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Just When I Thought The Specialists Couldn't Get Any Worse...



  • I think these are excuses for doctors who don't want to operate. Your insuranace issues limit you and that is a shame. Age should have nothing to do with it. Both my surgeons said I need an operation fast because I was losing muscle mass, tone and strenght, had numbness and of course-the pain! Can you try orthopedic surgeons? They also do cervical operations. I found a wonderful chiropractor who helped with my pain until I could actually see a NS. But I did not let her mess with my neck-well,it was basically frozen from the bone spurs, so there was nothing she could do, but she helped with the pain and at least listened to me!

    As someone said-have all the records of tests with you and get respect by going in there well informed and prepared and questions on paper and ask them. I would take a second person with me and tell them it is because I needed someone without pain and a clear head to help me recall everything that is discussed. Good luck!

    PS My husband was getting numbness and loss of feeling in his leg due to a sport hernia-check it out and see if that might be an issue with you. Just a thought.
  • I also was blown off by the 2nd opinion Ortho. He couldn't even see anything on the MRI. I said but what about the Herniation. He said yeah a bulge. I said there was disc material in contact with the nerve and annular tear. He says I'm not a candidate for surgery. It can be frustrating I can relate. Even my PCP is getting upset for me asking to see Specialists as she has to refer me to them. Keep trying and I hope you mention any more symptoms to your PCP. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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  • TURTLE - And therein lies the trick... trying to get informed. I've asked my PCP and all specialists I've seen if I could get a full description of my what is in the reports. They tend to dance around the issue and they want to charge me for a transcript of my charts (which I can't afford, as I haven't worked in a long time, due to my neck). I have found out a lot of what the reports say from my disability attorney! What a bad way of finding things out...

    I see my PCP, today. It's going to be a Wild West showdown... I'm not leaving until I have everything I need... including peace of mind that somebody is going to make an attempt to take care of my issues.

    CHARRY - Incredible how different "specialists" tend to see different things from the same MRI. That is one thing that really frustrated me from yesterday's appointment. I had somebody from my PCP's office read my latest MRI report to me. It states, clearly, that the osteoarthritis between C5 and C7 had notable change between March of 2008 and December of 2008. When I went to the specialist, yesterday, he had the same report, but told me that there was absolutely no change between the 2 MRIs. When I attempted to protest that, he interrupted me as if he had better things to do with his time. He didn't want to listen to it. I see my PCP, this morning. We're going to go over all new symptoms, all symptoms that have changed, and my disappointment with the mishandling of my case. It's an appointment that I'm not really looking forward to... :)
  • There's no way your too young to have those problems,sounds like there using your age as an excuse.fortunately i never ran into that problem trying to get someone to operate on me i was your age when i found out i had stenosis,,spurs and herniations.mine was congenital.I had leg pain when i was very young in my early teens but didn't know why,i was constantly sent to orthopedic surgeons to find out why but they were just looking at my legs and never thought it was coming from my spine.Have you tried any orthopedic surgeons yet? maybe they could help you more than the NS. maybe you just need to refuse to leave there office until you get all the answers your there to get and are satisfied,i did that with one apt. i went to and really surprised the guy when he got up to escort me to the door and i didn't move.I hope you have more success with your next apt. good luck.
  • TAMMYC - I have tried an orthopedic surgeon. Some 70-year-old guy who also said my age is too young for him to consider surgery.

    I talked to my PCP, today, about it. I told him that I am beginning to drop things (including a full bottle of water when I was attempting to drink... that was fun!). That with the twitches, the loss of feeling in my legs when sleeping... I told him everything frustration I have with how things are being handled. He was rather shocked that nobody is willing to do a surgical procedure, for me. He said that the report is clear that my quality of life has been affected. I should be a candidate for surgery. Now, we just need to convince everybody else...
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  • well at least you got him to listen to you ,did he have any other suggestions for you?why couldn't he call one of the many surgeons you've seen and talk to them about your condition.I know people that have had very quick results that way.
  • The only other thing he recommended was, if I get to the point to where I just can't take it, anymore, DEMAND surgery. That puts me at an interesting spot. I've already demanded a lot from these specialists - to the point to where I am sure I'm not their favorite person on earth. Do I really want people who are somewhat annoyed with me slicing into my neck? ;)

    I am definitely at that point, though, to where SOMETHING has to be done. My quality of life is such to where I can't even work, anymore. Yet, disability may not be a choice for me... again, because of my "young age". Nobody seems to understand that I'm a 34-year-old with the spine of an 80-year-old... :)
  • Is there a possibility that these specialists are getting cold feet because you have a disability lawyer? Maybe they are afraid of getting sued or something. I'm trying to figure out why they won't listen to you. One time when I had DDD symptoms and a disc bulges on C5-C7, my records were sent to a neurosurgeon and he said I wasn't a surgical candidate. I never have laid eyes on this doctor, and neither had he. After that I saw a psyiatrist and was told there was nothing he could do and PT was a waste of time. A couple of weeks later I blew out my L4-S1 discs.
    Please keep in mind that back surgery doesn't always work, it's a 50/50 gamble and I lost both times. It is always best to try the least invasive route first. Nowadays they have minimally invasive fusions and other technology, but they have their benefits and risks.
    Did you say you go to pain mgt? If you can't get surgery at this time, then maybe a pain doctor is good for you and they can adjust your medication or perform injections so you get better relief. Whatever happens, don't give up. There is help out there :)
  • MEYDEY321 - I don't think it's because of the disability lawyer. They've been excluding surgery as an option before I applied for disability. The only reason they have given me is age. They have said that I am certainly a candidate for surgery, because my nerves are being affected (causing me to drop things, lose track of my legs at night, etc). But, they said that, because of my age, they do not want to operate. I just can't figure it out.

    I have heard that surgery is 50/50 which has caused me to reconsider my desire for surgery. But, my things have gotten to the point to where I can't even do a 90-minute photography session without being knocked out of commission for 3 days afterward (the pain causes migraines, at this point). My quality of life is so affected that I think it would be worth a shot.

    I've gone through the pain clinic, but the local pain clinic is run by the same quack that immediately ejected me from his office (due to my age). The medical system in this area is terrible. Terrible!
  • dharvell,I feel your frustrations. I also had an incredibly frustrating journey to get diagnosed and treated. My NS who had done surgery on me last year insisted my new symptoms were not possible and dismissed every diagnostic test that i had. I was very limited in which Dr I could go to because I had an HMO. Their bottom line was the almighty dollar.I know your funds are limited but is there a way you could come up with 150.00 to pay for an independent opinion? Thats what i did and it was the best money spent. We went to a teaching hospital. I had all of my films on disc. Hospitals usually will not charge for this if you tell them you are getting another opinion. The NS at the University does not want to know what your other drs think.They took my films,asked me questions,examined me and had me in surgery within a week, When you tell them you want a second opinion,thats exactly what they give you,their opinion!
    I just wanted you to note also that the NS at the University explained that muscle weakness is a serious indication that something needs to be done. He stated that pain was not a RED FLAG like muscle weakness is.
    I wish you luck. Remember you are your own best health advocate. You are the boss and if you are not comfortable,move on. I am glad i did but because I had such a huge runaround.I will now be facing long rehab and the possibility that the strength may never return to normal.
    Don't give up.
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