Neurologists Marion IN
Medical School: Dow Med Coll, Univ Of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan
Graduation Year: 1984
Medical School: In Univ Sch Of Med, Indianapolis In 46202
Graduation Year: 1982
Hospital: Indiana Univ Med Ctr, Indianapolis, In
Group Practice: University Neurosurgical Associates Inc
Medical School: Tianjin Med Coll, Tianjin, Tianjin, China
Graduation Year: 1961
Neurology, Alzheimer's Specialist
Sciatica is a condition involving the nerve, so some people see a neurologist for a second opinion. Others seeking surgery may choose an orthopedic surgeon.
The standard practice for treatment of sciatica involves a minimum of six months of conservative care before considering surgery. Nonsurgical care can range from pain meds to acupuncture to chiropractic care. Physical therapy is also a common way to treat sciatica.
Treatment can be specific once the cause of the problem is identified. Sometimes postural changes contribute to this painful condition. A prolapsed or herniated disc can also lead to sciatica. In both cases, exercises prescribed by the therapist can be helpful.
Inflammation and irritation of the nerve for an unidentified reason may respond best to acupuncture. If spinal alignment is a possible cause, then chiropractic care may be advised.
Work with your doctor to find out what is causing the problem. Ask about the best alternate approach since the problem has not resolved after so much time. It may take awhile to find the right combination of treatment to obtain the relief you seek from your symptoms.
Pim A. J. Luijsterburg, PhD, et al. Cost-Effectiveness of Physical Therapy and General Practitioner Care for Sciatica. In Spine. August 15, 2007. Vol. 32. No. 18. Pp. 1942-1948.
Spinal Stimulator for Pain Control
Spinal cord stimulation (SCS), also called neurostimulation are used to help relieve chronic neuropathic (nerve) pain. A stimulator is implanted into the patient's body, which then sends out impulses to interrupt the pain signals and prevent them from reaching the brain.
The electrical impulses from the stimulator override or mask the pain messages so the person doesn't feel the pain so acutely or so intensely. SCS is generally only used if nothing else in treatment has been successful in reducing or eliminating intense, chronic pain.
It must be done on a trial basis first before the stimulator is permanently implanted. There is a cost involved in the trial as well as the permanent implantation if the trial goes well. The trial stimulation involves consultation with a psychiatrist, social worker, neurosurgeon, neurologist, orthopedic surgeon, neuromodulation nurse, and the family or primary care physician who coordinates it all.
ST scans, X-rays, and MRIs are taken in preparation of the implantation. In addition to those costs, the cost of surgery includes the anesthesia, neurosurgical team fees, and the device itself. The stimulator has electrodes and batteries that must be maintained, repaired, and/or replaced each year. Follow-up visits, follow-up imaging, and care for any complications (broken wires, infections, failed pain control) must be added to the overall total costs.
So, it is a good idea to consider the total annual costs -- not just for the implantation, but for the life of the unit and the long-term use needed for pain control. Whether or not it's cheaper to have it done in Canada is another factor to consider. It may depend on whether or not you have any medical coverage to help you out.
If you are covered under a third party payer, will they cover expenses incurred in another country? Will they help you with travel costs to get to and from Canada? Who will do the follow-up care? If you go to Canada for that, then you must...
What's the difference between a stinger/burner and a neuropraxia?
The term neuropraxia describes symptoms of bilateral (affecting both sides) burning, numbness, loss of sensation, and muscle weakness of the arms and hands. The symptoms are caused by pressure on the spinal cord in the cervical spine (neck). It is like having a concussion to the spinal cord (instead of to the brain). The symptoms can last minutes up to hours.
With burners or stingers, the spinal cord nerve root coming off the spinal cord (not the spinal cord itself) is pinched or compressed. The player experiences the same symptoms of burning, numbness, loss of sensation and/or weakness but in just one arm, not both arms.
Whether it's burners, stingers, or neuropraxia, full recovery is expected -- if the player doesn't go back on the field and experience another high-energy contact injury to the head and/or neck. And if there isn't an undetected fracture of the vertebra or damage to the disc. Only an examination and X-ray, MRI, or CT scan to rule out this type of trauma will answer that question.
It sounds like that's where your son is in the process.
An expert panel of spine surgeons, neurologists, and orthopedic surgeons who specialize in trauma have suggested the following guidelines:
energy contact sports injuries before a return-to-play determination can be made
stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) can return to full sports participation