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87 years old, diagnosed with slip disc. MRI done, multiple levels of spinal damage. Surgery or back brace?

Hi, my grand father recently took an MRS and has been diagnosed with slip disc. I do not understand much about the levels of his spine that are affected but the doctor says they are multiple. The doctor has given two options, surgery or a back brace . My family has decided to take the back brace option because my grand father is 87 years and they fear a surgery may be risky. Please what do you think is best in this situation? Thanks.
Asked On : Tue, 19 Jun 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  50
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General & Family Physician 's  Response

Welcome to HealthcareMagic forum.

From what I understand your grandfather was diagnosed to have multiple slip disc based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans.

Yes, both conservative and surgical treatments are available to treat slip discs. Surgical treatment is restricted only to those cases where there are neurological deficits secondary to nerve root compression and where conservative treatment have failed to relieve the symptoms.
That being said, spine surgeries are definitely associated with risks. There is a small possibility of worsening of the condition. Besides surgical and anesthesia risk are plenty in elderly patients.

Weighing the benefits and risks, I feel there are plenty of risks involved in operating an 87 year old gentlemen. And the choice to manage him conservatively is right one.

Continue with braces. If the pain is severe a brief course of anti-inflammatory agents / steroid injections can be used. Discuss with his treating surgeons.

Hope this helps.

Answered: Wed, 20 Jun 2012
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