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Neuosurgeon appointment

I am due to see a Neurosurgeon next week due to having stenosis at multiple levels in my cervical spine. Can anyone advise regarding what examinations I can expect at the appointment? Many thanks


  • ...mostly 'intake' information - getting my symptoms charted and the surgeon asking a lot of questions.
    I also had an MRI or some x-rays taken and I had a nerve test done to see if the numbing/tingling in the fingers of my left hand were coming from my neck or if it was carpal tunnel.

    There was a lot of discussion and I left with things to think about, Most importantly, with the information I received, I went and got another opinion.

    It was all pretty benign and I did make sure to take notes. It can be a lot of information to digest, so if you think you get overwhelmed by doctors or your situation, you may want to bring someone with you so they can take notes and hear what your surgeon is telling you, so you can discuss it later.

    Good luck with the appointment and please let us know what you learn.
    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    My first appointment with a nuero I took my sister with me. Thank god I did. Once he said the word surgery to me everything else was a blur. All I could think about after the word surgery was to get out of there! I didnt hear a word he said after surgery. I came out of his office scared saying no surgery no way. My sister sat me down and stated the facts the surgeon gave her, one being I was at risk for paralysis if nothing was done. I swear I didnt hear that from him. Your first appointment is very over=whelming so if possible take someone along
  • Thanks for the replies, they are very useful. I have already told my GP that my last resort will be surgery!
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 03/11/2013 - 3:43 AM

    I know that the first appointment with a surgeon is scary, but it doesn't necessarily mean you will have surgery. Most surgeons will only do surgery if it is absolutely necessary and will try all alternatives first.

    I avoided going to see a surgeon for 2 years and so by the time I saw him he said if I didn't have the surgery, I would end up in a wheelchair. I had a lumbar fusion about 3 weeks later. With my neck, I didn't wait so long. I am recovering now from a 2 level neck fusion.

    It sounds like you have already had an MRI if you know that you have stenosis at multiple levels in your neck.
    I totally agree to take a close friend or family member with you to the appointment. Four ears will hear more than two ears!

    The surgeon is likely to take your medical history and ask questions like when your symptoms started, what and where they are and how you can control them (pain meds, excercise, change of position). Also, the question I hate, which is can you rate your pain on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the worst pain imaginable. I suggest that you think about these things so that you can answer fairly quickly as your appointment will seem very short.

    Also take a list of questions you want to ask him. I suggest that it has two parts; one if he suggests surgery, and the other if he suggests other, more conservative treatment. If you read the information section on this website, about cervical stenosis you will be able to ask more useful questions.

    He will also be likely to test how well you can move your neck and the strength of your hands and arms. He will probably test your reflexes in your legs and feet too.

    Good luck and do ask any other questions you may have. Do let us know how you get on too. :-)
  • Brilliant advice - thanks so much.
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