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2nd opinion different from first doctor..

kittykatsluvmekkittykatsluvme Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone
I will try to make this hort.
I had a Lamenectomy done on L5 S1 March of 08.
I lost my last job 8 months ago due to severe pain.
I had an MRI and my primary said:it looks ok he sends me to painmanagement.
I get 2 injections and one Caudial block.
No relief ,so i'm told i will need a fusion.I also have DDD,so this scared me.
I was referred to a new doctor on the block.He has 5 yrs experince,as nice as he was.
I just had a funny feeling so i went back to the doc who performed my first back surgery.He gasped and said :No,you aren't a candidate for a fusion,thats a pretty big surgery and i don't see how they can think you need it done!
So now i'm being sent to a psychologist in order to determine if i am a candidate for the spine stimulator.
I'm fuming mad..How many others were sent to be guinea pigs for this new doctor to climb up the ladder of success.He is a "specialist" and i use that term lightly in DDD.
Is there any action at all i can take to let others know about this scam between pain management and neurosugeon.
I was trying to make this short..I need to say,when i let pain management doc know i was going for a 2nd opinion..He was down right angry and tried his best to get me to change my mind before giving me my script so i could leave!
Any input here is appreciated.


  • Was your second opinion board-certified in spine? (Either Ortho. spine or neurospine?). Just to be clear - to be a board-certified spine-surgeon, usually the criteria are one year of general surgery, followed by 4-5 years or either ortho. or neurosurgery, followed by 1-2 years of just spine. Just to "get" to be board-certified, you have to present "the board" with a document number of cases where you are first surgeon, plus an additional number of cases as assistant surgeon, plus pass oral and written exams. Its not an easy process. So, even 5 years after board certification, there is a high probability you have done a couple thousand cases. I have found that typically, most pain docs don't like their patients to go to the surgeons; but I am beginning to wonder if some surgeons, fearing changes in healthcare, are pushing procedures. I think its become more typical for pain doctors to group with surgeons - they usually complement each other in a way that helps the patient. Surgeons shouldn't be doing surgery unless they are sure the patient has a better chance of getting better than getting worse; but every patient has to set what they think their "risk" threshold should be...
    Why did the first surgeon say that surgery was not a good idea for you? I have found that spine surgeons, moreso that any other specialty, seem to really "slam" each other or "joust". I don't care for it, but it seems to be the norm among them.
  • i live in the uk and i have had 2 operations on my back ,the first was back in ye olde 1996/7 and technology was still very ye olde !! anyway i had an open laminectomy done by a HAND surgeon !! {at the time i was an emergency and he was the only orthopaedic surgeon available AND i did not have anywhere near as much knowledge about operations and surgeons as i do after 15 years} so the result from that surgery set the tone for the rest of my life he made a small job very big and i suffered for it ever since .roll on to 2007 and the pain is ridiculous ..so much so i got out of bed and hit the floor ....back to a different hospital and this time i saw a neurosurgeon {he was so kind and helpful} BUT not a very good surgeon !! so again i am in MORE pain the years roll on and after visits to pain centers/private physiotherapist/acupuncture/NHS injections various and several more visits to surgeons how ALL gave different advice .i was left in the same position as you ..what the hell do you do???!!!!.so i hit the Internet and found out about ADR {that's artificial disc replacement} and the consultant who is probably the best in the UK after 6 months i went to see him and after yet more test he told me that ADR was out of the question due to the state of my spine and the only thing he could offer was ALIF surgey ..big stuff...there is over 12 months to have this operation with this consultant ..i keep asking myself should i go through with it when my time comes ..some days i read so many bad things about ALIF/PLIF and thing to myself no way not me .then i think to myself i am only 45 do i want a shot at life again or do i just sit here and rot i have only had 2/3 hours sleep per night in the last 5/6 years due to pain waking me {i have tried everything to keep asleep inducing expensive beds various drugs and TENS but when that pain kicks in i HAVE to get out of bed there is no option ...and after 5/6 years its starting to tell on my body .i feel old and unwell and tired all the time .so i have booked a holiday to improve my mood and by the time i return it should be hospital time for the ALIF .i should know after the holiday if i am going to go through with it .theres nothing else left for me only strong pain killers .i feel for you and anyone in our position but at the end of the day its ultimately OUR decision and only you can make the choice.good luck with what ever you decide
    tony {uk}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Thank you both for taking the time to reply.
    I'm not sure about the first doctors credentials..All i remember is he is a specialist in DDD and has been here practicing in Ohio for the last 5 yrs.
    He is only 35 yrs old..I'm 43..;p
    The doctor who did my first surgery is a neuro surgeon.He is much older.
    I wish you both all the best with your future and your back problems.
  • 2 surgeons disagree on their course of action does not necessarily mean 1 is a quack. You need some real proof before making assumptions like that.

    I had 3 opinions before getting fusion. 2 agreed and 1 didn't. The 1 who didn't I don't think is a quack or a scam. He just wanted to go a different route. I disagreed with his approach.

    Now being upset that you want a 2nd opinion. Well some of these docs are real prima-donnas and don't like you getting verification. Most doctors have no problem with it and tell you to get another opinion.
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