I am new here and have been dealing with neck pain, radiculopathy with numbness, weakness and bilateral arm pain for the past 4 years. I have had 2 epidurals, 1 facet injection, 2 rounds of physical therapy, tried multiple medications and pain meds. I have been under care of a pain doctor for the past 2 years. I have been diagnosed with DDD, spinal stenosis, bulging discs, foraminal stenosis, facet and uncovetebral joint hypertrophy and radiculopathy. Both my grandfather and my dad also suffered from the same type of spine conditions. My dad has never agreed to surgery and has now become wheelchair bound in the last 2 years. Watching him deteriorate has been really frightening.
I am 48 and have been told that if my dr didn't know my age she would think I was 65 to 70 years old from my MRI films. (yuck!)
I was first referred to a neurosurgeon 2 years ago who wanted to do a 3 level ACDF at C4-C7. At that time I had just started pain management and since I was 46 I decided to wait and see if this pain doc could do anything to help manage my pain. Over the past 2 years my condition has worsened and my pain is worse and now I have symptoms in my right shoulder and arm as well as my left. Dr. recently sent me for a current MRI. It showed a marked progression of my condition. I am now showing stenosis and bone spurring in C2-C3 and C4-C5 which previous MRI showed normal. C4-C7 have all 3 further deteriorated and stenosis which previously had been mild to moderate depending on the level now show as either moderate or severe. Because I am now showing stenosis of the central spinal cord at 3 levels and foraminal stenosis at 5 levels she is referring me to a new neurosurgeon and has told me to also get a second opinion at least.
I have an appointment in a couple weeks with the surgeon recommended by my pain doctor and I'm trying to decide who to go to for a second opinion. All the docs recommended to me are in the same practice as the doctor I already have an appointment with. Do you think I should seek out someone in another neuro group or could I get an objective opinion from a neurosurgeon in the same practice? Thanks so much for any insight!