I went to one doctor and was given his opinion on what type of surgery will benefit me. I think there are a couple of alternatives and want to explore them. But now that I've seen one doctor, it appears I'm tainted in some way and can't even get an appointment with anyone else. What's with that? Is anyone else having this experience?
I have severe stenosis and mild spondylolisthesis, and my first doc gave me what's apparently the standard answer: decompression and fusion. Maybe he's right. But I've done a lot of research since then and think there are other possibilities. For example, a very large study was done in Europe showing that patients with my situation do equally well with decompression *without* fusion, and I would certainly like to avoid fusion if possible. I tried to make an appt with a local doctor known for motion-sparing surgery in some cases, and guess what! The receptionist said "He doesn't do second opinions," and hung up! I couldn't believe it!
I did more research and found another surgeon who looked like a possibility. This time I didn't talk about second opinions, just said that my PCP had suggested I see a surgeon (which is, indeed, how this all started). But then they asked for my MRI records, xrays, etc and said they'd review them and call me back. Probably they'll see that another surgeon had ordered them and refuse to schedule me again. Apparently that's the case because they said they'd call by yesterday at the latest and I haven't heard a peep.
I'm just really really upset. I know I most likely need surgery, but if there's a possibility that I can avoid fusion, I definitely want to explore that possibillity. But somehow it seems like you get one shot to pick the right surgeon and you aren't allowed to consult anyone else! I've never heard of such a thing, and if it's true it's completely ridiculous!