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 ...
There are both surgical and non-surgical alternatives to ankle replacement surgery . First line treatments for arthritis of the ankle are non-surgical methods. Several of the non-surgical methods provide relief because they limit motion, thus decreasing the irritation of the arthritic joint. One such method is the use of shoe inserts (orthotics) , such as pads and arch supports. The use of an ankle brace or a cane can also help to take pressure and stress off the arthritic joint. An ankle-foot orthrosis (AFO), or a custom-made shoe with a stiff sole and a rocker bottom, can also work by decreasing motion thru the ankle joint. And, although scientific evidence is controversial, the use of certain nutritional supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroiton , might help decrease your pain. Direct injection of medication into the arthritic joint can give up to several months of pain relief. It is important to note that weight control is also an important method of decreasing the stress on...
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-...
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