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Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Slip Disc Problem for 3 Years


 d4nc3r - Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:54 pm

Dear Doctor,

I have been having sharp pain felt at the lower part of my back (probably the lumbar/sacral) segment which will sometimes cause pain radiating to my right leg as well ever since I injured my back from break dancing. After the injury, i went for an electrical surgery but the pain is still existent probably because I injured it again.

The periodic sharp pain will come once every 3 months accompanied by nausea and vomiting of water. Each episode will last for at least 1 month and I will have difficulty walking. However, since I am a full-time dancer, I have not stopped dancing despite the pain using painkillers to suppress the pain when I dance. Recently I went to see the doctor and he told me that I had to go for surgery and told me that I may be paralyzed if I do not do so.

I am reluctant as it is not 100% and also, i would have to stop dancing after the surgery for 1 year or so. I would like to know whether the fact that I am constantly having these periodic pains shows that the slip disc problem is worsening, whether there are any other treatment options other than surgery that would help to improve my situation and if I can still continue dancing since the pain is periodic and not on a daily basis. Thank you so much.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:25 pm

User avatar Hello,
If the surgeon told you surgery was needed to correct the back injury and you risk permanent neurological damage then there must be significant structural damage in the disc, nerves or spine itself.
Intermittent pain does not change the damage and if your occupation increases your risk of further damage, you should consider the risks and benefits of surgery or no surgery.

You may also consider physical therapy for conservative rehab. The only contraindication for P.T. is moderate to severe spondylolithesis where the spine is actually shifted forward due to fracture.

Take care.

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