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Hi to you all. Today marks the 8 week mark since my D's surgery. It is/ was a hard day for her. She is so lonely and longs for a life, even if it isn't her old life. Just a life with friends and activity. She is so lonely and as much as myself and her dad watch t.v. with her, it still isn't the life that she would have had. Also she would be graduating with her BA. So we are dealing with some sadness today. :(

I do not think she is worse after the surgery, I am just hoping she will make some changes for the better. Welcome to everyone new. Menzie
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Hi Everyone!!! :D It is now 9weeks post surgery for me and I am still feeling some pain...But Not really the (nerve pain) i had before :) ...So I have AGAIN called my Dr.s office about 2 weeks ago and explained ALL the pain I am feeling to his Nurses...They did get back to me after talking to the surgeon...and are sending me to "Aquatic/Phy Therapy" here ..It took over a week to get an appt. to this place..But I am So SO SO looking forward to it...And today IS the day!!! They are probably right..My OverAll "soreness" is probably muscular?? and lack of use in my opinion..The only drawback is >>it is about 30miles away..I am told it is the only one like it in Northeast Ohio..So if it Helps,,the drive(gas$) means nothing...
Menzie: Has your Dr. suggested anything like this for your D???
Julie: Keep your chin up :) ..I think it took me about 3 weeks till MOST of the incision pain was fading....
Well>>>Hoping my therapy goes Good this afternoon..I am sure it will hurt to Stretch,especially that "left Butt Muscle"..But here goes....Just Thinking of the "heated" pools,etc sounds GREAT!!!
Hope everyone is doing well...
Candy
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Just a question?
I was never told when I could start strechting and I noticed candy is doing it after 9 weeks. It's been 16 for me and no one has even mentioned it to me. Guess I should make the call to the doc's uh?
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Robyn, I saw your post and am so sorry you have been suffering for 2 years with this beast. I was wondering if you have seen Dr Hal Martin yet and if so what did he say? I read an article by him awhile back. I understand he does the large incision like Dr. Barbaro. Please let me know how you are. Lynne
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Preacherman:

I never got specific direction on after-surgery stretching or exercise which I think is strange. I think you should call and ask them for sure. Just this week (3.5 months or so post surgery) I started stretching and walking.

Candy:

How was the pool??!!
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Hi All !!! As for the pool, it was Great!!! :D It is All one/one instruction.. NOT any stretching..Just basic walking,forward/backward,sideways. And general light arm movements in water ,standing and cupping hand movements...(30/minutes)..Then I was taught 4 (supine hip exercises?) to do ONLY once daily >>10reps each, on the comfort of my bed :)
But B4 even going into the pool,I could feel that Left Butt muscle acting up and by bed time...Yowza!!! :( NOT a good sleeping night!!!Again!!!As for that pain..I do Not put it on the water therapy..I think it is just the nature of the beast...So,I am scheduled to go back 2/3X week...And HOPEFULLY it will help. :) Gonna run...EveryOne Enjoy the Holiday Weekend!!! :D Candy
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Hi Everyone, I have been reading through these posts one by one for over 3 hours. I am so happy to have found this site. I have been in chronic sciatic pain for almost 4 years now and I am only 23. My athletic career and dreams ended so quickly. I was a shot put and discus thrower at the University of Oregon in the United States and had dreams of going to the Olympics since high school. I thought I was invisible with the exception of minor injuries and some aches and pains off and on. I never knew the extent of how painful life can be. Every waking hour I am plagued with sciatic pain around my butt, hamstring and calf on my right leg. I have the deepest concern and empathy for anyone who deals with chronic pain. I wish the best for everyone seeking pain relief. I saw Dr. Filler two days ago and got an MRN scan, consultation and an injection. After seeing dozens of doctors, PTs, acupuncturists, neurosurgeons, chiropractors and having two failed back surgeries, I was starting to think about my future in pain and having to live on Social Security Disability. None of this was appealing, so I decided to do research online and that is where I found Dr. Filler. The MRN showed that I had an inflamed sciatic nerve on my right side and he diagnosed me with piriformis syndrome. The next day I got an MRI guided injection and have found some relief the past couple of days. Mostly, I have noticed pain relief when I am sitting down or standing up. I was so surprised on my flight home from LA because I could actually sit up without being in severe pain. For once I could feel the old me and I now have hope that piriformis surgery might bring my life back to normal. I used to be in so much pain after sitting down for more than 25 minutes that I felt like I was going to throw up from severe nausea from the pain. I am going to set up an appointment for surgery as soon as I can. To see doctor Filler and get all the tests done, I probably had to fork out almost 1300 dollars just in deposits. It is very expensive but they are willing to work out a payment plan for the remaining balance. I hope everyone is doing well. I am for once optimistic about finding pain relief. It has been a difficult struggle but I think Dr. Filler can help me. I just find it so strange how so many doctors and therapists don't even recognize piriformis syndrome. Way of the majority of neurosurgeons have no clue on how to treat it. Their only answer is back surgery or go see a PT. I am very interested in how everyone is doing after piriformis surgery. Please keep me abreast. take care, Brandon

