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New second opinion appointment

nelnnel Posts: 402
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,

Well yesterday I had my first appt with a new surgeon. I wanted a fresh set of eyes on my case as I don't seem to be getting anywhere with the original surgeon.

I told him my long and sorry tale. He was seemed to think I should have had IV antibiotics with my initial wound infection and he did agree that my back leaking copiously for 4 weeks and taking 6 weeks to heal was not normal. He was shocked that my surgeon had said that when my scar blistered and then oozed at 9 month post op that it was put down to be a stitch sinus.

The good news is that he thinks remaining infection is unlikely and his review of my MRI (without contrast) done on 11th Feb suggests no active infection. (I suppose I could still have a biofilm infection in a dormant phase but let's hope not!)

I did explain that appart from the bloods taken just prior to my hardware removal that all my bloods came back normal.

There was a "reaction to something" in the disc space at the level I am fused. He didn't know whether it was a bit of remaining disc or what. But there was a flash of white in there.

He has ordered standing x rays (never had those before), new bloods testing for everything again (inc thyroid due to my remaining tiredness), MRI with contrast and a CT.

He wants to check how much I am actually fused. I have been wondering this week if that might actually be the problem as I have had a return of "classic" back of the leg L5S1 pain, whereas post fusion I have had L4L5 front of leg pain mostly. This pain isn't constant but the other morning it felt like something had moved and I could barely put weight on my right leg and I could have drawn a line from my spine to my heel following the pain!

He did say that my reflexes and everything neurological are fine so that is good. Doesn't help with the pain, but it is good!

I will see him again on 5th April so I hope that I might get some sort of answer at that point.

In the meantime I am thinking of taking the antidepressants my GP offered. Maybe the reason I could sleep the clock round is because I am more depressed than I like to admit. I think I try hard to keep myself bouyant, but just like with the whole back problem, I do tend to downplay things. Maybe they would help with the pain too?

Anyway, after my trip yesterday I hurt more. I think the reason I have been managing is because I have been off work and I have been really babying myself. It was only an hour each way and I was at the hospital for two hours but I was exhausted and in quite a lot of pain by tea time last night.

Thanks for listening. It is so good to have these forums to "talk" to. I am sure friends and family get fed up with hearing about it!


  • spine problems just seem to go on and on!

    This new surgeon seems to be being very thorough, which is just what you need.

    I really do hope that with all these tests, they will be able to get to the bottom of what is causing your continuing problems.
    I think that it sounds like it is going to prove a very good thing that you went to see a new surgeon, with a new set of eyes.

    I know that some antidepressents also help nerve pain, so perhaps they could help you on two counts.

    Feel better soon. >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • Thanks Jelly.

    Yes, these things do seem to just drag on and on! I do seem to be getting worse in terms of nerve symptoms. My left bum cheek feels cold and it has started radiating pain down that leg when I sit now too. I wonder if I aggravated it with all that sitting about yesterday.

    I hope you feel better soon too.
  • Wow, the new doctor sounds refreshing. Sometimes, it does take a clean set of eyes. Sorry you are hurting but it's fantastic that you are taking charge and getting another opinion.

    Good luck with the extra tests.
  • Thanks D! I am only managing to keep positive by knowing I am actually exploring all avenues.

    Thanks for your good wishes!
  • Only an hour travel time each way! I would be exhausted even after 10 minutes in the car. I find Dr. appointments or going somewhere can be more tiring then say going for a short walk.

    I hope all your tests show what's going and your Dr. sounds very thorough.

    I was exhausted all the time also and went for a sleep study. Have you ever had one done? Anyways I take an anti-depressant and it helps my outlook a bit on things and hear it helps the pain meds work better. Keep us posted what the tests show. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Thanks Charry,

    I see my GP next Monday so I am going to have a good chat about the antidepressants then.

    Thanks for your support

  • This sounds good Nel. I remember that after my first flop, I also had the standing flexion extension X-rays to check for spinal stability and that they saw the white reactive tissue on the MRI. In my case, to distinguish between inflammation and infection I had a combined bone scan and CT.

    During the second op the surgeon said there was residual disc tissue between the vertebrae which made fusion impossible. I think that I'd they can find a clear cause of the problem at least you have a shot at fixing it! Worked for me :)

    My GP gave me amytryptyline at some point last year. It was fantastic for pain relief, but I had awful palpitations and couldn't use it. I was awfully disappointed, it would have helped a lot to tide me over the hump until I got sorted.
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