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flowerfflower Posts: 460
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
after waiting many months and getting my GP to call my NS, and even that took 2 months to get a respnse

i have now got the referral for the MRI, BUT, as its been so long since i saw the NS , he has not written on the clinical notes of the MRI form , the correct details

but if i try to get it changed i think it will take months again

so, i guess i just go and book the MRI with the incorrect details on it

at least hes got most of the area to be scanned on it, but not all

this has been a stuff up from the start
dont get me wrong, this NS is very good, but incredibly busy and i think maybee his receptionist is not the greatest

also , as the consult with him was really short, and as i had cervical and lumbar to discuss with him , it really wasnt sorted fully for my cervical

he just said fusion straight away after seeing MRI of lumbar, which i new would be the case, no surprises there

but my cervical is also severe on multilevels , like my lumbar

it takes months to get an appoitment with this NS, and as i live in an area where there are not any, i have to travel, which is very difficult due to my probs

not sure whether to get another consult with this other surgeon
i am deterioating rapidly, have been in bed now for 2 years, and am worried , very about my gerneral health and being suitable to undergo majoe surgeries with the way my health is

lungs are not great and of course muscle atrophy bad n now my legs are aching so much it really hurts

think im rambling a bit here , but any thoughts


  • Couldn't you call the Receptionist to get the MRI details faxed to the MRI place where you're getting it done? If not you could get the MRI as ordered then your Surgeon could look at it and see if anything needs to be added. When you see him again for the results of your lumbar you could talk about your cervical but I would call him if you're having a lot of symptoms from your neck.

    It's hard when you have lumbar issues and cervical but since your lumbar is why you saw him first maybe getting the MRI for that area is best then you could talk later with him about your neck. But that's what I would do since getting the results may be faster then getting another consult with him unless you think your neck is really bad. Make sure you jot down what you need to ask him about your cervical issues and hopefully your appointment won't be cut short again. Best wishes. 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
  • ~X( ~X( ~X(
    big stuff up

    now having to try sort it out

    not only is the wrong clinical notes on thre MRI referral, the NS has written it to go to another MRI place that IS NOT licenced for govt rebate

    which means i would have to pay for it out of my pocket

    flower (so exasperated)
  • Sometimes my Dr. writes on a req that other places take it? They should fax the req to the place where you want it done. It's done different there. I hope you get the right one done. Take care
    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
  • Sorry to hear of the mess up with the MRI script, and too that your Neuro takes so long to get to. Mine is the same way, anywhere from 2-4 months! But he is "that" good, and yes I could go to others, but to start over again? Pass!

    Like Charry said, you should be able to call the office and get an amended script faxed. I've never had the Neuro specify where I will get my MRI's or any other diagnostics. I've had them give me a list of places they like/trust and too are in my network. Just explain to the office staff your insurance issues. I would never settle for paying for an MRI out of my pocket. I hope this gets cleared up Flower. Support *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • i just rang the NS receptionist, she said i could take the referral to the other MRI place (the opposition) i didnt no that you could do that

    so now i will be covered finanacially at this other place

    i then rang the MRI place and have booked it and asked the girl to ask the tech who does it , if they will scan all cervical levels (as NS didnt put the correct levels on), anyway she said they did scan the full cervical

    at least NS got T1 on there, as i have probs there too

    so i go next week to get it done

    thanks charry and brenda for your help

    its just taken soooooooooooooo long and then to see it wasnt right , well ya no....was a bit much
    flower (calming down sorta)
  • Flower,

    So glad to see it is working out. Just remember, "If in doubt, check it out." I have no qualms about making phone calls if things don't seem right. Remember, you are the customer.

    I think over times, doctors have their favorites (diagnostics, blood work, EMG etc.) to send their patients to. I know my NS is particular on Neurologists, as he will work with those he refers you too, and doesn't want delays or problems. It's just the working (and yeah, maybe money) relationships they develop and trust. But....you have to do what is best for you. Bravo!! Glad it worked out, and too your calming down.

    Future footnote? Most times if there is a certain disk the doctor wants, they will do that whole region. Eg., Cervical, thoracic or lumbar.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • My heart goes out to you and while I don't know what it must be like to be in bed for 2 years, I do understand your frustration with not having all the details on the MRI form.

    Perhaps your NS is more concerned with the lumbar area at the moment and that's why he didn't get round to discussing the cervical??

    I'd ring the NS's receptionist and make sure the MRI referral is for a place where you can get the government rebate.

