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Had scoliosis and broken herrington rod attached to spine. On medication for depression and anxiety. Concerned

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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I have had scoliosis since I was 16 and have a BROKEN herrington rod attached to my spine. I am obese at 5'4 and 240 lbs. I take 40mg of Lexapro daily for depression and anxiety problems. Beginning 6 months ago my back has alternated between either itching or a sharp pain just below my left shoulderblade where I also have had a broken vertebrae when I was 16 due to the weight of the Herrington Rod. In addition the outer side of my right thigh has been itchy and numb in one continual spot...I actually have holes in my pants in the same area from scratching at it. The last 2 and half months my left ankle has been extremely swollen but no pain. My adopted father is diabetic and has often checked my blood sugar and it is always well within the normal limits.
Posted Tue, 31 Jul 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 2 hours later
Thanks for writing in.
Its possible that a vertebra is compressing the nerve just below the shoulder blade. Your weight could only be compounding this problem. This is causing the severe pain in the back and the numbness in the thigh. The only way to check that is by doing an MRI of the spine.
As far as the swelling in the left ankle is concerned, I would like to ask you a few questions before i can help you with that:
a. Does the swelling increase or decrease or has it remained constant?
b. Does it decrease on putting your feet up or first thing in the morning?
c. Has your blood pressure been checked? Have any other investigations been done for you?
d. Do you have any other symptoms?
e. Do you have any symptoms like breathlessness, yellowness of eyes, dryness of skin, constipation, weight gain, decreased appetite?
Awaiting your reply.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had scoliosis and broken herrington rod attached to spine. On medication for depression and anxiety. Concerned 3 hours later
Thank you for your promt reply to my question! Here is the info that you asked me for:

a. The swelling has remained constant.

b. It seems to be decreased first thing in the morning but is still present.

c. My blood pressure has been checked and it is nomal if on the low side but that has been the case throughout my life.

d. I have none of the symptoms that you mentioned.

Sincerely, XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 4 hours later
Thanks for writing back.
The swelling does seem to be due to venous insufficiency, which is a condition where the blood pumped back by the veins to the heart does not occur very efficiently. This leads to a lot of fluid getting accumulated in the lower limbs.
The following measures should provide relief:
a. Keep your feet elevated as much as possible
b. Use a crepe bandage around your legs. This helps to pump back the blood.
c. Drink plenty of water
d. Start walking around as much as you can. Weight loss will definitely help in this regard. apart from exercise, eating healthy is extremely important for this as well. Have a heavy breakfast and eat meals every 3-4 hours to make sure that your metabolic rate stays up. also, totally avoid any kind of junk or refined food. Use whole grains whenever you're cooking. Also, stay away from the colas. Every cup has some 9 tsp of sugar.
Please do this for 3-4 days and let me know if this helps. If the swelling persists, we'll have to run a few tests like Doppler ultrasound of the legs.
Hope this helps
Take care
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