Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

It's been a long, long wait for me to get my 3rd opinion

kathyykkathyy Posts: 580
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had back fusion L4-L5 back in November of 2008 and had no relief from pain. So my surgeon suggested pain management only 3 months after surgery (which I thought was awfully fast! He didn't even try any tests to figure out the problem.) So a found a fellowship trained pain doc, and for the last 2 years I have had countless epidural steroid injections and 2 radio frequency ablations! Still my sypmtons have progressed from bad to worse. My Pain doc said I have a "very complex spine" convinced me to see a neurosurgeon, which I did. The neuro found delayed fusion (if fused at all) plus major herniations at 2 levels above fusion complete with nerve impingment! He said surgery was needed to stabilize the spine.

Next, I sent 3 years worth of mri's and ct's to a top doctor at a university/teaching hospital in Raleigh Durham. He is a friend of a friend and he also said based on my studies, I needed surgery, the question was how much, 1 level or 2 levels fusion. He wants to see me in person so he can do movement studies and he is standing by - but frankly, I live just north of Atlanta and all the trips back and forth will be very difficult. And expensive because the drive is too long (8 hours.)But I'll go if needed.

So, 2 opinions and 2 thumbs up for surgery. Now, I've been waiting for 6 months (yep, that's how long it takes to get in and see this neurosurgeon at a big university/teaching hospital in Atlanta!) to get my third and final opinion. Then I'll have to sort it all out. My appointment is the 1st week in March.

The reason for sharing this story with you all is my belief that we all have to perservere and trudge through the system as long as it takes to get the answers we need to make such a big decision. Whether it's a first or a second or even a third back or neck surgery, do your research. And you may as well go to the "best in the field" - that's what I'm doing. I'm gambling that all this effort will pay off this time. No rushing into surgery here unless of course if it becomes a caudal equina emergency!

I'll keep you updated! Kathy


  • i waited 12 months {UK} and i feel it was the worst thing i have ever done as i am still in loads of pain {like you\] and i can't do the things that i could do before the op.i would never have any more surgey on my spine i too was told i have a complex spine {i think they say that when they are stuck for something to say!] .anyway i wish you the best your braver than me
    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
  • It does take perservearance to just try to address many of our problems. Good luck, Kathy. I had 3 opinions before my first back surgery last year (cervical), and because I trusted my doctor (after research and recommendations) I used him for my 2nd back surgery - lumbar this time. It doesn't guarantee good results, but at least gives us a shot. I'm too soon out of surgery to know how much it will really help.

    I'm sorry that things have not worked out for you Tony, but hope you find a way to have less pain.

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
Sign In or Register to comment.