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My neurologist disagrees with my neurosurgeon

loterollotero Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I'm not sure what to do??? I had a c spine fusion in 2008 to c4 through c7. I started getting numbness,pins and needles,and shooting pain in my right hand and up my arm. My neck is stiff as well as also having spasms and it seems to be getting worse. I contacted the surgeon that performed the fusion and had a MRI.After days of calling him for results he said I have issues with c3 and c4 to get ESI injections and that he felt surgery was not necessary he did not see any cord compression I disagreed and felt like he was not understanding the pain I was in so I went for a 2ND opinion to a neurologist.He looked at my MRI and did some tests on me including a carpal tunnel test.Based on his evaluation I did have a bigger problem then what the surgeon was suggesting and there was cord compression. He also said surgeons prefer not to mess with anything that already performed surgery on that maybe why he would not suggest surgery. I would like to fix the problem permanently and not have to go through injections all my life.Considering I will most likely have to get the surgery done at some point in my life I would rather not put a band aid on a broken leg or put off the inevitable I prefer the surgery. I have children and a career to consider. I can't be immobile every few months. I'm not sure how to get my surgeon to agree with us otherwise I have to go outside of my area and have another surgeon preform the surgery. Please any advise would be helpful.
Thank you


  • Welcome to Spine Health. :H

    I can imagine how frustrating it must be to be having problems with your neck, and a return of your symptoms (I am assuming they are the same as presurgery).

    Different surgeons have a different point at which they feel that surgery is necessary. I know this because I have had different opinions from different surgerons. I have seen 2 neurosurgeon consultants; one said we should 'watch and wait' for surgery and the other says we should do surgery (2 level C3/4 and C4/5 ACDF). I have also seen 3 neurosurgeon registrars; one said we should do surgery, one said we should 'watch and wait' and the other, last week, has said that she is not sure that my symptoms are coming from my neck and that I should be referred to a neurologist! I have also spoken to 2 other surgeons (one English and one American)about my symptoms and they both said that I should have surgery soon, as I have symptoms of myelopathy. My MRI scan does show compression and indentation of my cord at two levels, but no high signal.

    I am not desperate to have surgery!!! But at the same time, I do not want to be left with permanent nerve, or worse still permanent cord damage. I am having some very strange neurological symptoms, with my legs stiffening and my feet turning inwards, and around my abdomen sometimes causing my back to arch right up off the bed. This is definately not normal, and I worry that I will be left with this. I believe it is called spasticity, and have been told that it can be a sign of myelopathy.

    Can you get another opinion from another neurosurgeon?

    Perhaps it would be worth trying the injections to see if they gave you relief. I have heard of some people who have had months of relief of symptoms this way. I think it depends on what is causing the problems. I was sent to Pain Management, but the consultant said that as my compression was coming from bony spurs, no injection was going to get that pressure off the cord, so we didn't even try them.

    I don't think you have much chance of getting this surgeon to change his mind and agree with you and your neurologist. It might be worth telling him what the neurologist has said (not the bit about surgeons prefering not to mess with anything that had already had surgery!) and see what he says.

    I wish you luck and hope that you will find a way to deal with your symptoms soon.

    Do let us know how you get on and ask any other questions you may have.

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