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Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: L3 & L4 cartlage deteriated,from sports


 wrenchhead514 - Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:04 pm

I had an accedent when I was 16, from sports and was fine in 3 days, cracked l3 and L4 and penched nerve. After that every year seamed the same thing happens from anything, but just goes away and just as strong. Now at 50 my orthopedic shows me the cartlage is about gone. I've been to theropy and learned how to exersise with back spraws and leg stretches. I feel its not going to get any better. I can feel it like pop out of align and then I stretch around and I'm sore but ok.I wake up every morning stiff and I'm very slow.Is there anything other that surgery, to help the cartlage , and if surgery is needed can you tell me whats avalible and chances it would go fine. I know this is asking alot, but what do surgerys like that cost. Thanks
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:00 pm

User avatar Thanks for the inquiry.

The cartilage in the spine is found in the small joints of the vertebrae. These can become inflamed and arthritic and sometimes spurs stick out from them and can nerve problems. The vertebral discs are pads between the main body of the vertebrae. They are round fibrous structure with gel in the middle. Sometimes they tear and the gel or fibrous portion bulges out toward a nerve or spinal canal.

Pain management physician are skilled at back injections. They can inject corticosteroids (anti inflamatory) into the small joints or near an inflamed nerve providing pain relief.

Neurosurgeons perform a number of procedures on the lumbar spine usually to relieve pain from a pinched nerve. Sometime they will fuse some vertebrae together to prevent painful movement. Another procedure called vertebroplasty effectively treats spinal fractures usually the result of osteoporosis.

An MRI of the back would help define any injured structures in the back.

Non surgical treatment includes physical therapy, pain management clinic, and general health measures including smoking cessation.

Cost of surgery is in the thousands.

Keep us posted on how things turn out.

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