Spine FAQs

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I have a chance to be part of a study using a dissolving plate to fuse my neck. I'm wondering what you think about these.9 years 14 weeks ago3106
I had a CT-scan that confirmed my worst fears: a herniated disc in my neck. The surgeons are talking about fusion versus maybe trying a disc replacement. I'm going in for more tests to see which treatment might work best for me. How do these two operations stack up against one another? Would you recommend one over the other?9 years 16 weeks ago2959
I was one of the first people in our area to have a disc replacement for a herniated disc that was pressing on my spinal cord. That was five years ago. So far, so good. They did warn me that anything could happen -- I could end up with the implant pressing on the cord or another disc going bad above or below the implant. I like to keep up on this technology, should I ever need another one. What's the latest?9 years 16 weeks ago3169
My father is scheduled to have a spinal fusion operation next week. He seems to be in fairly good health, but we are concerned that this could end up a disaster. We've seen so many other older adults have some type of surgery and never fully recover to their former selves. We'd hate to see that with Dad. How can we even evaluate something like this?9 years 17 weeks ago1942
Does it make sense to you that a 80-year-old grandmother would need surgery to fuse her spine? She's so stiff, I doubt her spine even moves. But the surgeon is recommending a spinal fusion for a condition they call degenerative spondylolisthesis. What can you tell me about this?9 years 17 weeks ago2286
I am one of many silent sufferers. With chronic low back pain, I've made the rounds of chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, and massage therapists with little to show for it except an empty wallet. Is any thing being done in this country for people like us? There has to be a way out of this prison of pain.9 years 18 weeks ago1920
I just came back from a preop visit with a nurse from the surgery center where I am scheduled for back surgery later this week. It's supposed to be a simple decompression technique. They say I'll get antibiotics right before the operation in case of infection. How well does this work and how often do infections occur? I'm thinking about cancelling the surgery. The last thing I need right now is another medical problem.9 years 18 weeks ago1971
Dad is 72 and had his first surgery ever less than two weeks ago. They did a laminectomy for spinal stenosis. Although his back pain was better at first, now it's getting worse everyday. Is this normal? How long do we wait for the pain to go away?9 years 18 weeks ago2203
I'm having trouble finding someone who will take my back pain seriously and help me. The doctor says to exercise and it will get better. Well, I've tried exercise and the pain always comes back. Is it just me? Or do other people have this experience, too?9 years 21 weeks ago3253
Can you help me understand a neck injury my husband got from a horseback riding accident? The surgeon says it's a moderately severe fracture of C34 and surgery is needed. They won't be able to tell until they do surgery how unstable it is. What makes a fracture moderately severe and/or unstable? I didn't really want to ask too many questions in front of my husband in case it's worse than we thought.9 years 21 weeks ago2970
I seem to be able to manage my chronic low back pain with Oxycontin. The pain is tolerable and I'm able to put in my three shifts a week at work. My doctor says I'm not improving and would like to see me get off the drugs. Isn't not getting worse an acceptable result? I'm happy with it, but I can't seem to get that across to the doc. What do you suggest?9 years 21 weeks ago1742
My 16-year-old son has a cervical spine fracture rated as a three on a score called the CSISS. Can you explain this to me? The surgeon showed us the X-rays and went over everything. I am a nurse, so I do understand anatomy but I'll admit I was in a state of shock at the time. Most of it went right by me.9 years 21 weeks ago2963
After six years of suffering with low back pain with no known cause, my doctor tells me I'm just going to have to learn to live with the pain. That's just not acceptable to me. Are there any other options for people like me?9 years 21 weeks ago1939
I have about six weeks to devote to exercise before starting a work-training program for people with low back pain who want to get back on the job. Should I go for Pilates or yoga? I keep hearing my friends say, "Oh you should go to Pilates" or "Oh you have got to try yoga". I can't do both. Which one works best?9 years 21 weeks ago1745
My counselor has suggested I try yoga to help with my back pain and my depression. I don't really know where or how to get started. I know there are different kinds of yoga. Which one works best for these two problems?9 years 21 weeks ago1739
