Spine FAQs

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I went with my 68-year-old father to see a neurosurgeon about back surgery. If I heard him correctly, it sounded like he was trying to talk my father out of having the operation. I was glad for that but wondering why a surgeon wouldn't want to do surgery on someone who needs it?9 years 39 weeks ago2001
If lumbar spinal stenosis is caused by a narrowing of the spinal canal, how does a steroid injection help with the pain? Does it open up that space somehow? Before I consider this treatment, I'd kinda like to understand how it works.9 years 40 weeks ago1631
I have been told that my leg pain is caused by spinal stenosis. What I'm wondering is why does the pain get worse when I try to stand up straight?9 years 40 weeks ago1683
I've heard that sacral tumors from giant cell myeloma comes back even after it's been surgically removed. Is that true?9 years 41 weeks ago1575
I'm going to have a spinal fusion in the next couple of months. I'm waiting for my daughter to have her baby first and then I'll take the rest of my vacation time to have the surgery. If I'm going to ask for time off from work, should I take a few extra weeks to rest up before the operation?9 years 41 weeks ago1847
My husband is thinking about having a spinal fusion. The surgeon wants him to take some mental tests first. I don't know if they think he's a hypochondriac or not. But I can tell you he hardly ever complains about anything and this back pain is real. Should I say something to the doctor?9 years 41 weeks ago1664
I am a newly hired middle manager for a large manufacturing company. I'm facing my first compensation claim by a blue-collar worker who has hired a lawyer. Everyone tells me once a lawyer is involved, we'll never see that worker back on-the-job. Is there any truth to that idea?9 years 41 weeks ago1860
I had a series of bad days with low back pain -- couldn't walk, couldn't work, could hardly get out of bed. I was so glad when that cleared up, I vowed I would do whatever it takes to keep from going through that again. Before I could turn around, it hit me again. My orthopedic surgeon thinks I never really recovered from the first episode. How can they tell that?9 years 41 weeks ago1737
My insurance company won't pay for treatment I had for back pain because I had used up all my services for that episode. I maintain that this was a new episode and the clock should start over. Can you help me with this?9 years 41 weeks ago1600
I dropped out of college after two semesters because I could tell I just wasn't cut out for Wall Street. I'm perfectly happy working in a big box store waiting on customers and stocking shelves. All the other workers assure me that sooner or later I'll hurt my back. If that really happens, would I be out of work? If that's the case, then maybe I should go back to school and finish my business degree.9 years 41 weeks ago1750
Two years ago, I considered having a disc replacement. There just wasn't enough evidence to satisfy me that these new implants were really the way to go. I had a fusion instead. I keep wondering if I made the right decision. What's the status of this new treatment now?9 years 41 weeks ago1574
I'm very proud of myself because I have made the decision to have an artificial disc replacement for a damaged disc at the L45 level. Now that I'm ready to take this step, I'm asking myself what I hope to get out of the surgery. Pain relief is number one. What do other people look for to say it was or wasn't a success?9 years 41 weeks ago1524
I'm debating about having a spinal fusion for a broken down disc. At my age (72), I have learned to live with a great deal of pain. The surgery is supposed to help but there could be worse problems after. What can you tell me that might help me make this decision?9 years 42 weeks ago1720
My sister is trying to convince me to have a spinal fusion. She had one and did real great afterwards. But I'm 10 years older than her and not so sure I'm up to the stress of it. Does age make a difference?9 years 42 weeks ago1671
I have been off work with low back pain for six weeks now. I expected to be back on the job days after I hurt myself. The longer I'm off, the more depressed I get and the worse my pain is. The doctor has given me a prescription for a narcotic pain reliever. Should I take it? Will it help me get over the hurdle?9 years 43 weeks ago2065
I did everything the doctor told me to do and my back pain still keeps coming back. What am I doing wrong?9 years 43 weeks ago1636
Every time I get back pain, it seems to settle in the right side down by the base of my spine. Is there some kind of exercise I can do to strengthen that side?9 years 43 weeks ago1674
The pharmacist at our local clinic suggested I take a narcotic pain reliever for my ongoing low back pain. She said they come in different formulations from weak to strong and in pill or patch form. Which one should I ask for?9 years 43 weeks ago1616
When the doctor looks at an MRI, what do they see that tells them I have an L5-S1 disc herniation?9 years 44 weeks ago2020
I almost had surgery on the wrong side for a bad disc. But my surgeon took the time to review the MRIs right before the operation and saw that there was an error in the original reading. Does this happen very often?9 years 44 weeks ago2045
My brother hurt his back at work and has not had a very good recovery. He's seeing a behavioral counselor who seems to give him a good rah-rah session but no practical suggestions about diet, exercise, and a common sense approach to getting better. Am I off base here thinking this is a waste of time and money?9 years 44 weeks ago1622
I can't seem to get over a bad back. I've never had back problems before. This is my first experience. The doc says it's mechanical and I should go out and do what I can. But everytime I feel good, I seem to overdo it and then I'm back where I started from. How do I get out of this cycle?9 years 44 weeks ago2032
I'm having some low back pain that's off to the right of center. No one seems sure just what's causing it. One person thinks it's the lumbar vertebrae, another says it's coming from the sacroiliac joint. Is it always this difficult to tell what's going on?9 years 46 weeks ago1723
My doctor and my physical therapist agree that my back and leg pain are really coming from my sacroiliac (SI) joint. How is that really possible? Shouldn't the pain be right over my SI?9 years 46 weeks ago1643
I like to knit, crochet, and do other handwork at night after work. I've done this as a form of relaxation for years. But now with a disc problem and bad arthritis, my doctor has recommended fusing two or three of the bones together in my neck. Will I have to give up my sewing?9 years 46 weeks ago2055
I'm going to have a lumbar fusion at the L45 level. Will I need to wear a brace afterwards? What kind and for how long?9 years 46 weeks ago2570
It's been two years since I had a disc removed from my lumbar spine. I was fine after the surgery for the first two months. Then just like that my symptoms came back. A recent MRI showed another herniation of the same disc. But how is that possible if I had the disc removed?9 years 49 weeks ago1728
I have a herniated disc at L45 that is keeping me off work too long. I need to just get it taken care of and get on with my life. Is it best to have the surgeon take the whole thing out or just the piece that's pressing on my nerves? Does it even matter?9 years 49 weeks ago2224
The surgeon turned me down for an operation to fuse my low back until I lose 100 pounds. I'm caught in a vicious cycle. I can't exercise because of my back pain. And I can't have surgery to take care of the back pain until I lose weight. What else can I do?9 years 49 weeks ago1735
My brother-in-law is constantly complaining about back pain. He's even thinking about having a spinal fusion. Wouldn't his back pain go away if he lost a little weight? He must tip the scales at 350 pounds easily.9 years 49 weeks ago1531

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