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Is lumbar straightening a significant problem?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1722 Questions
Given my medical situation I am having artificial disc replace ment of C6-C7 soon. What are study findings in multiple disc replacements similar to mine. Would employment in a setting where I am standing most of the time for 12 hours a day, bending up and down checking documentation of drivers, carrying a 7 pound rifle, intermittently searching inside/under/over for contraband, and intermittently carrying a 30 pound bag be a bad choice with one or more artificial discs in my condition. Is the Lumbar straightening a significant issue in my condition? Would this job make my situation worse. I am considering an offer to transfer to an office part of the company.
Posted Sat, 21 Apr 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 16 hours later
Thanks for the query .

From your reports of your cervical spine, i too agree that you are a candidate for cervical disc replacement as your left arm has pain and weakness which are not relieved after conservative treatment.

Your first question refers to the findings in a patient going for cervical disc replacement.

Clinically they would have pain in arms more than pain in the neck, with features of radiculopathy such as pain(shooting/aching) with numbness or weakness of fingers or upper limb depending on the disc level involved.

Radiologically, there would be reduction in height of disc, dehydration resulting in black disc , disc bulge and or osteophytes compressing the nerve roots or spinal cord.

So cervical disc replacement helps in restoring the disc height, preserves neck mobility and decompresses the nerve root irritation.

Your second question refers to shifting your job to office ; I feel if your back and leg hurts while you stand/walk or bend because of your lumbar disc problem, it would be good to shift to a less demanding job.

But remember sitting posture is the worst position in most of the patients complaining of low back pain.

Probably you can try out the office job for a while and if it turns out to be fruitful then you should continue with it.

I hope I have answered your query.I will be available for follow up.
Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is lumbar straightening a significant problem? 1 hour later
Thank you Dr. XXXXXXX
What are the significant findings for long term prognosis in studies of people who do mutiple disc replacement. Specifically, I am curious about replacements in lumbar and cervical areas long term affects? How significant is my lumbar curve straightening affecting my disc issues.
Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 2 hours later
Thanks for the follow up.

Long term studies have shown some problems , like the artificial disc getting loose and displaced .

Some artificial discs loose the mobility ( but that would not be much of a problem), adjacent disc level involvement etc.. to name a few. Let these rare facts not disturb you.

About straightening of your back, which is a very common finding when you have pain, the muscles undergo spasm resulting in transient straightening of lumbar spine.

It is nothing pathologically significant , it is a protective mechanism.

Do not worry.

Wishing you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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