In December of 2008 I had a 1 level cervical fusion with discectomy at C5/C6. Once PT started the pain I felt pre-op returned and with continued PT, increased. About 90 days after surgery I had my first MRI which showed signs of stenosis and a protrusion at C3/C4, neither of which existed in the earlier pre-op MRI. My neurosurgeon shrugged off the new protrusion and stenosis as "normal" and indicative of degeneration common as patients age. Before my accident I had no history of back injury whatsoever and have reached the ripe old age of 36... should I push for a second opinion on the new protrusion and stenosis? I am concerned about the long term issues with the protrusion and stenosis. Pre injury I would certainly have qualified as a very healthy adult male. Active, regular exerciser, no history of smoking or drinking?
Isn't it amazing how surgeons have a change in attitude AFTER they perform the surgery? I've had 3 spine surgeries and all were obvious failures. My surgeons all acted similar to the way yours is; as if any other problems that show up after they finish what was their main focus don't seem to matter or be a problem of any kind! Why they do that seems to be the one question I can never get a satisfactory answer to. Frustrating, isn't it?
As far as getting a 2nd opinion on the post-op pain that very well be caused by the stenosis and new protrusion: I strongly suggest wholeheartedly, YES!
Just because of the way yours and my surgeons seem to brush off any post-op abnormalities is the very reason I used a different surgeon for each surgery. I simply couldn't see using a surgeon who first of all didn't do the 'job' correctly in the first place but didn't seem to really care about it or any other problems with my spine. If I knew then what I know now, I'd have gotten a 2nd opinion before each and every surgery. Even the very 1st one! Please go for it and get that 2nd opinion and even a 3rd if that doctor comes across as some kind of uninterested one.
I've had my old life completely destroyed by this degenerative disc disease and had I been told when I was in my 20's that when I was 41, I'd be hit with something that would force me into early retirement, end my career, family life and even though it hasn't yet, could even end my 30 year old marriage at any time, I'd have told them that really should get some psychiatric help! Here I am 54 years "young" and this kind of "existence" isn't any kind of "life" at all.
Trust me, if you should ignore these new developments and they cause you to deal with them later, you'll wish you'd had done all you could do for your spine all at this time; when you have the best attitude and have the most energy and mindset. You may not "feel" much like going through all the "stuff" that one has to go through before, during and after another surgery. I hope that makes sense of some sort! LOL!
Feel free to read my story in my profile for more info if you want. Please keep this updated as to what you do and/or find out, OK? I do have a lot of experience dealing with this kind of thing. I wish I didn't however, it isn't like I had much of a choice at the time. Oh well, maybe my lot in life is to help others as much as I can. I'm happy to do so, so feel free to ask anything and everything. I'll be watching this question, OK? OK!
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