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I have had back pain for 25 yrs....and getting so much

worse.....have been told I have...
I have had back pain for 25 yrs....and getting so much worse.....have been told I have no discs between 3 vertebrae...degenerative disease, arthritis and osteoporosis....with nerve pain. I am unable to stand longer than 10 minutes....or walk more than 10-20 ft. without pain...is there anything like a titanium cage that will help my condition....a regular spinal fusion will not work.....any suggestions....thank you...t. huckla
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
5/27/2010
Dr. Sophie :: Neurology
Dr. Sophie :: Neurology, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 2,951
Experience: Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology :: U of California
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Hello,

I have notified our neurosurgeon, Dr. Mark, of your question. He is currently offline but should get back to you within reasonable time.

You don't need to respond to this message.

Thank you.
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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 11,946
Experience: Neurosurgeon - Brain, spine, and peripheral nerve surgery
Verified

Hello -

Who has told you a "regular spinal fusion" will not work?

Have you been evaluated by neurosurgeons?

Do you have only back pain, or do you have pain that radiates down your legs as well?

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

A neurosurgeon told me that the screws with a pin will not work the bone is too weak..

Yeas, I've only gone to one neruosurgeon.

The pain does radiate down my legs..sometime right, sometime left......sometime to the buttocks and groin ......sometime down to knee, then the lower leg to foot......also have tingling in both legs and twitches in my legs........the pain is so bad I cannot tolerate it....thanks

Do you happen to know what your DEXA score is?

Are you on any medications / injections to help with your osteoporosis?

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

I don't know what a DEXA score is.....

bovila and calicum with vit d daily

OK.

The DEXA score is the scan your doctors would have used to diagnose your osteoporosis.

Anyways -- it would probably be of benefit to you to get a second opinion for your back.

Your symptoms sound as if lumbar stenosis, or narrowing of the nerves in your back, is a major culprit in your pain.

Now, if you truly have very severe osteoporosis -- then yes, unfortunately, it would not make sense to do a lumbar fusion, because your bones may simply be too weak to be able to fuse appropriately.

Surgeons can use some materials (BMP, a protein that stimulates bone growth) which can help with the fusion. So, it still may be possible. But it would be risky.

Unfortunately, a titanium cage or other surgical instrumentation makes no difference here, in how well your bone heals and how osteoporotic you are -- as those are major issues to consider before doing surgery.

Get a second opinion here first, before resigning yourself to pain management.

Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Neurologist (MD)
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Satisfied Customers: 11,946
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