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Diabetic on insulin, has back pain, MRI showed diffuse posterior disc osteophyte complex. Is fusion surgery necessary?

My dad has been suffering from back pain since last 1 year. we went in for an MRI scan before 6 mths and result shows Diffuse posterior disc osteophyte complex at C4-C5,C5-C6 & C6-C7 levels with ligamentum flavum hypertrophy causing narrowing of spinal canal without significant nerve root/cord compression. Ligamentum flavum thickening ia seen at D10-D11 & D11-D12 levels without significant cord copression. Now he is suffering from severe unbareble pain. He can not walk without walker. He is 72 years old with diabetes (at the age of 40) controlled with insulin ( last15 years). My question is does he need fusion surgeory ? or there is other alternative treatment? He is taking pain killers and went for physiotherapy also. what is the risk factor for this surgeory?
Asked On : Sat, 29 Dec 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  86
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Spine Surgeon 's  Response
Thanks for the query. Back pain may be due to disc degeneration. Where is the location? Also its important to know the level of the painful disc. You can not go on fusing the spine without knowing the exact pain source. Also he is long standing diabetic and it can cause this pain. Initially try to control pain with medicine (Antiinflammatory, muscle relaxants and if required pregabalin) and physiotherapy modalities such as IFT, manual therapy. I doubt about the need for the fusion surgery. I would suggest to get him examined by a spine specialist. Also sometimes if we can pinpoint the pain generator then we can give him local injection blocks. Thanks.
Answered: Sat, 5 Jan 2013
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