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Radiologist Second Opinion for MRI

Spine Health | Last Active: Mar 1 1:20pm | Replies (7)

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Morning. Jennifer's suggestions are excellent. I'll just jump in and add something to your "where to go" question. I live in Upstate SC and chose Mayo JAX for diagnostics and then surgery. The 6 1/2 drive was irritating at times - but that time investment to get everything right was well worth the short inconvenience.

In NC - the folks at Duke and the Spine Institute at Emory (Atlanta) can offer excellent closer-to-you options.

Quick story? I once was being prepped in an OR for delicate brain surgery as indicated by multiple angiograms showing a physical brain anomaly. The neurosurgeon (always a good choice when working with nerves and such) decided to confirm the angiogram - as it was done by a different facility. (pick the best medical facility you can get to). This additional angiogram convinced the neurosurgeon the indicated anomaly was just an artifact (go where they have the best diagnostic equipment) and brain surgery was canceled. It's 33+ years later and I'm still good!

Wishing you the best.

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Replies to "Morning. Jennifer's suggestions are excellent. I'll just jump in and add something to your "where to..."

@upstatephil Phil, Oh my gosh.... what a close call! Your story illustrates why we need multiple opinions if some major surgery is recommended and that there is a big difference where you go and who you trust. Technology helps in medicine, but it can be faulty. We can't just press an "Undo" button and we have to live with the consequences of our choices, and hopefully we have made the right choice. This is why patients need to learn as much as they can to be able to advocate for themselves and make informed choices.

I learned a long time ago how excited doctors could get when a patient passed out because I did that a lot when I feared what they were doing to me. The first time I had nerve conduction testing done it was bad enough to have a neurologist administering painful shocks making my muscles jump and that went on for 45 minutes. Then when he started testing the muscles by sticking a needle in a muscle and measuring the electricity it received, I passed out briefly and I was already laying down at the time. To him, it looked like a seizure, and yes that makes sense because when the brain stops receiving it's blood supply because your blood pressure drops drastically, it will cause something. He stopped the nerve testing. He put me through brain scans and a sleep study and they didn't find anything except an incidental finding of an AVM which is an abnormality of blood vessels in the brain in one place. I have a letter stating his concern, but it has been there for years undetected. Could that cause an issue in the future? Perhaps, but there are no symptoms. This is a reason to make sure that I check my blood pressure and take steps to correct high blood pressure if it occurs. I did ask my neurosurgeon about this, and his question was if I had experienced seizures. I told him no, and he told me not to worry about it. At least I know it is there and to be aware of it.

I talk about fear of medical procedures a lot on Connect. Now, I am a person who has conquered that fear and deprogrammed it as a result of learning about myself as I went through spine surgery a few years ago that gave me back the coordination in my arms. I did have more nerve conduction tests and none were as painful as that first time. The tests were uncomfortable, but I didn't have ongoing pain and exhaustion for a few days from it like what had happened that first time. I had to sleep because I was so exhausted. I have to wonder if the strength of electric shock the first time was just too high.

The next time I had nerve conduction tests, I also had some coping strategies that helped me try to relax, and I would ask for a break for a few minutes when it was getting intense. When I had these tests at Mayo prior to my spine surgery, I knew there was a justified reason for it in getting the correct diagnosis by my surgeon. The first time I had nerve tests, I had undiagnosed thoracic outlet syndrome that was causing arm pain. TOS is a condition of nerve compression between the neck and shoulder that most doctors miss and don't understand. The nerve testing at that time really wasn't useful diagnostically, and it just helped to further establish my fear responses to painful procedures.