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In need of advice PLEASE READ....

Started by 588625640@facebook on 09/02/2012 7:46am

Hi i am a 32 yr old female with on going severe neck and lower back pain. The pain gets so bad that I get very sick to my stomach and sometimes vomit, especially in the mornings when i wake up in intense pain.
My problems started in 1997 with my lumbar spine after years of competive gymnastics. Over the years I seen 8 different nero/orth surgeons, 4 wanted to do surgery and 4 wanted me to wait. I ended up booking my surgery with Dr Douglas Orr in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 2003. I was booked to have a 3 level fusion, internal fixtation, inter cages and a bone graft from my hip. Well I ended up Pregnant so had to reschedule my surgery, when i called to rebook after my child was born I found out my Surgeon had moved his practice to Clevland, Ohio. Ever since then I havent been able to get in to see any other surgeon, and my back has been getting worse day by day.

Over the last 3 years I have noticed my neck being extremly sore and my muscles being always very tight. But walk in Drs just assure me that its nothing.


XRAY mon jan 16/12
cervical spine

The spine is quite straight with loss of the normal lordosis. This is usually indicative of muscle spasm. The soft tissues are satisfactory.

XRAY mar 2/10
lumbar spine

There is spondylolysis at L5, and a second degree spondylolisthesis of L5 slipping forwards on S1. There is no significant narrowing of the L5-S1 disc space but there is mild but definite narrowing at L4-L5 without secondary osteophytes.
CONCLUSION: L5-S1 spondylolisthesis with spondylolysis

XRAY aug.20/12
Lumbar spine

At L5-S1, there is a defect in the pars interarticularis bilaterally. There is grade I to II anterolisthesis of L5 with reference to S1.

HELP PLEASE.... Any advice would be greatly appreciated...

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9 Responses


I am still trying to get all my medical reports regarding my spine from the previous surgeons I have seen and my old family doctor. Since I have no family doctor and have to go to a walk in clinic, I have been getting no where it seems. The only reports I have are the xray reports i mentioned above so no doctor is taking me seriously. I even had a few doctors be as rude as to say to me, that I must be dellusional, and that all I was there for was narcotics ( WHICH I REFUSE TO TAKE ) and that my problem doesnt cause pain so it must be all in my head.

What can I do????


Hi Barb, sorry to hear of your dilema,Yes we have all been there with how you r treated n spoken to by docs.Dont quote me , but I hear its hard to get medical help in Canada, Is this true? my name is Rene and I am an orthopedic nurse for 12 yrs so I will help decipher your reports.My advice to you is deffinatly not a primary physician which are the ones in clinics. You need to start with an Orthopedic doc who will order am MRI, Xrays wont show everything.in NY the protocol is Orthopedic physician first who will help you with pain meds and obtaining MRI.Then you will be reffered to a neurosurgeon if surgery is needed.In health care, rule of thumb is no reson for pain,so why are you saying no,but thats your decission,addiction doesnt happen unless you abuse them.After reading your xray reports, they basically say L4&5 have narrowing which is causing pressure on your spinal cord causing pain.L5 has the spodylosis which is a curvature pressing on S1(which is at the very end of your spine near you coccyx bone. If S1 becomes compressed you loose control of you bowl and bladder, has that happened? No need to track down you other records they r irrelevent due to the time laps. When you say vommit, due u notice dark specks in the vommit, if so that could be feces.and yes pain also causes vommiting. Because of the S1 being compressed thats my main concern,why dont you visit you nearest ER and get immediate MRIs and the hospitals always have orthopedic and neuro surgeons on staff.If you read my blog you will see the longer you wait for treatment your endagering the nerves being permenantly damaged,they die and cannot be fixed thats why S1 needs immediate attention.Osteolytes are bone spurs on your L4&5 pressing on spinal cord contributing to pain along with the narrowing of the space that is squeezing upon your cord,again pain. your xrays do not state herniation or bulging of dics,but L5 area is curving into S1.these are all things I wouldnt hesitate much longer to seek help. Good luck, Rene :)


