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Should I get a second opinion?

I have bulged disc at L5-S1. I have a two level fusion at L3-5. I am currently experiencing sciatica and low back pain. I have seen a NS and he wants me to totally blow the disc out before he does anything. My infectious disease doctor thought his recommendation of blowing it out was totally weird. My infectious disease doctor prescribed me some gabapentin. It work for a little while. I have had several surgeries with this particular NS. Should I seek another opinion for an NS or ortho surgeon? I have never sought another opinion before because I feel like I am going behind my current doctors back. I didn't know where to post this. Any advice would be helpful.

Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.


  • RTgirl2011:

    Always get a second opinion. A "good" medical practitioner would expect an informed patient to do so. It improves the gene pool of doctors. If one is not as bright as the others, a second opinion is a free tutorial for that doctor. Everyone benefits from the experience (patient, doctor, and insurance provider).

    Think of it this way - would you not question (seek another opinion) if an auto mechanic recommended a $60,000 repair to your vehicle?

    I also struggled with this because I thought it was an insult to the surgeon's professional ability, etc. However, I have since learned the value of second opinions. They take time so you must endure a longer period of indecision, etc. but it is worth the wait. Peace of mind is so important regarding this issue. For example, what if you followed the doctor's recommendation (without a second opinion) and the outcome was unsuccessful? Would you not go through the rest of your life wondering if YOU made the correct decision?

    Get the second opinion and then evaluate the situation. There is wisdom in counsel.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    When something doest seem right or feel right, then you owe it to yourself to get a second and perhaps a third opinion.
    What you want to see is when two doctors have the same review and ideas of what should be done.

    But, please dont use the second or third opinion to get the answer that YOU want. Its much more important to get two doctors agreeing on your situation, condition and what should be done.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Yes, please do get a second opinion. I also recommend researching the doctor you go to for a second opinion. If possible make sure he's a specialist in your situation and google/yelp him! There are a few websites that have reviews of doctors too. I went to a second orthopedist to get his opinion before I decided to go ahead with my back surgery.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    hey Jen,
    I must agree with both Jim, Ron, & Deb. I have pending appointments to get both a 2nd & 3rd opinions, something I never did before because I had this mentality I would be sending a statement I didn't believe in my NS or I was second guessing him. Like Ron says I'd be looking for Dr's having similar diagnosis and plans on what needs to be done and how to go about it. As Jim said it does take time but at this point I have nothing but time, I've learned to have a lot of patience in this endeavor.
    Take care, hope all goes well.
  • radtechtam64rradtechtam64 Posts: 27
    edited 02/18/2013 - 3:21 AM
    YES!!!! I did, and I couldn't be happier! Went with an Ortho. Surgeon who did my fusion minimally invasive. The neurosurgeon was going to do it the old way and I would have been in the hospital 4 days at least. I was out in 23 hours and am 2 months out now. Doing well with residual sacral nerve pain, but still better than I was. Hardly could walk a block! Don't wait, you are risking permanent nerve damage. Try to find minimally invasive Dr.....makes a big difference in recovery time too. I live in a rural area, drove an hour and found this Dr. Totally worth it!!!
    radtechtam MIS L4-5 Fusion
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