Is this Normsl

Posted , 4 users are following.

Had my 'urgent' appointment with the surgeon who turned out to be a member of the physio team who told me I had herniated three discs not two and that two of them had ruptured.  I couldn't walk, it was too far, so was in a wheelchair.  He asked me where the worst pain was and I told him my back but there wasn't much to choose from as I have pain in ine leg down to my toes which are now numb and the other leg down to my knee.  He asked me where in my back the pain was and I indicated by pointing to my front as bending forward is a nightmare.  He asked whether I would consider an operation and I said I would have to decide according to the success rate as I didn't want to end up in a wheelchair.  Then he disappeared!

When he returned he said he had spoken to the surgeon and it was decided to send me for physio.  He's told me not to do anything other than what I've been doing (walking until the pain is unbearable) and then checked my reflexes.  Everytime he moved my foot or leg it shot up into my back and I cried out.  

I have muscle wasting despite my best efforts to keep  moving, I'm in constant pain, the antiinflamatories I have are two a day but wear out before the next one is due and my spine curves and the muscles lock up.  I was feeling positive but that got knocked out of me when he said urgent physio, will take a few weeks for the appointment, he didn't tell me anything.  I know the discs affected were L3-L4 and L5-L6 but although I asked he wouldn't tell me where the other one was.

Neither my partner or me felt confident when we left or that we had been given answers to our questions nor do we have any confidence in what was being said.

is this normal?

Sorry this is rambled but I'm in pain!!!!!


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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Unfortunately it does sound normal. Not our NHS's fault, it's the cut backs.

    i too am struggling to find someone I trust and to give me the correct answers. An orthopedic surgeon I saw told me my scan 'doesn't look that bad'! If I was having a good day, I would of got up off the bed and swung for him! I too in the mornings can't have my leg too high or the pain in my back is horrendous! It's only the morphine which keeps the pain at bay.

    im now waiting for a referral to the Walton centre in Liverpool. Hopefully Mr Wilby will see me. I have been recommended by a lot of people on here to go there and I suggest you do too!

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  • Posted

    I'm no where near Liverpool unfortunately.  Can anyonerecommend someone nearer Southend on Sea?

    its sort of comforting to know it's not just me but why do they give you 'urgent' appointments (urgent MRI Friday and appointment Thursday) followed by 'urgent physio ........why keep on with the 'urgent' which sends me into a blind spin when actually they aren't doing anything.  This man couldnt even prescribe pain killer!

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  • Posted


    What a waste of your time and energy.

    I have my 'Urgent' appointment after waiting 7 weeks this Tuesday. Your experience doesn't give me much confidence. A work colleague told me of a similar experience her husband had. Is this the norm to be seen by a physio as opposed to a consultant? I've had 14 weeks of physio privately via my employer. He discharged me as he said he couldn't do anything else. So if they suggest physio I will not be happy. I've had MRI and Orthopedic surgeon said he was referring me to neurologist as he feels surgery is my best option.

    Hope you get sorted Mini if your not happy re your appt write and ask for a 2nd opinion that's what my colleague's husband done. He needed surgery and since it was done.

    Keep you posted re outcome of my appointment.

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  • Posted

    I had a Microdisectomy 7 months ago, and if I knew what I know now, I would have had it done 11 months ago. 

    My advice is to ask for your scan results and take them for a private consultation. Then consider a loan or credit card to pay for the operation which maybe maybe a fusion or microdisectomy.

    The consultation will be around £120 to £150 and you'll get your answers. Take a pre written set of questions. Dont panic about wheelchairs, slipped discs are common and most ops have favourable outcomes. If you go for the op then shop around, I saved £1,000 and still got the same surgeon???. I am self employed and couldn't work, so I had to get on with it.  I was back in work afetr 6 weeks.

    Dont faff around, your back and your health is just too important. NHS would have taken 18 months mimimum and by then I would have been a walking beer barrel, depressed and skint.

    Good luck and research as much as you can.

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  • Posted

    Sorry, Jackie  - I hadn't intended to offload my negativity on a fellow sufferer.  I temporarily forgot the impact it could have on someone else.

    anglosaxon1 ... Ok this is what I need.  I'm sitting here watching the clock wishing the time away until my next pain killers.  I can't drive or walk far and yep I will be honest I can feel the tide of self pity beginning to wash over me.

    now I will be asking for my MRI results (didn't know I could) and see if I can get that second opinion.

    i read on here someone said if you left an animal in this state the RSPCA would string you up - can't argue with that!

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  • Posted

    Hi Minnie

    No offence was taken..  I will be seen at the New Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow (Or the Southern General as we in Glasgow know it as)    I hear it has a very good reputation so guess Inshoukdcreserve judgement until I am seen.

    Anglosaxon:  I hear fully what you are saying but I Think we need to be careful in forums as to what one recommends as not everyone is in the position to take out credit for second opinions/consultation and surgery.  Whilst I appreciate your situation and why you felt you had to go down this route, I do not think one should  be promoting people getting into debt to pay for surgery.  Given my own experience I have recently taken out Private Health a Insurance, (although this condition is not covered) as I never want to find either myself or family in a situation were they are left in pain whilst waiting for appointments/surgery.  I Am well aware that not everyone can commit to Private Health Insurance and feel fortunate I am in a position whereby I can.  Despite having taken out Private Heakth Insuraneb I would like to point out that we must recognise that the NHS is placed under a great deal of strain due to Government cutbacks and the staff do a fantastic job with many owing their lives to the service.   The NHS is fantastic in times of emergency and I will not forget the care they provided to my son following a serious car accident which left him paralysed.  

