3112530 tn?1434032033

Orthopedic surgeons

I have a history of degenerative joint/disk disease over the years. I am a 59 year old male and did a lot of research to find a doctor who would treat my condition without the word of paralysis. All the doctors I have see, say that could be a side effect. Anyway, I did my research and it took a long time to find a specialist along with a good pain management team to treat my condition. I have had 5 surgeries including spinal stenosis of my neck where the doctor removed the disease done and replaced it with a cadaver bone which helped movement in my neck and pain free for the most part. I have had 5 surgeries in my back with metal to help the bone heal but 5 years later this created nerve impingement and I had to have the metal removed. I have had nerve blocks which help but again, the nerve does grow back after a period of time. I have had a history of cortisone shots and for the most part, they did not seem to do any good but the nerve block along with the latest cortisone shot helped and I am walking again for the first time in over 5 years. Physical therapy has been imposable for me because each time the physical therapist tries to help they only have increased the pain issues ( or woke them up so to speak and they recommended I return to my doctor for fear they could not do any more. I have been to physical therapy 12 times already)
It took a lot of research to find a doctor who specializes in my condition and I have been to many a doctor but found one who has treated my condition with some success, more than any other doctor. The pain management team had to be reorganized due to their lack of education in this area. I had many an intern, who had to turn me over to another doctor who had some experience in treating cortisone injections and nerve blocks. My surgeon recommended I see the head of the pain management team who has years of experience but the waiting time is over a month but to me this may be worth it. I trust my orthopedic surgeon for what he has done in helping me. I know my condition will never get better and I will never be pain free but some of the treatments have helped. I also use Voltaren gel which help bring down the pain level at least one notch and that has been beneficial for me. I hope my feedback helps from my experiences but education into learning about my condition and researching to find a specialist was key for me and I advise the research for all that are interested in learning about their condition.

This discussion is related to Cervical disk issues.
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3112530 tn?1434032033
After months of constant calls and follow up, I got an appointment with the acupuncture clinic. I don't know if this will help any but I am willing to try anything. The pain I live with is constant and although I do exercise with walking and stretching, it does not help my back pain. I still have appointments with pain management and will follow up with my orthopedic surgeon once I get all the results from these clinics. I am not looking forward to another surgery and hope that will not be the case here. Voltaren gel takes the pain down a notch but it is still constant pain. Usually I have to take muscle relaxers and lye down which kills any plans I make for the rest of the day. This is not a way to live. The pain medication does not work and the muscle relaxers only put me to sleep. Desperate to try anything at present and hope the last resort will be surgery or a pain pump.
Helpful - 0
3112530 tn?1434032033
Recently I saw a doctor who suggested a pain pump but after consideration, the doctor does not feel it is needed at present but can be used as a last resort. The pain management doctor I went to see at the local VA hospital suggested acupuncture. I have had 4 consults to this acupuncture center but do to the fentanly and morphine I was on at the time, they refused treatment. At present I am off the fentanyl and morphine but still cannot get treatment at the acupuncture clinic. I am waiting for a second opinion for another pain management team. I am also scheduled to see the first pain management team at the VA and report my situation, that I cannot get assistance from the acupuncture clinic or a reply from the doctor.
I am in limbo right now, waiting for medical opinions. Going back to the surgeon who did my surgery is a very hard option now because my caregiver is currently studying for his bar exam and his time is limited to intense study. I am waiting for any pain management team to make a decision but at present I have no responses.
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1711789 tn?1361308007
Hi there!

I would second your opinion that finding an experienced specialist is essential for adequate understanding of the medical issue and suggestion of the best suitable management plan. Moderate-severe degeneration of the spine would usually require a surgical correction which may need to be added with pain management therapy. I would suggest waiting to see a pain management specialist, while you could consult your orthopedician for measures to temporarily relieve the pain.

Take care!
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