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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5118
Experience:  Neurology & Int Medicine (US Trained): 20 yrs experience
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My husband had a severe injury to s back 15 years ago (L3

Customer Question

My husband had a severe injury to his back 15 years ago (L3 through S1 are involved). 10 years ago, he had a laminectomy which exacerbated the problem. 5 years ago he had a spinal fusion. In the past year he has developed a behavior which is rather hard to describe. Have you seen "Men In Black"? Vincent D'Onofrio plays a person who has been inhabited by an alien. His spasmic jerks and repetitive behavior are almost exactly like the way my husband is moving, accompanied by humming. I love my husband and want to support him, but this behavior is extremely annoying to the point of tears. He isn't sleeping, which makes it worse. At this point, he is on total disability and on pain management. Doctors have advised against any further surgery. What's going on?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

Has your husband been examined by a neurologist since he developed this unusual behavior?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He has seen the surgeon who did his latest surgery at least once a month. However, I do not believe he has mentioned this behavior as he is often not aware of it until I point it out.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I am concerned that this is more of an effect of his medication than his condition. The switch to Dilaudid (sic) was alarming
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

Yes. In a case like this, you must look at his medications first. Many meds, including narcotics like Dilaudid can affect cognition and behavior. Some can cause abnormalities in muscular tone and movement. His family doctor or a neurologist should go over all his medications with you and decide which ones may be causing or contributing to this problem. The good news is that if you can figure out which ones are responsible, he will improve upon stopping them.

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