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You have to be your own advocate!

Started by cathee on 10/17/2010 2:04pm

I've just found this site and I wanted to comment on MRI's, and CT scans. I could go into everything that happened to me, but it's such a long story that I'll just say that at the end of last year I had an L4-L5/L5-S1 lumbar fusion with screws and rods. I had had an MRI taken due to sciatica pain about 3 months before surgery, and it did show an 8mm disc herniation, but what it didn't show was that there was scar tissue wrapped around the nerve root and the neurosurgeon had to carefully remove it during surgery. The tests beforehand didn't show that. If they had just treated me with meds and epidurals and PT, it would have damaged the nerve more than it did, and neuropathy (the famous word they use after something has squeezed the life out of the nerve) begins. There's no cure for neuropathy.
What I'm trying to suggest is that no test will show that and it's so common after previous back surgery. Since I had had two lamenectomies, one in '03 and the other in '04, and the nerve root had been impinged with disc material (herniation with nerve involvement) that I was told that it wasn't uncommon for the scar tissue to form after years. So I guess what I'm saying is that if there is pain then there is a reason and you have to be very proactive in your treatment! Thanks.

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1 Response


Hi Cathee and All:

You are so right about being your own advocate!

I have waited ten years to find out why I was having pain and numbness, usually getting worse every six to eight weeks. I had a spinal cord tumor removed in 1988 and had radiation. I just kept being told by my neurosurgeons there was no change and no recurrence. I figured a neurosurgeon would know, right?

Well, three pain doctors later, I decided to go to an orthopedic surgeon. I apparently have three discs out, most probably due to the radiation I had. Surgery is iffy. There are no guarantees I won't get worse, or that he can stabilize me. At this point, I have a big decision to make. However, at least I know what's wrong, and at least that comforts me somewhat.

The moral: Keep pushing until you have answers!

Thanks all of you Spine Universers out there for continuing to give me hope and inspiration!