Spine FAQs

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I'm going to have a neck fusion next month. I have a few weeks to mull over how I want to have the graft done. I can use bone from a bone bank, bone from my hip, or some new product that is a bone substitute. What do most people do?9 years 16 weeks ago2191
What is pseudarthrosis? The surgeon tells me this is what is causing my back pain after I had spinal fusion surgery. I thought my pain was going to be better but instead it's worse and pseudarthrosis is the reason why.9 years 16 weeks ago9941
I'm debating between using donor bone material for a neck fusion and my own bone. I've heard that bone bank grafts aren't alive, so I should use my own bone. But I've been told to be prepared for more problems from the donor site than at the actual fusion. Is all this true?9 years 16 weeks ago2375
I have some pressure on my spinal cord from bone spurs and compressed discs in the neck area. I heard that if this doesn't get better, there could be permanent damage to my spinal cord. Is that true?9 years 17 weeks ago2607
I've been told that the neck and arm pain I have is from a condition called cervical myelopathy. No one seems able to tell me if I'll get better or not. What happens to most people with this problem?9 years 17 weeks ago1860
When I had sciatica back a few years ago, I remember one of the tests they always did was to raise my leg off the table while I was lying down and see if that caused my pain. This time when I went in to see the doctor, they also did the test with me sitting up. There was no pain in the sitting position, but it did hurt lying down. What does that mean?9 years 18 weeks ago2944
I read the orthopedic physician's assistant's report on me after I went in for sciatica down my leg. There was mention of the flip test being negative. Could you tell me what this test is for?9 years 18 weeks ago1848
Mother has had a Dowager's hump since she was 50 years old. Now at 75, she is starting to have tiny fracture lines develop in her spine. Are the two problems connected? Why are these fractures just developing now?9 years 19 weeks ago3095
My husband is starting to get hunched forward. His shoulders are rounded forward and he can't lie on the floor without a big pillow to support his head. I keep telling him to stand up straight but he doesn't do it. Is there a brace or some other kind of shoulder harness that could help keep this from getting worse?9 years 19 weeks ago3320
I heard that they proved discography doesn't work. I had two back surgeries based on the results of my discography tests. Did I have the surgery for nothing?9 years 20 weeks ago1836
I was all scheduled to have a dye injected into my spine to verify that my back pain is coming from a disc herniation. Then all of a sudden, some guy in California says that test could cause problems. So my surgeon says it's off for now. Where does that leave me? I want to get to the bottom of this pain and get rid of it.9 years 20 weeks ago2423
My doctor has given me two separate options for the treatment of a compression fracture in my spine. I can have antiinflammatories, a back brace, and some exercises. Eventually, the back will heal and I'll be all right. Or I could have day surgery to put some cement in there to hold it together while it heals. This time next year the end-results will be the same. But the cement treatment could get me back on my feet faster. Is it worth the money?9 years 20 weeks ago1832
My 77-year-old mother just suffered her third vertebral compression fracture. She's starting to get more and more hunched over. The back brace they gave her after the second fracture is impossible to get on her. She's not in any great pain but she's uncomfortable and really slowing down. Isn't there anything else that can be done for this condition?9 years 20 weeks ago2244
I've had a pinched nerve off and on in my neck for several years. I'm trying to avoid having surgery, so I've been seeing a physical therapist. It seems to be helping. I really like the traction treatments. That seems to help the most. Since this is an ongoing problem, should I look into getting a traction machine for myself at home?9 years 20 weeks ago2136
My physical therapist was doing joint mobilizations and traction on me for a pinched nerve on the left side of my neck. But a new study showed that it didn't really help, so we've stopped using it. I definitely feel a difference without it. Should I say something?9 years 20 weeks ago1698
My doctor says I have spinal stenosis. She saw this on the X-rays and my symptoms match what she says is typical for this problem. Now she wants to send me for a CT scan and an MRI. Do I really need all these extra steps? Seems like an unnecessary expense. Is it?9 years 22 weeks ago1859
