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Just had my first Neurosurgeon Appointment, and now I'm worried and Confused

shintonicasshintonica Posts: 1
edited 06/22/2015 - 4:56 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Good Morning All!

I'm new and this is my first post, so here's some info about me. My name is De, I am 30(young for this, I know) and i was diagnosed in February with 3 throacic bulges in T6-7, T7-8, and t9-10. I also have a large herniation at T8-9 that went from abutting my spinal cord to more recently causing myelopathy(sp?). I injured myself at work so this entire process has been really slow going. I injured myself in dec of 2014, so it's been 7 months of the back pain and sleepless nights. I have worked my way up to vicodin(7.5/325mg) for the pain and even though it hasn't been too helpful, I'm nervous of increasing to something else. The pain helps remind me not to do things that could make my situation worse(bend, twist, lift, too much force, etc.)

My first appointment with a neurosurgeon happened about a week ago. Before that all I had seen was a physiatrist who only gave me pain meds and physical therapy(which hasn't remotely helped because the PT admitted she had no idea how to help me).

Today I start PT for a third time with a different company so hopefully it will help. Can you recommend any exercises or types of PT that has been known to help Thoracic herniations so I can talk to my new PT about it when I go in?

The neurosurgeon said the only way to fix me would be a fusion. He said he can go in through my back, drill into the lower vertebrae and remove my entire disc through that hole. Then I would have bone placed where the disc was and get 2 metal brackets on my vertebrae for stability. Has anyone had this done? What are my risks? Could it possibly make everything worse? Is the pain after surgery(immediately after) way worse than the pain now? What are possible outcomes if I say no to surgery(could I get worse/paralyzed)?

What would life be like after surgery? I work a very physically demanding job and I'm wondering if I'll be able to go back to it.

Because I haven't had a lot of other treatments tried first, should I try some other less scary treatments before going the route of surgery?

I realize I gave like 20 questions here so please just answer what you can or atleast just talk to me about your surgery experience if you've had this done.

Welcome to Spine-Health

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong,

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
    - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
    - Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
    - Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
    - What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are
I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways its like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then its up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

I think if you start to read these forums you will see that everyone would suggest going the conservative route first. Try various treatments to see if there is any improvement. Surgery should always be your last option. But as this section indicates, this is my personal opinion. The decision in having surgery is very personal and needs to be between your doctor, yourself and your family. There are medical situations that dictate that surgery is required as soon as possible.

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 06/22/15 10:57 est


  • Answer any and all questions you have regarding surgery, specific to your case. He should also go over alternative treatments if they are an option in your situation.
    The risks, benefits, likely outcomes are based on your particular set of spine issues, so you really need to make a list of questions and concerns and sit down with him face to face and discuss them.
    In the FAQ section there are some questions you might want to ask when meeting with a surgeon that you should check out.

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