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Thread: How many actually use SRS docs?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Question How many actually use SRS docs?

    I was just wondering about how many people on here actually use SRS docs to do their surgeries. I know there are many, but I would love to hear from those that have used surgeons that don't belong to the "club". The reason I ask is that there is a surgeon here where I live that does adult scoliosis surgery. He is only about an hour away vs. 18 hours for the doc that I will be seeing in August. His specialty is neurosurgery. I didn't even know he existed until my insurance denied my referral and suggested another doctor that is a provider with a competing hospital, how ironic! Well, the provider they suggested doesn't do adult scoli, but they gave me the name of another doctor that does. So I called my insurance company since he is with their competition to see if he was also on my insurance provider list, and low and behold he is! I don't know how many surgeries he does, and that really, REALLY scares me! I would much prefer to see an SRS doc just because it makes me feel safer. I know TiEd's doc isn't an SRS doctor and he did a FABULOUS job! Any other's input would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ukiah CA
    Posts
    891
    I use Dr Gupta at Uc Davis Medical Center He a SRS surgeon.
    he the best one i met during the time i need scoliosis surgery. he did my spine surgery on march 10 of this year. he really nice Dr.
    He really great with me. i'm under the best hands i can ask for
    Last edited by kennedy; 07-20-2010 at 09:56 PM.
    Kara
    25
    Brace 4-15-05-5-25-06
    Posterior Spinal Fusion 3-10-10
    T4-L2
    Before 50T
    After 20T

  3. #3
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    Jan 2008
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    NC
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    We didn't use an SRS surgeon. But our surgeon was recommended to us by an SRS surgeon. Does that count?

    He could have recommended another SRS surgeon as there are others around here but he didn't for some reason. In fact he could have recommended an SRS surgeon at the same hospital we went to but didn't.

    Judging by the results on my two kids, I think I can guess the reason he recommended who he did but I don't know the actual reason.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    241
    My surgeon was not an SRS surgeon. Almost 9-weeks post-op, I couldn't be more pleased.
    Glenda
    Age 66 Georgia (63 at time of surgery)
    Bi-lateral laminectomy 2006
    Kyphoscoliosis, approx 38* lumbar scoliosis, stenosis, disk herniations, lower back and hip pain, w/radiating pain, stinging and numbness in legs.
    A/P fusion (T10-S2) 5/17/10 and 5/20/10
    Dr Yoon, Emory Orthopaedic and Spine Hospital, Atlanta, GA
    Pleased with outcome

  5. #5
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    Thanks everyone. You are making me feel better, although I don't know how things will turn out for me with my insurance. The guy "I think" my insurance company will make me see trained at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and is affiliated with Mayo Clinic still. I find it odd that my insurance carrier would recommend or have providers through Mayo, since they are the biggest competition. Oh, well. Who am I to say? There are a large number of SRS docs in MN. Most of them are at the Twin Cities Spine Center. I've been seen there before by Joe Perra (an SRS doc), but could not return for my follow up with him due to insurance restrictions. I HATE the way insurance companies work!

    Sharon, what kind of correction did your girls get? You sound very pleased with your surgeon. I'm still making the trip to see Dr. Hey. He intrigues me and I will be interested in what he has to say.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2007
    Location
    Geneseo, NY
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    133
    I went to see an SRS surgeon and he wasn't helpful at all. This creditential improves your chances, but it doesn't bring a guarantee.
    1966 fusion in Buffalo of 11 thoracic vertebrae, with Harrington rod

  7. #7
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    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
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    My doctor is an SRS surgeon, but I still am not ready to take the leap with him, because he only does about 25 cases per year. I want someone who does something like 100 to 150 ADULT scoliosis surgeries per year, and there just aren't enough cases to go around here in Indy. That's why I'm looking at St. Louis or Chicago.

    That said, my local surgeon did recommend a practice in Minneapolis for a second opinion. I can look up the name if you like.

    Evelyn
    age 48
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Broken rods 12/1/19; scheduled for revision fusion L1-L3-4 with Dr. Lenke 2/4/2020
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rohrer01 View Post
    Sharon, what kind of correction did your girls get? You sound very pleased with your surgeon. I'm still making the trip to see Dr. Hey. He intrigues me and I will be interested in what he has to say.
    Kid 1: 58* and highly rotated down to ~5* and almost no rotation. Back to school full time at 3.5 weeks. Looks and feels normal since a few months out.

    Kid 2: 57* and not a lot of rotation down to ~0* with absolutely no rotation but small residual curve below the fusion. Back to school at about 3 weeks full time then took two days off because of her hug injury. Absent the injury, she would have been comfortably back at school full time at 3 weeks. She was ahead of Kid 1 in her recovery at every time point other than after the injury which resolved in a few weeks. Looks and feels normal since a few months out.