    >:D< >:D< >:D<


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • agree with that brenda, "if in doubt, check it out"

    theres a couple reasons why this happened
    1st, its been about 7 months since i saw NS and we were discussing lumbar, though originally i was going to discuss cervical

    in the interim of waiting for the appoiotment, my lumbar became more urgent, so at the appoitment , he said ok well do lumbar MRI, off i went and had that.

    went back to see him and he said ok you have to have fusion , your spine is a mess, yes i no it is

    not thinking strait at that app , i didnt ask for cervical MRI (though on reflection , he forgot too)

    so couple months later i try to contact to get referral for cervical MRI from him, dont hear from him , finally get my GP to get hold of him

    well now its the holidays, everyone away, so more waiting

    still not here, so talk with my GP again and he says hell keep trying to get hold of him

    then finally i get the MRI referral
    which is wrong clinical details and wrong mri place (would have to pay for it)

    anyway as i said in other post , i have fixed that now hopefully

    2nd, as so much time elapsed since NS saw me and we hadnt discussed cervical properly and he didnt have my past scans to refer too, he wrote incorrect clinical notes on the MRI referral

    i needed C1 - T 1 scanned, and he had put C5-T1

    i have previous scans with probs at C1 to T1, with C4 -T1 being severe
    and very symptomatic long standing

    so basically, because i have so many damaged areas, cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum, it gets a bit complex

    and i need to no as well as the surgeon, which area to tackle first

    as i have lots of osteophytes , some which are sticking into my cervical spinal cord, my feelings were,
    if i had the lumbar done, and i had the tube down my throat and neck extend.

    ed, for the surgery, there could be a huge risk of those cervical osteophytes digging further into my cord with permamnaent damage

    hope this makes some sense

    thanks brenda and trish for your advice and concern
  • Flower,

    Oh I hear ya about multi issues and trying to get the doctor to understand more than one area is of concern. I'm a "trifecta" in that I'm Cervical, thoracic and lumbar, and each vie for attention, and each have their issues. I am seeing a trend too of late with some doctors, in that the insurance is intimidating them on "how much" how soon they can look at stuff.

    My GP who 2 years ago had no qualms about writing me an MRI script for a section of my spine, now tells me that the "insurance is more likely to approve if a spine specialist orders the MRI." Pout! As far as I am concerned, that set me back 4 months, as it took that long to get an appointment with my Neuro. MRI scheduling at the positional center takes an average of 3 weeks if you use contrast (nurse needed for injection and monitor), and then a week more for the report, etc., etc., etc. So we rightfully get frustrated as things get pushed back, and too sometimes overlooked.

    Just keep the goals in sight, and let nothing fall to the wayside. I now in addition to my log, have a page with my concerns, and if 'xx' tests would be prudent at this time, and if not, why? Thanks to the Internet, we are more informed as patients than at anytime in the past as a collective whole. I know at times doctors don't like our new knowledge, but at the same time, it keeps them honest too! Just don't back down woman. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • where i live, you have to be referred to a specialist to get an MRI ordered, and of course that here can take months.

    so , as the specialist had written to my GP that he would write a referral for my cervical, i phoned miss receptioist at NS office to ask for it

    but as time had passed and wasnt hearing from them, got my GP to start ringing them, and that took months
    even, holidays didnt help or my depression

    yes, i think your right, that in USA , the insurance co drive what tests and when, which is becoming increasingly more apparent

    my NS was cool with me asking about that i wanted as in total motion preservation, complete new facets joints with a ADR

    but he pointed out to me that they havnt actually got to that stage of making them for patient use yet,(the facet joints , that is) lol

    yes , there are some drs who do not like thier pts to be informed , but there are others that are cool with it, but i think that attitude is being eroded, which is a good thing i think.
    yep brenda, tryin to keep the goals in sight, im just very worried with the multiple damage to each area that the outcome will be favourable

    lets face it , the less damage , say just one thing that is wrong in a specific area, well the easier to fix, and a much higher likelihood of sucess

    so yeah , it really worries me that with so much damage , what my chances are for a really improved outcome

    the waits are frustrating , but i no you have your guy who is the best neuro whom you have faith and trust in , so yeah its definatly worth it to hang out for the appoitment

    support hugs to you brenda
  • *HUGZ* back to ya woman!!!

    Nodding, be it referrals, or just the wait times for a "very good" doctor, and thus the waits, it just equals *delay* to me and you regardless of the country!!!

    I am very glad to see that you too are going to do research, stay your own advocate, and on top of things. My Neuro is pretty good about things like that too, and he has been "spot on" with my spine issues ever since I started seeing him.

    It's good to see your Neuro is cool with your being educated on how things go now a days, and too what the options are - to *me* that is wonderful for sure!!!

    Just stay after it woman!! You have similar worries as I about further or better yet "damage" with what we have going on. Already been there, done that, have the shirt - but not my NS's bad there. The disk went snap, damage done - his surgery done rather fast, stopped further - no regrets on what he did.

