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Diskectomy Surgery - Out Patient?



  • Thanks, I just remembered something I forgot to mention.

    My 1st Neurosurgeon, recommended "Disk Replacement" in 1-2 years. NOT a Microdiskectomy.... a YEAR ago...

    2nd Neurosurgeon recommended the SAME or a Spinal Fusion
    NOT a diskectomy.

    MY INSURANCE Company would ONLY approve a Diskectomy! Said
    I didn'y meet their Criteria for the spinal fusion.

    Both Doctors said this would only help with my LEG pain.
    we'd have to do spinal fusion for BACK pain.

    I decided to get rid of Leg pain then hopefully back pain next year....?

    Now I still have both, hoping leg pain goes away after swelling goes down some more.

  • I think you need to try to find a pain management doctor. The way your doctor is treating you is unacceptable in my book. In your 2nd post you said that your surgeon "won't let" your primary care physician interfere? How does your PCP feel about this? I would think he/she would be offended, actually. After all, your PCP is not a child .....

    I would keep pushing your PCP to give you something. Even a Tramadol would probably help you at this point.
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  • Thanks Again,

    Am trying to locate a different NeuroSurgeon and will try
    a pain management clinic.

    Unfortunately NEA controls all of above and they have been
    my problem from the start. Bunch of pompous jerks quite honestly.

    MY PCP was told by my NeuroSurgeon that HE will handle
    my pain meds. PCP has always treated my pain issues.
    I am a little confused too.

    I will talk to all of Above today IF they are working today.
    Thanks Again for your support.
  • I am sad and ashamed at the medical profession of which I am party of - I am an ED nurse and have been in the profession for quite sometime. I am not given you medical or legal advise here - I am just shocked that you were treated this way, and that your pain is being dealted with inhumanly. I guess I do not understand how it is dealt with in your part of ths country either.

    My prayers for you...If it was me, I would get on MD or ER in a major metropolian area that is cutting edge that will listen. And I , or my family or close friends would be documenting everything in case something goes wrong.
  • Countryman . . .a fusion isn't something to take lightly. It is major surgery which is how I can understand the insurance company not wanting to approve the fusion. In a way, it was a blessing b/c if you had this doctor do the fusion, the thought is frightening.

    It sounds like you will have to travel a bit to get to a more qualified situation but worth it for your back. I am in a populated area and am still going to a further hospital b/c I am more confident in the approach. My first surgery was 40 mins away and I'm going in for revision microD to another hospital about 45-50 mins away. There are several hosptials 20 mins away but I'm not comfortable with the doctors related to those.

    However, the really recommended surgeons are out of a Hospital that is about 1 hour 15 mins. In my case, I just don't need to travel that far (and it's longer in traffic). But in your case, that sounds worth it.

    I think you will find some people that went 2 hours b/c of similar situation.

    I wish you luck. Your doctor seems to have an ego issue and a power trip issue. He should be working with you and not as though you are a subject. You are not a 'broken computer' in which he is fixing. You are a human being.

    For now, I would nurture the relationship you have with your current doctor as best you can. Be forceful but courteous. YOu need him until you find a more suitable doctor.

    1 - can your insurance company help you locate a doctor? My company has a health coach hotline in which you tell them the problem, they locate 3-4 doctors that have good reputation, no law suites, certain criteria.

    2- can you contact your insurance company customer care and ask them how they select doctors to be in network? Sounds like this guy is in network b/c there is no one else near by. But they should be aware of how you are being treated.

    3 - You might want to read on NeuroSurgeon vs. Orthopedic Spine specialist. While I am switching to a NS, I started with an ortho-spine person who is great (but unfortunately out of network). It might give you a few more options.

    4 - Have you asked your Primary Care his/her thoughts on how to proceed? I have an excellent relationship with my PCP and he offered advice on switching doctors. He knows I have to switch due to insurance. But some of it is b/c I just felt I needed slightly different approach. I wanted to switch to my surgeon's partner but can't do that and since he's out of network anyhow, it was just a better time to find a new doctor. My current surgeon has been willing to work with me on price, 2nd and 3rd opinions, and more. I only had to press him a bit on the fact that I thought something wasn't right but he agreed to MRI. So he was only slightly dismissive to my pain. But for me, it was part my fautl b/c I have a high tolerance for pain and tend to 'down play' my pain so I don't think I was being clear enough.

    I hope you can get your pain under control.
    From what my experience was on microD was limited sitting (no more than 5-10 mins). Lie flat on back or if on side, put pillow b/t legs to keep shoulders/hips in alignment. Ice your back for 10 mins about 3 times a day. Do not bend, twist, or lift. If a hot shower helps, go for it. I found that the ice was better and hot shower only helped leg pain. I will say that by week 2 the incision pain was gone for me. I just never got better from herniated disc.

