Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
retiredbosn

Fed Up With Doctors!!! Some Advice Please

Recommended Posts

I've had the misfortune of having to have 4 spine surgeries. Long story short, having some major issues again. Last spine surgery 3 years ago fusion and disketomy C7-T1, MRI 3 weeks ago. Findings large herniation at C7-T1! I'm not supposed to have a disc there. Is it more likely that the radiologist mis-counted vertebra or the surgeon didn't remove the disc? Factors that come into play, day of surgery my nerosurgeon had to perform emergency surgery on a car wreck victim, took about 8 hours, or at least that's how long mine was delayed, actually surgery was about 10 hours late. From my perspective doctors practice medicine, and mistakes happen, so I'm not the type to sue. Just curious as to which scenario is more likely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not a doctor or neurosurgeon, but being an x-ray tech I have been in the operating room for many spinal surgeries. When a discectomy is done, the entire disc is not removed, just the herniated portion which is typically very small. Chances are very slim that the Radiologist miscounted, especially since you already have hardware at that location. You more than likely have a herniation of the same disc on a different section of the disc. If you have concerns, you should seek a second opinion from a different neuro and see what they have to say about it. Having a relapse is annoying to say the least, but it doesn't necessarily mean your original surgery wasn't done correctly.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear these stories all the time, unfortunately I don't hear any successes with major spinal situations. Therefore I leave my spine broken and deal with the misfortunes.

I'm sorry you're in this predicament, it truly is the never ending road of surgeries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Cobass, that makes sense, the other two surgeries he performed utilized cages that required removal of entire discs. I see now with this level at least he may have left some of it there, makes me feel better about it. This will make the third surgery on my neck, unfortunately I've moved or I would use the same surgeon again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear these stories all the time, unfortunately I don't hear any successes with majoIr I spinal situations. Therefore I leave my spine broken and deal with the misfortunes.

I'm sorry you're in this predicament, it truly is the never ending road of surgeries.

Very true Tom, my first surgery was a huge success. I just wish I would have known that fusions lead to more problems and that they have a short life 10-15 years.

I should amend this and state that I have developed a degenerative bone and disc disease and that my current condition isn't from surgeries gone wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might I recommend an old college friend of mine? Her name is Morphine. She makes EVERTHING feel better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might I recommend an old college friend of mine? Her name is Morphine. She makes EVERTHING feel better.

We are quite aquainted I assure you, however in pill form Morphine does not cross the blood/brain barrier very well and therefore absolutely sucks as a pain reliever. I am a chronic pain patient and there are meds out there that work fairly well. Chronic pain is a different beast altogether from acute pain, chronic pain can be acute at times though. A chronic pain patient should never try to be pain free, it just isn't possible with at home therapy, you cut the pain to a tolerable level and deal with it. Chroic pain patients have a ridiculously high suicide rate, and many accidentally overdose on their meds, it is a tricky balancing act and should only be attempted with competent doctor supervision. I undergo random pill counts, urinalysis tests and psychological evals to make sure I'm not becoming an addict. There are days that I can go without any pain meds but those are very rare, and much appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are quite aquainted I assure you, however in pill form Morphine does not cross the blood/brain barrier very well and therefore absolutely sucks as a pain reliever. I am a chronic pain patient and there are meds out there that work fairly well. Chronic pain is a different beast altogether from acute pain, chronic pain can be acute at times though. A chronic pain patient should never try to be pain free, it just isn't possible with at home therapy, you cut the pain to a tolerable level and deal with it. Chroic pain patients have a ridiculously high suicide rate, and many accidentally overdose on their meds, it is a tricky balancing act and should only be attempted with competent doctor supervision. I undergo random pill counts, urinalysis tests and psychological evals to make sure I'm not becoming an addict. There are days that I can go without any pain meds but those are very rare, and much appreciated.

My pops is like that. He is on full disability now, and his back is beyond screwed up. Some days hes good others he cant hardly walk. He seems to have a decent system in place for dealing with it. Ill pm you about it in a little while. They got him prescribed to pain pills and muscle relaxers. However that Scottish pride we got from one of his great grandfathers is still alive and well in him. Hence his current system. Hes basically made his peace with the fact that he is never gonna feel 100% again. Still I cant help but feel rotten for him.

Also I was not aware morphine came in pill form. I knew it came in glass vials and patches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Retired,

I have a wonderful wife who has had one neck surgery to get ready for her first back surgery and then a total of 7 back surgeries and two hip surgeries during the past 8 years.

Our nureosurgeon is wonderful. He is a Johns Hopkins grad and he is up to date on all of the newest back surgery techniques.

He told us that once you start replacing back discs the spine will start to "collapse" and you will find yourself needing to replace other sections of your back as they get damaged by the weight of the corrected areas above them. He is correct.

