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  #11  
Old 04-29-2010, 09:59 PM
hey_look_its_dave hey_look_its_dave is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 53
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Thank you for the reply. It wasn't confusing at all. In fact, I think a lot of people here have gone through the exact same feelings with some doctors. And if it doesn't feel right, you should walk away.

As you say, it is a MAJOR decision. For me, it's surgery or jump off a bridge. It's a no-brainer for me. I just need the right surgeon.

...and the research continues...

I truly hope you find some relief and peace of mind.

Dave
__________________
Toronto, Canada
41 years old

1997: L5-S1 left-side disc herniation
epidurals and perivertebral injections
Jan 23, 2009: discotomy in Toronto
July 2009: L5-S1 left-side further herniation
epidurals and perivertebral injections
June 8, 2010: L5-S1 Activ L ADR by Dr. Zeegers at Beta Klinik

https://sites.google.com/site/daveadr2010/
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  #12  
Old 04-30-2010, 08:34 AM
hey_look_its_dave hey_look_its_dave is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 53
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I also wanted to mention a revelation I had with the surgeon who did my discotomy.

When I first saw him (prior to any surgery) he was saying how he recommended discotomy and I had said that I wasn't yet ready based on his description of what was to be done and chances of success.

At that point, he was showing me the door. I said, "If I don't do surgery, what other options do I have to improve my condition?" He said, "I dunno. I'm a surgeon. I do surgery. If you want surgery, give my office a call. Bye bye now."

Here I was asking a spine surgeon what he thought might be good for my spine issues, and he rebuffed me. I realized that they expect you to already know what you want. They're just a vendor of their service. Nothing more.

I said to my family doctor afterwards that I wasn't qualified to know what to do next. He said that he wasn't either, but that I could try a pain specialist. So I went that route for awhile (epidurals etc.).

The point of my story was just that the prevailing viewpoint amongst these surgeons is that they do surgery, and if you want advice about anything else, you can hit the road.

A rude awakening for me.

Dave
__________________
Toronto, Canada
41 years old

1997: L5-S1 left-side disc herniation
epidurals and perivertebral injections
Jan 23, 2009: discotomy in Toronto
July 2009: L5-S1 left-side further herniation
epidurals and perivertebral injections
June 8, 2010: L5-S1 Activ L ADR by Dr. Zeegers at Beta Klinik

https://sites.google.com/site/daveadr2010/
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  #13  
Old 05-03-2010, 04:49 PM
2 Young 2 Hurt Like This 2 Young 2 Hurt Like This is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 91
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Hey Jeff,

I was just reading through your latest situation. You are right for walking away. I had a bad time meeting with one surgeon and felt if they couldn't get their appointments correct or make me feel comfy just visiting their office there was no way I was going to trust them with my life on the operating table.

I know it is a pain in the back to jump from one surgeon to the next trying to find the answers you need to your questions and someone you are totally comfy with. In the end it is worth it. I am so happy that no matter how fed up I was I kept looking. Once you find a surgeon you can fully trust you will feel so much better about things.

I really hope you hang in there and find someone who can help you. Once its all done its one of the best feelings. It's liberating at least for me.

Best Wishes!
~Liz
__________________
Liz
23 Yr Old
Car Accident 3/06
L3-4 Lrg herniation R leg pain, L leg numbness sometimes they switch it up. weakness both, tingling
L4-5 DDD w/sml herniation,loss height.
Injections
Discogram Pos L4-5
IDET L4-5 / PT
1st EMG pos.
Current MRI, X-Ray not much changed
2nd EMG Pos
12/08 possible 2 level ProDisc ADR
08-current Lost 75lbs
More PT/ Acupuncture.Currently PT @ home 3-4xs a wk. Light cardio using elliptical
2 level ADR on 4/20 been a bumpy road.
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  #14  
Old 05-10-2010, 09:24 PM
JL JL is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 153
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Hi Jeff,
I was wondering if you may have been assisted by Dr. Yue for appeal to your insurance carrier, or maybe the times have changed to go at them again new. Certainly I am confused that you were a candidate and then not.

My experience with Drs. is you have to take the lead. My favorite story is I refused to leave a pain mgmt Dr. after I was told that was all he could do for me. They insisted I go away. I refused a few more times. When they came back to the exam room, the last time (30 minutes worth) they offered me a diagnostic discography. If you leave, they all figure you got your moneys worth and worse, you don't need any more treatment. Does this make sense?

I am a believer in shrinkifying oneself. Just remember who's the crazy one in the room. Buys some time. I think everyone would agree surgery is the last ditch. I think I am a proponent of surgery because it worked for me. It is like finding something you lost in the last place you looked (for help) for it.
__________________
(Bill) 14 yrs L5-S1 pain & tear
Discography 2003 DDD
10 yrs. chiropractic
6-14-05 L4/5 & L5/S1 Prodisc Yale New Haven CT Dr. James Yue
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  #15  
Old 05-10-2010, 10:30 PM
Juli Juli is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 191
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I am a firm believer in test driving doctors, just like test driving a few cars. They are not perfect, they all have their flaws and some of them may be right 98% of the time but who wants to be the 2%? I saw three doctors in a row, I flew to NYC and Munich as well as seeing a local doctor after I had reached the point that I no longer had what I considered satisfactory quality of life. And I knew the right answer when I heard it.