    Please do do not take offence Anglosaxon but I just feel it's important that we recognise peoples circumstances are different and that we don't lose sight of the wonderful service our NHS has provided over the years.   We are privileged to have such a service and often don't appreciate its worth until times of emergency.

    Rant over. Hope we both get sorted soon Millie



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    • Posted


      I am sure Minnie is now old enough to make his/her own financial decisions. If one cant work for months or years, then you have to make an investment in your health.  

      I have been on several forums where people have been sitting around in pain for months and years and not getting properly treated. If your car dies on you, you have to buy a new one and they aint cheap. Same has to apply to your back. Orthopedics is the busiest dept and in this case the fact a physio turned up to his/her appointment instead of a surgeon is very disappointing. I would have thought a steroid injection at the very least to give temp relief.

      Sorry to hear about your son that is terrible for him.

      I have to disagree the NHS is wonderful, I think its in a terrible mess and its costing the tax payer millions. I feel for the people who work in it,


      My experience with the the NHs is you need to fight (politely) for your treatment, as it is serioulsy under pressure.

      I would like to see tax rebates for private operations and membership subscriptions. In my case, I was seen, scanned and operated on within a month.

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  • Posted

    I take on board everyone's opinion as information is empowering and the more I know the better I will be to make my decision so thank you both for your imput.

    i am hopeful that the hospital decision has been made borne of experince and that they think with physio I have a good chance of returning to full health.  That's the optimist in me.

    i have had this injury for three months and have been given more tablets and medicines, including Oramorph, than i knew existed - but no X-ray.  No pain relief worked long term it simply dulled the pain leaving me waiting for my next dose.

    it has taken so long to finally get an MRI I now have muscle atrophy to both legs, numbness in one foot, sciatica in both legs, I'm walking with a limp and have to use a stick because I get so tired from the pain.  I cannot stand long enough to cook myself anything, i cannot do my housework, I cannot hang out my washing.  I feel as though I am a nuisance, a burden.

    im not saying this for sympathy I'm saying this because it forms part of my decision making process.  I have gone from totally independent (living alone) to depending on people for everything from shopping (yes I can have it delivered, but then what?  I can't get the fridge or freezer door open let alone the cupboards to pack anything) to putting on and taking off my shoes!

     Can I afford private surgery?  No, not in a million years.  Can I afford to pay someone to help me?  No.  So what are my options? Ive been told my chances of getting government benefits are slim to none - but I will try.  

    I didnt realise l could ask for my MRI scan but now I do if the physio appointments don't start quickly or my current position becomes worse then taking these to a private surgeon and paying the £150 will give me at the very least the answers to the questions which I didn't get and at best an answer as to why physio is the best option which will at least out my mind at ease.  Worse case scenario would be being told that I do need some form of surgical intervention but at least I will know.

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  • Posted

    I really feel for you, when I first went to see a surgeon the same was said to me from a physio I'm in a chair too and have similar problems. Even with physio I still had an operation after a while but still might need more surgery.

    i thought it strange when I saw a physio first but apparently physios and surgeons are working closer together to try and reduce waiting times. I still had to wait four more weeks to see the surgeon I know this sounds daft but at least someone was taking my pain seriously. I too am in a chair most of the time now too so I know how you feel. 

    Keep your chin up x

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  • Posted

    Maley bear, thank you for your message.  Can I ask how long you had physio for and what exercises they gave you and why it was decided you still needed surgery?

    the reason I ask is I am being told this is a delaying tactic to ensure the hospital keeps within the govnment target for treatment.  I am also being told that if I see a surgeon privately and he recommends surgery I can have this on the nhs and not as a private patient.  Does anyone have any experience of this?  


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    • Posted

      I had physio for six months and towards the end it was clear physio wasn't going to work for me. I suppose it could be a delaying tactic but on the other hand they might just be looking to see if surgery could be avoided. I don't know if a private surgeon says you need surgery they will go on their say so. My surgeon also has a private practice so I suppose if you see him privately then also see him on the NHS you might speed things up?  I did hydrotherapy which was nice and relaxing but normal physio where they tried to get me walking using parallel bars and going up and down small steps, but no matter what pain increased.  After all that more tests were done and it showed three fractures and a boney mass and a slippage of my base vertebrae.  All in all physio made me worse.  So be careful x 
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  • Posted

    Thought I would give a quick update.  My urgent physio is actually with rehab and not for a month!  In the meantime I applied for Access to Work.  Didn't hold up much hope but was asked to get a letter from my GP.  I sent it off by email and rang her to make sure it had arrived.  She read it while I was on the phone and told me immediately that I was eligible for transport to work!  At least I have one piece of independence back.

    i contacted Adult Social Services.  Very nice man asked loads of questions and said someone would be in touch.  Nothing.  I've also got a PIP form to complete.  What a horrific book that is.  I completed an online self assessment and as I can't cook myself a meal, walk unaided or dress myself it appeared I would be eligible.  Then I read not to bother applying as they are six months behind in the paperwork and won't help anyone with my symptoms!

    is there anyone who has been successful in PIP help or any other help?  I'm not asking to go long term sick, quite the opposite I want to get some form of normality back so I can focus on something, anything other than the pain.

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