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A doctor who listens to you is the most important diagnostic tool.

Just thought I'd note my experience so that others may learn from it...

I had an L4-5 left posterolateral disc herniation that was successfully operated on in May 2014. In September 2014 I started getting horrendous bilateral burning pain in my hips, deep pain in the sacrum and thighs, milder pain in the front side of my left leg and numbness in the middle ties of my left foot. All the symptoms are worse when I stand up.

I went to ortho surgeon in November who didn't examine me but ordered a standard supine MRI. When I returned the following day, he stated that there was no anatomical reason for my pain. I asked about a standing/upright MRI but he dismissed the idea and sent me away with a fentanyl patch. He still hadn't examined me or probed my symptoms.

I decided to go ahead wth the upright MRI privately and the neuroradiologist identified a rehearniation, with annular tear, of the L4-5 disc.

I went back to the first surgeon. He refused to look at the upright MRI images, saying the ones he did were fine.

I went to a second surgeon. Same attitude. He didn't examine me, refused to look at the upright MRI images, saying the standard NHS MRI was sufficient, and sent me away with more painkillers. By this time I had spent three weeks in two hospitals getting pain under control with morphine and amitriptyline.

I went to a third surgeon. He listened to me, examined me, then looked at the upright MRI. In that order. He has diagnosed the rehearniation and collapse of the disc and has arranged a fusion surgery for me.

Moral of this story: you know your body best and if the surgeon doesn't talk to you and examine you first, you may not get a correct diagnosis.

Find a surgeon who listens!

L5-S1 herniation. Both knee meniscus tear. L4-5 herniation - 2 x nerve block injections. L4-5 discectomy. L1-2 nerve block injection. L4-5 reherniation - TLIF fusion. 2016: L1-2 and L5-S1 retrolistheses and multiple facet joint degeneration.


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