He first had to correct a neck problem or my wife may have been paralyzed during her first back surgery. We were surprised to find out that she had a neck disc problem but once it was corrected she got back her hand strength and could go forward with the back surgery.

As we repaired different levels of her spine the level below the repaired one would fail. A total of 7 (if not 8 but who is counting?) surgeries has corrected the problem and so far so good. However, we are very watchful of the remaining discs to make sure they do not fail. She now has two rods in her back and the last section towards the bottom of her spine is being watched, carefully.

During her April 14th emergency hip surgery the surgery team ruptured a disc so she had to have it corrected in early May. The back doctor removed the particles, cleaned up the nerve, and she is doing great with back for now.

As for the doctors, the surgeon who replaced her hip is a great guy but he had no idea why her hip was still in pain after six weeks. He just bailed on us. Our back doctor gave us the name of a hip specialist in the same practice as the emergency ortho doctor and the new guy replaced her hip on October 18th.

I do not want to go into details on how we were treated by the ortho practice when I had to admit my wife via the Emergency Room into the hospital on October 13 for pain but in a nutshell the new hip doctor did not see her or was he concerned about her until I walked into his treatment area (another couple were leaving the area and the door was open so I walked in) on October 16th to give him a note that my wife was in the hospital in lots of pain and that if he wanted to mark her left hip he would have to come to the hospital across the street from his office.

He had told us to come to his office the day of the scheduled surgery so he could mark the location of where he was going to cut. This is an SOP for surgeons today so they don't operate on the wrong area of the body.

Overall I give the doctor a good report on the surgery. I fail his office on their practices especially in not sending anyone over to see one of their patients scheduled for a hip replacement in five days until I barged into their private area at their office and gave his nurse assistant the note.

When I used to fly Cessnas and Pipers the instructors told me that the most dangerous pilots were doctors as the doctors did not follow preflight instructions as they thought they were God. I now understand what the flight instructors were talking about. The two ortho docs were very unusual: one just shrugged his shoulders and walked away leaving us to fend for ourselves and the other was not interested in moving up the surgery date or visiting his paitent in the hospital.

After her hip replacement the surgeon told me that her hip was inflammed and infected from the first surgery where she had three long pins inserted into her hip and that a tendon was pushing on a nerve causing lots of pain which was from the first emergency operation. He said he corrected both problems.

I hope you have a very good back surgeon and that you will no longer have any problems. Back pain is no fun and the recovery time is long. Just be aware that once you start messing with your back the problems move up and down your spine.

All the best for you and your family regarding your situation.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope you have a very good back surgeon and that you will no longer have any problems. Back pain is no fun and the recovery time is long. Just be aware that once you start messing with your back the problems move up and down your spine.

All the best for you and your family regarding your situation.

Thank you Sam, for those words of encouragement. I'm pretty frustrated right now, but now that I have an appointment with a nerosurgeon I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Part of it is my fault, I reinjured my neck in August and waited til September hoping it would go away. I had my first back surgery in 1992 at the age of 22, all went well with that, for some reason 10 years later my body reabsorbed the bone graft and the fusion failed. Which wreaked havoc with my back, one day I was fine the next I couldn't hardly move. The second surgery stabilized my spine but didn't really address the pain, the theory is that there was too much of a delay between the fusion failing and the corrective surgery, resulting in permanent nerve damage, i.e. pain. Then my neck started going bad, we will fix a few levels then the next ones down will fail, that is where I'm at now, this will be my third surgery on my neck, but now we are into the thorasic area to so hopefully between the limited movement in the thorasic and the disc there are in pretty good shape this will be my last. I'm blessed in many ways, I try not to be negative but the pain sometimes gets to me.

My last surgeon was great, he was voted by the nurses association the best neuro in Western VA, he is out of Roanoke, but now that I've moved the search is on for another. This guy that I have the appointment with has good credentials is affiliated with the right hospital, so hopefully all will go well. Just hope he can look at the films and tell where the herniation is, etc. I'm fused at C7-T1 and supposedly had a complete discectomy there so the report saying that I have a herniation there is frustrating. I've called the last surgeon's office according to the surgical notes I don't have a disc there, the radiologist says I do, and neither will take the time to review to see who is right. That's the frustrating part. Time will tell.......T

Thanks again Sam, the best to you and your wife and hopefully your ordeal is over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have some wonderful schools in your neck of the woods starting with Duke and North Carolina Medical Schools followed by the Atlanta area and USC medical centers so i would hope you could find the best back specialist in those areas.

The VA in Raleigh uses Duke doctors as a client's brother is being treated by them for his cancer.

All the best and please see another specialist to get their opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

retiredbosn, I can't add to what has already been said, but I had/have my share of back (degenerative discs) issues and not to the extent of yours, so I'm speaking out of turn here and I appologize for that. All I can say is that I hope it all turns out well with you!

All my best ny friend!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×