I think there is a danger in waiting too long, if your back gets too bad, you may no longer be a candidate. I would recommend doing what I did, contacting a patient advocacy service, who in turn will get your MRIs and Xrays to multiple doctors of either your choice or they will help you find the best doctors for your area and condition. At that point, those doctors will review your film and then call you at home for a consult, to determine if you are a likely candidate before you even travel to do a hand on exam.

As you can see from my signature, I had the hybrid surgery, you can see my story in the surgical outcomes thread. There is a solution for you, I am sure of it, but unfortunately you really have to fight for it and I know it is exhausting when you are already tired and in pain but you have to stick with it. Trust me, do what I did and I will bet you a steak dinner you will find some options.
__________________
Juli
DDD L3-L4 on down since 1990
Surgery 9/26/05 with Dr. Bitan in NYC to complete partial congenital fusion of L5-S1 and ADR at L3-L4 and L4-5.

Feeling great!
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  #16  
Old 05-11-2010, 04:13 PM
JJames JJames is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 102
Default Thank you for the replies

Thank you Bill & Juli for your posts,

Dr. Yue has always considered me a candidate for the bi-level ADR. Way back in the beginning he was willing to do whatever necessary to assist in the appeals process. The trouble was with me. I needed other opinions before accepting that I needed such major and invasive surgery. The other 4 surgeons who I went to see didn't exactly fill me with optimism either. In the end, I was denied by my medical insurance even after I'd exhausted the appeals process.

My wife and I were the ones who asked Dr. Yue about the feasibility of the hybrid as an option for me and my condition. Once denied for the bi-level ADR, Dr. Yue didn't want to discuss much more. It is bothersome to me that WE had to come up with the alternative, and it was not offered by him - the surgeon! He said that it was also an option. Of course, as luck would have it, he said this at my last visit at which time he was more concerned with my new upper-back, neck, right shoulder, and right arm pain/issues!

He ordered an MRI on my cervical spine which seems to indicate more spinal issues! I canceled the follow-up appointment with him and I just canceled an appointment which I'd previously scheduled with another surgeon. Too many doctors! Too many surgeons! Too many so-called experts with no real answers or convincing solutions.

It appears that for now I need to improve on coping with the pains I have. I do not want to add "Failed Back Surgery" to my list of problems.

My thought now is that when the pain becomes too debilitating and or I have the mental fortitude to start this fight again I may go visit Texas Back Institute. It is quite a trip to TX from CT, but from all the reading I've done throughout the years on these boards, it looks like I could possibly get some answers there. For now, I need a break from the fight for a resolution even more than a break from living in daily pain.

Thanks again - Jeff
__________________
DDD diagnosed ~99
Chronic Pain since Aug 2006
Failed L4 Microdisctectomy Apr 2007
2008-Positive Disco (L4/L5&L5/S1 annular tears)
Herniated discs at L4/L5/S1, bulging T12
Began constant/severe neck & upper back pain 11/09
Jan 10-Cervical/Thoracic MRI:bone spurs+new disc probs
Cervical Spine issues causing terrible pain beginning in July 2021 - scheduled for 2 level C-Spine ADR on Oct 19th 2021 now!! Part of Clinical Trial so unsure if Mobi-C or Baguera C will be implanted ....
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  #17  
Old 05-13-2010, 02:02 PM
nanfromsactown nanfromsactown is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 145
Default

Hi Jeff!

I'm sorry you've had such a runaround with your issues!

I have the same problems at the same levels as you. The difference I think is that I've been treating with pain management for about 10 years, since my first (and only, so far) discogram. Finding a good PM doc can be a lifesaver. Many offer different programs to help lead you back to some functioning and also to clear the cobwebs.

My own doc offered a 10 week course using a book "Managing Pain Before It Manages You" by Dr. Caudill. This was done in a group setting and was very helpful. There are also mental health providers in my area (N. Calif) who offer similar seminars or classes. Going down this road did not mean an end to looking at surgery for me, but gave me a way to cope while I was trying to sort things out and get authorizations.

I would say a good PM doc offers not only medication management but also other therapies including counseling or access to counseling.

I personally had to take a break from looking at surgery because I kept hitting brick walls, couldn't get anyone to try to get an US consult for me because they all said workers comp wouldn't pay for the surgery. My attitude all along has been that I don't care that they won't pay for the surgery, I need to talk to a US surgeon (or maybe more than one!) to find out what my options in the US are. I already know what they options are in Germany but can't move forward with my work comp case being open. But my point is that I was going crazy, not knowing what to do and the frustration certainly didn't help with the pain.

Good luck and PM me anytime. I went to HS in CT, West Hartford, and wish I were closer so I could go see Dr. Yue!
__________________
3/96 injury, bending over to pick up book and felt a snap.
MRI's show DDD at L45 and L5S1, disc bulge at both levels.
Discogram and CT 1999: posterior annular tears at both levels.
TREATMENT: IDET, ESI's, Radiofrequency, Chiropractic, Pain Management, PT.
No work since 1999.
ADR Surgery at BetaKlinik, Bonn, Germany 11/30/11-Activ-L at L45,STALIF at L5S1--recovery good so far!
http://backtalk2011.blogspot.com/?v=0
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