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Thread: What to ask the doctor?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4

    What to ask the doctor?

    I have learned so much and felt much less alone since finding this forum. Thank you! Iíve finally joined so that I can post a question about asking my doctor the right questions.

    Iíll start with some background info: Iím a relatively active 31 y/o female. I've never been treated, and I don't know the degree of curves. I was diagnosed with an S-curve around age 12 by a small town doctor after hurting my back playing basketball. He referred me to an orthopedic specialist, who dismissed it as a pulled muscle. He sent me away with no recommendation for follow up. We were left thinking that my rib hump and muscle spasms were normal enough. Since my late teens, I have moved frequently and nearly every new doctor has told me that I should have worn a brace as an adolescent.

    Over the years Iíve had a few scoliosis-related problems: back pain and spasms, hip and leg pain, TMJ. I am now having new pains in my neck and occasionally in my abdomen and chest. My rib hump is becoming more prominent, and my shoulders are increasingly uneven. Iím worried that my curve is progressing. I would really like to know how this could affect me in the future and know how to manage the pain.

    My question is this: When I go to my regular doctor the next time, what questions should I ask? I can already anticipate her response (too late for a brace, not bad enough for surgery, just keep exercising, etc.), so I want to be prepared to push for more info. I assume that I should request x-rays. Should I ask for a referral to a specialist?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who has suggestions for me!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,794
    Hi Sky...

    Welcome!

    The answer to your question really depends on the type of insurance you have. If your insurance requires a referral, you'll probably need your primary care physician to send you for xrays. The problem with that is that you're unlikely to get good films. (I think only specialty orthopaedists abd major medical centers have long cassette xray equipment.) If you can self-refer, you can probably find a good specialist by asking or reading the posts here. However, in that scenario, you may find that your choice of specialist won't see you without a referral anyway.

    Good luck.

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4

    Thanks

    Linda, thank you for responding to my post. I thought that I needed a referral for my insurance, but I don't. I'll start searching the forum for info on specialists and hope that one will see me.

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