Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

I are confuse! 2nd opinion is so much different than the first

LA_runner_chickLLA_runner_chick Posts: 91
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I guess I need to blow off steam more than anything else: Last month, after going down a two-year long rabbithole of tests and treatments, I was diagnosed with a pars fracture at l5-s1, causing DDD, spondy, and a little bit of foraminal stenosis. The diagnosing doctor is an orthopedic surgeon, and he recommended a 360-degree fusion, with instruments, to fix me.
I just had a second opinion with a neurosurgeon who specializes in spinal disorders. He told me he questioned the initial diagnosis -- he can't see the pars fracture, would want to do more x-rays and a CAT scan of my back. Looking at the MRI,hearing my symptoms and reading through my case, he tells me that the DDD and spondy is nowhere near severe enough for surgery. He sees only minor evidence of nerve injury (I agree with him there; I think most of the weakness is being caused by some old scar tissue in my foot.)
Doctor #2 also has a reputation of being scalpel-happy, so I was surprised that he was advocating such a conservative course of action. While the doc is a UCLA grad -- and I understand that's the hot-stuff med school for spinal disorders, Doc #2 has nearly 25 years experience, seems to be well esteemed, very good reputation, etc.

(he is also telling me my SI joint problems are not the joint itself, but muscles in the area and he's recommending a shot with myofascial release massage)

So I am just out of sorts. I know the answer is to get a third opinion.

But I am confused. So tired of seeing doctors. So tired of not knowing what the hell is wrong with me.

Know what I'm talking about?


  • LA Runner Chick:

    I believe you have figured it out. It is spelled and pronounced California! If you head east you will discover a gradual improvement in sanity!?!

    Sorry, the left coast has always amazed me.

    Sometimes a THIRD opinion is warranted. This may be one of those situations, in spite of the hassle factor. It's your back, your pain, your life, and your signature on the check that pays for treatment.

    I am laughing at myself as I type this response because I have as yet to get a second opinion regarding a recommended surgery (pedicle subtraction osteotomy). Much easier to give advice than it is to apply it to our own lives. However, that is one of the benefits of this forum - advice.

    Good luck, and seriously consider moving east. All the gold in them there hills has been discovered.
  • I do think that a third opinion will help with your final decision. Surgery isn't for everyone. I had surgery and although it fixed some of my issues, I am still left with muscular problems that might have stemmed from my spine, but has not been resolved. So in many ways, I'm back where I started.

    Try the conservative treatments first and see if things improve before going under the knife. Sometimes healing can take longer than anticipated if you are very active. From my own research, surgery seems to only fix radiculopathy and not guaranteed to fix pain not related to radiculopathy. I wish you much luck in your search to rid the pain and get back into running! I'm still hoping to be able to run one day. :)
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • It is not uncommon to have two completely different medical opinions. Which is why setting a third opinion is not a bad option. Of course either doctor could be wrong. I am a firm believer in testing all your options before heading for surgery. Of course the one thing, for sure, they need to know is the pain generator and if they don't know that, well no surgery in the world is going to help your issues, and that is the last thing you want. As far as the nerve damage they are speaking of, what does a emg say?

    AS far as doing injections have you already tried some injections and whom did them, maybe they could shed some light if they will help? But bottom line is I do encourage you to keep exploring, it is not as if the other surgeon is going to take the surgery away, unless he is knife happy. Surgery is something you want to use as a tool of last resorts. Good luck and keep us posted on what path you take. Remember it is your body, and you know what is going on.
  • for all of its downfalls, I love my city! In addition to plenty of sunshine, amazing tacos, and a surprising amount of natural beauty, there are some top-notch doctors here.

    Right now, I am on an HMO -- good hospital, but maybe not the best. I can switch to a PPO during my company's open enrollment -- which is in October.

    I have been thinking about getting a 3rd opinion from one of the many highly-rated doctors in my area, but the cost is like WHOA. Up to $1,400 for an office visit (since my insurance wouldn't cover).

    But you ARE right about this: it is my life, my future, my decision.

    I'm just scared to get a 3rd opinion and have it be so different than the first two -- when I got the initial diagnosis, as horrible as it was, at least I felt relief -- now I knew what was wrong with me. But with the second opinion, positive as it was, back came that anxiety.

    We're too young to live with so much pain and so little hope.
  • One of my newly discover bad discs is the cause of my leg pain. This is now known via the discogram my new neuro ordered when I first went to him to discuss my 3rd opinion.

    They are not fun, but I can't say enough about getting one. The disc that is causing all the leg pain is mostly white on an MRI vs the usual black.

    Exhaust your diagnostics before cutting. As a result of not knowing what I know now I am now looking at a revision and two more levels :-(

    Goodluck :-)
    Jun 2011 -TLIF @L5-S1
    Mar 2012 -NonUnion @L5S1
    May 2012 -Multi Level Discography
    July 2012 -XLIF 2Cages @L3L4/L4L5
    Aug 2012 -All New Hardware @L34L45/L4L5/L5S1
    Mar 2013 -FBSS = Pain Management until they figure it out.
Sign In or Register to comment.