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Burst Fracture @ T12, Surgery Recommended; Need advice on 2nd opinions, checking out my doctor



  • Be wary after any accident! I'm not in Seattle, but I do know some about accidents...

    I thought I was okay after my accident and it wasn't until months later when the pain kept getting worse that they started to find the broken stuff.

    No x-ray showed my broken ankle. It wasn't until they did a scope that they found that I'd been walking and doing PT on a broken tibia for 4 months,

    It was 6 months before my PT told me I really should have a back dr.

    Think back to your accident. What hotspots or even numb spots did you have on your body? My whole left side, particularly my shoulder and back on the left and my right heel all went numb after my accident - just for a few hours. I started taking Ibuprofen immediately.

    A month later when the ibu was killing my stomach and I quit taking it -- that's when the pain really hit.

    All those numb spots later proved to be broken spots. It's the adrenalin rush that protected me from the initial pain of my injuries. Then the ibuprofen masked a lot of the pain after that.

    My dear friend just got in an accident, They x-rayed her immediately. She was in the ER getting almost 60 stitches in her scalp. They found nothing broken. After 2 weeks of her arm feeling worse and worse they x-rayed again - what do you know - now they see that it's broken.

    My husband stepped off a curb funny. He got x-rays. Nothing broken, just a sprain. It didn't get better. 2 weeks later another set of x-rays, oh- hey, your ankle is broken. In a cast, it's still getting worse... 2 weeks later another set of x-rays, guess what, your leg is broken too!

    If it keeps hurting - keep getting examed - I don't know why but it seems that sometimes things just don't show up immediately.
  • You want to be looking for a fellowship-trained spinal specialist. This can be either an orthopedic spinal surgeon or a neurosurgeon who devotes his practice to issues of the back and neck. A spine fellowship is the highest level of specific training a doctor can achieve here in the U.S.

    I don't know anything about a burst fracture, but the fact that there are bone fragments pressing into the spinal cord are reason enough to follow through with a spinal specialist, have an MRI and find out what this means to your future health and whether it needs to be treated aggressively.

    Forum rules prevent us from listing specific names, hospitals, etc. on the public board. I will send you a PM with a suggestion.

    Good luck, and stay with this.

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  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Definitely see an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon and a Neurosurgeon (get a few consultations). A Trauma surgeon is good "in the moment" but not really the one you want to see on an ongoing basis.

    If you see an OSS just be sure he/she ONLY does spinal. My OSS is in a big orthopedic practice but there are two in the practice that ONLY do spine work.

    If pain is a big issue see if you can also get a referral to a reputable pain management practice as well. There are many out there but you have to be sure you aim for a reputable one. They can get you on a medication regimen that may help during the evaluation process. Also, after every test (MRI, xray, etc) get a copy of the films and the radiologist report (sometimes that's available a few days after the films). Thanks to technology you can often get these on CDROM to bring to each physician. And these are your results so keep them in your custody. I lug them to my surgeon each time but it's worth it.

    What state are you in?
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
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