Getting the time of day from a doctor

Have been having arm pain/weakness and neck pain for 3-year years now. Did some rounds of MRIs,steroid injections, and such and ended up getting an ACDF 5-6 about 8 months ago, which did nothing for my condition other than ensure I'll likely never sleep on my stomach again (because of post-op neck spasms.) 

Additionally, looking through my history, I realized it's very possible my symptoms were not because of radiculopathy but because of tendinosis in my elbow/biceps tendons. This was confirmed via MRI, but because every PT/surgeon/etc had their opinion on what they thought I was suffering from, I got convinced into thinking it was all in my neck and going that route.

After about three months of healing from the surgery, I did some of my own research on tendinosis and started a weight-lifting strengthening regimen. This, more than anything else, helped a ton with my pain and weakness. 3 months into my workout, I had almost completely recovered my strength prior to the 3-year injury, when suddenly my neck pain and arm pain/weakness was back, with no sudden injury.

I'm guessing it had to do with spring coming and that I started doing a lot more arm-intensive physical activities (repairing my boat, chopping wood, chainsawing, scraping deer hides) and around that whole time I thought I just had a flare up. But it's been about 2 months now and the neck and arm pain isn't going away, even with rest, and it also feels *different* than prior to my surgery. This time it's more in my shoulders, neck, and biceps and less in my forearm/eblow (where it was before.) The pain is also different, hard to explain. It seems to be triggered most specifically by "pushing" motions (think pushing a lawnmower, or the "push" part of sanding or vacuuming.) 

So back into the medical meat grinder I go. Except this time I would like to get someone's actual help sorting through all the competing one-sided prognoses (my surgeon literally told me he doesn't believe in thoracic outlet syndrome...sigh.) My MD keeps forwarding me to PT/surgery etc, and I don't know how to get her, or someone, who can actually sit down with me and work through all these possibilities. Does anyone have any experience with how to get a thorough testing/prognosis when they're not sure whether it's spine related or something else going on in the body? I should also say that I fractured two vertebrae in my thoracic spine in my mid 20s (im 37) and so far, not a single doctor I've seen has been too concerned with looking at that imagery or considering how it might play into this. Frustrating!





  • I have a rule, I will give a doctor 2 chances, if I don't like them or feel like I am being listened to then it's time to move on, I know that's a process but at least I am happy with my care, I went through 5 neuro/ortho surgeons before finding the one I am with now.


  • Yeah I'm a bit lazy when it comes to all the waiting and searching for new doctors and appointments. Maybe I should be more thorough. What's the difference between ortho and neuro surgeons?

  • advertisement
  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,464


    I've gone through the same thing. But I learned a long time ago to interview a doctor before you commit to him. I make an appointment and let them know up front this for a consult only. When I see him/her I ask a lot of questions. Can you help me by listening to what I say? Are you willing to get to the bottom of this without giving up? What are you going to do? If I don't like his answers I just say thank you and move on. I had to do this one time with 17 different doctors before I found the right one. It takes a lot of time and foot work but worth it in the end.

    There is a post on the forum by jbower, Trying once again, that may give you some inspiration to do this.


  • My surgeon is an orthopedic spine specialist, he only works on the spine

Sign In or Join Us to comment.