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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

I have autoimmune thyroid (hashi's) and I fused ok etc and the surgery was fine and what they call a success. I am not "fixed" and have problems but that is because of continuing degeneration/stenosis, not because of the surgeries. I have read that autoimmune genes have an affect in your body, but it's probably more the degernative spine genes (lol) that is really causing the problem. In my family, my father, sister, and her 20 yr old daughter and I all have spine probs.

I totally undestand your frustration and fear. I am one of the lucky people that had really good insurance. For me that has been a godsend to not have to worry about financial aspects and only about my health. My heart goes out to people not in the same spot, because I understand what it means to have these problems.

I wouldn't focus them on autoimmune first, you will waste your precious consultation time. I would spend the time understanding what is wrong with you and why they want you to have surgery. What the surgery will "fix". There are so many surgeries available, it is important to understand why they are choosing the one they offered.

Here are questions

First appointment questions:
1. Do I need surgery?
2. What are the facts that you (doctor) are using to decide on my case?
2a. Are there additional tests that we should do to give us more data? EMG/NVC, more MRI, xrays, etc.?
3. Can you give me a simple explanation about my issues, for example do you have a spine model or can you draw in on paper for me? Can you show me how my anatomy is causing this problem?
4. Am I a candidate for more conservative approaches (non-surgical)?
5. Am I a candidate for non-invasive surgery procedures?
6. What is a reasonable amount of time to wait in my case before I should do surgery (if that is being recommended).
7. What risks am I taking if I wait to do surgery or do not do the surgery?
8. If this were a family member of yours what would you advise them?

Alternative Surgeries:
1. Am I a candidate for Artificial disc ?? (Are multiple levels effected ?)
2. If so, is it possible for the disc to be installed "off-center"?
3. If it fails, can it be removed, re-done, or could I then have a fusion ?
4. Are there "distraction" pains from spreading the spine apart, to fit the disc in ?
5. Can the AD load the facet joints with additional stress ?
6. Can spontaneous fusion grow over the disc, and reduce it's function ?

Conservative Care Questions:
1. What options do I have besides surgery?
2. Can you explain spinal injections and are they right for me?
3. What physical therapy modalities would be best for my problems?
4. How should I judge to continue with PT or stop?
5. Is Chiropractic care good for my case?

Surgery Questions
1. Explain the surgical procedure you are recommending.
2. How does it work to help me?
3. Will this solve all my problems?
4. Can you predict success for me? Could I expect full resolution, partial, what might I expect after I am recovered?
5. How will my follow-up be handled?
6. Will you be using my bone (from the hip) or autologous (donor) bone?
7. What kind of complications could arise from surgery?
8. How long will the surgery take, and how long will I be in the hospital?

Recovery Questions
1. How long will I be in the hospital?
2. What will my restrictions be? How long?
3. Do I have to wear a collar?
4. What activities can I do?
5. Are there any lifting restrictions?
6. Can I drive?
7. Can I take ibuprofen after surgery? If not, how long until I can take it again?

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