PowerOn Member Posts: 200
edited 27. Nov 2012, 04:58 in Living with Arthritis archive

I would really appreciate some other points of view, I think I am right but maybe I am not.
Honest opinions would really be appreciated.
I went to ENT due to a lump in my throat.
I was sent for a barium swallow.
Swallow showed an osteophyte had grown on my neck vertebrae.
ENT said it is not an ENT problem I have Spondylosis so would need to see some one who knows about that-not ENT.
I went to GP who said ENT had said I have been discharged from ENT.
I said, yes, but I have an osteophyte ENT said I need to get that seen to.
GP got cross I left GP office after being told I had been discharged from ENT and nothing needed to be done.
I went to a different GP who said it sounded wrong to notice an osteophyte just from swallowing and he referred me back to ENT.
ENT very patiently explained very slowly that I have been discharged from ENT etc. I need to see an arthritis expert if I have any further problems, but I do not need to be in ENT as I have no ENT problem.
Question, why not send me to Arthritis expert not back to ENT.
I am seeing the GP again and will ask him, but again the waiting list for appointments is very long.
I am seeing a person on the patient council this week-coincidence- and plan to ask what they think.
At the minute the first GP has sent me away knowing I have a growing osteophyte and thinks I am being ridicules asking to see arthritis people for advice.
The second GP at least referred me back to ENT as he thought something was wrong (that is why I thought I had been sent back) but after the appointment I got the impression it was so ENT could explain to me there is nothing wrong.
I said I feel like I am being told I have a growing osteophyte in my throat and I can go away and let it grow until it gets too big I have trouble swallowing.
ENT said yes!
So back to see GP and ask for referral to arthritis expert because what else can I do!
Am I being pig headed for wanting to see arthritis expert or too timid for not banging doors down and asking what on earth they think they are playing at.
I think I am right for wanting to see an arthritis expert, they may say there is nothing to be done but at least I will have seen someone who knows what this is and what may need to be done in future- it is still growing.
I plan to speak to GP about this at next appointment but would like other points of view please.
If the GP refuses to send me to Arthritis expert I am considering making a formal complaint-may not need to but do feel they are not bothered about this.
Best joke I ever read, "With that information and a diagnosis of spondylosis, your doctor can develop a treatment plan‏" or back in reality totally ignore you. Is ok I have a sense of humour and a boxing glove, not defeated yet.


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,204
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Poweron


    Well first of all I must say I am so glad the 'lump' they found is not a really 'nasty' lump.

    It's a good thing the second GP at least recognises that someone needs to help you, but like you I would have preferred an 'arthritis specialist' opinion :?

    I wonder if the ENT specialist, him/herself, can ask for an opinion from such an expert?

    Meanwhile you - the patient with the osteophyte is left with an unwelcome lump in your throat :roll:

    Do let us know how the saga progresses


    Toni xx
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,684
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I’ll give you an honest opinion, PowerOn, but please bear in mind that it’s the honest opinion of someone with no medical knowledge.

    Osteophytes, are so common that most people over the age of 50 have them. They are only a problem if they…er…cause problems. Yours clearly does/did. Is it still doing so?

    I can see that ENT wouldn’t regard it as their territory as I'd guess they deal with soft tissue. (Remember, it's just a guess.) I would have assumed myself that it was more of an orthopaedic problem than a rheumatological one but, as I said, I have no medical knowledge.

    I did a spot of googling (I know I tell everyone not to :oops: ) and discovered that it’s very rare for osteophytes to be removed.

