Erectile dysfunction, sometimes called "impotence," is the
repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for
sexual intercourse. The word "impotence" may also be used to
describe other problems that interfere with sexual intercourse and
reproduction, such as lack of sexual desire and problems with
ejaculation or orgasm. Using the term erectile dysfunction makes it
clear that those other problems are not involved.
Erectile dysfunction, or ED, can be a total inability to achieve
erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to
sustain only brief erections. These variations make defining ED and
estimating its incidence difficult. Estimates range from 15 million
to 30 million, depending on the definition used. According to the
National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), for every 1,000
men in the United States, 7.7 physician office visits were made for
ED in 1985. By 1999, that rate had nearly tripled to 22.3. The
increase happened gradually, presumably as tre...
Spondylolisthesis (spaun-di-lo-lie-thee-sis) is a mouthful and is a common cause of low back pain (although it can exist anywhere in the spine, the lumbar spine is the most common area affected). The spinal column is a series of building blocks called vertebral bodies stacked on top of one another. Sometimes these blocks do not line up perfectly. This slight separation in the spinal column is called a spondylolisthesis .
"Doc says I have a spondy-something-or-other. Don't ask me what it is; all I know is that it hurts". Steve tries to explain his low back condition to his friend. But, he finds that he cannot explain what he does not understand. Steve has had back pain for a number of years. Every year the pain gets worse and has now become constant. His doctor sent him for x-rays recently. The x-rays showed a spondylolisthesis with disc degeneration at L5/S1. Steve could not understand his doctor's explanation of the condition. So, now he has pain and has confusion.
Driving a car to the local mechanic to get it fixed is not the same thing as taking the human body into surgery; although, this "fix-it" attitude drives patients and surgeons alike towards surgical solutions. Lately, a growing number of people are undergoing low back surgery . A recent study examined the relationship between patient expectations and the actual outcomes from lumbar spine surgery. Because pre-surgical expectations do not always equate to the actual results, how can a person judge whether or not a surgery was successful? How can one predict surgical success?
Understanding the primary reasons for seeking surgical solutions is the first step towards discussing the likelihood of success. The top three causes for patients wanting lumbar surgery are: 1#, other therapies have failed to help; 2#, the pain is unbearable; 3#, walking has become difficult. Based on these reasons to see a surgeon, patients come to the operating room harboring certain expectations. Patients wa...
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