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Persistent Lower Back Pain

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Supersonic
On 4/23/2021 at 9:03 AM, Sporkypiggy said:

@Atrecord Did some read up. Below is what I extracted. For sharing purpose: 

An interspinous spacer is a device that is inserted into the back of the spine, between the spinous processes. The device is used to treat spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis occurs when the passageways of the spine are narrow and compress the nerves of the spine.

Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a medical condition in which the spinal canal narrows and compresses the nerves and blood vessels at the level of the lumbar vertebrae.

I think your doctor would be the best person to give you the true diagnosis.

For bulging disc and slipped disc,  X-ray may give you a hint. But MRI can confirm it. The cost of X-ray (<$100) vs MRI (>$1000) is quite big. Usually doctor would recommend physio and give you pain killers if you have back ache. But if you start to have constant numbing and tingling sensation (24x7), then it is a cause of concern. If a patient leave it untreated, it may get worst. And if a patient waited too long, finally cannot take it, and decided to go for operation. The nerve may be compressed for too long and may take longer time to heal itself. Or in worst case, will not heal at all, meaning the numbness and tingling sensation may not totally go away after operation.

My advice to those who have neck and lumbar pain. Don't wait too long to go see a doctor. After getting the diagnosis, then you can decide what is your best approach.  Spend 5-10min every morning and evening to do some light stretching maybe your best medicine.

 

yes, quite similar to what i was told by my GP and also the orthos i saw.

My GP sent me for x-ray in Jan, and expectedly it came back normal. After a dose of painkiller and the pain persisted, he wanted to send me to private MRI, but my company would not cover so i asked for a referral to see specialist instead. The wait was a couple of weeks, but longer wait was in store when the ortho ordered a MRI... Never knew so many patients need MRI that queues could be for months in the RHs... (compared to the GP said if he referred to private radiology clinic, can be next day...)

The orthos said that if i choose not to go for surgery, the conservative approach would be to continue with painkiller (since the pain persisted), and then try physio, but this is not guaranteed to work, esp given my condition.

Also said there's chance the left leg might get weaker if left as-is, and the lost strength is usually not going to come back after surgery - and that's another reason why i thought it better to go ahead with the surgery now...

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5th Gear

There is a minimally invasive surgery called Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy, which is widely adopted in the US.

It removes the herniated portion of the disc instead of removing the entire disc like fusion does. There are some private Ortho who offer such surgery, but I am not sure if the public hospital does offer. But as I understand, this technique is mainly use for lumbar herniated disc, not so much on cervical (neck). 

 

@Atrecord,

 Btw, did your surgeon say how long you need to lay off from physical exercise?

Will you be able to do running and other sports after a period of 6-12mths after your Diam Spacer surgery?

 

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Supersonic
On 4/24/2021 at 5:52 PM, Sporkypiggy said:

There is a minimally invasive surgery called Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy, which is widely adopted in the US.

It removes the herniated portion of the disc instead of removing the entire disc like fusion does. There are some private Ortho who offer such surgery, but I am not sure if the public hospital does offer. But as I understand, this technique is mainly use for lumbar herniated disc, not so much on cervical (neck). 

 

@Atrecord,

 Btw, did your surgeon say how long you need to lay off from physical exercise?

Will you be able to do running and other sports after a period of 6-12mths after your Diam Spacer surgery?

 

I was told by my surgeon - and another doc whom i sought 2nd opinion from - that my bones position are still aligned, and the discs are out of shape, so the op was just to removed the damaged fragments, and there's no need to insert anything.

In terms of physical activities, supposed to start PT within a month, and exercises like jogging and swimming within 3 months. These might change when i go for review in 3 weeks' time, but those were what i was told earlier.

was told that one end of the wound is not healing as well as the rest of the wound, but was reassured that it's not a major concern. The GP clinic has asked me to go back to change the dressing on alternate days instead of my current every-3-day schedule...

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