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Ortho Or Neuro

Kara1623KKara1623 Posts: 20
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
Thank You for letting me join this group I have three discs in lumbar spine that has DDD I also have two bulging discs. I have been two workcomp doctors who say it's just a strain. I have also went to my doctor who dx'd me as having DDD and Bulging discs but all three doctors say I can't hurt that bad since none of them show that they're touching any nerves in the mri. I'm thinking about seeing a ...neuro. I just want to know could there me nerve damage that couldn't be picked up on a mri and which doctor worked better for you with DDD a neuro or a ortho not talking about sugery wise since I'm not going that route. Thanks plus I'm in severe pain and about a month I seem to relize that my legs sometimes go numb I know I've fallen 3x in a month because of this issue


  • first 3 surgeries were done by neurosurgeons the 4th was an orthopaedic surgeon. i personally didn't notice a difference because all had specialized training in spine surgery.
  • My last 2 surgeries were done by neuro. My internist's former partner strongly urged me to let a neuro operate on my back

    Also, a chiropractor who used to treat my back told me if I ever need spinal surgery to be sure and go to a neurosurgeon because they are more protective of the nerves in your spine.

    Hope this helps you.
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  • i would suggest neuro. i have not undergone surgery, but my ortho also told me that my pain was an "easy fix". a year later, im in worse pain then before and have had 3 injections. my DDD is at 2 consecutive levels in my thoracic spine. BUT my neuro definiately listened to me so much more then my ortho did. because of my age, they wont fix mine ): so now, im just seeing a pain management specialist every couple of weeks. he instantly suggested lyrica(used in fibropyalgia patients for nerve pain) because he knew that my pain was much worse then images portrayed. my spine is very sensitive to the touch as well as shooting pains through my ribs, which is a sign of nerve irritation. so i would DEFINIATELY go with neuro. in my opinion, they look out for you more than the ortho.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,434
    regarding which is the best doctor to perform your spinal surgery. Orthopedic surgeon vs Neurosurgeon.

    The first thing that should always be considered is having a surgeon that you have total confidence in and trust. That is so very important.

    For my 7 spinal surgeries, I had one done by an Orthopedic surgeon, the rest were performed by the same Neurosurgeon. I really can't comment on the Orthopedic surgeon because that was in 1978, when the surgery was a bit different.

    My own feeling is that when it comes to bones only, then I lean towards the Orthopedic one, but when the spinal cord is involved, I opt for the Neurosurgeon.

    Also keep in mind, when there is any fusion going on, you will generally have both doctors during the surgery.

    I don't think that one doctor would look after you as the patient more than the other one would. Instead, it would be the doctor that you had confidence in, would be the one who took your best interests at heart.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Definitely fellowship trained. I've been told that it is wise to have neurosurgeon, for the cervical area especially since the spinal cord is so close and the space they work is so small, but the most important thing is to make sure you select a surgeon whom is experienced in the procedure he will do on you, and that you are comfortable and confident with his work.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
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  • Im not wanting to have surgery I just want someone to take my pain seriously that's why I asked neuro or ortho not going the sugery route
  • like I said three docs are saying DDD can't be hurting me this bad since it's not touching any spinal cords but could it be just not show up on mri
  • hi kara. if you do not want surgery then i would say you wouldn't really need surgerical consults from a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon. how about asking to see a neurologist and/or an orthopedist. if you live in the US, which i am assuming you do, it'd be a lot cheaper. in fact, you could probably see both and ask them how they would treat you from a neurological standpoint, and an ortho standpoint as well. my pain management team includes a neurologist, not a neurosurgeon even though i've had a neurosurgeon perform two of my back surgeries. a neuologist is more schooled in medications used to treat neurological disorders than is a neurosurgeon.

    just my 2 cents, that's all.
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