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Spinal Fusion

Started by Bsdoane on 05/27/2017 12:53am

In 1999, I had a fusion on C 6 & C 7, which stopped on pain. 2013, I lost control of my kidneys and bowels. After routine testin, my urologist determined it was nerve damage and he installed an inter stem implant which corrected that problem. Then March 2016, I began to have : headaches, severe bilateral shoulder pain, neck pain with muscle spams.
I visited 3 neurologists, and due to the inter stem implant I could not have a MRI. So I tried: massage therapy, physical therapy, anti inflammatory medicine, chromosome injections. Finally my urologist decided to remove the implant so I could have a MRI.
I heard about Laser Spine Institute, called them, faxed the MRI , and was accepted as a candidate. I had agreed to pay $13,900 that the insurance would not cover. I went to Cincinnati this week for the surgery. After they did digital X-rays, the surgeon met with me and exhibited my X-rays on the computer. I have bilateral decompression in C-5, C-6 & he informed me he needed to do 2 incisions to remove spurs, widen the canal, and use titium plates between the vertebrae.
I agreed not realizing that this was going to be a fusion until I met with the financial consultant and it was going to be $30,000. Needless to say, I just broke down, cried, and came home.
Now I am facing a medical nightmare with my primary care doctor's referral department. Because I want to go out of network, they are saying it could be three months before the insurance would approve and they might not even accept the referral. There are no doctors in Knoxville, Tennessee , where I live, that I trust to do this surgery.
I don't know where or what to do at this point. In so much pain, I am literally at the end of my rope.

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1 Response


Hello, Bsdoane--we are so sorry to read about all you've been through. We can't imagine the pain and frustration you've endured over the years.

We'd like to share this article with you ( Informed Consent in Plain Language ). This article packs a lot of information into it, but the big point that you can take away from it is this: If at any point you are not comfortable proceeding with a treatment, you have the right to change your mind. Even if you signed a document agreeing to a treatment, you do not need to go through with it if you are not 100% comfortable with it.

Have you called your insurance's customer service and talked to them about in-network providers who may help? Perhaps there are some well regarded spine specialists near Knoxville that you may not be aware of who are actually in your insurance's network. Navigating health insurance is just plain challenging, so we've found that calling customer service to get a straight answer is a good approach. They can point you to in-network physicians, which will save you money and stress in the long run.

We hope this helps, Bsdoane, and we wish you the very best of luck!