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back surgery???

somuchpain24ssomuchpain24 Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:56 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
i have been in pain for 2 years i have alot of different problems with my back, i am now gettingpain in my neck and arm and shoulder wondering if this is from nerve in my lower back? in addition i have seen several surgeons, last surgeon I saw I just realized is not board certified, what does that mean and should I have a dr. that is not board certified operate on me???


  • I can feel your pain... I'm 28 and have been dealing with a lot of back issues in the last 2 years. Most of this year i have been out of work and in PT and lots of pain still. I'm going to go for a fusion asap, I cant not try to get my "normal 28 y old" life back! Any surgery is scary for most people but back surgery seems to be one of the most feared. If you have read up, found good doctors, and exhausted all other options... then go for the surgery, why not make an attempt if all else fails. I've never heard of lumbar nerve compression caused pain in the T & C spine (usually at the injury site and below) but that's not to say it's not possible, I'm no Dr! Board certified is always good, especially for something as complex as spinal surgery. But as long as you feel comfortable with the surgeon and they are respected in their field (and make sure they specialize AT LEAST 50% of their practice to spines.

    What kind of surgery are they recommending? Also are you forced to be very inactive due to the pain? I notice that the less active i am the more pain i get everywhere, especially in the rest of my spine above the injury. I sometimes have so much pain in my mid\upper back it bothers me almost as much as the ruptured lumbar disk...errrrrrr!
  • Hi there,

    If you are having issues with your arms/hands/neck, you might want to revisit the doctor and have them explore the cervical (neck) portion of the spine. It sounds like you had them look at the lumbar area (which is lower back) and that generally causes pain to legs/toes.

    Take a look at a dermatome map which will show you what I mean.

    Also, an orthopedic spine surgeon or neurosurgeon both are trained to treat the back. I've heard you want a fellowship trained doctor but not sure what this means.

    As for surgery, most doctors want to try conservative treatment before suggesting surgery. Surgery on the spine is a big deal and can be a slippery slope so while the decision is personal, do not take it lightly.

    Most doctors will listen to your symptoms - what is the pain, where is it, what level on a scale of 1-10 (though this is subjective), is it constant, do you have numbness, weakness, etc.

    I managed with back issues for 17 years before surgery was the only option. I had good doctors that recommended PT and worked with me on presription anti-inflammatories which did the trick to keep pain manageable.

    I agree with DMT683 that it's a double-edged sword. If I'm too active I hurt but if I'm not active, I get very stiff and almost feel as if I am getting worse.

    Walking is a great way to be active without putting too much stress on the body. Also, PT can help teach to you stretch properly which is also key to reducing pain.

    Anyhow, sounds like you should visit the doctor again for a check up and some options to help reduce the pain to a manageable level.
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  • All excellent points DNICE! And you are a trooper to hold off 17 years!! :) 2 years has been enough for me, though being a stubborn late 20-something I neglected my issues and worked a very strenous job despite the pain for WAY too long before the last straw in February. And as far as fellowship trained... that is when a Dr. after completing med school trains for a number of years more in a practice specailzed in their particular fellowship criteria; most definitely a good thing ;)
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