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New physician or same to diagnose post surgical issues?

I am now a full two years post fusion from T1 to Pelvis. In this time I've had several follow ups with my surgeon and he was quite pleased with his work. My concern is whether I should see him for new issues of instability and horrible constant pain that seems to originate in the area of the anchor screws into my pelvis. In a like situation with a prior fusion, by a different Doctor, when I complained of problems he reviewed X-rays and said all was well. I eventually sought a second opinion and it was determined the fusion had in fact failed. Unfortunately, but in reality, an additional consideration now faced is the added expense in the required diagnostics - MRI, etc. that a new doctor will certainly want to perform. In the example cited, the second Doctor didn't like the original MRI despite it just having been performed.  I am in a pain management program but like everyone else their goal is to eliminate pain meds or document the attempt by having me undergo every alternative treatment possible. 

The quality of life I now have leaves much to be desired and I know it affects those who are closest to me. I have begun to question the return on investment by seeking additional treatment as it relates to adversely impacting my family's financial well being.  I can't help but think I may have come to expect too much from medical science regarding improvement in quality of life.  How many of you have considered, or have made the decision, to exhaust all treatment options versus accepting your condition to be as good as it gets?


  • Hello, Larry.

    I am truly sorry to hear that you are in such a tough position.  I know that for myself, the health problems that have cropped up since I had surgery (NOT anything to do with the actual surgical technique--my surgeon did an amazing job!) have also made me ask myself that question:  Is this as good as it's going to get?

    By nature, I'm a "want to know" person, so that has guided my hand in terms of seeking answers about my health.  I can't stand being in a directionless state of mind, so I would consider myself in the group of people who refuses to accept that there is "nothing more that can be done".  I had a situation with extensive "epidural fibrosis" (fancy name for scar tissue) which developed a couple of months after my fusion surgery in January.  In doing research, the prognosis for it is that one pretty much has to live with it and learn to control the pain.  WHAT???  My stubborn, not-willing-to-resign-myself-to-a-life-of-pain self very much disregarded the idea of doing nothing!!  I kept researching, and found out about a procedure that I ended up being a candidate for called "lysis of adhesions".  I had that done in June, and other health issues aside, the awful symptoms from the scar tissue are gone!!!  I tell you this little piece of my story because sometimes in order to get the answers/treatment you need, you sometimes need to be your own health detective! 

    That being said, a new set of eyes can't hurt--well, aside from the wallet, and I get that part of it, too.  It seems to me from the tone of your post that you want to keep trying until YOU feel comfortable that you've done everything within your power to find your "as good as it gets".  Hang in there...
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
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