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Back Problems Message Board

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Have been searching and reading since you posted your reply.

Must say that your doctor has quite an impressive bio presented online, but cannot find and verify anything since TX doesn't make their licensing database available to the public like many other states. In fact, I all the sources I found were information that the doctor submitted, rather than data which has been confirmed. I truly do not know if one of the paid doctor searches would generate anything more informative, or not. For sure, his intelligence is not in question.

Certainly, your doctor has produced a massive amount of articles, films, etc., and is busy as an inventor as well. What I did notice is that none of his three spine fellowships were in the US; all were abroad, and it is just a matter of personal preference as to whether that is good or bad. However, I also noticed that so much of his work and effort is related to his postion with workman compensation taskforce of Texas. If that effort is to ensure that the workers receive the best care that is one thing, but as I read it, it appeared it was geared more to ensure that the employer gets protected by returning the worker to work asap. That is good, so long as the workers health is the first priority, and frankly, I cannot say that any workers compensation taskforce or committee has ever openly demonstrated that the workers health was the first priority - the employers $$$ seems to be the ultimate theme.

What I can usually find the the licensing databases are when the physician attended medical training, and the dates of updated training along with whether or not there are or have been any complaints or suits filed and the end results of said suits. TX makes sure that such information is not readily available to the public.

Your doctor is not licensed as a spine specialist through the certified medical speciality boards, but with the AMA he lists himself strictly as ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON.
That of course does not prevent him from treating only spine patients, but why list oneself as general ortho surgeon if you want to specilize?

Now, as to why he did not use any cages to hold the bone into place, that is a good question that I would want to understand, especially if I had bone that had slipped into the next level. Why is he not wanting to return it to its intended place, since if it isn't at the proper level, that level then won't be the proper height and could cause slippage plus,won't the wrong level be fused? Perhaps it won't be a problem for you in the long term, but I'd sure be questioning why it was okay or right if it is going to cause me more pain and take longer to heal. Heck, if it isn't a problem that all this has transpired, then did you really need the surgery he did?

If he didn't use BMP and especially by not using cages to retain the spacing, I suppose I would question his being a true spine specialist. Many general ortho and neuro surgeons in my area are still doing the older type fusion like I had in 1999 with bone from the hip, cages and no BMP. At least they got their own bone from the hip and so they are fusing, even if slowly. Today, with all the problems we've read about from communicable diseases, I would rather endure the pain of having the bone taken from my body than to increase risks of disease and non-fusion because of my body fighting someone else's bone.

As for Dynesys, it has been approved and is used in the US the last 2-3 years, although it's been in use overseas since about 1994. There are still some long term clinical trials being done though to compare long term retained flexibility using the Dynesys versus the ADR's, now that the ADR's are available in the US, although not widely used because of insurance companies not paying for the surgery without a fight. The spine institue at St. Johns Health Center, Beth Israel, GW and the Neurological surgical Div of the Univ. of Pittsburg are just a few places where it is being used besides here in TN.

I can understand your concern and frustration and am so sorry that your physical condition puts added stress on the family situation. That is so unfortunate and I hope that as a family you can openly discuss how to work though it together. I'm sure that the added stress does not help your pain level and tension makes it more difficult to heal properly.

You are indeed young to have these health problems, and one thing you should ask your primary doc about is checking to see if you have osteoporsis. Even if you don't need medication such as Fosamax or one of the other drugs, you maybe should be taking OTC calcium in a dose of about 1200-1500 mg daily plus vitamin D to protect your bones. There is also a simple urine test that is done early morning at the second urination. That can test to see if you are loosing too much calcium and could determine if further testing is needed or not.

Beyond that, perhaps you can consider seeing one or more true spine specialists to see what they can offer you as far as an outlook on your current condition. Maybe you don't need to travel so far from home in order to do so. If you are able, would you consider going out of state?

Know I've thrown at lot at you to consider, and still didn't give you specific questions to ask your doctor. I'm really not sure that there is a lot to ask at this point, beyond what you already have listed. You might wish to go to the hospital and get a copy of your surgical report, and that may generate more questions, but of course you would not have those for Monday.

Hope you will share what you learn when you hear from the doctor, and maybe then some things may be more clearly seen as needing further clarification, or be answered sufficiently so that the outlook is more resolved.

Sorry I wasn't able to find out more for you.

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