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would like to tell surgeon off

ileneiilene Posts: 140
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I mentioned how frustrated I was that when I call my surgeons office I speak to an office manager who always says my symptoms are normal. I have been getting tingling and pain on the opposite side of my arm then I had prior to surgery since I have been 8 weeks post op, I am now 12 weeks post op. Last week I dropped two glasses, and some other things, and was unable to walk as far as I have been, have also needed to take more pain medication so on Wed I called my surgeon's emergency line at 9:30am, and again at 2pm when I didn't get a call back. At 2:30 I got a call from the office manager questioning me on why I was paging the surgeon. (the office phone went right to the machine, telling you if it was a medical emergency to call a different number). I told the OM what was wrong, and how I wanted to speak to a doctor and not to her, she told me either my surgeon or someone else would call me back, she said she was going to give him the message right away. At 6pm no one called me, so I put a third call in. At 7pm I called my GP, and she put her own call into the surgeon to either call her or to call me (my gp knows me for a long time, and also knows that I don't call unless it's important, have gone thru a lot of medical problems, including radiation therapy). He called me at 7:15, annoyed for sure, but listened to what I said, on Thursday I saw a neurologist he sent me to. The neurologist did an EMG, and I had an MRI which I don't have the results of yet. The EMG showed that my symptoms are coming from a different nerve root, now I am waiting for the MRI results. I knew my symptoms weren't normal, but my surgeon wouldn't talk to me, he doesn't have a PA or RN I could speak to either. Well that is all history now. I'm glad that I'll be getting answers to my new symptoms, when I told the neurologist that I was concerned, he said how he too was concerned....I just hope it's nothing major. I have an apt with my surgeon on Wed. and am not sure what to say to him....nothing I say will impact on how he runs his office, so I will probably bite my tongue and not say anything...but I really would like to give him a piece of my mind. What would you do?





  • The last person in the world that I would want to irritate, would be the one doing delicate work on my spine. So unless you plan to go to a new neurosurgeon ...

  • I agree unless you are ready/able to switch I would say mum.... :$

    MAYBE you could ask him if there is an easier way to reach him ?????
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
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  • Yep, yep, & yep. Sounds about the way my surgeons office conducts business. Absolutely inhumane! My husband got so frustrated, he reported them to HR dept. @ the hospital. I was too scared to say anything, it's MY neck that's in their hands. All this bad behavior from staff came on AFTER the surgery was over. I had to go see another neuro for post op care. Now that it's all over, I have put word on the street, warning others not to go to him. Maybe something you could do afterwards. So sorry.
  • The neurologist the surgeon sent me to called me back (really did like this neurologist), any way he told me that the MRI showed that my C spine was ok, but that there was an artifact on the Thoracic spine that needs further investigation, so I am having that MRI on Wed. Can anyone tell me what symptoms go along with the T spine? I am having tingling on the pinky side of my arm, into the pinky and ring finger and pain in the upper arm. The other pain I am having in my back I thought was muscular, it extends from the upper middle of my back down to above my waist. I am glad that answers are close, and will take it slowly. As for telling my surgeon off, I want to, but won't, not till I don't have to see him again. As far as his office goes, I have worked with and for enough doctors that I know the office is doing what he wants them to do. His office manager is giving medical advice because he doesn't want to call patients back. As far as the service goes, they were very nice and was happy to be able to put my last call in as a third call....I just hope what ever is going on can be handled without surgery, because there is no way I am having surgery in the near future.

  • Count me out of the doctor worship/fear group. Respect is an earned reward, not a gift. Yes, I can respect someone with the persistence to do the years of medical school and further training for a specialty, but I also respect those who manage their lives without a medical degree and a seven-figure income. And respect has to go both ways.

    In the last two years, I've spent about six months in ICUs with my dad, who has COPD with asthma and emphysema, senile dementia and brain damage from a fall, and who had a quadruple bypass at 83 during which every possible thing that could go wrong did. That's all in addition to my own health issues. There are good doctors and bad doctors just like there are good cops and bad cops, good contractors and bad contractors. Going to medical school makes you A doctor, but not necessarily a good one, and being a good doctor doesn't necessarily translate into being a good person.

    My own cardiologist, for example, is a saint on this earth, but the senior partner in his practice is a giant putz. Both the partners of my dad's pulmonologist left a very successful practice to go back to working in a teaching hospital because his ego was taking up all the space in the office. The hospital staff calls him "Spanky" behind his back, and he's known for saying criminally insulting things to the hospital staff ("You're nothing but a West Virginia inbred idiot") and then daring them to report him because he'll claim anti-semitism and get them fired.

    If you think you are being abused by your doctor, ask yourself "Is this the same treatment he would give his wife or daughter?" If the answer is "No" then it's time to find a new doctor, and if you truly believe that your doctor would do something unethical during surgery because you've criticized him, it's time to do it today.

