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neurologist or orthopedic surgeon

twizttwiz Posts: 6
edited 06/16/2014 - 3:53 PM in Chronic Pain
I'm sorry if I am postong in the wrong spot. This forum is a tad overwhelming to me (but filled with great info).

I have multiple herniated discs (1 cervical, 1 thoracic....or is it 2 lumbar?) as a result of an accident 4 months ago. There is nerve impingement and compression. In addition, I have degenerative issues and stenosis(?). I initially saw a neurologist after getting the mri results. I was to continue with pool therapy and move to land when ready. Also continue massage and chiro. His next available appt was 3 months out. I have another month and a half to wait. :(

Though there is some improvement, I am obviously faaaar from being able to do my normal activities. Often times daily living activities cause a great deal of pain. I'm in the process of trying to find another full time job. I was let go of my other one 2 weeks after the accident. I'm really struggling with whether or not I can do the kind of work I have done in the past, due to the pain.

A care provider has suggested I see an orthopedic surgeon. I'm confused because I thought the neurologist could offer similar tx, minus surgery. I also thought the neurologist would deal with nerve issues. Would it not make more sense to wait until I see the neurologist again before switching to a different specialist? aside from determining if I am a c andidate for surgery, how would an ortho's tx be any different?

I know there is information on this site as to what each specialist does. My research shows there is so much overlap, that I don't understand what the difference between the two would be at this point.

Thanks for anu guidance or more elaborate explanations.


  • Welcome to Spine Health........it takes a little bit to find your way around the forums.......but the basic outline is the pain related forums are broken down into Chronic pain, Low back pain, SI joint pain, Sciatica/radiculopathy, and upper spine pain....then you have the treatment forums, where Pain medications, other pain management treatments, injections, back and neck surgery, recovery, spinal cord stimulation, are all located.....
    In the conditions section, we have a forum for conditions not otherwise listed, stenosis, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and a few others .
    You will find your way around and you can always ask one of the moderators for assistance if you need to by clicking on the PM button under one of our names.
    To answer your question, the choice between type of surgeon is usually personal preference. I tend to think that when it is an anatomical /alignment issue that an orthopedic spine surgeon is the best option, but when there is spinal canal damage or severe nerve related pain, then a neurosurgeon who specializes in the spine is the best option. I personally consulted with both, before undergoing surgery.......
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