← Return to Grade III spondylolisthesis – bilateral, unrelenting pain

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@jenniferhunter I cannot thank you enough for your kind but informative reply. With all respect to Laser Spine Institute, They did their assessment thoroughly and both Dr Prada and Dr Davis (who had I believe excellent experience and training, one being from Johns Hopkins) made the decision to decline my case on evidence of my condition. Sadly it seems mismanagement and yes law suits have shut them down. As we are Canadians wintering in Treasure Island, it seemed like a great option at the time IF I could be helped. Sadly not. LSI is a moot point now except for 31 pages of investigation and assessment.

Regarding Mayo, we've always considered them in high regard. In fact many years ago my father in law was treated successfully at Mayo in Rochester for prostatic cancer. He lived well into his 90's!

At the moment here in Ontario Canada, surgery has been deemed not an option due to the natural fusion, bone spurs, arthritic changes and my age of 70 years. As I've exhausted all avenues here which include PT, aquatic therapy, medical massage, chiropractic (a total waste of time, energy, I declined after visit 4), 40, 10 mg oxycodone qid, baclofen, and now he wants to try gabapentin, which as you would know, there are horror stories detailing its horrible side effects. I inject Saxenda daily to counteract the "munchy" side effects of meds. Dehydration is always lurking so huge amounts of water have become my "party drink" of choice.

My final option is to attend a so called pain clinic in Ottawa where treatment could/would include steroid injections, epidural injections and medical marijuana (recreational and medical now legal in Canada). Injections are risky and not always successful and if they are, relief is short lived. Of course, medical professionals are hopping all over medical marijuana because it's a way to stop the flow of patients crying for help with chronic pain. We are now in the middle of the "opioid crisis" so shedule 1 meds are dispensed very carefully and it's not uncommon to be approached by someone wishing to buy your Rx at $300 per pill. It's totally outrageous.

I take oxycodone only as prescribed and feel it may take the edge off the pain. I don't know. My calf pain is so intense when standing and walking so my days include how many steps I MUST do to accomplish what MUST be done. I have a wonderful husband of 47 years who is burdened with a once active and vibrant mate who worked as a hispice chaplain over many years accompanying souls suffering with "pain". I didn't have a clue what pain really felt like. I now know nerve pain symptoms, although it's said thst visceral pain is far worse. I am inherently thankful my brain works overtime and as you can imagine I've researched this condition incessantly. Albeit, i haven't contacted Mayo.

Going forward, yes I am aware this condition will progress. Yes a fall, any type of fall will change things instantly. Yes my mobility will undoubtably decrease as my spine condition will dictate. Yes I'm worried about the impact of these meds will have on my digestive tract. I'm sure there are other unknowns which will present themselves as I age further.

I have no idea how to contact Mayo, being a Canadian. I'm understanding there are long wait times and requests for assessment can be lengthy, costly only to be denied. I apologize for this very long post, Jennifer but I'm sure you can sense a woman feelin despair. With my meagre medicali do know from working in a hospital, hospice and long term care I do know enough to comprehend the complexity of cases such as mine.

My first post was looking for support fro people with like conditions. However I'm noting most are/have tried every possible way to ease their pain. There's nothing new.

Herein lies my story, Jennifer. I'm not opposed to surgery but there are horror stories Amoy it as well. Am I afraid, yes, truly. We are not millionaires but the thought of $30000 Canadian and a hope of relief sounded very promising. I now have a disc and MRI reports for which I paid $600 Canadian. Here, we are not allowed to go to any private clinic. And if we do so, the cost of one MRI would be upwards of $2000 Canadian. My LSI MRI was included in the $600 Canadian and included did include 3 pages of description of every single thoracic, lumbar and sacral disc. Also included were xrays of both hips and pelvis c/w written reports. We know truly the option of private medical care in the US far exceeds socialized care here in Canada. I'm off topic here, but please know and tell your neighbors you do NOT want socialized medicine down there. Patients are left in the dust. Even if we can afford private care, it's not allowed here. Period.

So now my though processes are changing. Phoebe many hurdles are there to getting Mayo help@? As I said in my original post, I feel i am against a brick wall, nor emotionally as such, but trying to luv "around" this pain and loss of mobility is a real and present challenge.

If you do read this, my most humble thanks.

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Replies to "@jenniferhunter I cannot thank you enough for your kind but informative reply. With all respect to..."

@katie215 Thanks for responding, Katie. I think 70 is young. What I do know is that Mayo accepts patients from all over the world and they will accept cash if you do not have health insurance coverage. That being said, I don't know what it would cost. My surgery was listed at about $65,000, but the insurance company has a negotiated contracted rate which is less, and then I pay my portion of that. I had already hit my out of pocket maximum that year, so there were no additional charges to me for my surgery. I had been to 5 surgeons before I came to Mayo and testing during that year, and Mayo's testing maxed out my responsibility for the year. The website has a cost estimate for procedures so you can see an example. I have asked my surgeon's nurse about people from other countries, and what you can do is contact Mayo and ask to submit your imaging for review. You can ask for a particular surgeon. I did that. There would not be a charge to do this, and they would tell you if they thought they could help you or not with a surgical procedure. If you are accepted at Mayo, they would offer an appointment. You can decline that if you do not think it is realistic for you to come. My surgeon was excellent and one of Mayo's best, a neurosurgeon spine deformity expert who also has orthopedic spine fellowship training. He was trained at Mayo and teaches there. I found my care at Mayo to be so much better than any other place I consulted, and my Mayo surgeon got it right; the other 5 surgeons had missed the diagnosis and refused to help me. I had a great recovery and spine surgery gave me my life back. I was very careful in my choices and only consulted surgeons I chose based on where they trained and worked, if my issues matched their interests, what they wrote research papers on, if they were recognized for academic excellence, and I looked to see if they were recognized for their achievements with Becker's Spine review as a surgeon you should know. I also looked for any disciplinary actions on the State medical license board to make sure there was none. There is also a rating of percentage of success on specific procedures that are for Medicare patients, and it rates doctors and the facility separately. Medicare patients are older after age 65, so that has to be considered too since often other health issues can affect a surgical outcome. I do know that Mayo surgeons can do things that other places cannot or will not attempt and they have more volume of specific procedure experience than a lot of other places. If you are a healthy 70 year old, I think you could get help. I would be happy to answer any questions about my experience with my surgeon. I regard him highly and if I need help for further spine issues, I will only go back to him in Rochester. You can contact Mayo on the website by typing in a request, or call them. Here is the online request for for international patients and the phone numbers for international appointments is listed on the right side of that screen.
https://costestimator.mayoclinic.org/ Cost estimates search

https://www.beckersspine.com/spine-lists.html (You can search and see if a doctor is listed there.)