    I would definitely just watch threads similar to your area (so if you are Lumbar . . .look for posts about Lumbar surgeries or L5-S1 or L5-L4, etc) and you can learn about how tough a fusion can be and what risks there are as well as how other people are approaching doctor selection.

    We are all here to help eachother through our individual experiences
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  • I am truly sorry to hear that any physician would worry about pain meds abuse right after surgery. Sounds like your Dr has a god complex. Whatever his issue is, YOURS in more important. I might suggest contacting your insurance to see if they have Nursing after care contact etc. My insurance does, they ask how I am, my symptons, who is looking after me etc. I would also highly suggest keeping complete records of pain levels, dates, time, calls to this Drs office, their responses, everything you can record and then REPORT him to the Medical Board of Ark. FILE A COMPLAINT against him. This is not about long term care, this is max 6'ish weeks after surgery. IF HE IS going to treat you like sh*t, give it right back to him.

    I am sorry If that was a rant and for harsh language but after 3 yrs of Dr's telling me how I feel. This just makes me super angry. I am so happy my new ortho is the man he is. He has never made me feel the way your surgeon has done you. IT's more than unethical, it is cruel.

    Best of Luck and please keep us posted.
  • Thanks,

    Have a few relatives and friends in the medical field
    and at Insurance Company.

    They understand and have given me advice but I wanted
    to talk to others in my situation too.

    Hopefully I will find a better NS after the new year,
    plan to see my PCP too and get his input.

    If this NS thinks I am gonna rollover and take this
    abuse in the long run he's got a suprise or 2 coming.
    I will just seek legal advice before I do anything
    that he could hold against me.

    Right now I have to deal with the pain and lack of
    relief that the surgery has brought so far. And find
    a NS that can actually help me in my situation.

    Have a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

    God Bless and treat others as you would treat yourself
  • Thanks for your advice,

    I understand the dangers of Spinal Fusion but see a dark
    tunnel ahead.

    Obamacare is likely to go thru and my employer will dump me
    in the pool with the rest of the country.

    I was hoping to get ALL my issues fixed at once before things get worse in my back and or in our country.

    Maybe it was a blessing that HE didn't do the Fusion. I'll
    never know because he will NEVER touch me again if I have any say in the decision.

    My employer has gone self insured so our coverage and such has gone down the TOILET! Everyone is complaining, they deny most everything and apply all to deductible etc...
    Guess the more they save the bigger their CUT??

    I appreciatte any and ALL advice, just trying to keep my
    emotions under control when responding. You might say this experience has given me a negative outlook on many things.

    Just glad to be alive, can still walk to. Should be grateful
    since it was a minor surgery compared to most and there is always someone worse off than yourself.

    God Bless Everyone,

  • Thanks for your response,

    I understand the anger thing, just trying to keep it under
    control and be as positive as possible.

    Also hoping to find the right Doctor to handle the rest of my recovery.

    He ain't off the hook yet, will pursue justice later if that
    is possible around here in hickville.

    Just looking for advice from those who have more experience than I in this situation.

    Have a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year...

    God Bless you & yers...
  • you aren't alone in your pessimism about the government healthcare or your situation. My microdiscectomy failed and for quite sometime I was negative thinking my doctor didn't give me strict enough advice but looking back, he did ok. The surgery didn't work.

    I was trying to get my 2nd surgery in this year before my insurance goes to the dumps. No luck but I guess fortunately when this happened in August, I started saving knowing that things were going to go belly up in so many ways with Healthcare insurance.

    I will tell you that everything is negotiable. Doctors want their money and they know the insurance companies have it. With the new healthcare bill, they'll have more of it. I would try to focus on finding the right doctor (hopefully in network) and if you struggle with deductable or max out of pocket try to work with them. Most will work with the patient as they need business too.

    I am not in 'hickville' as you call it but all that means is I have a lot more doctors to confuse me (LOL). So the best power I found is to leverage this board and other sites to read, come back and ask questions, visit several doctors and just because 2 say one thing, it doesn't mean they are right. I've found that a 2nd opinion doesn't have to be your last.

    Typically you are with your surgeon for a certain period post op. It doesn't mean you don't start searching for a new doctor in case you need him/her down the line but you also try to get the most information from the one who did do your surgery.

    Even if he has an ego issue, then tell him you need his wisdom to explain things to you.

    I can try to help you as best possible as I just had my MicroDiscectomy back in August and it didn't work. I was a statistic and that put me up for 2 schools of thought - Revision vs. fusion.

    I'm trying revision and am really hopeful that the 2nd time is a charm.

    You are allowed to be negative . . .especially with folks like us. But like you said, balance it with the positive . . .I have done the same thing -> at least I can walk and this is treatable.

    This group is all about support . . .so you got it!
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