Spine General (involves multiple spine areas)
No medical procedure is 100 percent foolproof so, yes, things can go wrong with a vertebroplasty, a procedure where a doctor injects a special cement into the spine to stabilize it.
My husband had a chest X-ray and discovered he has severe scoliosis. Evidently that's what's been causing his back and leg pain all these months. What's the best treatment for this in an older adult? Do they use bracing like with children?Posted October 23rd, 2008 by Matt
Sometimes scoliosis in the older adult can be managed with nonoperative care such as physical therapy and medications. If the pain isn't severe or disabling, then conservative care is always advised. A three to six month course of treatment is encouraged.
I've heard of scoliosis in kids, but not in older adults. My mother was just diagnosed with this problem. How come it's developing all of a sudden in a 70-year old woman?Posted October 23rd, 2008 by Matt
Scoliosis or curvature of the spine is more common in older children and teenagers. For most of them, the condition is referred to as adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Idiopathic means there is no known cause for the problem.
In older adults, the degenerative effects of aging on the spine are usually linked with scoliosis. In fact about 87 per cent of adult scoliosis is attributed to degeneration. Only 13 per cent remains idiopathic (unknown cause).
Scoliosis, a curvature of the spine occurs most often in older children and teenagers. But it can develop in older adults with serious complications. The cause is usually age-related degenerative changes in the spine. Sometimes there is no known cause. In this study, surgeons from the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Virginia examine how often scoliosis occurs in older adults and the treatment needed.
I had a long spinal fusion about six months ago. They took X-rays last week that didn't really show the fusion site clearly. Should I go some place else and have them taken again?Posted October 14th, 2008 by Matt
We are assuming by saying you had a long fusion that there were several spinal segments fused. Most of the time using this term means that fusion occurred within the lumbar spine and that the lumbar spine was fused with the sacrum.
My sister had a spinal fusion back a few weeks ago. She said they used graft extenders because it was a long fusion and she didn't have enough bone of her own. Could I have donated bone for her?Posted October 14th, 2008 by Matt
When bone grafts are used, the patient donates slivers of bone taken from his or her own ilium (pelvic bone). Bone from a bone bank can also be used. The bone in the bone bank is donated by others, but this occurs after the donor's death.
Why does physical therapy after surgery hurt so much? Can't it cause more damage? I had back surgery and it hurts to go through my exercises.Posted October 14th, 2008 by Matt
Physical therapy can leave you sore after a work out, but it isn't supposed to cause pain. If you are experiencing pain with your physical therapy, you should speak to your therapist about where the pain is, what seems to be causing it, and what type of pain it is. This is essential because if your therapist doesn't know that you are hurting, you could be doing more harm than good.
My mother's doctor seems like he's giving up on her. My mother had back surgery and because she was depressed and frustrated from her pain, she didn't go to too many physical therapy appointments. Her back isn't much better and the doctor more or less told her if she didn't go for physical therapy, she couldn't expect much more from him. That doesn't seem very fair.Posted October 14th, 2008 by Matt
People who have surgery for back pain often have had the pain for quite a while before the surgery is done. This means, that people experience a lot of pain and it affects their life significantly for a long period of time - long enough to feel angry, frustrated, or even depressed over how pain has changed what things can be done and how they are done.
Much progress has been made in spinal fusions since 2002 when the FDA approved the use of bone graft substitutes. Bone graft substitutes replace bone harvested from the patient or from a donor.
At first, bone morphogenetic protein referred to as rhBMP-2 was just used for single level spinal fusions. The surgery is done from the front of the body. The procedure is called an anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF).
Patients should participate in physical therapy after having spinal surgery on the lower back for degeneration injuries in order to help improve the success of the surgery, recommends the North American Spine Society. Because surgery can be done a considerable amount of time after the back pain has begun, by the time the patient has had surgery, there is a good chance that the muscles in the back have begun to weaken due to limited use.