    The surgeon saved their lives.

    Good luck with Hey. We didn't get a consult from him but I think he is amazing.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confusedmom View Post
    My doctor is an SRS surgeon, but I still am not ready to take the leap with him, because he only does about 25 cases per year. I want someone who does something like 100 to 150 ADULT scoliosis surgeries per year, and there just aren't enough cases to go around here in Indy. That's why I'm looking at St. Louis or Chicago.

    That said, my local surgeon did recommend a practice in Minneapolis for a second opinion. I can look up the name if you like.

    Evelyn
    Wow, I thought part of the criteria to be a member of the SRS was to have a high percentage of patients/surgeries be related to scoliosis. This really surprises me. The Twin Cities Spine Center in Minneapolis is chalk full of SRS docs. That's where Ogilvie came from. I've been there but am restricted by insurance from going back, not that I would. When my curve was 41* and I was not considered a surgical candidate, I still had some questions about the surgery. When I called to talk to my doctor's nurse and ask a few questions, she was REALLY rude and actually yelled at me. I'm not even going to consider going back to a place that has nurses that treat people like that. Maybe my questions WERE irrelevant at the time, but they certainly are not now. Hopefully you will get a nicer nurse.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    Kid 1: 58* and highly rotated down to ~5* and almost no rotation. Back to school full time at 3.5 weeks. Looks and feels normal since a few months out.

    Kid 2: 57* and not a lot of rotation down to ~0* with absolutely no rotation but small residual curve below the fusion. Back to school at about 3 weeks full time then took two days off because of her hug injury. Absent the injury, she would have been comfortably back at school full time at 3 weeks. She was ahead of Kid 1 in her recovery at every time point other than after the injury which resolved in a few weeks. Looks and feels normal since a few months out.

    The surgeon saved their lives.

    Good luck with Hey. We didn't get a consult from him but I think he is amazing.
    Those are some amazing results to say the least! I'm glad the girls are doing so well. Thanks for sharing the info. It makes me feel better. I'm also glad for their sake that they were able to get the surgery as teens rather than waiting until they are adults.

    I just dread the day I have surgery, and ironically I want it done now. I just want it over with, that's why. I've hated always having this looming over my head my whole life. I was told at 16 I would eventually need it. I just don't know why they didn't go ahead and do it then if they were so convinced that my future held a horrible surgery. Either that or they should have kept their mouths shut about it so I didn't worry the rest of my life away...

    I have heard and seen some really awesome results from non-SRS docs. I will wait and see what my insurance decides to do. To be honest, I'm a little nervous about the idea of having surgery so far from home. I've traveled to NC for surgery before (lots of great docs there!) but it was minor compared to this. I don't want to be far away if problems post-op develop. Although, I have a friend from the mid-west who traveled to CA for her surgery. I think her mom lived there, though. I don't know anyone in NC.

  11. #11
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    Indianapolis area
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    Yes, I think (think--not positive) 25 surgeries per year is the minimum requirement for an SRS doctor. My doc does lots of other spinal surgeries, as well, but around 25 adult scoliosis. He did do his residency in deformity surgery, though.

    But my point was really that it's not the membership that matters so much--it's more an issue of how many surgeries they do, what their results are and what kinds of complications they have. (Of course getting factual info about this may be harder than it should be.)

    Also, I have heard that it's possible to appeal to get an "out of network" doctor treated as an "in-network" doctor for insurance purposes in certain special cases. I would think as a scoli surgery patient you would have a shot at that. After all, this is not just getting your gallbladder out or a wisdom tooth removed. It might be worth an appeal if there is a particular doctor you want to use.

    Evelyn
    age 48
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Broken rods 12/1/19; scheduled for revision fusion L1-L3-4 with Dr. Lenke 2/4/2020
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

  12. #12
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    Oct 2009
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    PA
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    798
    Quote Originally Posted by Confusedmom View Post
    Yes, I think (think--not positive) 25 surgeries per year is the minimum requirement for an SRS doctor. My doc does lots of other spinal surgeries, as well, but around 25 adult scoliosis. He did do his residency in deformity surgery, though.

    But my point was really that it's not the membership that matters so much--it's more an issue of how many surgeries they do, what their results are and what kinds of complications they have. (Of course getting factual info about this may be harder than it should be.)

    Evelyn
    I'm wondering what goes into qualifying for SRS membership. I assume that any doctor able to win membership would do so but this may not be true, for all I know. Maybe there is a certain amount of bowing and scraping that goes into it, or a ton of paperwork all of which may make some highly qualified mavericks not want to go through the process.

