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Has this happened to anyone else

Has anyone had this happen to them.
Monday I had an appointment with a new pm dr for chronic pain that I've had since my surgery back in 2009. I've had fusions of S1/L5, and L4/5, as well as a disc replacement of L3/4. All I had supplied him with were the my reports from surgery, any of the follow up reports (ct and MRI reports). All expressing that I still have pain. He notices right away that on all levels that were repaired there are still evidence of bulges to the nerves that were never taken care of. He suggested I have a surgeon take a look and see if there is anything that can be done to those as well as other problems that have now started. He said with the levels that have been done the chance of another surgery working isn't very good. Which I'm fine with because I think the scs is my next option anyway. Here is the kick in the pants for me though...
Yesterday i had an appointment with the original spine/ pm doctors that did the surgery. I went them just to satisfy my curiosity, plus with the history I have with them doesn't hurt either if I decide to apply for disability. The doctor barely looked at me. Wasn't the least bit interested in any new problems that I was having or the pain that I was having since the surgery till now. All he wanted to look at is the hardware they put in. To make sure that was still intact. I get that. I understand that would be the first thing to look at but on the X-ray that he took, it clearly shows further degeneration of the upper levels as well as osteopytes formed on t12/s1. How could one doctor say that my spine is a 3-4 level of degeneration, and the other one not say a word about anything. My wife said maybe they are trying to cover their behinds on a potential lawsuit if there surgery went bad. Believe me that's the last thing I want. When your in pain all you want is answers on how to get better. Maybe because its a workers compensation thing I don't know. Just like to know if its me, or am I being too sensitive.


  • i have the same problem,the dr is not suppose to talk about anything but your comp case,but my family dr will answer any question i ask about my failed l-4-5-fusion,failed scs,ect, Rick
  • FrancineSFFFrancineSF Posts: 318
    edited 01/03/2013 - 4:58 PM
    ...but, I do think that it is incumbent upon you to say something to your surgeon. Knowing what you knew going in, watching him not deal with it at all, is there a reason you didn't ask him the question - "I was told there are some new issues, etc etc...do you see what they are talking about?" And, the ball is back in his court. You can be nice asking the question, of course.

    More and more these days, it is becoming very clear that we as patients have to address things that we know need to be addressed so that if it is for legal reasons they are avoiding the issue, we keep them honest and remind them - by asking the questions - why they are there - to try to heal us.

    Of course, it's up to you if you want to go back and address the questions or not, but maybe now when you see others, you'll be able to ask the questions before you leave. Or, if you are uncomfortable with all of that, take your wife. Sometimes an advocate might be better at asking the questions.

    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
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  • Agree that its great to have spouses/partners with you.

    My wife was fantastic in drawing out and getting clarification from the surgeons. She truly was my advocate, she didn't flinch in challenging, probing, clarifying things. The result I got was significantly better having her helping me. I am glad she was with me during each step, as she was a great help managing my medications, as its easy to muddled on the heavy meds.
  • I can see what you mean about the doctor just looking at what was on the comp case but he didnt even look at what was on the new comp case. Which stated that the pain was, from what I was describing was in a different location. Higher up my spine. I should have listened to my wife in the first place and not even bother with returning to this doctor. She is a great advocate for me, since she would like me to return to work sooner rather than later. I hope the new doctor finds the root of the pain and is able to take care of it. I have another appt on wed of this week, and my wife will definitely be there.
  • I had my surgery in july.My pain is worse then ever,I'm having to finding out everything on my own,Well really it's this site thats been so helpful,,When I complain to my dr that my pain is getting worse he won't send me to PT,all I'm getting is to wean off your pain meds,That They can be causing you more pain,Has anyone ever heard of that?,I take perk 10mg every 6 hr or longer and all they do is take the edge off for the most an hour,Should I be seeing Pain management dr? Any help please...l4/5 fusion BTW my feet never hurt before surgery but after they have never stopped.
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  • I also felt that I was on my own after my surgery. After several attempts to find what the was wrong. I was told by the pm doctor that the numbness and pain in my left leg was probably there before my surgery and wouldn't go away. Pretty much that it was something I'd have to get used to. In my opinion, pain isn't something you should have to get used to. You can deal with it but not for too long. That's the reason I went to a new doctor. I think that sometimes the doctors just think of us as people that are just looking for pain meds, when that's not the case at all.
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