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Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/10/2008 11:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Everyone,
 
I know I can always count on you for kind and informative comments.
I've had leg pain for 3 years and never diagnosed. My mri says moderate stenosis, bulging disks, ddd, oseto arthritos in back, hip, knees...
I never had an emg, and no doctor has offered it. My brother and a few people mentioned it and I was on this other board that made it sound like a terrible experience.
I understand it determines if you have nerve damge, but if so--and no doctor would/has seen anything outstanding on my mris--than what would be the point?
I was just seeing if anyone has had one and it was of benefit.
Thanks and I hope I made myself clear.
Swallow your pride, you will not die, it's not poison.- Bob Dylan 


Dragoness Warrior
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 7/10/2008 11:32 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Denim, I've had a number of them done, I had a very pleasant experience with my doctor, though it's not very fun, it's necessary to determine the amount of damage you have.  They stick a couple needle wires into your skin, fairly deep, and they give you a little shock within, and your reaction to it tells the amount of nerve damage.

Now at the same token, my boyfriend also had it done and HATED it, it was very uncomfortable for him.  I would talk to your doctor about it too.  I think it might have to do with the doctor and their aggressiveness with the shocks.  The guy that did my boyfriend wasn't very gentle and shocked him too much, but my doctor was VERY gentle and didn't have to shock too much to get what he wanted.  I have nerve damage down my WHOLE right side.  I've had the EMGs, or ECGs done on both legs and feet, and on both hands and arms.

I wish you luck!  I hope that you are able to get some relief!  Stay positive!  I'm sure many people will have plenty of good advice for you too, everyone here is SO great!!


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13473
   Posted 7/10/2008 2:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Denim, not to rain on anyone's parade but they are not a reliable test. Their accuracy in somewhere in the 70% bracket. Most drs around here no longer do the EMG's because of this. Have seen way to many normal EMGs when there was an acutal problem. Other than that, is a myelogram, its a total map of your spine. It will show what nerves are filling, where the nerve roots are exiting from, ect, I think you get the idea. I say from reading your post you have a terrible back condition with alot going on. Usually when a person has stenosis which is narrowing of the spine, you get nerve impingment. This just food for thought, I am not a dr. The decision is yours if your dr agrees. Good luck, Susie


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13473
   Posted 7/10/2008 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Denim in reading your post again, I highly recommend that you get a consult with a neurosurgeon just for a second opinion. Again, the bulging discs and the stenosis are campgrounds for pinched nerves. Susie


Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/10/2008 2:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your reply. Exactly, everyone here is very helpful and kind. I was questioning the EMG because lets say they determine I do have neve damage, what is the next step? I tried lyrica and hated it. I like to hear what "real" people have to say. The other board had me very scared that it hurt badly. I had 2 nerve blocks done by a doctor without anything for the pain and I screamed, I could not believe how he hurt me and I've had epidurals with something for pain, which only gave me a twinge. I guess I am waying it out. Like I said, I never even had a doctor bring it up, which I find strange but now I'm thinking, what the next step would be. I see my doctor next week but I always like to ask on here to get the opinions of people who have had the procedure done or can relate to my situation. It is great to have that reassurance and encouragement from others. Thank you so much again. And I wish you well, blessings, Barbara.

Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/10/2008 2:32 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Susie, only now, did I see your posts. Apparantly every doctor that has looked at my mri, stenosis, disks and all, have said it looked "fine"--I have to laugh, but no kidding. I've seen orthos and neuros and each said nothing looked like it would require surgery and pretty much treated it lightly. I know I haven't been the same since July 2005 and am thinking it through. If I choose to see another neuro, it would have to be one not part of the group I had gone to. I believe I saw 2 there and they both said the same thing. Thanks for your input. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I do see my doctor next week and plan on speaking to him about it. I don't see the point of having a test if it's not conclusive, which I've heard and if I keep getting doctors who agree that my spine doesn't look bad and they wouldn't do anything, it gives me pause--if I knew of an intelligent doctor, maybe willing to do another mri, it would change my mind. We'll see. Thanks again.