    So, where do you go from here? I guess it depends on what you want. I have neck problems sufficient to scare anaesthetists but, until someone tells me it would be better for me to have surgery on my neck than not to have it, I’m leaving well alone. To me, your lump doesn’t sound likely to cause a big problem, at least in the near future, so I’d be inclined to let sleeping dogs lie. However, if you really want it operated on, I’d presume it’s an orthopaedic specialist you need to see. I hope that's of some use.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,280
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi poweron
    Must say its very worrying to feel an osteophyte in your throat, if it feels like it it has got bigger, then you can get someone else's opinion..like SW says they dont often touch them unless they are causing you trouble or discomfort, they are usually very slow growing.
    But I must say you do sound so worried I would see someone else, if only to put your mind at rest...please let us know how you get on xx
  • lizzy100
    lizzy100 Member Posts: 235
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    ENT should have written to your GP and said what they found and suggested who you needed to see. your GP should have access to any scan results, if it was done on nhs. if its causing you problems then they shoudl refer you to the right specialist. osteophytes are a sign of osteoarthritis, but i dont imagine theyd be able to do much about it in the neck anyway. can you ring ENT and ask them to write to your GP saying who you need to see? and then see a diff gp? i also have a feeling it would be orthopaedic, or even neuro if its the spine.
  • kentishlady
    kentishlady Member Posts: 809
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello poweron. What a saga you are having. I know the feeling well as have also had to contend with one myself. I really do think you need to keep 'banging on' until you are allowed to see the right specialist for your problem. It does often appear that GP's are fine with 'ordinary' medical day-to-day problems, but when it comes to more complicated things, they don't have the knowledge and/or expertise to deal with the problem and that is why they need to refer us to consultants who specialise in the particular area where the problem is.

    I do hope you will manage to get someone to listen to you. I agree that I would have thouoght ENT would have written to your GP to tell them the outcome of the tests etc and think that might be very helpful.

    Keep persisting and hopefully you will get a result and some help. Good Luck. Beryl
  • PowerOn
    PowerOn Member Posts: 200
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi everyone,
    thanks for the replies.
    ENT did write to the GP saying it was not an ENT problem which is why being sent back to ENT was confusing.
    My concern is that it is growing and if it continues to do so I need to find out now what my options are if anything needs to be done about it.
    I think kidney stones are treated by laser to break them up and wonder if that is an option-may be totally off about that but I think only an arthritis expert will be able to advise me.
    Having had several emergency operations and several long stays in various hospitals-not arthur related-I know to check the history of who will be treating me! :mrgreen:
    My hope is that it stops growing-obviously-but in case something does need to be done I need time to find what options are available.
    I recently had x rays of my knees which showed up, "changes behind both kneecaps" but none behind my painful ankle so I think when I go to see the GP he should refer me on to someone.
    Again appointments with the GP have a 3 week waiting time.
    Everything I have read so far says to notice an oesteophye growth other then on x-ray is extremely rare-I noticed a lump when I swallowed which was the reason for the barium swallow and with it having grown since I am getting very worried.
    Best joke I ever read, "With that information and a diagnosis of spondylosis, your doctor can develop a treatment plan‏" or back in reality totally ignore you. Is ok I have a sense of humour and a boxing glove, not defeated yet.
  • ShulaArcher
    ShulaArcher Member Posts: 174
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    Sorry to read of all your problems. A barium swallow is performed using X-rays, as far as I am aware, and the Radiologist who reports on it may well comment on the existence of osteophytes on the cervical spine as an "incidental finding", rather than something related to the swallowing/throat problem. Hope this helps.

  • PowerOn
    PowerOn Member Posts: 200
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Shula,
    Thank you for your reply.
    ENT did not look at my throat or examine me in any way on the return visit, made the 5 hour round trip involving 6 buses a total nonsense.
    I think I will ask the GP did he see the video of the swallow as the ostrephyte is very large and goes out into the throat and on the video the barium gets stuck due to it.
    I am going to ask for a referral and ask if the expert thinks it is a "normal" size.
    I did the silly thing and looked for videos online of swallow tests and can not find anything with obstructive esteophytes.
    Not as worried now that I have decided I am going to see an expert-can see no reason for the GP to refuse.
    Oh dear I think I am going to seem a total fruitcake as I want physio and intend to take the dvd with me-I have seen too many photos of polite little oestrophyts and this one is a bit of a Hermon Monster.
    I know I sound a total hypochondriac but I will only have to show the dvd to each person once and if they are unprofessional in their response that is their problem.
    Best joke I ever read, "With that information and a diagnosis of spondylosis, your doctor can develop a treatment plan‏" or back in reality totally ignore you. Is ok I have a sense of humour and a boxing glove, not defeated yet.