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Help! The case of two doctors

Vinda-louVVinda-lou Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Long story short, I had intense pain in my arm that ended up being due to a herniate disc. After trying other avenues of treatment, I went ahead and had an ACDF at C5-C6 as indicated from an MRI.

After surgery, my hand/arm still tingled but no pain. Gradually, about a month later, my upper arm pain returned, and my whole lower arm, elbow to hand began getting intense, painful pins & needles.

I am worse off than before. My pointer finger is almost always tingling and feels semi-numb almost all of the time.

So I went to my original pain doctor after having had the surgery done by a NS. I was ordered another MRI which according to my pain doc showed scarring from surgery that is causing the lower arm pain, and I still have a slight disc herniation at C6-C7. He says the scarring is pretty much here to stay, but we will try to get things better.

Then today I had a follow up with my NS who upon seeing the MRI ordered from the pain doc, says the MRI looks perfect and things are great. When I tell him about all of my symptoms he says that maybe in a few weeks get an EMG, but at least give it 3 full months after surgery before to see how the progress is. He makes a point to say that he would send me to a different doc for the EMG (EKG? I forgot...duh), not my original pain doc.

So now what? The two doctors have told me completely different things. Who to believe? I have a call in to my pain doc to tell him what the NS said, and I have a call into my regular doctor to ask his advice. What do you think? I welcome any and all advice. Thanks for reading.

(Did I post this in the right section?)


  • Not trying to be smart but how many surgeries has the pain doc done? It's still early if your under three months. Maybe you could get a second opinion from another NS while your waiting. I hope things improve for you and wish I could be more help. Hopefully your personal Doctor can give you some good advice. I had been to several doctors before my surgery and I was not comfortable with them. I went back to my personal physician and asked him and he recommended another neurosurgeon that worked out quite well for me.
    Good Luck!
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    You are still very early in recovery and nerves that were affected prior to surgery do take time to heal. It can take many months. Personally I would go with what the NS stated. Wait a few months and then get a EKG if there are still symptoms. Those test are best if performed by a neurologist who specializes in nerve issues. matter of fact everyone of those test that I have had done have been done by a neurologist. Good luck
  • I think we are talking about EMGs and not EKGs? Anyways, EMGs only tell you if you have severe/permanent nerve damage. I just had the test done and nerve conduction testing and it came out normal. Even my doctor said that I could still have nerve damage and pain. I still have pain, but it's not from "severe/permanent" nerve damage. I guess that's good news.
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
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