I'm 27 and have a large disc protrusion at L3/4 with a fragment lying around in there, which is affecting my right leg (numbness from the knee down mostly at the front, and weakness. I did have shooting pain from the hip to the knee however that has subsided - woohoo!)
I have been to see Dr. Peter Bentivoglio (Neurosurgeon) at St. Vincents, and Dr. Andrew Cree (Orthopaedic surgeon - spinal) at Westmead, but my physician actually wanted me to see Dr. Tim Steel (Neurosurgeon) St.Vincents but he was unavailable.
They both said similar things, and I go back this week to see Dr Cree, and next week to see Dr Bentivoglio.
Alot of people have said I should go for a Neurosurgeon, but my physician is now pushing for me to see Dr. Cree :s
I am sooo confused now! I don't know who to choose. Do I see them both again, just to be safe - or go with Dr. Steel as well... Obviously it will cost me alot more if I keep seeing more than one. I am sure they are all capable.
Does anyone have any advice on how to choose a surgeon / hospital?
Im in a very similar position. I am 25 and have a large disc protrusion at L5/S1 and a fragent floating around in there somewhere too. Like u I had some pain but that has since subsided and I now only have discomfort, the ocassional shooting pain in my calf and numbness down the side of my leg, foot and in my toes.
I spent weeks researching neurosurgeons and hospitals (Im a research grad ) and saw 3 neurosurgeons (expensive I know) at 2 different hospitals. After all this I have chosen to have my surgery done by Dr Bentivoglio (the research shows he is one of if not the best) at St Vincents.
I dont know how to choose a surgeon but I can read stats and research and so based my decision on that. I do know that you should not have your surgery done by an Orthapedic surgeon....the surgery is commonly done by neurosurgeons....they are specially trained in this area and most will do several of these ops a week.
Goodluck. Feel free to ask me any questions. Let us know how u go.
I believe Mr Bill Sears is Neurologist that Specialises in Spinal Surgery
Bill Sears is a prominent NEUROSURGEON works out of the North Shore area and I understand operates at DALCROSS. Not sure about RNS hospital. I understand he is an excellent spinal surgeon.
I had my surgery (microdischetomy on L5-S1) done by Dr Bentivoglio 7 days and I was most impressed by his work. I feel great, the wound is healing nicely and my back is feeling good. The staff at St Vincents Private were wonderful and I would definately recommend Dr Bentivoglio.
Goodluck. Feel free to ask me any questions.
An update on my situation...
I went with Dr. Steel (although Arabesque, i'd love to know what sort of information you found in your research cause i'm hopeless at it).
I ended up having 2 cortisone injections - one at L3/4 and one at 4/5 (i some how made L4/5 bulge as well after sneezing). The injections were good, most of my discomfort was gone, and i started doing swimming, and returning to my normal duties including work part-time.
It seems I got a little over excited about feeling better After a long walk, i needed to recover for a day and a half - which was unusual. I then did 4 days at work. By the 4th day I was starting to feel the pain in my legs again, and it has been getting worse over the last 3 days, and this morning i couldn't even stand up, due to the pain. Although lying down gave instant relief.
I am so frustrated that I have re-lapsed so badly. It looks like it's inevitable that I have surgery (the size of my fragment is apparently borderline to have surgery or wait it out).
I'll be calling the surgeon tomorrow to see what he says.
Thanks to all those who replied! I hope my next post is a little more positive
I read with enormous interest of the names of neurosurgeons who are spinal surgeons in sydney.
I am in my early 30's and was in a pretty serious car accident 14 months ago, hurting my back amongst other injuries. Since then I have been in agony everytime I'm upright, twist sideways, leaning backwards and in valsalva (strain, cough, sneeze, breathe deeply). I have a foot drop, get ongoing tingly numb from my back down to my foot on one side. I have been seeing progressing weakness and increasing fatigue of that leg. I also have a previous problem with that disc which has not been a problem until the accident.
MRI earlier this year shows protruding L4/5 disc impinging on the sac that surrounds the spinal cord although there was no compression of the cord itself.
I live in Brisbane and have seen two neurosurgeons. One I wasn't impressed with and went to get another opinion. The second one is telling me he is not sure if he wants to perform surgery. So I have been doing some research (research officer jobwise) on background knowledge which has proven to be very interesting.
Aside from the fact that I'm having some strong stuff for pain relief and have major troubles sitting, I am utterly unimpressed and am considering bearing the pain to fly down to Sydney to seek another opinion.
Comments and suggestions are most welcomed.
If you live in brisbane and want a second opinion, try Matt Scott-Young at Gold Coast Spine.
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Is there anyone here with L3/L4 radiculopathy following a back injury?