  


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13473
   Posted 7/10/2008 2:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Barbara if there is nerve damage surgery can be done to take the pressure off of the nerve. It goes to ways with nerves, if you wait too long to have the surgery you may not get the relief from surgery that you were expecting. If a nerve is permanently damaged it will not reverse itself. A friend of mine waited too long with nerve damage and she still walks with a limp thats permanent. Nerves are quirky things to deal with for sure. And it does take quite a while for a nerve to heal if its reversible. If I were in your shoes I would get a second opinion and it would be with a qualified neurosurgeon. I think your dr is downplaying your problems and thats not fair to you. Neurosurgeons have much more knowledge of how nerves work over an ortho, thats their specialty so to speak. Susie


Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/10/2008 6:43 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear Susie, I just wrot u and it got lost--I will try to remember the jist of what I was saying. I have seen 2 Neuros, are they both wrong or is it possible they are both right that my mris aren't that bad? It is a tough call. I know something happening to me in July 2005 but I don't have an answer. I am grateful for these good days when my focus is not on pain-I've had those days--and when you get out of that cycle and enjoy getting out of the house or drive, it's such a blessing. I will speak to my doc next week to see what he thinks, all of this is so wearisome. I wish I could get a standing mri and super intelligent doctors, I have a hard time dealing with no answers for things--and my husband has been going through his own afflictions without answers at the same time--double wammy--but when we are both ok, that is able to enjoy the little things we are so happy. I am grateful, I am able to get a good night's sleep and I am grateful when I feel improvememnts. It has been mysterious. I so much appreciate your concern and replies and I love this board. There are the nicest most caring people here and I appreciate you all. I'll be in touch and wish you well, Love, Barbara~  

 


tom inpain
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 7/10/2008 7:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Denim: I've had plenty of Emg's and they are as good as the doctor performing them. To me they are not painful but uncomfortable. please
do Your homework and pick the right specialist to perform the EMG. Best of luck Tom

Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/10/2008 8:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Tom, it's a problem doing my homework in a town that I lived in a few years and my pcp
doesn't even know himself of any to recommend. He knew one neuro, which isn't yet on my insurance plan. Any suggestions on how to do homework on doctors if you don't know them nor know the people around you? I do check rate MDS, but not very helpful. Thanks for responding. My Best~Barbara 
Swallow your pride, you will not die, it's not poison.- Bob Dylan 


Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/10/2008 8:02 PM (GMT -7)   
PS-for Tom, after the EMG, what was the next step? Thanks

tom inpain
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 7/11/2008 2:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Barbara: I live in New Jersey out side of Atlantic City within easy reach of a lot of major University Hospitals. Please let everyone including me know what State Your in and what part. I am positive that someone will know of a Good Doc somewhere near You, if not I'll inquire for You early next week when i go to the University of Penn they will know of where to seek treatment.
All the EMG's I have gotten where at the request of my insurance companies IME docs as my regular Neurosugeon, Orthopedic and Pain Doc saw no reason for all the EMGs as all my problems show up on MRI's and regular Xray's. Usually pain shots and physical therapy are used if Your EMG shows nerve damage and if they don't work ( shots and Pt ) next is a surgeons office.
Anything I can do please let me know. Best regards, Tom

Dragoness Warrior
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 7/11/2008 2:37 PM (GMT -7)   

After reading straydog's response, if you have spinal stenosis, I agree, you will most likely have nerve damage, because the stenosis impinges the spinal cord, pressing on key nerves that causes the pain, inflammation, etc.  So, I would talk to your doc again about getting the EMG and tell him your concerns!  They don't really treat any different, I don't think, whether they KNOW you have nerve damage, or whether they SUSPECT you have nerve damage!  So, I would do some good research, and I'm sure you could find some good ones online somewhere, maybe someone here may know a good site to try?!

I also agree in finding a good doc, though if you're comfortable with yours, by all means, stay with him, but there is no reason that you can't get other opinions, right?!  Just to make your decision easier, and to give you basis on your decision!  Always, up to you!  I wish you luck with everything!  I hope that you are able to find some relief!

Best wishes to all and wish you all relief, or at least a good day!!


Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/11/2008 3:49 PM (GMT -7)   

This somehow got posted in a separate posting. But this was my reply...

 

Thank you Tom and Susie. I am in Green Valley Arizona, about 40 minutes from Tucson. Like I said the 2 neuros and other docs I've seen say they see nothing outstanding from my mri. Whenever I would speak of the stenosis, it was treated lightly. Like there was never anything showing that indicated I had a big problem. I have seen many doctors, and not one but a chiropractor told me why he thought I had as much pain as I did. And he said that was from multiple layers of bulging disks. So, honestly the ordeal of going to different docs and walking away empty has been very tiring, yet right now I am not feeling too bad but I am also taking pain pills. If the stenosis was that bad, I think (just think) I would be in more pain--I don't know. When I read boards and the pain and the amts of drugs people take and how they can't sleep at night, I feel so bad for them. That's why I feel blessed I can sleep and sleep well. Thanks for both of your posts and concerns. I am also limited as to who I can see. But if the doctor takes Mercy Care, I'm good, if not, I can't pay out of pocket. Thank you both so much! My blessings to you both.   