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Hi David.

I am seriously considering getting the piriformis surgery by Dr. Filler and I also have BCBS. They only want to pay 70 percent of customary and usual. Can you please explain the appeal process to get Dr. Filler in network. I need as much help as possible with this. I am a very poor college student with lots of medical debt and credit card debt already. Do you have a copy of the appeal? Where do I start?

Thanks,

Brandon




quote="swlaaggie"]Morning folks.

I'm going to use rounded numbers for expenses but here is the fallout.

$98,000 Cedar Sinai bill - BC/BS covered all but $220.00
$5,000 Surgery Imaging - BC/BS covered all but $21
$3,500 Anesthesia Bill - BC/BS covered all but $260 ????(questions about)
$20 Copay for Filler internist prior to surgery
$20 Copay for pre-surgery testing

$20,000 Filler bill - won appeal to BC/BS to have him treated as in-network but they will still only pay allowable - in other words, my 38 page appeal simply changed the pay percentage from 65% to 85% of what BC/BS feels the reasonable and customary charges are for a neuroplasty type of surgery

I asked, and received from BC/BS, an estimate of their allowables after I gave them the coding from Dr. Filler's office prior to surgery and I'm guessing my end of this $20,000 will be around $13,000. Ouch, but if he truly fixed me, I'll simply negotiate a monthly payment with Dr. Filler's office and smile every time I make my monthly payment. First though, I am going to try and negotiate with Dr. Filler's office to lower this bill to something closer to what BC/BS feels is customary and reasonable. I have no real idea of how that conversation will go but, to date, they have been pretty flexible and reasonable. I will certainly let you folks know the outcome of that discussion. Just don't tell on me. Please.

Obviously, this doesn't count air fare, hotel and travel expenses. We kept every single receipt from the travel and I'm thinking I will have enough to let the government give me some of my tax money back by deducting from my taxes. This will include the mileage from the house to the Houston airport(about 150 miles one way).

As I posted before, using Dr. Filler is not convenient nor is it inexpensive. However, I just did not see an acceptable alternative. I just refused to have my life completely changed without going down swinging. My fervent hope and prayer, for both myself and the rest of you as well, is that my(your) actions, money, tears, sweat and blood were(will be) put to use resulting in a successful outcome.

Keep your chins up, way up, and NEVER GIVE UP HOPE. From what I have read, each of you appear to be fighters. Keep fighting.

David

p.s. If any of you need to appeal to your insurance companies, I can outline what I included in my "thesis" to BC/BS. I'm still of the belief that I never really convinced them. I think I just wore them down. Thirty-eight pages of appeal can do that.
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Welcome Brandon. I too am anticipating surgery with Dr. Filler and have really had to struggle with this decision, I feel very sad for you having to lose your dream of going to the Olympics. I will leave it to others to tell you how their surgeries have gone. Mine will involve lmore than jsut the piriformis as Dr. Filler also cleans around nerves where he sees adhesions. What did your MRN say about your piriformis--enlarged,atrophied? Both are indications of piriformis.

Candy, good for you. Pool therapy sound like a good idea and you are very lucky that you have a doctor who evengives you any direction.

Preacherman, you should check around the community or maybe like Leesa just start a graduated walking program wiht small goals initially.

Leesa let us know how your walking is going.

I am still pretty much free of leg/foot pain since Dr. Filler's injection but buttock pain is no different and kcan still be very bad. So I am still leaning toward surgery but you never know as I am pretty indecisive.

Wonder how Julie is doing and also how Margie is.

David, I sent you a private message and it has been sitting in my outbox for about 5 days. I had lots of questions about what Dr. Filler did with you. I will try to send it again.

