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Spine and Back Health

Discectomy

08/04/2008

Question:

I had this surgury on 4/24/2007. (DDD Lumbar S/P Disceectomy) at L4-5, and thought I would be able to go back to work within 6 months or so. I did my own therapy as I had no insurance. My husband was laid off after the surgury and we lost benefits. I wore the back brace and walked daily and it seemed to be working.

Here we are a year and a half later and I can`t even hold a job. The pain has come back almost to the before surgery. Now I have pain down both arms from shoulders to finger tips with numbness in the thumbs. My family physician says it may be nerve damage in the upper spine causing the arm pain. I`ve had 3 shots of Cortizone in each shoulder and depend on Darvocet to get me through my day. And even that only takes the edge off. (IC Propoxyphen APAP 100-650 MGTEV) 1 to 2 tabs every 4 hours as needed for pain from my family physician because the orthopedic surgeon refuses to medicate. Please help in any way. I need advice. I am a 50 year old woman.

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness. On this site, we try to answer general questions about health but cannot diagnose or recommend treatment. You appear to have some very, very specific questions about your condition, which can only be answered properly by a physician who is familiar with your history, physical exam, and test results. Your questions about the testing results you've been given or the risks, benefits, and alternatives for proposed treatments of this condition need to be directed to your treating physician(s). You should insist that they answer these questions in a way that you are able to understand before consenting to any treatment. If your physician is unable to help you understand these issues, you should get a second opinion. Take care.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University