tom inpain
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 7/14/2008 12:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Denim: Your more than welcome-- Iam going to my Pain Specialist at the University of Penn on Thursday and I know they have a referral system that covers the USA and other Countries. I'll post the results or pm whatever You prefer. My entire neck has been fused and I have had numerous MRI's at different locations and everyone that I had shows up differently and is read totally different by the specialist's. I realize that Your Insurance is a real big problem and I'll do the best I can to find someone in Your state to help if I can.
Did the Chiropractor Help ?? Take care Tom

tom inpain
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 7/14/2008 1:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Barbara: I called my Neurosurgeon who is the Head of Neurosurgery at the University of Penn and He gave me this contact person.
She is a Legal Nurse Consultant and knows who's who in Your area and what Doc's accept what insurance etc and could be a good contact by phone
to help You. Her name is Deborah Bottai RN, BSN, LNC phone 520-390-5767 address 8750 Chinaberry Way, Tuscan, AZ. Please call Her and tell Her You were referred to Her for advice from the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Penn. hopefully She can help-- if not PLEASE let me know and we will try other resources. Best regards, Tom

Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/14/2008 1:14 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear Tom, you are a wonderful person to care about me and go out of your way, when esp. you have many problems yourself. I do appreciate it very much. I do think the chiropractic helped. But that was paid out of pocket and I spent thousands but it wasn't permanent.

I always feel there are answers to things, not a shrugging of shoulders, which is what I get. I am on a small amount of pain medication that has helped and allowed me to have a good week last week. I was able to not feel like an invalid and drive and walk better. I know I must enjoy the day for what it is and have been, I have to put my faith in God also and not the doctors, cause I go back Thurday and have no idea what he will say. It's for a follow up. I was suppose to get the emg and haven't and want to discuss that with him. The dr. he lined me up with is not in my plan and the dr. they picked already blew me off. I know I'm not making up the pain and though the pills don't take everything away, it takes a great deal away and I'm grateful but I know this doctor is strict and don't know how long I should stay on the pills or what. I also think too much. Thanks again and I wish you the very best also, you have gone through so much yourself. I have never gone to a pain specialist for pills, do they say it's okay to stay on the pills if they are helping or try to get you off? I've been feeling pretty good and I'm afraid that this doctor will stop the pills, but I may be just thinking the worst. Thanks again.  


Swallow your pride, you will not die, it's not poison.- Bob Dylan 


Lindaloo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 7/14/2008 3:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Well you guys that say that an EMG is just uncomfortable, I don't know. I had the most dreadful experience. Must have been the doophus that did mine. I was screaming in pain and had to demand that he stop. I know I will never have one again. That was second to my myelogram which was hell also. Sorry to have such a negative experience, but it's the truth.

You are all such sweeties to help Barbara with her situation, especially you Tom. I feel lucky to be a part of this board. YOU ARE such wonderful people for sure. God bless you all.

Gentle Hugs,

Lindaloo.
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
Believe in yourself.  Be kind to fellow humans and animals.  Take time to smell the flowers and the coffee.
And by all means, when you are down, ask me for help.  I will be there.
 
Linda


Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/14/2008 6:25 PM (GMT -7)   

And Lindaloo, you are a sweetheart also. Tom is fantastic. I have always said this board is the best. God bless you all, I sincerely mean it. People who are suffering themselves, I'll use Tom as an example going out of his way to help me, someone he doesn't know but has compassion for. It is such a blessing to come here and meet all of you. I am sorry when I read the stories here and when I think to pray I should remember to pray more for all of you.

I had a nerve block that set me screaming, it's a good thing my husband wan't right there, I think he would have punched the doctor out. That's another reason I am questioning, do I want to go through more pain? If it was a nerve problem, I am thinking I would feel worse. Although when this ordeal started, I would get tingles down my legs that seemed like it indicated a nerve problem. That stopped a long time ago and honestly I don't like the fact that I'm on meds but lately have been feeling better and don't really want to be stuck. The other thing is, I haven't found a doctor I totally trusted. Some I felt I knew more than and the rest all acted like nothing was showing outstanding.

