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Starting all over again - New Neurologist: What do I ask?

QuiltinouslyQQuiltinously Posts: 152
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi All,

After my one year anniversary of a ACDF C5-6, it is officially a failure. It fused thankfully, but I am no better off than I was a year ago. My surgeon is frustrated and so am I! At my request, he is referring me to a new neurologist.

What should I ask this doctor? I plan to take my history and latest MRI. The pain, weakness, & numbnesss up and down my right hand, arm, shoulder and neck are still there. In fact, I think it is worse than before surgery - it's been gradually worsening over the last year. I plan to take my husband if for no other reason, I'll have proof (a witness) that I'm not faking it for meds like one doctor accused me of last year. Don't you just hate this merry-go-around ride? It never stops!

Any advice?

Thanks in advance,


  • I'm so sorry that you're still in pain after all this time. I think that neurologists are much better diagnostitions that surgeons are and that you're taking the right step in finding out what the problem is.

    The new neuro can run many tests to find out where the nerve pain is coming from, if it is nerve pain at all. He/ she can also look at the MRI from a fresh perspective and without the blinders that surgeons often have. After my first surgery went wrong I simply took the MRI to my neuro and had her look at it without saying a word to her. She nailed the diagnosis.

    Go in and be upfront. Don't worry about looking like a drug seeker. You're in pain and you need help. Sometimes your spouse can give the docs a perspective that you can't as well, they can explain how different you are, the things you can't do anymore etc.. Ask questions about what can be causing this even after a successful fusion. I find that for me, writing down all my questions and symptoms before hand really helps because I forget when I'm there!

    I really hope this doc can help you. My neuro has been my strongest advocate in this battle of mine and I don't know what I'd do without her. I hope this doc can be that for you.


  • Hi Eydie,
    I really appreciate the time your took to reply. Your comments and advice are what I needed right now. I guess some bad experiences with two other specialists and I'm leary going to this one.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!
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  • sorry for having to find another ns. what i do for doc appointments is make a list and add questions and concerns i have to it for about 2 to 4 weeks before the appointment. i have found this system to work for me and sometimes i even forget to ask a question that is on the paper in front of me. i wish u luck.
    God bless all
  • Just curious, can you still quilt? I have found that quilting and neck issues just don't mix.

    Are you seeing a neurologist or another neurosurgeon? I think it is important to see a neurologist to get a proper diagnosis at this point, and then a NS down the road if you need further surgery. I had no idea that a neurologist and a neurosurgeon were different, but they are completely different.

    Good luck to you, and I hope you are able to get some help.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347
    your doctor. Spine-Health provides a detailed list of 38 questions you can ask your doctor about surgery. Since you have already had surgery and are having problems, some of the questions may not pertain.

    Click on FAQ which is on the Forum Menu bar.. Scroll down and you will find an item 38 Questions to ask your doctor.
    Click on that and read the information.
    Hopefully that can give you some additional insight.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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  • Hi again,

    First, yes, I still quilt. But I do not make as many and I can go for weeks without touching my sewing machine which is really hard for my creative personality. I have one that I'm working on for our guest room and it's in the cutting stage.

    Thank you for letting me know about the 38 questions to ask doctors!!! Very helpful and I didn't even know it was there. You're an awesome Mod!

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