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Appointment today with neurosurgeon

Today is the big day, I have my appointment at 2:45 with the neurosurgeon and hoping this time he will listen to me. I feel like I probably sound like a crazy person saying I actually want surgery. I am aware that it could potentially cause more problems, but I feel like its my last chance for relief. I am 36 years old and can't even contemplate the idea of ......for example......washing down my walls for fall cleaning........because I know that if I do, yeah I could push through the pain, but then I'd spend the next several days barely able to move from pain. I feel like a loser all the time because I miss out on things because I don't want to risk getting my back all fired up. For those that didn't read my other post I've suffered with this for 5 years, tried every possible alternative method, take muscle relaxers every night and can probably bleed motrin, tylenol and aleve pills. I can't take anything stronger because I am a nurse and need my brain unfogged when I work. Yeah I know not the best profession to choose when one has a bad back, but I love what I do. I switched to Home health thinking I wouldn't have as much heavy lifting, but I have this huge 20-something pound bag that I have to lug everywhere and I'm sure that is not helping the back either. Anyhow I know I am rambling now, but just hoping for some good luck with my appointment today.


  • tamtamttamtam Posts: 2,749
    edited 09/12/2012 - 3:50 AM
    Good luck on your appointment today. As a nurse I am sure you know the whoms who of doctors out there. Hopefully the surgeon will have some answers, that will get you past this hurdle. As far as the bad deal, do you have on on rollers? The make some nice pieces that are on rollers, the same as luggage, and could really help in the lifting aspect of things. Be sure you are prepared for todays visit, such as where the pain is, what kind and type. Also be sure your prepared with how it effects your daily life. All things that are important. While I know it is not easy taking the conservative route to be sure surgery is right for you, it is a must, so the surgeons truly know they have located the pain generator. So many times members have surgery and at the end of the day, the real pain generator was not located and the surgery didn't do anything to help their pain.

    Anyway good luck with the appointment today, stay focused and on track at your meeting. I am sure you know that with the surgeons you usually only get a limited amount of time, to get your point out, which is essential to be prepared. Good luck.
  • So found out that there is yet one more trick up the doctor's sleeve to try before jumping to the surgery option and that is RFA. I really hope that it works, basically they burn the nerves so the pain signal no longer reaches the brain. My appointment is next Wednesday, although I'm a bit confused as too how much they are doing that day.......from the sounds of it next week will just be some well placed anesthetic injections and if that makes the pain go away then they'll schedule the actual RFA appointment, but not quite sure cause I got two different answers.
  • Hi, Julie. I hope the next appointments continue to give you some answers. Your initial post her struck a chord with me because what you said about fall cleaning...I can't do any cleaning without being miserable for several days afterward. I did 15 minutes a couple weeks ago & was out of commission for 3 days. I do what I can to get through work each day and I'm pretty much worthless to anyone/anything else.
    C5-C6-C7, T3-T4-T5: disc protrusions, spinal cord & C6 nerve root involvement, tear at T3-T4
    C6 nerve root injection 10/12/12 and at-home traction
  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 118
    Julie, I have had a series of the RFA treatments and, unfortunately, that did not make any difference for me. If I recall correctly, my PMP hit my thoriacic area problems first and a few weeks later treated my lumbar points. The procedures were not painful other than the initial sting from going through my skin. I have also had the cyro treatments - probably about a year before the RFA treatments. None of those types of treatment worked for me and, of course, the doctors cannot explain why the treatments work for some people but then do not for other people. It seems we are pretty complex organisms!!! LOL :)

    Good luck with your treatments and keep us posted. With a little luck you will be feeling better. Jerome
  • brvsfan99bbrvsfan99 Posts: 113
    edited 09/18/2012 - 7:26 AM
    I've had RFA abut not cervical. Mine were at L5/S1. They worked for about a month and then the pain came back 5 fold with new symptoms. It's worth a try since everyone is different. Good luck. :)

    Single level L5/S1 360 fusion with 6 screws and a rod (10/29/12)
    Diagnosis: Grade 1-2 spondylolithesis, Pars Defect, L5/S1 disc tear anterior and posterior, DDD, spinal stenosis
  • It sounds like you have a surgeon who actually cares. I hope he turns out to be the one you trust and stick with, with 100% confidence.

    Prior to doing a RFA, they generally do a diagnostic nerve block. They'll go in and block the nerves that they plan on burning and if you are pain-free or (pain-less) - ok, if you just get relief - then they assume the RFA will work. If you get no relief at all, then the RFA is probably out. With a nerve block, you'd see relief in the first few hours/half day. You'll need to keep an hourly pain journal so they know if you're a candidate for the RFA.

    I know some that have had success and others that haven't. I did not in my lumbar, no never got the RFA prior to surgery. But then again, with spondylolisthesis and stenosis, the chances of it helping are fairly slim.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • Thanks everyone, just an update I went today and had the nerve block on my neck and just as I suspected it has numbed my neck and a little bit of the top part of my shoulder, but has not really touched my upper back pain. I asked him today if we could just go straight to the source of pain and he said that he wanted to try the neck first because 9/10 times that is the source of upper back pain especially since I have the bad discs in my neck. Well guess he was wrong.......so now I have to call tomorrow morning and report how long the pain relief lasted and where the pain was relieved. Hopefully then we can schedule the nerve block test for my upper back. I just hate all this waiting around, I want to go in there and scream "JUST FIX ME ALREADY!" I know it wouldn't do any good, but I am just tired of relief always being another doctor appointment away. And PinkSh00z....yeah I am the same with cleaning, about 15 minutes is my maximum, that is about my maximum with anything that involves bending or lifting.
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