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new neurosurgeon questions?

abbeyjoyaabbeyjoy Posts: 23
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Chronic Pain
I posted this elsewhere, but not sure where it is supposed to be? Thanks for any help.

Hi everyone,
Back with more questions? I have an appt with a neurosurgeon Thurs. morning. I really don't even know what to begin to tell him or ask? I have so much pain under the cervical fusion (entire neck) which I suppose would be the T spine? and I also have pain in my lower back where I have scoliosis. When I went to the 'pain' doctor, she gave me an injection in my lower back for a long time flare of sciatica. Wow, even she apologized for the pain it caused. She said that the areas were tight and close? I was in so much pain, I didn't ask what she meant.
After the injections tho, the flare subsided. Now I am having a problem with pins and needles in that leg, some numbness, etc. Cry. I don't know whether to ask him about the C spine, the T holding it, or the scoliosis?
What would YOU do? I am in constant pain with not only my back but have migraines caused from the same accident. I also think the neck issues are making my headaches worse? I appreciate any input before I go to see this new doctor. I've heard great things about him. In fact, yesterday he operated on a friend who needed three vertebrae in her L spine fused--she put this off for years, but they are saying everything went perfectly. But obviously I don't want any surgery if it can be avoided.
Thank you so much,


  • You could print your post out and give it to him! It is short, and to the point, and probably good to get a base conversation going with him.

    I keep a binder of all my tests, diagnostics, operative notes. I also have a narrative of where I stand at the time of the appointment - symptoms, pains, present medications etc. I bring this information with me to the appointments, that way the doctor can see 'where' I am at via tests or prior surgeries and such. Hope that helps get you started. Good luck with your appointment!! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks so much, Brenda. You are always so helpful. I hope you are feeling okay? I wish I would have kept a journal of events, but too late for the past. Need to start from here on tho.

    I may ask if he can give me some patches (not heavy dose) of something to put where it hurts. By this time at nite, my head/neck/back hurts so bad that I am ready for bed.

    Bedtime gives relief because I can lay this heavy head down :-) and take my neurontin, muscle relaxers and sleeping pill. I try to only take darvacette in the daytime. Once in a while Tylenol 2.

    Take care and again thank you. I'll check in to 'see' you again.

    Abbey ((()))
  • You're very Welcome! Not doing too bad tonight, thanks for asking. :)

    See with the Darvocet I am the opposite. I try to only take it when I am going to bed, because it knocks me out! (G) Fingers crossed that your appointment with this new NS goes well. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • my pain dr thinks that neurosurgeons are better than orthopedic ones. he says they tend to me more detailed oriented or as the psychologist would say they tend to be more "anal." ortho deal with muscles bones and joints, where as neuro surgeons tend to deal better with nerves which is the problem with disc problems. sciatia is nerve pain due to pressure from a disc on a nerve. i know when they did surgery on my spine they used a device which looked at nerves and it helped them from damaging my nerves to some degree. you make the choice, ortho or neuro's? who ever makes you most comfortable. also some surgeons go from the front of you while some go through your back. mine always went in the back. if you are a guy there a side effects with front surgery, semen goes inside during sex and there is no ejaculation per se. if you are one is young and male i would do the back surgery. if you are female it does not make difference
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Since my accident I spent a while with an ortho and then went to a neurosurgeon. I found the neuro was much more tuned in to how the injuries would impact the nerves and cause pain, while the ortho was mainly focused on whether it would be stable or continue to deteriorate.

    My neurosurgeon also picked up minor weakness in my left foot that ended up getting worse over time, which the ortho had missed- he was looking for major neuro symptoms only.

    So it was just my own experience that if you're having neuro symptoms, in my case the neuro zeroed in and picked up on things a bit better. But on the other hand, symptoms are much worse now than they were, so maybe if things had been switched time-wise I would have found that any doctor I had gone to earlier would have not found much. And FWIW these are both highly respected and highly rated doctors who do a lot of surgeries- the ortho specializes more in scoliosis while the neuro is a trauma/complex surgery specialist, so the neuro is more specialized in injuries like mine.

    Not sure if this helps the OP at all, since she didn't ask about the difference, but it came up later. I would tell the new neuro your symptoms in as much detail as you can, including any tingling, weakness, numbness, burning, aching, etc. And definitely tell him first thing if you think it is currently getting worse.
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