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Spine and Back Health

Missing Vertebrae

11/02/2009

Question:

I saw an email response on a netwellness web site and you commented on somebody`s question on somebody missing a vertebrae. My wife was born without a vertebrae and has had chronic and worsening back pain over the last 20+ years (she is 41) and has been through many pain management treatments without much success. At this point we are at a loss and looking for any alternatives to mitigate her pain. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.

Answer:

Hello, thank you for your question. I’m sorry to hear that she’s having trouble. Has she seen a surgeon? If there is a structural problem in the spine that has not responded to pain management treatments, surgery might be a reasonable alternative, but she would need to be evaluated for that. As you’ve hopefully seen by now, we can’t recommend specific treatments for people on this website, but it certainly sounds like she needs to see a specialist. Good luck.

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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