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Angry and Frustrated

misterkatamarimmisterkatamari Posts: 51
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Lower Back Pain

Well I waited almost a month and I finally got to my appointment with a neurosurgeon. Drove an hour and a half to get there, felt like crap the whole way, and had to have other people drive me. All this to hear the same old lines and get the same lackluster treatment.

My lower back pain has been severe and debilitating for about two months now. I've lost my job and I've pulled out of Spring semester classes at my school. If I was on my own I'd be screwed, but I am lucky that I still live with my father who can support me. I can hardly do anything on my own now and the pain medications I am on take only the very edge off.

My primary doctor said there was nothing he could do as he wasn't specialized in this area, and so he sent me to a neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon then proceeded to act like my original doctor was stupid for his recommendation and then proceeded to tell me things I already knew. I told him my thigh and groin was numb and he told me I definetly had nerve dysfunction...but then also stated that I shouldn't put faith in an MRI. The whole reason I went to this doctor was to more easily get an MRI or test to see what changes if any have taken place in my spine.

When I mentioned the report my doctor read to me about degeneration of the discs in my lower back and bulging that had gotten worse in 2007, this neurosurgeon acted like the doctor was stupid and that MRIs are unreliable and often give incorrect reports. It also deeply angered me that he stated that I was 'too young' and so the abnormalities on the MRI were unlikely. He said that MRIs can show false positives on people with healthy backs, and my point is--I didn't say this--but that I obviously DO NOT have a healthy back. I am in severe PAIN. So obviously something is wrong, and if I have nerve 'dysfunction' why wouldn't he want a test to see what is up.

So instead he wants me to come back and have an EMG or something like that, where they poke you with needles and shock to test your nerve function in extremities. Which I think sounds sort of redundant. He just came off as very dismissive of me and sort of cocky.

I'm so tired of being told I am young, and therefore somehow that means I can't in any way have this problem. I obviously have the pain so why run around in circles instead of trying to figure out WHY I have this pain. This doctor didn't even mention the medication I am on, and if I should keep taking it or if I could try something else. Do they not understand that my entire LIFE is on hold right now? That I am in pain all the time? I'm so done with being afraid of whining, and I am so passed feeling bad about this. Now I'm just angry and depressed.

I made a doctor's appointment with my primary doctor for the 1st. I guess I am just supposed to sit around and wait for all this. I'm glad everyone just assumes I have all the time in the world...


  • Nothing worse than having a doctor not validate your pain. Some don't like it when a patient suggests a test be done such as an MRI. My rhueumatologist is this way. In order for me to communicate with him, I have to word my requests in a different way so that it seems he was the one to come up with the idea.

    I certainly empathize with you. I know how exhausting it is to be in constant pain, wait for a doctor's visit, get there and be so disappointed. I would suggest finding another spine specialist if your next visit doesn't go well.

    Best wishes,

  • Thank you Marianne.

    The thing is, I didn't even 'suggest' an MRI. My doctor did. My insurance declined it so my doctor sent me to a specialist because he thought it would be easier for the specialist to get one.

    Plus the neurosurgeon read the doctor's name that I had seen before and said 'oh you saw a nurse practitioner' like he was talking the guy down or that it somehow meant that the referral was stupid.

    It wasn't even that the doctor didn't validate something, it is that he just simply seemed disinterested and dismissive. I have to deal with this every day and the most he can tell me is I have some kind of nerve dysfunction and that I shouldn't count on an MRI to tell me anything. Well I certainly can't count on one if I never get one!!

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  • I can relate exactly to what you are going through. I went from Dr to specialist for over 2 years. My suggestion to you is to go to a Spine Center and see a Orthapedic surgeon. I had mRIs that didnt show anything and finally had a discogram that showed 3 torn discs.
    Dont get frustrated. I was on high doses of narcotics for the pain. I kept going till I got some answers.
    I had a Dr that sounded exacatly like your neuro. He asked me why I was there, that there was nothing to operate on...I was so mad..
    Try to find a Spine Center in a larger city, and see if they can find your problem. Good Luck! PM me if you want any names of where I went and finally got help.
  • That nerve test is what led my doctor to my spine as the source of the pain and weakness in my leg - I never had any really bad back pain so we were looking at other things as the cause of my neuropathy - the EMG led the neurologist right to the nerves that were being impinged in spine.
  • Well that's good.

    I'll pass it on to my general doctor and see what he says about it. I'm going toe keep my appointment, I just wish the neuro wasn't so weird. lol!

    Thanks everyone. I hope I can figure this out...
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  • :DI'm soooo sorry to hear of your experience. The guy sounds like an idiot. No one is too young to have back problems. The 16-year-old son of one of the people Board has back problems, and a friend of a friend of mine has a 14-year-old granddaughter who recently underwent a fusion due to scoliosis accompanied by pain. If I was in your shoes I'd find another NS. Best wishes and try to keep your chin up; each and every one of us can relate to what you're going through. Love, Essmoe
  • The i6-year-old son of one of the people ON THIS Board (My fingers were faster than my brain).
  • Thanks Essmoe.

    I would LOVE my back problems to just be muscular pain caused by the imbalance of my scoliosis, and I would love to be told that I can just exercise that pain away. The fact is, however, that I have been told that already and I've done everything I've been told to do...and I've only gotten worse. So then I finally have a doctor read my health chart and it feels like I might get some help, only to have every other doctor act like the report is stupid because I am 'too young'.

    Plus, I don't understand why they think I am too young to begin with. They act like seeing DDD and bulging is common on MRIs of 'healthy' people, but I wonder just how many of those people were 18-22. I doubt there's very many. I just feel like I'm getting the run around. Ugh. lol
  • If you read my sig lines ( below ) my 28 yr old daughter could write almost the same sig line ( minus the knee ). She has been like this for 5 yrs now - so "too young" I think not :(

    She had DDD, severe arthritis, herniations, bone spurs, etc etc...
    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.
  • Thanks Ms.,

    So sorry to hear about you and your daughter. I hope you both get some good care. :)
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