Hello Rene, Once again thank you so much for your reply.
Here in Canada you need to get a referral from a primary physician to get in and see a surgeon, and all my referrals have came back as denied. Yes over the years our medical care has become alot worse. Yes in the past I have lost control of my bladder when one or both of my legs give out. This hasnt happened in quite some time as now I know my limits. Havent noticed any specs in my vomit, but also really havent been looking either. Why would there be feces in my vomit??? My past medical records have my MRI, Bone scan, cat scan, and xray reports and all my reports from the surgeons I have seen in the past. So I think it will be helpful to have them as I could show these to the walk in clinic doctors who are sending my referrals to try and get me seen by a surgeon.
What will the ER do for me? As they usually just send me home, no one is taking me seriously anymore. I went years without seeing a dr about this as it wasnt causing me this much pain and discomfort, but now thats a different story, and i cant get in to see anyone to even take a look at my actual films and not just the reports. I know I have more problems then mentioned in my XRAY reports.

Also would you know why when I have a flare up my back swells up so bad, and it bruises then little red pin marks like broken blood vessels appear on my lower area of my spine...

Any more info you might have that would help me get this figured out would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.. Hope to hear from you soon..


Rene please refer back to my 1st blog, Old patient of dr douglas Orr in Hamilton, Ontario...


hi barbra, no need to thank me, being a nurse (which was my passion,to help those in need) unfortunatly my career was taken from me due to my spinal condition, its been 2 1/2 yrs now,so if helping anyone this way by answering questions im doing my job.nursing is in my heart. its hard for me to guide you from what your telling me about health care in canada, (sad you canadians are having such issues with care.im a fighter for patients rights, even when I was working activly, my patients came first,and I was a LOUD advocate for those who needed it. About the vomititting, I asked that to see if you have a blockage or dried blood that would be backing up into your abdomen, so try an take note of those signs. As far as your spine, yes pain is normal n spinal issues, but what concerns me the most is the issue your having at level S1. you just stated that u did have a couple of bowel/bladder uncontrolled accidents,I dont want to scare u in any way, just concerned.as I stated b4, the longer u wait to address these issues the nerve endings die and are unreversable, U r to young to have to deal with being incontinent (loss of control of ur bowl/bladder). in response to your question of swelling,,fluid in the body rushes to an area as a natural way to repair the site, in your case its going to your back bcause your body is telling u theres an issue at that area and the bodies normal reaction is for the fluid to repair, I know its hard to understand. My best advice is to lets not try an fix this by just discussing,dont get me wrong, this site is here for us to vent and seek others experiencing same issues and to support eachother,unless u r going through these issues others cannot understand,especially our families, it causes a big strain on our home life, especially us women because we are the hub of the family, meaning keeping the house and kids and hubby and finances running smoothly, but when we get ill it disrupts all. are u married n have a family? if so then u understand where im coming from. I went through my family getting tired of hearing me complain n not being able to run houshold, even till now ,they dont understand, they say they do, but they dont. in my blog thats why I stated the psycho/social end plays a big part in our recovery for ourselves and our families. Im going to state some harsh tips to getting u the care u need, I state these things bcause unfortunatly being nice gets u know where (as you have noticed) in your issue. even here in NY, unless we are aggressive, doctors dont help,it was a process I had to learn to get the care I needed and DESERVED as do you. obviously your getting knowwhere with your primaries and refferals. 1. when you go to ER, the first complaint I want you to harp on is your loss of bowl/bladder control,and b persistant. 2. let them know you have spinal issues that you never addressed. 3. embellish if you have too,I know it sounds wrong, but whats more wrong is that their not helping you. 4. dont give a long story about what you had done in the past(xrays and what they said. make it short and sweet. tell them what xrays said but at time u were unable to address those issues and the discomfort was tolerable, but now as time went by its to the point u can no longer endur, and these issues are now conflicting with you caring for YOURSELF. eg; working , cooking, caring for your family,and so forth. but again concentrate on telling them the loss of bladder control.by law they cannot refuse treating you, you also dont have to sign discharge papers, make a LOUD STINK,say your not leaving untill I get some help. always go to ER during a weekday so they cant say they dont have a radiologist or neuro or orthopedic doc on staff. try to visit hospital ER around 8-9 am , just after change of shift ( which is at 7am) if u go at 630am the staff doesnt want to start new case cause they want to go home. Again make the bowl/bladder issue and S1 findings your main concentration when talking to docs.next is your leggs giving out on you causing you to fall. Safety is taken seriously in health care,by law they cannot send you home if your falling and no one is home to help you, if you are sent home and you fall again sustaining an injury, thats a big law suit they dont want.you cannot send a patient home who is not safe. 5. review your discharge papers (if they send u home again) make sure they state patient complaing of falls due to spinal condition, and if you have to be persistant (make some noise).but yet dont be nasty, plead for help,cry, do whatever it takes, this is your life your fighting for. sincerely RENE :)


