"I do not feel this treatment is adequate"

About: Queen's Medical Centre / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I attended the QMC's Spinal Clinic due to recurrent lower back pain and leg pain. I have been suffering intermittent moderate to serious pain for 18 months, and have a longer standing history of difficulties with my back.

I attended an appointment with a surgeon; the first thing they told me was that there was nothing wrong with me, that I had a perfectly healthy spine. I was very surprised, as the MRI they based this opinion had been seen by a radiologist who had commented on possible wear to the vertebrae and compression of the spinal canal. I became very distressed: I have severe depression, which I am being treated for psychologically and psychiatrically. The surgeon became agitated with my distress, and asked me to decide which was worse, my back or leg pain; I felt pressured and answered my leg pain. They then asked me if I was being treated for any other health issues, to which I replied depression. They prescribed facet joint injections and then it felt like I was ushered out of their office. I was very confused; how could two experts opinions vary so widely? and if there really was nothing wrong with my back, why did I experience so much pain?

I asked to speak the surgeon again, and they told me I had fibromyalgia and could 'research it on the internet'. No further explanations or diagnoses were attempted. None of the normal assessment criteria for fibromyalgia were performed, and most crucially, an in-depth knowledge of the patient's medical history is required, which this surgeon clearly did not possess as they had to ask me about other treatments I was having.

I believe the diagnoses of fibromyalgia was given purely on the basis of my having depression, and as such the surgeon's treatment of me was fundamentally determined by my mental health difficulties. I did not feel this treatment of me was adequate, and the whole experience left me extremely distressed and disillusioned with the NHS

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