Well I saw the Ortho Surgeon yesterday. I actually felt way more comfortable in that office then in my neuros office. I had seen this OS in February but I had just had surgery by the NS (foraminotomy C 3-4 4-5) so the OS would not comment to much and said it was to early after surgery.
...I thought the appointment went well. The PA came in first and explained right out of the gate about the results from the diskogram I had. No one from any docs office I go to ever sat down and explained what it meant. My Mom was with me and we were totally impressed with the way things were handeled. The PA went on to do an extensive bunch of neurological tests...more then my Neuro ever did. There was concern from the PA about the arm weakness I am having.
The PA went on the explain the ACDF 2 level C 4-5 and C 5-6 to me in great depth and detail. We were once again very impressed with the time that was taken to explain all this stuff to us.
When the Ortho Surgeon came in he asked and answered questions just like his PA had done and then did another even more thourogh(sp) neurological eval. All these little evaluations sent me into a whirlwind of pain and weaknes and burning and I expressed this to the Ortho. The Ortho was kind of shocked it seemed at the amount of weakness in the left arm. Both the Ortho and PA did tell me I needed the ACDF 2 level and that my symptoms do corralate with the positive discogram.
The ortho surgeon asked if I had a recent EMG since my Foraminotomy in Jan of this year. I said no but that I did have a positive one back in oct. SO they tracked that down and then said they wanted a new one.
Before I go any further. I want to say that way back a year ago right after the accident on July 10th 2007, I had inquired to my GP, my PM and my Neuro that I was concerned about the T-spine and shoulder. They finally after much begging from me did an MRI of the t-spine but never the shoulder. Everyone kept telling me there was no reason for it. I figured they were the Docs so they are not concerned so I wont be.
Well back to the appointment. The OS asks me if anyone has ever ruled out a rotator cuff issue and I told him what I just expained above. I was happy to hear he was ordering the MRI to rule that out. I hope they do not find anything else wrong with me becuase I have aready been through so much...before this car accident I was on workers comp for a wrist and elbow injury that ended up lasting 3 1/2 years and 4 surgeries later. I got all better got off all meds and was pain free!! Then 3 weeks later I am in this car accidnet with a new injury. I just don't know what I would do if there is an injury to that shoulder. I have always in the back of my mind wondered about it.
Anyway. I did like this Ortho better then my Neuro. I found the patient and staff right from the receptionist to the Dr. himself to be very friendly. I found that the detailed explainations of everything was so helpful. Everything on my list of questions was answered without having to be asked. The only things I asked were things that came up during the discussion.
Well If any of you all know anything about neck injuries...ACDF for
C 4-5 C 5-6 or for any shoulder injuries please share your stories with me.
I told the Ortho how I have been waking up in the mornings...I wake with severe burning from my neck all the way down into my scapula and out to the Bicep area of my left arm. I told him of how it take 15 minutes to get out of the bed and how the pain can make me cry. He listened more then my neuro. I actually feel like my Neuro has not taken the time to really listen to me like this practice did.
The ortho seemed extreemly concerned about the weakness in the left arm. He asked me which of my symptoms ae the most bothersome to me..if it was mostly neck pain?? I told him the constant burning in the neck and scapula takes a toll on me but that the arm numbness, tingling, and weakness is very scarey to me.
When I left I felt that I came away from the appointment with a better understanding of what is going on with my neck, and relief that they were going to look into the shoulder.
If there needs to be any further surgeries I feel this Ortho Surgeon would better suit me. Don't get me wrong the Neuro is the best in the field in this area, but I do not get the feeling that he really listened to me. I mean for months he was telling me he did not like to do fusions on people my age. I will be 39 in December. COme to find out at our last visit with him (the Neuro) ...I asked him flat out do you think I am in my 20's and he said he did :jawdrop: ..hello how could he think that when it is right there in my file. I understand why he could think that. People have told me that I do look young for my age and the fact that I am in college he may have just assumed I was in my 20's. But still...Give me a break-- that is just not cool it is right in my file.
Even my Mom and I after seeing the Ortho felt that the Neuro just kind of brushed off some of the complaints of the symptoms I have been having. He sent me for the Pain Psych eval for surgery, and was sort of shocked when he read the Pain Psuch thought I was a fair to good candidate for surgery!
I guess I have rambled and vented enough now. It was good to write/type about it becuase now I have something to compare the treatment from the neuros office too....the ortho's. The level of patient car and information was so much more dedicated to listening and informing the patient why would I want to go back to the Neuro.
This Ortho has a very long list of credentials and has done some schooling at U C Davis spine center in Califorina and he still is doing research in spine surgery and care with that university.
SO my friends. Despite waking up in severe pain, I am feeling like I am finally being taken seriously and that my care has or is going to be entering a new level of treatment! This is good. The only thing is I am still living in awful amounts of pain. I have a 12 step recovery event that I want to attend on Sunday for as long as I can stand it so the plan is to lay around and read and make jewelry today and tomorrow!!
Thanks for reading this long long post. I welcome all thoughts, suggestion, and constructive criticisim as long as it is done with love and compassion.