Spine FAQs

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I'm going to have back surgery to remove two discs. I've heard different advice about restricting my activities after the operation. What's the latest on this?0 sec ago4730
I've been tracking my own progress from before to after surgery for chronic back pain. I hurt myself at work, so I'm on Worker's Comp. But I fully intend to get back on the job, so I don't want to be labeled as a shirker. But I have noticed something about myself I can't quite figure out. I am better after the surgery but I'm less satisfied because I'm not completely better. Am I just finding excuses not to go back to work? I don't want to believe that about myself but maybe that's why I feel worse than I am. This seems like such a muddle.7 years 18 weeks ago2913
My Dad had back surgery about six months ago. He's about 62-years old. He complained mightily about back pain that went down his leg. The surgeon removed a disk that had gone bad and was pressing on a nerve. His leg pain went away but the back pain is still there. In fact, Dad thinks his pain is worse but we think he's way better. He can do more. He sleeps better. He isn't limping. Is he just looking for sympathy or what? We can't figure it out.7 years 18 weeks ago3138
I've tried a bunch of different core training programs to strengthen my trunk and prevent a recurrence of back pain. I don't really know which exercises to do -- there are so many. Can you recommend maybe a core group of core exercises I can do every day without worrying about which ones to do on which day?7 years 18 weeks ago3008
Does it matter if the physical therapist manipulates my back with me on my side versus on my back? When my regular therapist was gone, I noticed the therapist who took the regular therapist's place used the same kind of technique but from a different angle. Should I say something? I am being treated for low back pain at the moment.7 years 18 weeks ago2812
I heard a talk at our hospital about why we are moving more toward using bone graft substitutes. I'm just a nurses aid on the orthopedic floor, so I really didn't understand it all. They said these new substitutes are inductive and conductive. After that they lost me. What does that mean? And why is it better than using your own bone?7 years 18 weeks ago2859
I'm going to have a lumbar fusion for severe arthritic degeneration in my lower spine. I have three ways to go: I can get bone from a bone bank. The surgeon can take some bone from my pelvic bone and transfer it to the fusion site. Or they can bypass the real bone and use a new product that is a bone graft substitute. The hospital business office tells me the new technique is less expensive. Why would it be a cost savings to use a product I have to purchase if I could use my own bone instead?7 years 18 weeks ago3006
Oh boy -- I woke up this morning with intense back pain. It seems to be better as I move around. I can only sit long enough to type this out and get some advice. How long will I be laid up? What can I do to speed up getting better?7 years 19 weeks ago13519
I've been seeing a physical therapist recommended to me because she is trained in the McKenzie technique. I went on-line and read in Wikipedia about the fellow who started this method. But I couldn't really find any place that explained why this method works any better than other approaches.7 years 19 weeks ago2728
I had a nerve block last year that was supposed to put a stop to my chronic back and leg pain. The procedure itself was very painful. But once the nerve was numb, I felt much better. Now I need another injection. The surgeon is going to use ultrasound to guide the needle. This is supposed to be a pain free process. Is it really?7 years 19 weeks ago3179
I'm very disappointed because I was hoping for a nerve block in my back to stop the constant back and leg pain I have. But the X-rays came back and I'm not a good candidate for the procedure. What does that mean? What makes me unacceptable for this treatment?7 years 19 weeks ago2946
Why is treating back pain so darned expensive? My back hurts and by the time I've seen everyone who claims to help me, I'll be broke.7 years 22 weeks ago2580
When my brother-in-law hurt his back at work, he was unable to work for several months. This, plus his treatment, was a financial hardship for him. Many of the treatments he had were expensive but didn't work. Isn't there a set process to follow for back care so you're not doing treatments that won't work?7 years 22 weeks ago2551
Why am I so afraid of hurting my back again? I injured it about six months ago. After being home for three months, I went back to work. It's a demanding job, and although I try to take care of my back, I find I tense up a lot and I'm afraid - which I'm sure makes it worse. What can I do?7 years 22 weeks ago2801
I hurt my back at work several weeks ago and every time I think it's getting better and make plans to go back to work, my back gets worse. My boss wants me to go back but I'm afraid that I will just hurt my back again or worse. How can I convince him that I'm not ready?7 years 22 weeks ago2853
