Bebbles, I went back to your original post & read about
the results of the MRI. I now remember both surgeons had the same opinion about
C4. From C4 on you have issues that are listed. When a person has narrowing/stenosis, it is not uncommon for a nerve to be compromised & not be seen on an MRI. This is where the physical symptoms play a role.
I understand the surgeons thoughts on wanting to make sure which level is causing the issue. I have seen surgeons do this with patients that have multiple levels involved, meaning more than 2. You have a good surgeon in your corner. There is no point in operating on a level that may not be the problem level. I am not a dr, so here it is in layman's terms, lol. Back when I worked I could tell you what level produced issues if there was a problem, such as arm pain, tingling, numbness in certain fingers, shoulder pain & that sort of thing.
All you can do is ask the private neuro if he feels the MRI should be updated. Do not be surprised if he says no. Again, yours isn't a year old & no where did I see it state the film was poor quality. Both surgeons would have told you if the films were not good. If one is poor quality, the radiologist will comment at the bottom & if it's bad enough the radiologist will recommend repeating it for better quality. MRI's are not cheap & this is another factor.
I know Seashell mentioned a test called an EMG study that is done to check nerves. My first exposure to EMG's was late 70's. They were a big thing back then. However, in the early 90's neurosurgeons were not ordering an EMG like before. I asked a well known neurosurgeon here why the spine surgeons had moved away from them. His answer was, they are not a reliable test for spine problems. I live in a very large city. For over 20 years one of the things I did was read our client's medical records. In that span of time I can count on both hands how many EMG studies came up positive when it involved the spine. Those that were positive had horrible nerve damage with severe symptoms. An EMG is excellent diagnostic test for carpal tunnel syndrome, someone with ulnar nerve problems & such, but pretty much useless for spine issues.
I know you are pretty upset & frustrated. Have you discussed with the surgeon how long it takes to get ESI's scheduled through the VA? Do you have the option of having them done outside of the VA with a better time frame? The surgeon would know who to refer you to, just a thought. Maybe consider compromising with the surgeon, have the 2nd injection & see what happens. If nothing favorable happens see if he will agree to go ahead with surgery.
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Post Edited (straydog) : 3/24/2019 6:49:55 AM (GMT-6)