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Neurologist or surgeon?

Emma7EEmma7 Posts: 17
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Spinal Stenosis
Hi everyone,

I saw a neurologist this week who said that he could do nothing for me and my nerve pain from the stenosis... just to keep on taking my Lyrica and the NSAIDs...I was surprised and discouraged. I am seeing a spine surgeon in a couple of weeks, and was wondering which specialist do you see for your spinal stenosis issues?

Will that be the end of the road for me? Is it possible that in 2012 nothing can be done to control the different kinds of pain associated with the stenosis other than taking stronger meds that keep you in a zombie state of mind?



  • Emma,

    I would definately want to get some more opinions- talk to this spine surgeon (NS/OS) Where is the stenosis? What are your symptoms & pain levels.

    After you see this surgeon then maybe you will want to see another one for a second opinion or even a Pain Managment doctor/clinic. Not just for medication but for a comprehensive treatment plan.

    The neurologist doesn't seem to proactive. He may not be the right doctor for you. It is a slow process. My best advice is don't rush into anything.

    Feel Better,


  • There is treatment for stenosis, Injections and pt is a good place to start,

    I took my mom in for injections when she was having stenosis pain and injection along with pt and she was lucky it cleared up and needed no surgery,

    Not all neurologists deal in spine conditions, you would have to see neuro who specialise in spine or ortho who deal in spine,

    Just like some ortho only work on knee and hip replacements you have to find the 1 who is spine dr. Same with neuro some only do like brain surgery and such,

    I found this out the hard way, Best of luck, Lami is a surgery they usualy do for stenosis if alternative treatments like excercise and injections fail to work,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Thank you Julie.

    That you say it's a slow process inspires me to be patient. And I will certainly not rush into anything. Do you ever dream of waking up from a bad dream and being able to walk normally, to make your bed without sitting down 3 times, to cook up a good meal instead of steaming everything in the same pot??

    I can't believe that the rest of my life is going to look like this.

    I'll be back after my appointments with the spine surgeon and my family doctor.

    Thanks for your input.

    Emma :)
  • Hello Alex,

    Thanks for your reply.

    But I've read so much about injections not working or working only for a short period...

    I tried PT but stopped after severe sciatica pain started. I'm talking REAL PAIN here. I gave it another try a couple of weeks later, but the same problem happened again, so I'm not going down that road again, unless the surgeon convinces me of a special approach...I'm glad your Mum got relief. What a blessing!

    If I can avoid it, I will not have surgery either... I'm still praying to find that little opening made just for me that will give me back my mobility... I wonder if people who can walk and bend and reach without pain know how much they are blessed??

    In my case, the Lyrica seems to have taken care of the nerve pain. I'm at 300mg a day now. It's the numbness in the feet, hips and fingers that bother me the most. And of course, the inability to stand without leaning on something, same thing for walking. But my goal is simply (is it that simple?) to do the little things in my shrunken life without pain.

    Thanks for you input!

    Emma :)
  • Well dont forget you cant go by what you read on the internet on everything because only the people who did not have great results with injections and such are mostly who are going to post about it,

    Many who recovered with injections and pt have beter things to do then to post about it after they returned to normal life,

    As far as i know there is no dr that will consider surgery untill injections are tried along with pt unless they see on exray or mri where they feel nothing other then surgery will help,

    So in most cases we dont have much choice about our treatment other then what dr recomend,

    You will find more bad stories about failed surgery so injection is a small step in the right direction, Many cant do pt untill injections gets rid of some of the inflammation,

    And sometimes it takes more then just 1 injection and then pt and massage finaly resolves it for many,

    I myself had 3 failed back surgery with nerve damage so injection only help for short time,

    Surgery should always be last option,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • A lot of the ESI are used as diaganostics as much or more than treatments so if you get really good relief for a few hours that says something in as much as WE HIT THE RIGHT SPOT...

    That is priceless. I used to feel they were completely worthless but have had a turn around in my way of thinking. I see the value now.

    If it last for 3-4 months thats great. Even better.

    Alex is comepletely right. In the USA you have to go through the gamut of treatment before they even start thinking about surgery. PT, ESI's, EMG's, etc etc...

    I don't have any expeience with "stenosis" only type stuff. I just know how slow it is getting a proper diagnosis, medication, & treatment.... Seems like it takes forever and then some.

    I think of it more of an "art" than a "science" with the various doctors I have met over the years. Some are very talented "artists" while others are "simple straight science types". My PCP is a science type doctor, my PM & NS are definate artists.

  • Well I'll see what comes out of my appointment with the spine surgeon next Wednesday. On this board I have now learned that it is indeed a long process before finding the right doctor, the right treatment(s). But so much life wasted. I miss cooking. A 20 minute walk in the park. Joining a workshop. A 2 hour lunch in a good restaurant.Honestly, I'm discouraged at the way things turned out in my later life.

    Do injections in the spine hurt much?
    Does an injection mean that I won't be needing the Lyrica and codeine?

    Thanks for all your info and thoughts.

    Emma :)
  • Just wanted to mention something about Lyrica. I'm not a doctor so I might be mistaken but I think the idea is to take Lyrica for a certain amount of time to help with nerve pain/nerve damage/nerve repair and than go off it.

    Also, I recommend second third and fourth opinions. A neurologist deals with so much, neurosurgeons and spine specialists would be more helpful.

    But I'm the idiot that messed up her back before even turning 30, so what do I know!!
  • What you typed was very helpful. About not being able to start physiotherapy until inflammation went down. I was told it was all in my head. My physio was an idiot. My x-ray didn't show a herniated disc but it did show facet hypertrophy and DDD, there were indications that something was wrong!! So, I was told I was out of shape and should spend more time walking. Try the elliptical she said. Biggest regret of my life. Anyhow, just saying that in all likelyhood there was inflammation there which probably created a bulging disc, then a herniated disc. Rest is best!!
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