My wife was just diagnosed with spinal stenosis after a long period of back pain that was just getting worse and worse. I'm really concerned because I've never seen her like this. The doctor doesn't seem in a big hurry to do anything more than send her to a physical therapist. Should we be pushing for surgery?9 years 22 weeks ago1914
I used to be a cracker jack swimmer "back in the day" as they say now. But for the last two years, I've had constant back pain from an old injury. I've been faithfully doing my exercises at home but always thinking I might just get back in the water and skip all this core training. What do the experts advise?9 years 22 weeks ago1828
My physician has written me a prescription for aquatic therapy. She thinks this could really help keep me in good condition despite the chronic low back pain I'm struggling with. To be honest, I'm really afraid of the water. Will it really help if I'm panicking?9 years 22 weeks ago2056
I notice at work more than half the people have taken time off because of back pain. So far, it hasn't struck me. If it ever happens, is there some way to cut the sick leave short and get back to work? Maybe I shouldn't think like this, but I do like to be prepared.9 years 23 weeks ago1754
I'm a 54-year-old woman off work for a work-related back injury. After eight weeks, my back pain still isn't any better. I feel like I might as well be at work. Is there any study that says I'll just make it worse if I go back? Or any reason why I shouldn't return to work?9 years 23 weeks ago2041
I hurt my back when I twisted wrong coming down a slide at a theme park. The doctor I saw told me to rest for a day, use ice, and then start moving again. Said I should be good as new in a week or two. Well it's been two months and every day I pray for a miracle. The pain brings me to tears some days. Why do they tell people this stuff if it's not true?9 years 24 weeks ago4899
When I told my doctor 'no surgery' for my aching back, he suggested I at least talk to a surgeon about some of the minimally invasive procedures that are available now. He called these mini-operations 'interventional'. But I really don't know what I'm asking about. Can you help me out here with at least a description I can take with me so I know what to say?9 years 24 weeks ago1944
I have been to three well-known pain clinics for my chronic back and leg pain. Everyone is very nice, and they all seem very certain they know what's wrong with me. But nothing they do for me has helped. I've had lots of tests. Sometimes the same ones repeated. Isn't there one simple way to tell what's wrong? How can it be so difficult?9 years 24 weeks ago1746
I'm trying not to overly obsess about my upcoming spinal fusion surgery. But I do want to be prepared for any possibility afterwards. The surgeon's nurse gave me a list of potential problems that could develop like heart attack, blood clot, or poor wound healing. They assured me that these are uncommon and not to worry. But are there other possible (more serious) complications that I should watch for?9 years 25 weeks ago2475
When I had my neck fused, I developed a problem called dysphagia. I couldn't swallow anything that wasn't blended first and even then some things just wouldn't go down. I thought this was a major problem but the surgeon didn't blink an eye. Shouldn't they take this stuff more seriously than they do?9 years 25 weeks ago3923
Have you ever heard of chocolate triggering headaches? My husband is sure he has a chocolate-loving brain tumor causing his headaches. I think I've heard there's something in chocolate that can give some people headaches. Should he see a doctor?9 years 26 weeks ago1931
I have had migraine headaches since I was eight years old. I've heard that these might go away when I'm pregnant. I am trying to conceive, so I thought I'd check this out. What can you tell me?9 years 26 weeks ago1781
My 23-year-old daughter is living with me for a month while she gets used to wearing a halo vest for a cervical spine fracture. We are wracking our brains for ways to help her get more comfortable. The sheepskin lining the vest is supposed to make it more comfortable but she say its itchy. They showed us how to clean the screws and pins, but how do you take a bath or shower? Any tips you can offer would be a great help.9 years 26 weeks ago2294
Mother fell down the stairs and broke her neck right at the top of the spine. Because she has diabetes and other health complications, they put her in a halo vest instead of attempting to do surgery to fuse the spine. What are her chances for recovery? She's not that old (63) but she seems more fragile now than she used to.9 years 26 weeks ago2204

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