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Having disc problem, problem in walking and also in standing. Suggested for operation. Advise?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2569 Questions
My dad is having Disk problem. He is having problem in walking & also in standing for more than 15-20 mins. He feels pains in legs. Doctor suggessted operation, but most of the people are saying that operation is not a goof option in this case. We are very much confused. Please suggest what to do???
Posted Wed, 7 Aug 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Prasad 42 hours later

Thanks for the query.

I understand your father's condition and your apprehension towards surgery.

Yes, back surgery has its limitation. The success results of surgery cannot be predicted; however the outcome is better under the hands of an experienced surgeon.

That being said, if pain and not weakness is the concern, I think you should explore the options of physiotherapy, intrathecal injections along with pain relieving medications before opting for surgery. Surgery can be the last resort if all these options have failed to help him or if the nerve compression is significant to cause neurological deficits.

I would advise you to get your father evaluated by an experienced back surgeon / neurosurgeon. His/her suggestions after detailed evaluation can be very helpful to take the decision of surgery.

Hope this answers your query. Let me know if you need clarifications.

Best Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having disc problem, problem in walking and also in standing. Suggested for operation. Advise? 16 minutes later
Hi Doc,
Thanks for answer. but as you said about nerve compression , he is facing a lot issue in walking & standing. He cannot stand even more than 10 mins. Also intense pain in lower back & legs. can this increase without surgery ? or physiotherapy will do significant improverment. Also what precautions needs to be follow in daily life?

Thanks again.
Answered by Dr. Prasad 1 hour later
Unfortunately yes, the condition can worsen without proper intervention. And surgery is known to produce the best treatment results when compared to other forms of treatment. However the surgery needs to be timed according to clinical findings and investigation report.

At this point of time, the surgeons need to evaluate whether the issues with walking is due to pain or weakness. Presence of neurological deficits on neurological examination and neurosurgeon about his examination findings and nerve conduction test.

As far as other treatment modalities are concerned, physiotherapy and intrathecal injections are available. They can help him live with this condition in a better way (note that it does not correct the problem per se). Conservative management as described earlier are alternatives to surgery.

It is essential that he rests his back well at most times. Instruct him to avoid lifting and bending. Use of unlimited pain killers also needs to be avoided.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need clarifications.
If there are no more questions, please leave your feed backs after closing the discussion.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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