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Neurosurgeon no help post-surgery

emilyc03eemilyc03 Posts: 41
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi All! I am having a dilemma as to what kind of doctor I need to be seeing. I had 3 surgeries with a neurosurgeon (my last being a L3/L4 and L4/L5 fusion). I am having a lot of new back pain, and new numb areas in my legs. Because I am not in need of another surgery my neurosurgeon really won't do much for me. I am also seeing a spine specialist, but he only wants to do injections (which I am not even really comfortable with.) I know there is something going on with my nerves, but what kind of doctor would be the best for back pain and nerve pain without being surgical? Any advice would be great, as the pain/numbness have really become debilitating again and my quality of life is spiraling downwards...just looking for the right kind of doc to help get me on the right road!


  • sounds to me like your ns doesnt think its much to it? what did he tell u? i would be asking my ns alot of questions about spine, nerves, etc.. u probaly have asked your ns similar questions. maybe your spine specialist is tring to do the best for u? i wish u luck in finding a sucessful solution to your pain and numbness.
  • If I were you I'd try to find a good Neurologist. Not only are nerves their specialty but they are excellent diagnosticians. I absolutely adore my neuro and I know that I would be in much worse shape if it wasn't for her.

    I hope you get to feeling better soon,
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  • Yeah I agree with the other with a NS if you think its nerve related. Of course there are a few tests to see exactly where the nerve pain is coming from.
    I don't blame you for the injections. I perfer not to have them again either as alot of them mask the pain and we have to have them over and over. Just my opinion.

    So if not happy with your current NS. I would seek out another one. Or even another Ortho. I mean there is the best of the best in both fields. The good ones will want to do some testing before they start injecting you with stuff that they don't even know will work or not.
    So you can find out exactly what spot is causing the pain.
    Hang in there O:) O:) O:) O:)
  • try for another Ns or find an ortho. Most Drs even if they are surgeons should still see you as a patient and advise on the best treatment, tests etc.
    Just because you may not be in need of surgery does not mean you cant see them.
    Hope you get answers soon.
    Blessings Sara O:)
    Oh we have rehabilitation Drs here in Australia and maybe you have something like that there as well. Check with your local Dr.
  • I had the same situation after my (3)surgeries. I think this is common with surgeons. However, I would suggest a Physiatrist. "A Physiatrist is a medical doctor who has specialized in the area of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R). PM&R is the field of medicine that is primarily involved in improving the functional ability and quality of life of people with congenital or acquired disabilities. A Physiatrist not only manages the rehabilitation of people with strokes, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and other severely disabling conditions, he/she also is involved in taking care of individuals with work injuries, sports injuries, amputations, or chronic pain." I have been seeing one since April and he has given me a lot of options, some of which have greatly improved my quality of life. I had a lot of spasms and thought it was nerve pain but found out it is actually myofascial pain (trigger points). They were causing numbness and tingling because the muscles were so tight. I am getting injections with Botox in the trigger points and Active Release therapy and I am now functional where before I wasn't sure how I would get through the day. Your problems may be different, but PM Drs. can treat a wide variety of problems, which is good because the other Drs. just focus on what is in their speciality. Good luck!
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  • Emily you said your issues are non-surgical but has your surgeon made any attempt to find the source of your continued pain? Do you at least have a decent pain management doctor, not just for getting relief but for maybe looking at some additional tests. Usually the best tests to look at nerve issues are myelogram and EMG's; and of course not every problem needs a surgical intervention. Good luck to you!
  • So what a Rehabilitation Dr does in Ozzie is what a Physiatrist does in the US.
    SOunds like that would be worthwhile for you as they should manage pain as well.

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • Thanks all for your advice! I did have another appt with the NS today...he was understanding but still says there is nothing apparent that is causing continuing problems. I did find a physiatrist and have an appt. tomorrow, I will keep you updated!
  • I am 12 mos post fusion (L4/L5 L3/L4). Before that I had 2 laminectomy/discectomies in the same areas. According to MRIs/Xrays my bone did fuse. I am concerned that I am now post op over 12 months and am still taking pain meds.The surgery relieved many of my symptoms (I had loss of bladder control, and loss of left leg function, which are both normal now) the pain is still what gets me. The doc told me before surgery there was no guarantee my pain would be resolved, and that it may even be worse. I went back to work at 6 months post op and consider myself to be leading a pretty "normal" life considering the back problems, but I am taking 4-6 10mg Norco's a day and still need a muscle relaxer to sleep once or twice a week. I am only 26 and am really concerned what this is going to do to my body over the long-term, however it is allowing me to lead a productive life where I am working full-time (when I am do not take pain meds I am DONE by 11am from work and need to lay down or sit in my zero-gravity chair because I can barely walk!). Does anyone have any suggestions for alternate pain management other than narcotics?? I have asked about the spinal cord stimulator, but because the doc doesn't really know where the pain is still coming from he doesn't think that would work. I am also taking 600mg of neurontin.

    Thanks for any advice, I love these boards!!

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