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saw the NS,he wants me to see a neurologist

grandmesamomggrandmesamom Posts: 181
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Well I made it to the NS with my MRI. The Radiologist read it as severe broad based central disc protrusion at C 7 T1. A Fellow MD studying under my NS walks in and says there is nothing wrong with my MRI. He was beligerent and communication was difficult due to language barrier. I was ready to leave and my husband said ,we will see our Dr and not you. My NS walks in and was cordial and said that the protrusion was normal and that no way can my symptoms be from my neck. I have chronic left arm weakness, new rt arm pain,leg weakness ,balance problems to name a few. I was dx with cervical spondylitc myelopathy after my cord compression but he insists that my ongoing symptoms are not from my neck. He was quick to get me out of there and wrote an order for me to see a Neurologist.I reminded him that my case was complex prior to this and that they needed a myelogram before to see the cord compression. His response was you had a cord compression,I fixed it and I can't help you any further. I feel so frustrated because I feel that they don't believe me. What can a Neurologist add to my situation?? I already see a Physiatrist who says I won't get better and suggests I go on disability.
I hate Drs at this point !Any advise??


  • Bethy I think what the ns said is great. I know for many on here the neurologist and surgeon are interchangable but not for me. I have always started with an ortho or neurologist. Let them order the tests and do the diagnosis. Then if they think there is something that a surgeon can do they send you on. I know in my area surgeons do not do the diagnosis and they do very little follow up. Once your incision heals it's back to the ortho or neuro.
  • Bethy,

    While I am sure today was hard on you and your not understanding what is going on, I would follow with the nuerologist and see what they have to say. The one question I have is was the mri done with contrast or without and do you still have hardware? I would also schedule another opinion also. The last thing you want is to get into a another cord compression. Did the NS explain to you that once you have myelopathy surgery will on stop damage from occurring but it won't reverse what damage has been done? What levels did they fuse in the other surgery? It is not uncommon from fusion surgeries in cervical spines to see adjacent disc disease. The question becomes on the broad base disc protrusion how large is it?

    Are your symptoms on the same side as your original surgery? After surgery did they ever get better and then got worse over time? I would think a new emg would shed some light. However, if it is myelopathy effecting your legs that won't necessarily show up on a emg study. Have you talked to your physiatrist about what the films actually show. He/she might be able to show you on the imagining wether or not it is in contact with a nerve. Central disc protrusions are more than likely to cause myelopathy and why they needed to be looked at closer.

    Keep me posted on what you do and if I can be of any help don't hesitate to pm me.
  • Hi Grandmesamom. I third the opinion to go see the NS and even possibly get yet another opinion. If this doctor is dismissing you, then you need to find one that will be straight with you and take the time you need to understand what is happening and plan a course of action, whatever that might be.

    Take care and let us know how your new NS appointment goes.

  • Thanks tamtam for your input. The NS did tell my husband after surgery that the surgery stopped the progression and that it takes 1 to 2 years for neurological recovery to take place.My first fusion was at C6C7 and 1 yr later the cord compression was at C5C6 which was left untreated and undiagnosed until I saw this surgeon.There has been improvement but my arms have remained weak with pain worsening on movement. I sought attention recently because my symptoms were worsening. My legs are more wobbly,I am uncoordinated and my motor skills in my arms are worse. The Radiologist read the central protrusion as severe, but the NS says its normal.I have researched this myelopathy and I realize its damage is permanent but the NS acts like its reversible.
    I sometimes think maybe its in my head,but why can't I push a grocery cart or clap my hands at my sons football games?I hate seeing these DRs because I feel like they confuse me and I have a difficult time explaining my symptoms or getting them to take me serious. I fear getting worse and that my quality of life will continue to worsen. Noone will tell me what to do to help these symptoms. Bethy
  • Thats interesting Chris. I never would have thought to go to a neurologist or ortho first,
  • I'll add a 4th to that. It's always good to have a fresh pair of eyes looking at you! I remember reading once that a neurologist can tell you what is wrong, and the NS will fix it. Maybe the neurologist will have better insight as to what is going on. Remember too, that every doctor will read MRIs differently, so maybe the 3rd opinion on yours will be a good thing. Hope it all works out for yoU!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Howdy!

    When my symptoms came back, and too my legs started giving me problems (as did my back), my NS at that time got me a new NCV/EMG for my arms and legs, and too along the spine. He also got a new MRI which did show issues in my lower back, but even with that, he too "kicked" me back to Neurology. Nope, I wasn't too pleased either after that appointment!

    I also got stubborn (my doctor hate mode) and took a 4 month "vacation" from ALL doctors. I think my brain needed that break. I'm back moving forward to see what is going on, and or what can be done if anything. My GP is already saying the neck needs a redo, and another level is involved. She did some study to become more specialized in spine issues, but didn't go so far as to become a certified Neurologist. She is speculating that for now, the back can be treated conservatively, but not so for the neck.

    She made me feel a *little* better in that the insurance companies are more apt to approve things when given by folks such as GP's and Neurologists verses the surgeon. The surgeon goes on what the diagnostician comes up with. When I lost my level below the fused one, and had instant issues that were getting bad fast, he diagnosed, and surgery was the result. Now that I am a puzzle (complex esp. for the neck) patient, he wants the recommendation from the "trouble shooter" first - Neurologist. He is "a fixer", and the Neuro is the "finder of the problems..."

    You're not alone Bethy. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Bethy...Hello and I am very sorry that you are having to go through all of this Cr*p...it is very very hard to deal with all of that on top of being in pain!!

    I agree with everyone in that you need a differant Dr that will listen and actually hear you!!

    Let us know...OK??:)
  • how you feel about dr's and all the runaround. I have been through and I am going through similar situation as yourself and I am so over it. Its hard to keep going and it does get confusing and I feel like each Dr just keeps pushing me into another Dr and make me someone elses problem.

    Hang in there Bethy, I hope you try the neurologist and maybe he will be the one to help you, you never know. Please keep us posted and know that we are all behind you and your not alone.

    Good luck to you,
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