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Doctors' P.A. says post op pain is all in my head, anyone else had this problem?

eastkycoalminereeastkycoalminer Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I'm now at 6 weeks post plif, had a new mri last week, the doctors P.A. read report only, has'nt seen mri itself, because he's 3 hours away, anyway, mri report says "Small amount of enhancing scar tissue at L5-S1 after surgery. No recurrent herniation." That's all it says, which I think is quite vague to say the least, but i'm no doctor either. So when I asked why I'm still having pain and numbness just like I had before surgery, the P.A. says that its just in my head, that because i've taken narcotic pain meds for so long my brain just thinks i'm in pain and i'm really not, that I need to go to a pain clinic to get off the meds, by the way, I dont get the meds from this doctor, He only gave me meds right after surgery, and one prescription for 100 percocet 10s 2 weeks post op. And I've taken lortab 7.5 twice daily for about 5 years, only just before surgery I injured myself worse, and my family doctor upped my dose to about 4 to 6 a day, he has now began lowering my dose again, so I dont believe that the P.A. is correct, my family doctor says that it will take up to a year to heal, and I may still have pain during this time, but if the P.A. treats me like a street addict, and won't address my concerns with any substantial evidence, then he'll put negative things in my chart, and if I continue to have problems I'm afraid that doctors in the future won't take me seriously. Has anyone else had a problem like this? any advice to give? I'm very frustrated over all of this, I know the pain is real, I wish it was all just in my head, it's very upsetting. Any feedback would be appreciated! Thanks everyone! ~X(


  • I suggest you find a pain MD ASAP to help manage your pain. It sounds like your PA has an atitude problem or having a bad day. I expect we all are "dependent" on our meds but that doesn't mean we are "addicted" and it is an insult for a supposed medical "professional" to treat in such a poor fashion. Until you find a pain MD it sounds like your personal physician can help you with the drugs. Personally, I'd run from your PA and never go back. Wow!
  • That is absolutely ridiculous. Like previous poster said, get someone to help you. I'd never see that PA again. Getting pain meds is the first priority, but I'd make sure I reported the PA to the surgeon and to the manager of the practice.

    Let's drill some screws into the PA's spine and see how long he needs pain meds. I hope you find competent help soon.
  • how your PA has treated you. I cannot believe they can get away with saying such a horrible thing.

    I agree with the others - that you should consider changing PA's.

    Also, and I'm obviously not a doctor, but if your MRI doesn't show up anything specific, that doesn't necessarily mean there's nothing going on. If you feel pain then I've always thought that was the bodies way of saying that something isn't right. However, you are only 6 weeks post-operative and it may just be that your recovery is taking a little longer than someone else.

    Perhaps you require further tests, or maybe your pain could be coming from the scar tissue or some activity you are doing without thinking. There could be many reasons.

    My PLIF surgery was in July 2010 and disappointingly I continued to have back pain. This continued, with lots of sick leave from work, until December 2011 when I had to have revision surgery (changing 3 screws and inserting a stablising rod), which evidently didn't show up on MRI - it was the x-ray that indicated that one of the screws was at the wrong angle and that it was too long. The surgeon told me afterwards that he changed 3 of them because they were 'loose'. I'm still experiencing pain and other symptoms, but I'm hoping it's only because the recovery is taking a little longer this time. I only mention this because obviously my revision surgery was nowhere near as invasive as yours, but I still have ongoing problems, as I did after the PLIF, but I didn't (COULDN'T!) ignore it and pursued further investigation/answers.

    This is of course only my personal opinion and if you can, I would advise you to seek further professional help if you believe something is wrong and that you are not improving in the way your surgeon explained you would.

    I really hope you start to feel better soon and get some better feedback about your worries/concerns.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Thanks to all of you that have posted comments, It makes me feel so much better to hear others say i'm not just overeacting or crazy. My family doctor is taking care of my meds right now, he is understanding and a very caring person, I told my surgeon, or should I say a person in the administrative office that I would seek medication elswhere in the hopes that if I was'nt asking for meds from the surgeons office that they would begin to take me seriously. It took calling the administation office just to get the mri scheduled! I'm seeing the top neurosurgeon at the university of kentucky, I thought that would be the pinnacle of care around here! What a joke! I'm going to find another doctor monday, i've already been looking, but it's very stressful, I can just imagine what the new doctor will be thinking, why is this guy changing doctors in the middle of recovery? and also if they put anything in my charts like im just looking for meds, then I'm really worried that no one will take me seriously, I think I need to start with the new doctor by saying that I do not want or need meds from them, perhaps that will help. By the way, i've only spoken to the surgeon twice, once a year and a half ago, when he said I needed the surgery, and the morning of the surgery, while I was on the gurney waiting to be wheeled to the o.r., every other time its been his p.a. or the nurse practitioner that I saw at my 2 week checkup, at 2 weeks, I was almost out of my meds, she said she couldnt write narcotics, said try taking motrin, this was just after christmas and everyone else was on vacation, anyway, I convinced her to call the doctor on call, which she really didnt want to do, and the surgeon had came to the hospital that day to do a surgery, he wrote me the second prescription that I got from his office, and it was also the last, so i'm very angry that they keep making remarks like i'm a drug seeking person, and i'm worried that others will just look at what they say and not take me serious, that another doctor wont even really look for a problem, I hope i'm just worrying for no reason, well, i'll stop ranting, but THANKS SO MUCH TO ALL OF YOU! It's very reassuring to hear others supporting me.
  • I had C3-C6 replaced with titanium plates and fusion on Dec. 6th, 2011. My Dr. advised me that it will take up to a full year to heal completely from the surgery. I was also advised that the nerve damage heals at a rate of approx. 1 inch per month and for me could take up to 2 1/2 years for the pain to stop. I go to Florida Spine Institute. They had a neuro surgeon do my surgery due to severe spinal cord impingement (although this is not what was causing the pain). They also handle all my physical therapy, pain management, xrays, and mris. Before the surgery I had issues with 8 of my discs from my neck to my lower back and still need 2 discs in my lower back replaced and fused. The best advice I can give you is to go to a clinic that specializes in issues with the spine. If I had not had the surgery I was going to be a quadraplegic with no warning signs. Don't take the PA's comments to heart... see your Dr. and if they are not focused on spinal problems... consult elsewhere. You do NOT need to tolerate how you are being treated but you do need to find someone who will listen and respond. My opinion is that you need to see a neuro surgeon, even if you do/did not have any spinal cord impingement... they know alot more than an ortho. Best of luck!
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