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I need some advice. Four months ago I had a cervical fusion at two levels-c6-c7 and c7-T1. Everything went well- I was sent home with some muscle relaxers and pain medication and I felt pretty comfortable the first three weeks. Then I started experiencing terrible muscle spasms in my neck and down my back. I could not move my neck at all and could not sleep because of the pain. I called my doctors office and was told by the nurse that the doctor does not prescribe medication this far out from surgery. She said that this was most unusual - that most of their cervical patients did very well and told me to relax and take a hot shower. I continued to have terrible pain and called them back a few days later. At this point I had not slept for four days at all and I was crying. She said I should just relax - she said she could tell I was "wound up" and that my problem was just how I was "perceiving the pain." The doctor did agree at this point to give me a mild muscle relaxer and a few days worth of sleeping pills. But they made it clear to me that I should use these sparingly because I was "not getting any more." I felt like I was being scolded for not being a good patient. MY husband then insisted the doctor see me to amke sure everything was alright. He did agree to see me - took an xray- told my "spine was okay" and then said "i know you've been asking my nurse for medication but I think you are just suffering from "Anxiety". He did not examine me or asked me how I was feeling or what my problem is. Well eventually, after I was able to start physical therapy I did begin to feel better. I have worked very hard and I believe it's paid off for me. My question to you all is this - Should I go back for four month check up? It is scheduled for next week and I am feeling extrememly anxious about it. I do not want to face this doctor or his nurse ever again. I feel humiliated by the way they treated me - I am not even angry - just hurt, really. I know I will never go back to this doctor if I have any additional problems. So -is there a point to me going back now. Seems he wouldn't help me if I did have a problem.
How important are the follow up checks and what dod they actually do? I am so tempted just to call and cancel and forget about my whole experience. Any advice?

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I Know that this surgery is not an exact science, although, I am sure you expected the results to be positive or you would not have had the surgery to begin with. I recently had the fusion myself and I am health care provider. I have made up my mind that I refuse to accept a vague response to my health and wellness. If you do not get results and are still having pain, it is appropriate to take one of two actions (or both): 1- Ask your physician for a committment to help you thru this and you are not satisfied with the results and together you establish a plan of care that is timelined to accomplish that. 2- get a second opinion from a neurosurgeon that this treatment is their speciality. I recommend a second opinion even if you do get a favorable response from your current provider.

The surgery for me was not an easy decision. I did switch physicians because I wanted a physician that it was just as important to them for me to be better as it was to me. I did not feel that was with the first physician, I felt a bother to everyone, treated like a drug seeker and got the response "that's all you are going to get". I don't want drugs or special treatment, I want quality of life. I am entitled to it and SO ARE YOU!

If you are not satisfied with the results, DON'T STOP until you get the results you are looking for. Most of all, keep praying for positive results and God will direct you.
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I know how painful this can be, I am 3 months out from cervical fusion, I had 2 grafts and hardware put in and I have to tell you, I am still in pain, my neck only hurts if I am tired, but I have gotten the worst migraines I have ever had after this surgery, muscle spasms and pain in my upper arms. If my surgeon did not give me pain pills I would be pulling my hair out right about now, I have good days and bad days...but when I have those bad days, look out because the pain is so intense I cry even when I take the pain pills!! I would find another doctor!!!
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