I had double disc fusion in my neck as a result of spinal stenosis. Surgeon said the operation was "very hard" and the spinal cord was so narrow and so much bone and arthritis involved that it was very hard surgery and took much longer than expected. Scheduled for 1 day surgery, but stayed 2 nights and released 3rd day. Second night after surgery(Sun) developed right-sided weakness. On advise of physican friend visiting me at the time, called night service for help. Surgeon's PA returned the call. Said it was not an emergency and to call back next day(Mon).
Surgeon's office experiencing staffing problems and not enough receptionist to field calls, so arranged for PA to call me. Next morning he called, said since I was no worse, just ice and heat area of wound and he would check on my in PM. Never called me back. That night my DR. friend came to check on me and said I needed an MRI and to be seen by DR. Following day started calling my Dr. office and kept getting put into voice mails. Lost rt side feeling and hardly able to walk. Kept calling Dr. office for help, but couldn't get past receptionist who kept connecting me to voice mail. Finally got through to receptionist and insisted she not connect me to anyone but a DR or would go somewhere else. Was connected to scheduling asst., told her personnally of problem, the Dr.'s nurse was paged in surgery and got return call immediately. Told to come right in for myleogram and CT. Emergency surgery that night to vacate hematoma behind fusion plate that was pressing against spine and causing pain and neurological problems. Entire fusion processs redone. Stayed in hospital 5 days on steroids and released by Dr.'s partner as mine was on vacation. No continuation of steroids or any directions for home care. Felt very weak and had problems walking. Called repeatedly for dr. Same problem getting through. Finally got scheduling nurse who said they would see me in 2 days (total of 4 days from 1st attempt to get in) and take out staples early and check out problem. When got to appt., PA only in attendance and after taking out staples, discussed with him my weakness and worry given my hematoma experience and neurological problem that had just happened the week before. Dr. was still on vacation and PA insisted I was just tired from 2 surgeries and need to walk around the block to build up strength. Told PA I couldn't walk to end of block, much less that far. PA insisted I was experiencing normal fatigue from surgery and nerve endings were reacting from trauma of surgeries. When he walked me to appt. desk he remarked" Boy, you sure are weak!" Again questioned whether what I was experiencing was normal and that I was very concerned and weak. Was dismissed by PA and told to come back in a month.
3 days later lost left side strenght. Called Dr. office and couldn't get through nor get anyone to call me back. Finally called another Dr. who saw me the next day. After neurological evaluation, ordered immediate MRI, read it while I was still there, and admitted me to hospital on the spot. Called in a new neurosurgeon to handle the case and I spent 4 more days in hospital on IV steroids. Steroids continued at home in decreasing amts. to keep swelling under control. My doctor's office has never called me back, by the way. At this point my finger tips, bottom of my feet, left arm and wrist are tingly, burning and numb. Currtent surgeon tells me this may be best I can expect. Since leaving me in hospital when he left on vacation, my original dr. has not seen nor spoken to me. No phone calls after staple removal by PA were returned. Isn't the original surgeon liable for neglecting me, my repeated calls for help, and the bad diagnosis his PA made?