    When something is progressing (am there myself), that is where we worry, get uncomfy (bad spelling on purpose) about future problems. Please keep us posted on what you learn/hear - okay? More support *HUGZ* for ya my friend/woman!!! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • update when i find out more, at this stage i need the lumbar fused, ive been delaying it for a long time, but 2 yrs ago,things got to the point of severe restrictions.....

    also been delaying the cervical....

    thanks to the damn depression

    so off to the tunnel next week to see wat more damage there is (dont think there could be too much more, as theres enough there allready)

    hugs back at you my friend and wishing you well with your appoitment

  • thankyou for your kind words, yep rang the MRI place, they wanted me to pay for it, so rang miss reception at NS office, she said i could take the referral another place, that it didnt matter that the referral was for the place listed on the referral.

    well i wasnt aware you could do that

    thats fantastic to see you had a succesfull fusion, can i ask you, what was the specific probs you had in that fused area eg disc, nerves, stenosis, facet joint, arthritis etc that had to be adressed

  • Flower,

    I will send positive thoughts and energy that there aren't any new surprises on your scan.

    Be waiting on your update. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I didn't know that I could take a referral to a different radiographer to that on the form. If I'd known, I could have had two scans done on the same day instead of going to two separate places, so thanks for that.

    I only had a one level done and the problem was spondylolisthesis and stenosis. L3-4 and L5-S1 aren't in good shape either and look to be nearly bone on bone and I think that's stenosis and the facet joints are worn.

    I've been doing Chi Kung recently, which are ancient Chinese breathing/healing exercises and this past week, my back is feeling very much better. I'm not suggesting this for you because you need to get through your surgeries and recovery. I believe walking and gentle stretching is the best exercise during the first year. My physio had me doing Pilates at about month 5 and that was too much, so I worked out my own exercise program which has been successful. I've always been into exercise, so what's worked for me is not necessarily going to work for someone else.

    A friend's father had a 5 level fusion done last year. He's in his 80's and last I heard, he was able to walk again. I'm waiting to hear back from her to find out how her father is doing. She said it was a very rough surgery and initial recovery, but he was happy that he'd had it done.



    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • I've always had the utmost admiration for those of you who continue being motivated with your excercises. I envy that (not in a bad way) because as much as I try (and am successful) at trying to remain upbeat and do have good skills in relieving stress and anxiety through meditation, deep breathing, and writing.. I just have a very difficult time getting and staying motivated in the excercise department.
    flower, I do hope that everything runs smoothly for you in getting all of your tests (MRIs), and that your disease has not progressed more than you expected. Take care!
  • Wishing you all the best with your MRI. I too hope that things have not progressed further. So sad to hear that you have been in bed for two years. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I sincerly hope that your NS will help you very soon and get you some much needed pain relief!
    gentle >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • trish that sounds like a good form of exercise, glad its helping you

    im also wary of what some P/T want you to do, and ive had some bad experiences with a few, that have made me worse
    i think you really need to be aware, and if you feel its not good for you, well stop, ive told many P/t"s no to certain exercises/machines

    you no your body and whats its doing , if it doesnt feel right , dont do it

    having said that , exercises which do help are of course very important and i would love to be able to start doing some
    trish, i would like to hear what your friends fathers probs were and the surgery that got him walking again, so if you get any info, would love to here

    hi robin, its helpfull i think if you can get with a personal trainer, or join a group, to help with the motivation, and aqua therapy group, could be usefull for you
    thanks for the well wishes, unfortunatly, my probs are progressive deterioation and injury, started in my late teens, which i didnt realize till a few years ago (the progression that is)

    ouch, thanks for the support, i see you are waiting on surgery, whats the story with that, do you have a date/time frame?

  • One thing longstanding back pain can teach us is to be proactive with our health, and I see you're that way. Those delays and mixups can be soooo frustrating :''( ! When I had a siege of lower back pain in 1983, for a while the doctors bounced back and forth between a decision to fuse and to do a decompressive laminectomy, so by the time I got out of the hospital, where tests were done, I was close to being a basket case. They ended up sending me to an orthopedic spine surgeon, who came up with the tiebreaker: decompressive laminectomy, which gave me relief until around 2001.

    Good thing you won't have to pay for your MRI. The cost of my MRI with contrast totaled, before insurance, %4,000! Best wishes with yours, and I sure hope the surgery goes well. >:D< Gentle hugs 2 U, Essmoe >:D<
  • When I hear back from my friend about her father's recovery progress, I'll let you know.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • MRI machines are extremly expensive to purchase, but the charges for 1 scan are through the roof, i guess they get us to pay for them via insurance
    essmoe, i guess the wait paid off with your drs deciding the best way to go for you, im presuming you got 20 years of relief
    thanks for the well wishes and hugs

    hugs back at ya

    thanks trish, much appreciated
  • I would mention to the Radiology Tech that you think you may have issues with C1 if the Dr. doesn't change the req. for you in time and see what he says or call back the Receptionist at your Dr. office if she could check with the Dr. to see if he would include C1 levels. I'm sorry you have to wait so long and hope you're getting your MRI soon. Best wishes. 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
  • i do have documented scans of the damage from C1 - T1, (lots of them) which you have to take with you

    and i did ring radiology , and they said they would include full cervical, however , yes , i will let the tech no that the clinical notes on levels is wrong and that i need ALL cervical scanned, hopefully thats happens

    Not much point ringing NS reception as it just takes too long for them to get back to you

    thanks for you concern
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