Donna, it is always such a joy to hear from you. My sister is anticipating radio frequency ?--can't remember the whole name, in her facet joints. If I have surgery in the pelvic and the back is still a problem, I may see if I could get it done in my facet joints that are a problem

Well, gotta go.

Shirley
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Brandon:

Sorry you have to be here but glad you found us. It's a lonely ailment until you find others with it. Hard for people to understand who aren t going through it. You ll see mixed reviews on surgery here but I had it with Filler the end of January of this year and I m doing really well. It s a slow recovery but if it works it s worth it in the end. Keep us posted on how you are doing because we really do care.

Shirley:

Thanks for asking. I walked a total of 4 miles so far this week (one mile each time). Still some pain but not too bad at all. I d love to be pain free but I ll take it for now. I m only taking over-the-counter pain meds and it s been pretty hard getting off the narcotics. I think I did it too fast and have been feeling nauseous for a week or two but getting on the other side of that now. I m planning on walking every day (unless it s raining like today crazy weather here!!) I know it s a struggle to decide on surgery or not .I hope you are able to find your answers. I have a private message out to someone too and it's been sitting there....hmmm, wonder what's up with that?

I hope everyone is doing ok.

Leesa
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Hello!

It's been quite a while since I've posted but I've read everyone's entries. Several of you have asked about me so I thought I'd fill you in on my progress.

I am 9 weeks post op and doing fabulous! I am walking 2.5-3 miles at a decent pace with no side effects. The past few weekends I've done hours and hours of gardening - shoveling, planting, hauling rocks in a wheelbarrow, weeding. Again, no issues. I did, however, make the mistake of going swimming last Saturday and Sunday and my butt was not ready for that maneuver. The good news though is that after 2 days it calmed right down. Prior to my surgery it would have taken WEEKS for it to calm down. I pretty much have no symptoms except an occasional slight burn in my foot or back of thigh. But it's only a 1-2 on the pain scale as opposed to the normal 6-7 I used to deal with on a daily and constant basis.

I do still have some tenderness at the site of the incision near the trochanter. However, given that it's a 14" incision, that small area is really the only sensitive spot. Not bad. I know Dr. Filler does a much smaller incision but I'll take my "shark bite" over the smaller incision any day after reading how many of you are having to pay so much out of pocket. Fortunately that's not something I had to deal with. I will say that when I put on my bathing suit last weekend I looked down and there was absolutely NO WAY I could cover up that scar! I refuse to go the route of the bathing suit with a little "skirt"! I will just proudly flaunt my scar! I worked hard for it!

Welcome to our new people!

David: Good to hear from you again. You're our little ray of sunshine.

Leesa: Good job on the walking!! Take it easy and build up slowly.

Menzie: Don't even know what to say. Hang in there.

Shirley: We're anxious to hear what decision you make. It's a tough one!

Donna: Thank you for staying with the forum. You are an inspiration.

Take care all,

Margie

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Hi again to everyone and welcome to our newbies. So sorry you're here, but I hope we can be an encouragement to you.

I feel like one of the biggest weaknesses with Dr. Filler's follow up is that there is very little direction on getting started on rehab. I do remember that only walking was encouraged until 6 months post surgery and then "gentle stretching and strengthening" No definition or guidance as to what that means.

I'm reaching the conclusion that there are at least 3 phases to recovery from surgery. The first is general post-op recovery...incision healing, no lifting etc. Second I think is easing back into life with just adding walking and returning to "normal" life as much as possible.

I think there is a third phase which has not been really talked about and which a number of us are now in. Recovery seems to be the focus at first, but I think there needs to be more guidance on rehabilitation or rebuilding the damaged muscles. I think there need to be an intensive strength building and stretching program, which would be best under the supervision and guidance of a professional, rather it be a PT or a very qualified personal trainer. I'm really feeling the need to do more in returning to full strength and its just not happening on my own. Unfortunately, we don't have any personal trainers...or a gym for that matter here. And my physical therapist is 2 hours over a very dangerous road, so I'm pretty reluctant to go there. I don't even have a pool to use so for now I'm just sticking with my walking program, until rainy season starts next month. I know I need to be doing something more so that my legs don't always feel tired, but I don't know what to do to accomplish that.