I've been all over the United States looking for someone who can tell me what's wrong with my back. I've had tests and tests and tests with no positive findings. No matter what I try, it doesn't seem to give me lasting pain relief. Please tell me where I can go to get the help I need.9 years 21 weeks ago1726
I am now the proud "owner" of an artificial disc. It's in my low back around L4. I've been told not to jump (or fall) from tall buildings or use a jackhammer 24/7. All joking aside, I understand the reason for caution. But just how durable are these devices? Could it really break if I fell on my back, for example or stepped in a hole unexpectedly and went down?9 years 23 weeks ago1963
My wife is off work with a burst fracture of the spine. She only works part-time, so she doesn't have any sick leave. I lost my job six weeks ago, so this really puts us in a financial bind. How long does an injury like this take to heal?9 years 23 weeks ago3787
I've damaged several discs in my spine so badly now, they can't repair themselves. I only have replacement or fusion as an option. If I go with the fusion, I know I'll lose some motion there but it will be a solid support. If I go with the fusion, is there any give or shock absorption? Will the implant hold up as well as a fusion?9 years 23 weeks ago1774
What's a graded functional rehab program for a spine fracture? That's what I'm headed for in the next few weeks. I kind of wanted to know what I'm getting into with this.9 years 23 weeks ago2035
I've had so many friends who had a spinal fusion for disc problems or slipped vertebra. Not one has had any problems. Then my brother had the surgery and it was nothing but problems with infection and kidney failure. We almost lost him. No one seems to know what happened. Maybe it doesn't matter now but I can't help but wonder what really went on in that hospital.9 years 23 weeks ago1864
I've seen two surgeons (one orthopedic surgeon, one neurosurgeon) about my back pain. They both agree my problem is something called degenerative spondylolisthesis. What they don't agree on is how to treat it. The orthopedic surgeon thinks my age and general health are against me. The neurosurgeon is willing to operate as soon as it can be scheduled. I don't know which way to go.9 years 23 weeks ago1890
I am scheduled for a spinal fusion in two weeks. As part of the preliminary work-up, my surgeon ordered bone scans and blood tests to look for osteoporosis. I'm worried now that if it turns out I have osteoporosis they won't do the surgery. Is that possible?9 years 25 weeks ago1940
You know, I haven't had a lick of back pain my entire adult life. Then I had a CT scan for my heart and found out that I have stenosis in my spine. All of a sudden, my back hurts. Is this just in my head? Or can stenosis really cause back pain all of a sudden like that?9 years 25 weeks ago1927
I saw the radiologist's report on my spine. It said there is a possibility of lumbar stenosis. How does that work? Either I have it or I don't, right?9 years 25 weeks ago1964
I had a special operation to fuse my low back called a TLIF. I was warned about all the possible complications but I never once thought anything bad would happen to me. I ended up with too much bone growth in the area of the fusion and mow my nerve pain is worse than before. What are my chances that this will all go away like a bad dream?9 years 26 weeks ago2256
What does off-label use mean? My surgeon was telling me about using bone substitute for my spinal fusion and had me sign a paper saying I know it is an off-label use. At the time I thought I understood it, but when I tried to explain it to my brother, I got all fouled up.9 years 26 weeks ago2020
Can you tell me which way is better to go with a spine fusion -- bone graft from my hip or the newer bone substitutes? I know there are plusses and minuses with each one. But is one ever recommended over the other?9 years 26 weeks ago1982
The physical therapist I am seeing right now doesn't seem very interested in finding out what's wrong with my back. She just wants to analyze my movements and come up with a plan of activities and movements that won't cause pain. That doesn't really get down to the bottom of what's wrong with me. Should I go shopping for a different therapist. If yes, what should I look for?9 years 26 weeks ago1797
I am an American working for a U.S. company in Canada. I live too far away to travel to the States for my medical care, so I went to a regional rehab center here for help with my back pain. They want to shuttle me off to a clinic on another campus because I somehow fall into a subgroup of patients who should be treated differently than others. Does any of this make sense to you? I've never heard of such a thing in the U.S. and wonder if I should make a trip home for this.9 years 26 weeks ago1772

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