Hi Rene,
2 answer your ?'s from my other blog, My old medical records are with my old family doctor 2hrs from where I am living currently. I have already signed the consent form and faxed it back to her office to get the copies. Her charge is $20.00 for the 1st 5 pgs then .50cents per page after that. I should be hearing from her this week. Since 2010 I have been keeping copies of all medical reports in a file and on disc. I am in the process of trying to obtain my mri and bone scan films and reports also.

My bladder has not let go on me in like 5 yrs now, my legs get sharp peircing pain mostly in the inner legs down to my toes and sometimes down the back of my calfs, mostly in my left leg though. Lately I have been getting really weird pains in my buttocks aswell and the area where my tail bone is, is numb, i can pinch it and i feel nothing but a little pressure, thats also very new.

My main complaint though, is my neck pain. My face goes numb, feels tingly I get very bad headaches and migrains, my shoulders up to the bottom of my skull feel so very tight and ache all the time. i get severe pains in my left arm to my finger tips. What could that be from?

And referring to what Dr Orr told me regarding my 4th lumbar vertebrae not being part of my body ( computer) and its dissolving, what is the proper term for this?

If anyone has any kind of info please share. |Thanks)


hi Barb, sounds like your on the ball, keep goin, sounds like your on the right track,as far as your symptoms n compalints they r all related to whats goin on in your spine, hang in there ,your getting closer to correct treatment. I had all those pains, numbness in the same places it comes with the illness..Hope u had a good day both mentally and physically. keep up the good work..Rene :)


forgot to add to your ? of "dissolving" thats the DDD ( degenerative spinal disease ) the spine becomes dry and brittle. Stay away from carbs n sugar almost like a diabetic diet and increase your fluid intake to add fluid to your discs and spine. I am into organic nutrition and did plenty of research, u should b consuming 30-48oz of fluid a day. Nothing with caffeine as far as the extra fluid daily u can still hav ur mornin coffee. I chose coconut WATER.its high in electrolytes n potassium, amazon .com has a large variety at a fraction of price, also increase your vit c (bone health) .they sell powder mixes u add to water.also buy the vit c powder w glucose chondoiten in it. it comes in tangerine flavour and is labeled to contribute to joint health. Every little bit helps..lol........Rene


Thank you so much Rene, so it has taken me so long to reply to you, I have just been super sore and having alot on my plate right now with moving into a new house, been painting and fixing it up this month ready for the big move on the 27th.. As i have been packing I actually came across my may 2 2010 MRI report, and I also went to the Hosp where I had it done and got a copy of it on disc. I am still waiting for all my old medical reports as here in canada I need them as the primary drs dont seem to care what i have to say, even the ER doctors. As I have tried what u told me to do, and well it took 3x but finally waiting for another MRI to see if there is more damage then originally in my 2010 MRI. If u refer to my newest blog, I have updated my condition withthe MRI report.

Is there any tips at all for easing this pain and for comfort as my nights are killing me as I also have Restless leg syndrome, have had it since i hurt my back back in 2007, its the worst feeling ever when u feel like u cant move cause ur in so much pain, then ur legs decide they want to jump all over the place and u have that creepy crawling feeling in your legs, the 2 dont mix well at all...

Well I hope u have had a less painful week emotionally, physically and mentally...It sure does wear on us, having to deal with this day in and day out...