We made it to NYC for my appointment/consult with the neurosurgeon despite the fact that we are getting yet another snow storm in my area- dumping another 8 + inches over the coming 36 hours.
He spent the better part of 3 hours with my husband and I , examining me, asking questions, and then left to view the cd of the MRI's in his office. He came back a few minutes later and said that the cd wouldn't play on his computer?? not sure that I believe that since the ortho surgeon he referred me to last week is in the same building- but he said that he would be back in 10 minutes- he was going to run over to the Hospital to view the images. Anyway, he was gone for the better part of a half an hour and then returned not looking so happy as he was when he left.
He said that what I suspected is indeed the problem, I have Cauda Equina Syndrome for the 2nd time. He did the vibration and pin prick testing and said that my muscle strength is minimal, my sensory abilities from my hips down are non existant, and my right foot now also has a complete foot drop, so it joins the left in needing an afo.
He said that I need surgery and need it quickly. He also said that it is probably not going to improve things for me, but when I asked what would happen if I decided not to have surgery, how much time would I have before things would worsen even more, he said that I don't have any time- that my canal is as closed off as it can be. He said that there is no way of knowing how long it has been that way and therefore he doesn't expect to see any improvement.
I asked what happens if I choose to do nothing, he said, you can't choose to do nothing because you are out of time. He said the wrong move can paralyze me.
He told me to take a couple of days, talk it over with my husband, but he handed me a form for anesthesia, it's a questionairre they have you fill out prior to surgery. He wants me to come back to Hospital for Special Surgery to get a CT scan done to see if they will also need to redo the fusion or extend it and he believes they will, he also wants to see the lipoma from L4-S2 to see how involved it is with the canal. He is afraid of a dural tear but said that he has no choice but to attempt to remove it because it is choking off the nerve roots at those levels, as well as crushing the nerves themselves within the canal. I also have to have an ultrasound done to make sure that I don't have phlebitis because of the colors and temperatures of my legs and feet before surgery.
And there was something else but can't remember it now........
Anyway I haven't made up my mind yet. He suggested getting another opinion besides the one from the ortho I saw last week but he said if I do to make sure they understand this is Cauda Equina Syndrome and that I don't have time to wait weeks for an appointment.
I knew this was coming, I've seen far more than my fair share of MRI's and CT scans not to recognize a problem when I see one, and not to recognize what the problem is......still, you hope that you are wrong.