I have to tell it like it is. While we all (patients and
surgeons) hope for the best, and it can
happen, no surgical procedure is or can be guaranteed to resolve issues once and for all. Surgery releases are like investment disclosures in that past performance
(others' experience) is no guarantee
, or even an indicator, of future results
or expectations. Prognosis
, like diagnosis
, is a fancy term for an educated guess
. Each patient/situation is unique.
The translation may be kind of vague, but sometimes that's the best that can be done/hoped for. Doctors/surgeons usually don't know as much as we think/believe or would expect/like them to know. There's a lot of trial & error -- that's how surgeons learn. Much of medicine is an empirical science
means an inflamation of a nerve or nerves. When it's not the optical nerve, neuritis is often equated with peripheral neuropathy
(seems odd/vague to me too). They very well may not know why, and are making the best guess they can, regardless of how many tests they perform. They just can't ask your nerve why
it's angry/cussed off, but that's what it means.
Foraminotomy can be
a minimally invasive procedure -- perhaps even a microsurgery -- done with small incisions, cameras, and instrumentation, to carefully cut away portions of the foramen
to relieve pressure on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord. If done that way, it should
have minimal effect on your previous surgeries.
Personally, I think stress, in all its forms (physical from surgeries, injections, pressure, tightening up from pain/worry, etc. and emotional/psychological from fear & worry) is exacerbating everything
, and I think
your doctors would agree (and please feel free to ask them). I don't know if you have or haven't tried all that can be tried.
To be told different things by different doctors is common. There's an old saying that if you ask ten doctors the same question, you'll get ten different answers, because doctors give medical opinions
(albeit based on whatever facts can be garnered). This is just one reason (there are more) to get multiple opinions regarding any surgery.
The folks on this board didn't learn what they know solely from their own experiences and/or by osmosis. Most of us found ourselves in the same situation as you in that we were confused by the doctors and not understanding the jargon, conditions, and procedures being discussed. What we've all had to do is a LOT of HOMEWORK. Fortunately this has become much easier than it used to be due to the internet's vast resources (including
this group and others like it).
My advice/suggestion is to dig-in and research all you can about anything/everything related to your past and current conditions & procedures, so that you'll at least be able to keep up and question your doctors intelligently, and in the end, be able to make the best informed decision
(s) you can for you
about your future care. We'll be here to help where we can, but we are not doctors; we're all patients -- more like you than you may think(?)