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need a good doc

chuckp83cchuckp83 Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Chronic Pain
Im a 27 yr old male just got medically retired from the Army, fyi don't jump out of airplanes lol. I have had 2 neck fusions and a R shoulder surgery, I'm being told I need L and S spine fusions, don't want to though. I've been hurt for 3 years and have done alot of research myself, army docs kinda suck they didn't want to get to deep into diagnosis, just surgeries so I'm out now, thank God. All the research I've done keep leading me back to Ankolising Spondiliytis or however your spell it, but how and where do I find a doc with the intestinal fortatude to actually figure out what is causing so much pain in all of my joints and why my neck doesn't heal. So if anyone out there would like to help a crippled veteren give me some ideas thank ya'll for listening.


  • First question is what type of medical insurance do you have? Do you have to stay with the VA or do you have private insurance?

    Either way it sounds like you need a good orthopedist or neurologist. Once you have a decent diagnosis you can decide on what treatments to try.
  • Hi Chuck.....Welcome to Spine Health! This is a very good site for information and support.

    I am guessing you have COBRA? Am I correct?

    The first thing you need to do is find a good GP, unless you already have one. Find one you like and trust. You may have to check out a few before you find one you like.

    To see a specilist you will need a referral. Trust the Doctor to refer you to the one you need to see.

    I do not blame you for not wanting a fusion BUT there is a less invasive fusion that a few surgeons are doing. Recovery time for this surgery is very short and not very painful. Recovery time is just a week or so. Finding a surgeon who is doing this less invasive surgery can be a challenge but well worth it.

    I had a lumbar fusion in 1995 and the scar tissue has caused me severe nerve damage in my feet and legs. The damage is permanent now. The less invasive fusion surgery was not available back then. I would advise everyone who is having a spinal fusion to find a surgeon who does this less invasive surgery. Do not settle for anything else.

    If you do not have a GP find one and go from there.

    Best of luck Chuck. I do hope you find help.

    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • it really depends on the insurance you have or don't have. some especially hmo's require pre authorization while ppo's ususlly don't require it. if you need pre authorization you will have to see a regular dr to get a referral and depends on insurance also if you get a neuro or orhto. worse thing you can do is diagnose yourself. you will probably have to have numerous tests especially if back or neck involved. probably mri, or cat scan or disography, very painful, nerve conductive test, x-rays etc. hope you have good insurance. disography is a good tool, shoot dye in disc and if it difusses out they might think you have a herniated disc but remember tests are not perfect. some insurances don't use all of these tests, too expensive, but i have a good one so i had every test in the book. then your surgeon or whatever will discuss what to do, probably start out conservative at first-rehab or exercise, then move up to more dramatic to the last step surgery. meds will start out conservative at first also, naisd's injections with steroids, then depending one can go up the scale. it is a long complicated process. good luck and don't get down. a lot of us have gone through this, it has been 10 years or so for me.
    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.
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