FROM OUR EXPERTS
To fuse or not to fuse, that is the question that comes before many people with neck pain. Fusion means that the bones in the spine are bonded together with a combination of metal parts and extra bone. Before deciding to do a fusion, a surgeon and patient must discuss the risks and potential benefits. The key word is "potential" because no surgeon can guarantee a complete "fix". In fact, some surgeries can result in a complete disaster. Before someone decides to have surgery, that person must be willing to risk getting worse. What are the risks for neck fusion surgery? Many common complications arise frequently like difficulty swallowing and speaking. However, the worst complications that happen four percent of the time are death and stroke. Four percent may not seem like a lot unless you happen to fall within the four percent. What are the potential benefits? That depends on the type of neck pain. There are two broad categories of neck pain: those with neck pain alone and those with ...
I looked into weight-loss surgery options because my life had become out of control. I had ballooned to morbid obesity and I recently had been diagnosed with, and hospitalized for, diabetes 2 and hypertension. My triglycerides were bad; my cholesterol was bad. They had been bad, in fact, for a long time. I finally got to the point where I felt like I was going to die. The reality was that I had been dying for decades but it had become so "in my face" apparent that I couldn't ignore it any longer. As they say, I hit bottom.
Even on medication, I never could get my blood glucose readings or blood pressure readings "normal." I still felt awful... and I was afraid of dying. Fat and desperate, I asked my primary care physician about weight loss surgery. He told me that several of his patients had had the surgery with great results. He recommended a surgeon to me and I phoned his practice for information.
I was promptly told by the receptionist that there was an 18-...
Resources www.niams.nih.gov -- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases www.aaos.org -- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons www.arthritis.org -- Arthritis Foundation www.spine.org -- North American Spine Society www.apta.org -- American Physical Therapy Association www.ampainsoc.org -- American Pain Society www.theacpa.org -- American Chronic Pain Association www.iasp-pain.org -- International Association for the Study of Pain
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