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Neuro or Ortho Surgeon for my Lumbar Disc Fusion?
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Neuro or Ortho Surgeon for my Lumbar Disc Fusion?

44 yoa healthy male less my chronic, lumbar pain, 24/7, constant throbbing/aching w/a steady 6/7 & up pain level.  Years of back pain, gradual.  1st Discography is negative.  A 2007&09 MRI reveal L4-5 & L5-S1 DDD/herniations.  All Ortho's deny me as surgical candidate for discography does not support it and I have never had, nor to this day, ever any leg radiating pain.  ONLY in center Lumbar.  I have exhausted all Interventional procedures, i.e. P/T, Chiros, epidurals, facet blocks, etc.  PM meds. band aide the pain till my system gains to much tolerance, and I take a "drug holiday".  Never been addicted to any med., but cannot work or even socialize without.  I am looking for a surgical solution, not a remaining opiate style of life.  A current Discography in 1/2011 however is POSITIVE matching the 09'MRI levels as "I screamed like a baby in pain", 1-10 pain level went up to 11 & 12 upon dye insert!  Referring Ortho "will now" perform surgery as medical proof is there, even though the 09' MRI clearly shows the DDD in above levels.  Million $ question is now:  Ortho v. Neuro Surgeon?  I have been told I have a healthy and strong spine.  And we all know Ortho is bone & Neuro is nerve, right?  And it is the nerve telling my brain to pain me.  On 1/31st is my 1st time ever Neuro Surgeon consult.  Either way, it is Ortho or Neuro to do the Disc. Fusion I need.  I am leaning towards Neuro, for all data I have read and research done. Your thoughts please?  Is Fusion the only option?  Your thoughts on Laser Surgery?  Fusion recovery time?  Thx. for the read n your time!  MegaLumbarPain out.          
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1083596_tn?1313398276
Dear Friend,
Well if it's ortho, then go for - Orthopaedician who specializes in Spine.
If it's a neuro, then go for - Neurosurgeon who specializes in Spine.

I hope you understood the point. Spine is a very delicate and specialized topic and hence doctors needs to do specilization, in this particular area, to be able to handle the spine problems.
Basic layman understanding is exactly as what you said - Ortho = Bones and Neuro = Nerves. Hoever since it's a common feild, any of the 2 can operate on the spine. However, a patient should only go that doctor, who has done extensive study of the spine and it's related sugeries.
So i hope the million $ question is answered. Feel free to discuss further.
Regards
3 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
And your thoughts on Laser Surgery?  I am for obvious reason, intregued with this process as opposed to open back surgery, the old fashion way.  i.e. North American Spine outfit in Dallas, TX (interesting video they provide on their site for anyone whom would like to get an idea of how and what they do!) of FL Back Institute down in Boca Raton.  Only a very small insertion and recovery time is next to nothing.  But again, research is well respected in this Laser Surgery regard and its success v. risks, "temporary fix" maybe, I don't know.....Thanks again Doc. V and when u get the chance or any Member has knowledge and/or opinion for me!
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1623436_tn?1299141888
I had the disk fusion surgery about 10 years ago.  I also have disk degenerative disease.  The surgery was horribly painful for weeks after.  I had muscle spasm for 3 months after.  They have to move alot of the back muscles to get to the spine !  This alone made it unbearable.  The surgery did work great though !  Painfree for the first time in years !  Yaaayyy !  Only it lasted for about 4 years.  Then I had more problems.   When you fuse the lower back it puts more stress on the disks above the fusion.  And eventually the vertabre that was scraped away to enlarger the nerve canal grows back.  With the DDD the disks not fused went bad as well.  The end result 10 years later is that the area fused is too dangerous to fix,  the area above that is bad could be fixed but same result as lower can be expected.  So it's pain management and addiction to opies.  : (   Wish I could tell you there is hope but the pain and discomfort with surgery is not worth the few years you get before it all comes back and you have to take pills to get by anyway.  Surgery doesn't make your back get better.  It simply prolongs what will eventually happen with it anyway due to the DDD !.  If your disks are degenerating they will eventually go away, causing the bone to touch and fuse themselves in time.  Mine are doing that now.
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Avatar_f_tn
So would you advise against fusion? I'm 33 with DDD, had micro discectomy @ L5-S1 nine yrs ago, and sceduled for multi-level fusion next month(L3-S1) and I require heavy opiates to move from room to room at home. The Neuro says I will have a %50 relief, I'm debating if so little relief is worth the procedure. Your thoughts?
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