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Orthopedic Specialist vs Neurosurgeon

After lumbar spine surgery for stenosis and arthritis, my lower back seems to be healing ok, but my hip, leg, and feet are as bad as before surgery.. neuromuscular problems and symptoms persist.. like.. foot drop, numbness, weakness, pain, and instability in my hips, quads, knees, ankles, and feet.. all below the waist.. My back seems stiff and a little tender but more stable than from my hips down.. I am six months post laminectomy / decompression surgery.. I've been through months of therapy and exercise but seem to be getting weaker instead of stronger.. My Neuro says he is surprised at this lack of progress and I should be back to normal activity by now.. I just took another MRI this morning of lower lumbar spine.. Depending on the results, I am considering looking elsewhere for pinched or damaged nerves which becomes Orthopedic "territory".. Anyone have a similar experience? I just want to get fixed and back to normal.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,863
    Many times there is a very fine line between them.

    I've always like to break it down to simple terms:

    If the surgery requires working around/in the spinal root/nerve canal, then I go with the Neurosurgeon

    If the surgery is mostly bone related then the Orthopedic doctor would be my choice

    For my cervical surgeries, it was necessary to have both during the operation. One to harvest the bone chip from my hip and work with the neurosurgeon, who has already done his disc work, is to implant the bone and then secure it with screws and if multi-level with a plate
    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
  • Can't a nerve (or several) be impinged outside the spinal nerve root or canal? My symptoms all seem to be in the front part of my hip flexors and down the fronts of my quadraceps and the tops of my feet.. The buttox, backs of my legs and down to my heels seem somewhat normal.. It seems to me the challenge is finding where the nerves are being pinched or "impinged".. and taking steps to relieve that pressure.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,863
    so, I can't speak on the medical fact if that is a possibility.

    To the best of my knowledge and experiences over the years, the impingement comes from a disc pressing on a spinal nerve root, which is inside the spinal canal.

    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
  • terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
    edited 02/24/2014 - 3:51 PM
    my pain doctor recommended a neurosurgeon due to the fact that they tended to be more detail oriented. these were his words not mine. mine went through my side with the last fusion i had 3 years ago.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Ron is right, I was told neuro protects and ortho protects the
    Ron is right I was told by my physiatrist that neuro protects the nerves and ortho protects the bone.

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