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My girlfriend of 6 yrs was in a serious car accident about a month ago and even though the seat belt basically saved her from any major damage, a lower-lumbar MRI has revealed that he has several pinched nerves. She now has no feeling in either foot, and a very sore left knee and lower back. I have taken over a week off of work (which isn't a problem as I get 5 weeks of paid vac per year) because she cannot walk by herself, she requires a cane and me to get from bed to couch to bathroom. We have been seeing a chiropractor for roughly two weeks and he doesn't believe it's anything worse than pinched nerves and just advises us to keep seeing him and be patient. As expected, my girlfriend has become extremely depressed as she feels completely helpless. Anyone have any advice for her pain/diagnosis or for me who essentially feels like I'm taking care of an elderly person who believes she will be in this current state the rest of her life? Thanks.
My mother just had back surgery from a real doctor with a medical degree and 30 years of surgical experience.
Take her to a specialist before you let another chiropractor touch her(no offense to those who may be in the profession).
If she was in an accident the insurance should cover any medical treatment.
Get an MRI immediately. I too suffered similar feelings and loss of use in my upper right arm back in 2001. I went to chiro etc but after two months nothing improved. I couldn't even hold the gallon of milk when pulling it out of the refrigerator. It was hard for me to shave the left side of my face reaching across. Went to a neurologist who suggest MRI immediately. That revealed impingement of the nerves C-5 C-6 vertebrae and neurosurgeon said surgery was needed which I did. Replaced the disc and had spinal fusion of C-5 and C-6. My muscles atrophied so bad over those two months that I still, to this day, don't have full strength in my right upper extremities and probably never will. Building the mass back to be symmetrical with my left side doesn't seem possible after all this time which the surgeon told me would likely be the case. If I had got to the problem sooner it would've been able to be corrected.
Don't waste anytime!
She did get an MRI and the chiropractor went to med school and practiced as a Dr. at one point, we 100% trust his opinion. Her regular doctor mentioned getting a brain scan but said in his professional opinion nothing would come of it. We even went and did a consult with the neuro guy and he believed any more testing would be a waste of our time.
An orthopedic surgeon would be the next stop. I would not visit the Chiropractor again until you get a respected surgeon's advice. I work in this industry. Unfortunately, the MRI should not be viewed as the final word - as I'm sure it has not. This sounds to be very curable, so don't lose hope.
Thoroughly research the orthopedic surgeons available to you and when you find one you think you can trust to not do an unnecessary procedure, go for a consult and see what the rest of your options are.
This as well^^^
Round up all of your options and see a consultant. Medicine is a business and sometimes physicians will try and squeeze as much money as they can out of you.
It's still very important you see an Orthopedic doctor though. A Chiropractor is not enough and never will be.
Completely disagree. A Chiropractor is the conservative approach. Try that first. Back surgery should be your last resort, as they are not always happy endings. The Chiropractor should use a traction method, or disc pump.
This is 100 percent correct.
Medications, physical therapy and chiropractors are conservative treatment. An orthopedic surgeon will not cut unless there are very specific symptoms and the MRI backs up the symptoms. If it is musculoskeletal in origin, surgery will not likely help. Even if a discectomy is feasible, they will not cut until conservative measures have failed because there is a possibility that the surgery will not improve the symptoms and the scar tissue formed could make the pain worse. Unless she has a condition called cauda equina syndrome, they will not take her emergently to surgery, nor should they. It really depends on what the MRI shows. Without knowing the medical history, MRI results and doing an exam, it's difficult to give advice. If she has neurological symptoms though, she needs to see a spine surgeon.
This post was edited by kenwaite88 14 months ago
Had a similar injury but different part of the body. Pinched nerves in my neck and muscle spasms all across my back, right shoulder, right elbow and numbness in my right hand. I had zero strength to the point where I couldn't toss a bag of frozen corn to my wife 5 feet away and when I shot a layup (just to see how weak my arm was) I couldn't even get it to the rim. Ibuprofen (800 mg three times a day) vicodin and muscle relaxers did little or nothing. Couldn't sleep in any position because of the pain. Went to the chiropractic office for three weeks three times a week and he treated it with electric stimulation and regular chiropractic work. FINALLY felt relief after the end of the third week, now its been 5 weeks and I have some numbing in my thumb and index finger but strength is 90% regained, and muscle tightness and spasms are gone. I still take ibuprofen about 600 mg twice a day but it completely knocks out the pain for half a day. If you have trusted the chiropractor and they have said it will get better just ride it out. If it gets worse I would see a doctor ASAP but if its not getting worse or slightly getting better I think she may be OK soon (I hope!)
THIS! I have 8 discs that are either bulging or herniated. The trainers in the athletic department pushed for surgery and I refused. Fusing discs together is an absolute last ditch thing because it creates more problems for the other discs in your back. If you can afford it and are really wanting surgery, I would look into artificial disc replacement. That's your only chance at retaining a little bit of mobility so your other discs don't suffer.