I understand that a disc replacement is a better option than a fusion because it saves the motion in the spine. But if I have a disc replacement, do I get my full motion back? I'm not sure how much motion I have now. I'm hardly moving at all because there's so much pain.7 years 22 weeks ago2774
I just came back from the doctor's where I got the news that my lumbar spine motion is the same after spinal fusion as before. But I thought the fusion was supposed to stop motion. The surgeon did say the fusion site looks good and that the surgery was successful. I didn't think of this at the time to ask the question and, of course, my next appointment isn't for six months. Can you possibly explain this to me?7 years 22 weeks ago2693
I'm doing a little research on a problem I've developed over the years called spinal stenosis. I've had X-rays and MRIs and they could find nothing to account for my back and leg pain. I finally had exploratory surgery. Lo and behold they discovered cysts had formed inside the ligament inside my spinal canal. Once they took them out, I was perfectly fine. Is this a common problem? What are my chances that I'll form more of these pesky beasts?7 years 22 weeks ago2784
My 72-year-old father had surgery to remove some cysts from inside his spine. The pathology report just came in the mail today. It described them as synovial cysts with intraligamentous bursal communicating channels connected to the facet joint at the L3-4 level. Evidently, they were taking up space inside the spinal canal putting pressure on the nerves and causing a heck of a lot of back and leg pain. What are these cysts and what causes them?7 years 22 weeks ago3048
My surgeon carefully went over each step of the spinal fusion procedure I am going to have next week. I will have bone from a bone bank grafted in to help with the fusion. I have osteoporosis myself and can't donate my own bone. I did hear something about the risk of infection but the information was all so new and flew right past me. Is the infection from the bone graft because it's donated bone or does it develop from something else?7 years 22 weeks ago2676
Is it safe to accept bone from someone else for a spinal fusion? And why can't a family member donate his or her bone like blood donations?7 years 22 weeks ago2838
My mother is taking some sort of narcotic for her back pain. She's been taking it for a few months now and I'm afraid she's getting addicted because she has asked her doctor a few times for higher doses, which he gives. What can I do?7 years 23 weeks ago2584
My back hurts a lot. I mean a lot. I injured it at work several months ago and haven't been able to go back. My doctor orders me some medications but none of them help. I want her to prescribe me some morphine or something, but she won't. Isn't that one of the more powerful drugs and why would she say that it won't help my back then?7 years 23 weeks ago2895
My father had cauda equina syndrome but he didn't hurt hit back in any way that he remembers. His doctor said his spinal canal had narrowed. Could this be a cause?7 years 23 weeks ago2550
What exactly is cauda equina syndrome? My mother-in-law was diagnosed with it but all we know is that she had a lot of back pain and needed emergency surgery.7 years 23 weeks ago2489
I have been pregnant four times although I miscarried twice, so I have two living children. After my second miscarriage, I started having low back pain that has never gone away. Is this a common problem? Why can't I get back to normal?7 years 23 weeks ago2717
My two sisters have had five pregnancies between them. They are always complaining about back pain. When I was a Peace Corps volunteer in three other countries, I never heard the women complain of back pain. Are we just spoiled Americans quick to complain about the slightest ache and pain? I'm having trouble feeling any sympathy for my siblings.7 years 23 weeks ago2738
Mother is going to have a vertebroplasty this week. Her regular surgeon isn't available, so they are recommending the radiologist do the procedure. I'm not really sure how to ask this question but are they qualified to do surgery?7 years 23 weeks ago3038
My doctor has recommended a fusion for me (my neck). After two years of rehab, my pain is better but the X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs show it's not stable. Now we are talking about all the different options. The surgeon prefers to use something called ACDF with bone graft and a metal plate. I'd like to get by without the metal. Is it possible?7 years 23 weeks ago3999
I'm using my laptop to read up on a procedure called vertebroplasty. My wife is having one as I wait in the hospital. I've found that it's not a surgery everyone can have. She's having it because of a spine fracture at two levels from cancer (multiple myeloma). I'm seeing mostly people with osteoporosis have this operation but I'm not finding much about cancer patients. What can you tell me?7 years 23 weeks ago3295

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