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  • HI Ilene

    SOrry to hear about your new problems. If I were you I would casually let the doctor know that it was very hard to get to him when you needed him. If he cares he will pick up on what you say - if not he will ignor you. If enough peeps say something it might make a difference to him.

    As far as T-spine that's where my problems are. There is very little info out there on upper thoracic problems. I was told that this is because it is very hard to injury this area of the spine because it is connected to the rib cage. I think it is also because surgery in the area is very difficult because there is so much in the way and often they have to cut ribs which is very painful and a hard recovery. Unless you are desperate most seem to opt out of surgery.

    My problem is at t1/t2. Generally the T1 nerve root seems to run down the inside of your arm to your finger tips. However I found some info today that says it can also be the top of the shoulder and down around the rib cage as a muscle type achy pain. RIght now my neurologist, orthopedist and 2 surgeons each have a different opinion of how successful surgery would be. Orthosurgeon won't even consider surgery at that site. Neurosurgeon says it is not that hard and will cure everything immediately. Recovery of the area is biggest concern because they go in through the back of the neck and have to move muscle etc.

    Have they told you where they think the problem is coming from? The EMG should have given a good idea.

    When do you have your MRI? I would really like to keep in touch. You will find that there are very few people on here with problems in this area.
  • Hi ilene,

    First of all I am so sorry to hear about trying to contact your doctor and I can sure empathize with what you are going through. I posted previously I had surgery on the sixth and had and anterior disectomy with fusion at c5 and c6 with pain on left side after surgery almost immediately started having pain on right side. I tried to contact the doctor monday morning the ninth and he was on vacation ended up in ER on early tuesday morning and I guess the orthopedic covering said to have me go home after they gave me pain medication wonderful. On Wens the 11th the doctor finally called me back and gave me prescription of cortizone pack which did help with the pain a bit because two percocets were not helping. I spoke to him briefly and he said I should come in sooner than the 23rd which is my next appt. I called the office the next day the 12th saying that I needed an newer appt and asking if putting my arm in a sling would hurt my neck due to the pain. Trying to make this short sorry but so furustrating and she said the doctor was in OR for two days !! I just said great and I called today left a message and no call back once again...Sometimes I think the office people are just too busy or the doctor is too busy but phone calls should be returned !!! The office manager should not give medical advice. Doctors are people just like us and they should treat people with respect. I do intend to tell the doctor how upset I am with not getting a call back if I could drive I would go to the office myself and tell them so. If you are upset I would address the situaion in a calm manner and let your doctor know how much pain you were in and ask him what would you do ??? I do hope you feel better soon and you are not alone when wanting to tell someone off !!! Corina
  • I have worked in the medical field as an echocardiographer since 1979, both in radiology and cardiology. I have worked with all kinds of doctors, both good and bad, and remember the ones that come in thru the patient waiting room 2 hours late on office day because he got off seeing a full office of people waiting for him. I have also worked with woderful doctors who were wonderful people too. I know it's the doctor, and not the staff...I know the kind of person this doctor is, and don't think me saying anything to him will effect him, because he truly thinks he is better then the rest of us, unfortunately.

    But getting back to me. I am most worried that the artifact seen can be a frament of bone in my spine that broke off during surgery. From my symptoms the nerve being affected is T1, but was told the artifact was seen on the spine...I wonder if it is on the cord...or hopefully something that is just an artifact and not there at all, which I really don't think, since my symptoms are real. The tingling is in my lower arm going into my pinkey and ring finger, the upper arm and shoulder of both arms hurt a lot. Prior to surgery the tingling was on the side of my thumb, my thumb being the worse, and my upper arm hurt in a similar way from neck down. As soon as the other side of arm tingled, I knew it had to be a differnt nerve. The pain in my back radiates down the spine, but my trap muscles are so tight, I think it cam be from that too and not the T spine there. I have had a nurogenic bladder since 2001 when I recovered from my lumbar surgery, but now time voiding isn't working, I have no rhyme or reason to when I go, which remains my biggest complaint. My MRI is on Wed, my post op visit is after the MRI.
    Cornia I am happy you are seeing your surgeon sooner...hope you get to the bottom of what is going on.

  • Hi ilene,

    Sorry to hear but it does sound like a different nerve is reacting due to your symptoms I hope the MRI will show something and your doctor will be able to help on the post op visit. Also they might send you for anothe EMG test which is not pleasant but will let you know if that nerve T1 is damaged. Please try and stay positive that is what I am trying to do...and let me know how things progress !!
  • I want the magic wand treatment please.

    Rina those EMGs are not necessarily accurate. I saw one article that said it was only a tool to find problems in some people and that it did not work in all cases. In my case I have a herniation pressing on the t1 nerve but the emg showed only a few boarderline results.

    So would someone please pass me the magic wand so I can make all of this go away?
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