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Ortho Or Neuro

Kara1623KKara1623 Posts: 20
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
Thank You for letting me join this group I have three discs in lumbar spine that has DDD I also have two bulging discs. I have been two workcomp doctors who say it's just a strain. I have also went to my doctor who dx'd me as having DDD and Bulging discs but all three doctors say I can't hurt that bad since none of them show that they're touching any nerves in the mri. I'm thinking about seeing a ...neuro. I just want to know could there me nerve damage that couldn't be picked up on a mri and which doctor worked better for you with DDD a neuro or a ortho not talking about sugery wise since I'm not going that route. Thanks plus I'm in severe pain and about a month I seem to relize that my legs sometimes go numb I know I've fallen 3x in a month because of this issue


  • first 3 surgeries were done by neurosurgeons the 4th was an orthopaedic surgeon. i personally didn't notice a difference because all had specialized training in spine surgery.
  • My last 2 surgeries were done by neuro. My internist's former partner strongly urged me to let a neuro operate on my back

    Also, a chiropractor who used to treat my back told me if I ever need spinal surgery to be sure and go to a neurosurgeon because they are more protective of the nerves in your spine.

    Hope this helps you.
  • i would suggest neuro. i have not undergone surgery, but my ortho also told me that my pain was an "easy fix". a year later, im in worse pain then before and have had 3 injections. my DDD is at 2 consecutive levels in my thoracic spine. BUT my neuro definiately listened to me so much more then my ortho did. because of my age, they wont fix mine ): so now, im just seeing a pain management specialist every couple of weeks. he instantly suggested lyrica(used in fibropyalgia patients for nerve pain) because he knew that my pain was much worse then images portrayed. my spine is very sensitive to the touch as well as shooting pains through my ribs, which is a sign of nerve irritation. so i would DEFINIATELY go with neuro. in my opinion, they look out for you more than the ortho.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    regarding which is the best doctor to perform your spinal surgery. Orthopedic surgeon vs Neurosurgeon.

    The first thing that should always be considered is having a surgeon that you have total confidence in and trust. That is so very important.

    For my 7 spinal surgeries, I had one done by an Orthopedic surgeon, the rest were performed by the same Neurosurgeon. I really can't comment on the Orthopedic surgeon because that was in 1978, when the surgery was a bit different.

    My own feeling is that when it comes to bones only, then I lean towards the Orthopedic one, but when the spinal cord is involved, I opt for the Neurosurgeon.

    Also keep in mind, when there is any fusion going on, you will generally have both doctors during the surgery.

    I don't think that one doctor would look after you as the patient more than the other one would. Instead, it would be the doctor that you had confidence in, would be the one who took your best interests at heart.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Either one I would always advise a doctor who is fellowship trained. This can make a huge difference to me.
    Herniated T6-7, multiple herniations in cervical, tears in T5-T8. Stenois at levels and smorls nodes from thoracic thru lumbar
  • Definitely fellowship trained. I've been told that it is wise to have neurosurgeon, for the cervical area especially since the spinal cord is so close and the space they work is so small, but the most important thing is to make sure you select a surgeon whom is experienced in the procedure he will do on you, and that you are comfortable and confident with his work.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Im not wanting to have surgery I just want someone to take my pain seriously that's why I asked neuro or ortho not going the sugery route
  • like I said three docs are saying DDD can't be hurting me this bad since it's not touching any spinal cords but could it be just not show up on mri
  • That is just plain bs. There are annular tears that can disable a person and they do not touch nerves, it is the chemicals that cause the nerve pain. Im not doctor but that is bs based on what the doctor of every sports team in houston says. If you do some reasearch you come across numerous stories of doctors saying should not hurt but discogram shows annular tear which operated on gives releif. There is one, chemically sensitive disc, should be able to punch in search and may reach person who had surgury on one and is much better. I am not saying this is your case as there are alot of things such as facets with DDD that cause pain, but better to educate yourself and begin the elimination process.

    And the no surgury thing is another story. In my exp. neuro do not get to worried about small herniations just touching the cord or not touching at all. I have had better luck with ortho in DDD treatments and diagnosis.
    Herniated T6-7, multiple herniations in cervical, tears in T5-T8. Stenois at levels and smorls nodes from thoracic thru lumbar
  • hi kara. if you do not want surgery then i would say you wouldn't really need surgerical consults from a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon. how about asking to see a neurologist and/or an orthopedist. if you live in the US, which i am assuming you do, it'd be a lot cheaper. in fact, you could probably see both and ask them how they would treat you from a neurological standpoint, and an ortho standpoint as well. my pain management team includes a neurologist, not a neurosurgeon even though i've had a neurosurgeon perform two of my back surgeries. a neuologist is more schooled in medications used to treat neurological disorders than is a neurosurgeon.

    just my 2 cents, that's all.
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