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Dr. Ryan
Dr. Ryan, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 244
Experience:  Bachelor in Nursing, 3+ years nursing experience, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
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My question is given the following would I be a good

Resolved Question:

My question is given the following would I be a good candidate for surgery to relieve pain and numbness in both legs and arms.
I am diabetic controlled with multiple medications, mitral valve prolapse, I take medications for bp, cholesterol, and use nitroglycerine as needed, heart rate has been slow usually in 40's since I was young, I am a 59 year old wm, I fell from the second story of my house several years back when a ladder broke, now I have difficulty walking, my arms get numb, I have been told that I have arthritis of the spine. I am begining to lose control of bladder and bowel functions. I just had a test performed to check for spinal stenosis; these are the results : Three images are presented. What appears to be posterior element hypertrophy is seen on the AP at the L4-5 level. What appears to be old injury to the anterior portion of the upper end plate of L4 is seen with spurring noted at multiple levels, and what are felt to be Schmorl's nodes. There is decreased disc heights at several levels.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Ryan replied 7 years ago.

Hello, and I am glad to see you're pursuing information before undergoing surgery. I guess my question is what test is your decision going to be based on. According to your question, it appears that you're speaking about a series of 3 X-rays which can be good for diagnosing some issues, but definitely not appropriate for making the type of decision you are speaking of.

An appropriate pre-surgical test for any back surgery would be an MRI of the neck as well as the lumbar spine. This is the only test that's going to allow the physician to get a true idea of any narrowing of the spinal canal, as well as any disc issues. The reason I mention the neck or cervical spine, is that this would be the location of any issues in your spine that would cause arm numbness. I would be concerned about the loss of bowel and bladder function, and would pursue these issues with your physician at your earliest convenience.

I hope this answers your question, but if you'd like further clarification, or have more questions, please feel free to let me know. Best wishes...

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