In other words, as far as returning to exercise, we're pretty much on our own. As the "leader of the pack" I'm really beginning to think it would be worth while to invest in a personal trainer or some PT sessions to encourage the best most rapid rehabilitation possible.

No holiday week end here, but for those of you up north, enjoy the week end and I hope its relatively pain free.

Donna
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Hi Shirley, Dr. Filler just told me that my right sciatic nerve around the sciatic notch was irritated and inflamed. I could see how the nerve turned very white when he was showing me the images. He didn't mention anything wrong with my piriformis muscle specifically. He did however talk about how the muscle often adheres to the sciatic nerve too. I am so glad to have found this site. I thought I was pretty much all alone. Most people don't understand what it is like to be in so much pain in the morning that you just want to stay in bed and not move until pain killers kick in. They don't understand how irritating it is for me to drive and be active. But I do have a loving girlfriend who is always here for me! When are you expected to have surgery? I am most likely going to set up an appointment soon. I have been in pain for so long with no results until I saw Dr. Filler and got the injection. The pain is not gone by any means but it is much easier to sit up and stand. Brandon

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Brandon, I have a telephone appointment to talk to Dr. Filler on the 16th about surgery. I was one of the early people to post on this forum and so everyone has been listening to me for about a year trying to first make a decision to see Dr. Filler and now to make a decision about surgery. I applied to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan to get coverage and was turned down so for me it is both a quality of life decision and a financial decision. As you see from David's figures it is vey expensive. So I have seen Dr. Filler and had the injections which did help my leg/foot pain but not the pain in the butt. I had botox into the piriformis and the obturator internus muscle but it will wear off in time. I also have a problem in my spine and it is difficult to know which is the main culprit as far as pain but Dr. Filler seems to think it is the piriformis as well as an enlarged vein which deforms the sciatic nerve and possibly the other muscle as well.

If you got that much relief from your injections then it sounds like Dr. Filler has hit the right problem. I sure hope your insurance comes through as it sounds like you have already put out way too much money. Be careful wiht credit card debt. I saw a documentary called Maxed Out and it seems they are more likely to target people such as students who can't pay off their credit card each month and will end up paying only interest.

I wish you all the best and hope you keep on the forum as we are all interested in supporting each other and following each story.

Shirley
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Hi Shirley,

I have a telephone appointment too but I am thinking about scheduling the surgery before the appointment. I want to have surgery around 13th or so. That way I have a month to recover before I take summer classes.

I watched the documentary maxed out and I know how credit card companies try to take advantage of college students. I even sent a letter to my student body explaining how they shouldn't allow credit card companies on campus because of the absurdly high interest rates on the cards they offer. I don't want to put any more money on my credit cards but at the same time I am wasting thousands of dollars in college because I can only take a couple of classes at a time and sometimes I have had a very hard time finishing the term. I am willing to do anything for pain relief. I would even cut off a few fingers if it did the trick.

My primary care physician thinks the pain killers I am taking are actually increasing my sciatic pain and wants to wean me off of them completely. He doesn't understand that the pain killers are the only thing allowing me to function and be somewhat happy. I don't take too much to just get high. I only take enough to feel somewhat comfortable.

Are you planning on getting surgery in the next month? Maybe I will see you at his office. I hope you can find some pain relief.

Take care,

Brandon


Brandon, I have a telephone appointment to talk to Dr. Filler on 16th about surgery. I was one of the early people to post on this forum and so everyone has been listening to me for about a year trying to first make a decision to see Dr. Filler and now to make a decision about surgery. I applied to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan to get coverage and was turned down so for me it is both a quality of life decision and a financial decision. As you see from David's figures it is vey expensive. So I have seen Dr. Filler and had the injections which did help my leg/foot pain but not the pain in the butt. I had botox into the piriformis and the obturator internus muscle but it will wear off in time. I also have a problem in my spine and it is difficult to know which is the main culprit as far as pain but Dr. Filler seems to think it is the piriformis as well as an enlarged vein which deforms the sciatic nerve and possibly the other muscle as well.

If you got that much relief from your injections then it sounds like Dr. Filler has hit the right problem. I sure hope your insurance comes through as it sounds like you have already put out way too much money. Be careful wiht credit card debt. I saw a documentary called Maxed Out and it seems they are more likely to target people such as students who can't pay off their credit card each month and will end up paying only interest.

I wish you all the best and hope you keep on the forum as we are all interested in supporting each other and following each story.

Shirley
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