Anyway, Lindaloo, I thank you, Tom, I thank you, and Susie I thank you and if I left anyone out I thank you. Blessings to you all---Always!! Barbara~     


Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/16/2008 3:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Tom, I finally called the number you gave me for Deborah Bottai and it wasn't hers. The person who answered said they had that number for about 4 years???? So...I don't know. I go to my doctor tomorrow. Wish me luck. Thanks.
Swallow your pride, you will not die, it's not poison.- Bob Dylan 


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13473
   Posted 7/16/2008 7:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Denim, I do hope your appt goes well tomorrow. Something you said in an earlier post, that you don't trust drs. Are you talking about the one you will be seeing tomorrow? If so, by all means try
to get in with someone else. Is this an orthopedic you will be seeing tomorrow? I do hope Tom can get a better number for you.
 
Yes, you say you are feeling better, but even tho you are on a small amt of meds, that has to contribute somewhat to your feeling better. None of us like taking pills or having to watch a clock till the next dose. But, sometimes we have no choice if it means having some quality life. I had a terrible time tolerating medications, I am not limited to pain meds either. I now have the pain pump and its given me a different kind of life, but a much better one than what I was living before. Its very hard to accept life as a CPer. I have grieved for my old life, I still want it back, but thats just not in the cards. I have so many medical problems now, CP is in a long line with the other stuff. I know in my heart I will not be the same ever again and I go thru periods when I really miss her. I am lucky in many ways tho. My husband & I led a very active life before I got sick, I got to go to so many places and do so many things, some never have that chance because of health issues.
 
You may well benefit from a pain mgt especially if you feel any day your dr is going to cut you off the meds. They offer a varierty of things. But some have said you have to be careful in choosing a pain mgt dr because some just want to do a bunch of expensive injections and do not give medication. So, you have to ask up front if the dr does give pain medication.
 
Please let us know how your appt goes. Hugs, Susie


tom inpain
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 7/16/2008 8:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Denium: If You Google Bottai she comes up with the address and phone number i gave You. Plus She is listed with Spine-Universe.
Okay they emailed me with other names:
1- Peter Cannici Phd -Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pain Management, Primary Care ( all under one roof )
480-861-1444 located in tuscan Arizonia
2-John McGettigan M.D. Quality of Life Medical Center, 520-733-2250 website www.gimc.com ( i think )
3- Asim Khan M.d. Pain Specialist www.azpainandspine.com Located in tuscan arizonia.

Please let me know how You made out-- I believe all the above take all insurances --at least they used to
Tom Lasko


Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/16/2008 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Susie, you are so sweet. How thoughtful of you to think of me and write. I admit, I, for the most part do not put a lot of faith in doctors. The one I see tomorrow in my pcp. He has gone along for the most part with anything I have asked of him. I must admit this last med he gave me, I didn't ask for, is an extended release and these past couple of weeks have been the best I've had in quite some time. I don't feel like an invalid which I was feeling. I've been driving and walking a little and that alone brings me so much joy. As I said I was rarely home before, hated being in the house, so this affliction was like a cruel punishment, taking away what you love the most, the outdoors and exercising, besides the fact I couldn't sit in a car very long or even think of doing much and would find myself jealous of others, which I didn't like about myself, nor could I even think about working. I feel if I stay on this, I would be able to work. But, I am just afraid, since nothing definite serious has been found, only my word, that I'll be dropped from the pills and I hate the thought of feeling the pain and never sitting comfortable, etc. I don't know how he feels about it, I am happy that I am doing more and want to do more. Of course, I wish I didn't need a pill but I do now in my life and pray for a miracle that someday I won't. I am afraid he'll say you can't stay on this pill and I'm thinking ahead. We'll see, I hope it goes well.

I am sorry what you are going through and understand you grieving your life as it was. That's how I felt. I came out to Arizona and said I wanted to get more rugged and hike and bam one month later, pain. I thank you sincerely for reaching out to me and having concern for me. I wish you the very best life has to offer and pray that you feel better,

Blessings to u, Barbara and thanks again, you are so kind, I wish I could help you in some way, but will pray.     

 


Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 7/16/2008 8:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Tom, the phone number is a mistake, but I will look into it further and the others. Thank you so very much for your concern, kindness and just looking this up for me!! Many blessings to u!!

mrsm123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1228
   Posted 7/17/2008 9:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Denim,
I'm a little late to this thread, so if you have already had the test done, then just ignore my reply.
 
I've had several emg's...........they are done to determine where the nerve damage lies if there is any. They can however, miss the damage if it less than a month old in onset....
 
I won't lie and say that it is a pleasant test, but it's not the worst one I've ever had.
They will tell you once the results are done, if there is nerve damage and at what level, and what kind it is......I hope this helped.
Sandi
PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..

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