). Orthopedists are skilled in the diagnosis of the injury or disorder, surgical and nonsurgical treatment, and rehabilitation. Orthopedists can perform CT or MRI imaging, endoscopy, laser, joint replacement, arthroscopy, laminectomy, and more. 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Radiologist MD www.acr.org www.radiologyinfo.org Radiology is a medical specialty that uses and electromagnetic radiation and ultrasonics to diagnose and treat disease/injury. Radiologists “see” inside the patient’s body with imaging studies, like CT, MRI, and ultrasound. Specialty areas can include diagnostic and interventional radiology, and radiation therapy. Patients who require additional diagnostic imaging studies and radiological procedures. For example, those with brain or spinal cord disease/injury, fractured bones, vascular disease (e.g., aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, carotid artery disease), stroke, or epilepsy. Radiologists use x-ray, high-energy radiation sources (CT, MRI), ultrasound, angiography, and more. They read films and perform minimally invasive image-guided surgery (interventional radiology). They play important roles during angioplasty, kyphoplasty, vascular stenting, gamma knife surgery, radiological thrombolysis, and LINAC. Rheumatologist MD www.rheumatology.org Rheumatology is a medical specialty that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and more than 100 other diseases of the joints, muscles, and bones. Patients with arthritis, autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal pin, and osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. Those with gout, back pain, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, lupus, osteoporosis, and more. Rheumatologists are internists or pediatricians with specialty training in rheumatology. They are trained to identify and treat these complex, painful conditions. They consult with other physicians, nurses, psychologist, and OTs to establish treatment.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    things, that I probably have had more time dealing with flare ups then I have had with surgeries.

    When I had my first couple of spinal surgeries, anytime, I had a flare up, I would contact my surgeon and discuss it with him. The answer was always the same.... "See how it is in a couple of days or a week, then we will decide what to do"

    I believe in that mostly because I have dealt with this so many times.

    Flareups can happen so quickly and sometimes so innocently, and then of course there are those times when we know we did something stupid.

    For me, each of those flareups was just an aggravation of an existing condition, but I did have to pay the price. Some times it would go away after time, some times I needed medication assistance and/or physical therapy assistance.

    See how you feel in a couple of days. Is it getting worse? is it staying the same? Is it getting better?

    But bottom line of course, is that if you feel uncomfortable with what has happened, then you should pick up the phone and talk to the surgeon who did your surgery.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Baltasar, Thanks for the information on all of the types of doctors. It is really helpful.

    Ron: I have an appt. with my general physician on July 19th and I am going to ask him about an appointment with a Neuro. I am getting a little better where I hit my hip on the rocks. We have two spine clinics in our home town so he can make an appointment with them.

    I don't want to return to my previous surgeon, I feel he operated on me when he should have not. If he had taken the MRI of my whole back in the beginning, then he would have never operated on my lower back. He would have made the same decision that he made on my last visit. So I do not trust him any longer.

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