    Yes, it's a known quantity that they all need to devote at least 20% of their practice to the treatment of scoliosis to qualify.

    As you said, I certainly wouldn't want a surgeon who doesn't specialize in deformity surgery and who hasn't got a certain number of years of experience under his belt.

    Beyond that, though, we return to my original question - assuming two surgeons both have that minimum amount of experience and on-going practice, what differentiates between members and non-members? I was just reviewing with royi, an Israeli surgeon who (falsely) represented himself as a regular member and we're wondering why he did it. There ARE three Israeli surgeons who are regular SRS members, unlike this one who is a "corresponding fellow" .

    I wonder what they have to do not only to be elected to regular membership, but to continue to qualify (There must, I assume, be some requirements to maintain membership - no?).

    To decide that it doesn't matter, i.e., to go with a non-SRS member - it seems to me ideally we'd know what it takes to qualify for election. How else can we understand the difference? I.e., why do some excellent surgeons evidently not choose to apply for membership - or whatever is involved in the process of qualifying? Not everyone is a "joiner" but what DOES it mean?

    I wonder too if among those who meet the % practice requirements, there may be aspects of some surgeons' practices or educational backgrounds, which disbar them from election? Extreme situations are self-evident, but what about others? I've gotten curious now!
    Last edited by Back-out; 07-21-2010 at 04:31 PM.
    Not all diagnosed (still having tests and consults) but so far:
    Ehler-Danlos (hyper-mobility) syndrome, 69 - somehow,
    main curve L Cobb 60, compensating T curve ~ 30
    Flat back, marked lumbar kyphosis (grade?) Spondilolisthesis - everyone gives this a different grade too. Cervical stenosis op'd 3-07, minimally invasive

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
    Posts
    1,445
    It wasn't until after I had surgery with Dr. Rand that I found out he was an SRS Doctor. I didn't even know of the existence of SRS or of this Forum. He came very highly recommended to me, his examination of me was very thorough, and it was love a first meeting.. I probably should have gotten a second opinion, but I didn't because I felt in my gut that this was the Doctor for me. Actually, I had previously seen a Neurosurgeon whose recommendation was to wait for surgery until I was in a wheelchair.
    Sally
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F. Rands735.photobucket.com/albums/ww360/butterflyfive/

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    PA
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    798
    Quote Originally Posted by loves to skate View Post
    Actually, I had previously seen a Neurosurgeon whose recommendation was to wait for surgery until I was in a wheelchair.
    Sally
    It's just such radical differences that make my blood run cold. Right now we have at least two members undergoing surgery (or scheduling) who were told in no uncertain terms that they did NOT qualify for surgery - in fact, that surgery was apt to make things worst, even if they survived.

    Then too there are others (like you) who've had successful surgery after being dissuaded in the strongest terms by other doctors.

    It's one thing for there to be a difference of opinion about fusion length, having P/A (or not). It's quite another for such major absolute differences to exist. I am all for "thinking for oneself" and these instances are certainly living proof of the nccessity flying in the face of medical opinion.

    What in the WORLD goes into such surgeons coming across with such uniequivocal "advice" (=edicts) without leaving any wiggle room at all - not even recommending getting more opinions?

    When are we "doctor shopping" (bad, tantamount to looking for someone to agree with us when, in fact, there is a good reason for doctors' opposing us) ? When are we courageously searching for that brilliant out-lier who IS capable of solving what for others is the insoluble problem of our spine?
    Not all diagnosed (still having tests and consults) but so far:
    Ehler-Danlos (hyper-mobility) syndrome, 69 - somehow,
    main curve L Cobb 60, compensating T curve ~ 30
    Flat back, marked lumbar kyphosis (grade?) Spondilolisthesis - everyone gives this a different grade too. Cervical stenosis op'd 3-07, minimally invasive

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,133
    One of the things that impressed me about my surgeon was the fact that he studied at Twin Cities for years... he also has extra training in the cervical spine, and he is a fellow. With a total of 19 years of study and training under his belt, meant that he spent 11 years after becoming an MD honing his skills.....

    Only my oral surgeon has that amount of training. They work on the head, not just teeth. Extremely scary.....
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_an...facial_surgery

    Any surgeon who spends 10-14 years in specialty training, and at a credible institution, deserves high praise, SRS member or not.

    Funny, SRS was started at Twin Cities. I think Dr Menmuir would know about it? I never asked him about it. I didnít think it was necessary since that would be his personal decision. It made no sense to further question the quality of his training.....

    Any astronaut that has been to the moon, can fly a plane for me anytime.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

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