If the chiropractor helps (during, immediately after his sessions), you might consider an inversion table (they sell from $100-$400). All it does is hang you by the ankles in various levels below horizontal This may relieve compression (help unpinch the nerves that are pinched) using body weight to stretch out what gravity normally compresses when we are upright.
If you want to make a short-term test of whether that will help at all, go to a sporting goods store where they have floor models. Put her on it ad tip it back. Check the feeling in her feet, knees and lower back. That would at least tell you if it would have any immediate impact (whether short-term relief or not).
If you want to be conservative. Ask the Chiropractor about it before trying.
This post was edited by JarheadBuck 14 months ago
As others have said seems she has advancing symptoms. If she has any weakness needs to be seen very very soon. If loss of sensation ASAP. Should be seen by more specifically an ortho SPINE surgeon or a neurosurgeon which specializes in SPINE surgery. Both work on spine and do well difference is path they took to get there. Advancing symptoms should not be ignored. Backup plan if surgeon believe no surgical issue would be an anesthesia pain specialist which could do either facet injections or possibly epidural injections. Before I would consider that rule out a surgical issue. Has she been put on a medrol dose pak?
Three years ago I slipped a disc in my lower lumbar and lost all feeling in my right foot. It had pinched my sciatic and shot pain down my right cheek and in my calf. I went to the doc and had surgery two days later. Still cannot feel my foot and will forever have back pain, but it completely solved the pain down my leg. My advice: stop seeing the chiropractor IMMEDIATELY and go see the doc for an MRI. if that nerve is pinched too long the pain it could be irreversible and the odds of drop foot go up substantially. I hope everything turns out well.
Wow I can't believe there is any dissent for this scenario. As an orthopedist, I can understand why anyone would want to avoid surgery - but you have to admit that sometimes things are required to be done in life that we'd rather not go through. You didn't choose for this accident to happen, and didn't choose to have these nerve deficits. With the information presented, it is crazy/bad "medicine"/borderline unethical to act like something that could be treated with chiropractic care.
This is the type of patient that could get better with manipulations, but could herniate a disk remnant into a worse position and now you can't control bowel or bladder function. She could also get better with waving monkey dung over her back for six week - and would be a hell of a lot cheaper.
On average half of disk herniations get better on their own in 3 months. Doing due diligence up front just makes sure you aren't in that extreme risk cohort. Just get seen - a car accident and both leg involvement with weakness and numbness is by definition not your average pinched nerve.
I was in a similar situation in 1998. I didn't have the surgery because I didn't want to have the surgery. We have one of the best at acupuncture specialists in this country here in Columbus. He teaches at THE OSU. 10 Years after the fact and still not having any feeling in my lower back I went to him. Amazing. Not only was the feeling restored after all that time in my lower back, I hadn't had feeling in my right knee for 35 years due to a MCL operation in high school and feeling there was restored. After 6 years I'm about ready to go back to him for a tune up. My wife had high spinal surgery at Northwestern in Chicago and lower spinal surgery here at OSU. She remains in more pain than I experience.
This post was edited by mj9 14 months ago
No offense to anyone in this thread, but medical advice on college football forums may not be the best idea.
Disc replacement surgery is expensive and not covered by most insurance companies as it's still considered a little experimental by insurance companies. It was developed in 2004, so it's not really all that experimental, but rather insurance company A faces don't want to pay for it.The cost of the procedure is between $35,000 and $50,000 on average.
Chiropractors have their usefulness, but having been through a similar, but worse experience I'd recommend finding the best back guy. Do your research first when it comes to your back and never settle. I was almost killed by a drunk driver and had numerous issues, one being my back so I'm pretty familiar with the physical and emotional toll situations like this can produce. The issue with her foot may subside in time as her back heals, but she could also develop drop foot.
I would seek a second and independent opinion. I made the mistake of trusting my leg guy to refer me to a hand guy, I'll never make that mistake again. Trust no one in the medical field before getting a second opinion. They do not care about you, you are typically just a number and over inflated pay check(surgeons). No offense to the good Dr's on the board.
This post was edited by Outstanding 14 months ago
"I would seek a second and independent opinion. I made the mistake of trusting my leg guy to refer me to a hand guy, I'll never make that mistake again. Trust no one in the medical field before getting a second opinion. They do not care about you, you are typically just a number and over inflated pay check(surgeons). No offense to the good Dr's on the board."
Agree with first sentence but beyond that??? You have to trust your physicians if you don't then you need to look for another one. Your surgeon and anesthesiologist literally have your life in their hands. You damn well better trust them.
Sorry about your obviously bad experience but the vast majority of physicians DO care and don't treat patients like a number. If you get that impression run don't walk to another physician.
As far as the overinflated paychecks physicians would do better had they decided to use their brain power to become a CEO or politician on capital hill if they really wanted to make some money. Most physicians including surgeons don't make nearly as much as people think. The ones that make the large paychecks work in mostly cash only fields/practices.
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