steber.kirParticipantMarch 10, 2020 at 7:09 pmPost count: 8
Hello Dr. Corenman,
I am a 33 year old female who has been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. I have had a gait analysis done around 10 years ago. My lower back pain has gotten worse over the years, and I now experience pain in my left knee occasionally. A neurosurgeon recommended a 2-level fusion at L4-S1. I have decided to attempt spinal decompression with the DRX 9000. My biggest concern is my gait.
Would you recommend I consult with you before beginning the non-surgical spinal decompression treatments? Are gait analyses performed in your clinic? If I were to schedule a consultation with you, would I also need to schedule a separate gait analysis appointment? I was also referred to a neurologist to attempt a trial of Sinemet. Is that trial of Sinemet (or other medications recommended by a neurologist) something you would want to have me complete before consulting with you? My concern is that medications might “cover-up” clues as to why my gait is disturbed.
I highly appreciate your time in answering my questions.
Kira SteberDonald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorMarch 14, 2020 at 11:00 amPost count: 8465
The DRX 9000 is essentially an expensive traction machine. The use of this machine is generally not dangerous, just expensive. I’m not against the DRX 9000 use as long as you understand the costs and limited benefits.
Gait analysis is included with an examination in my clinic as we try to determine where the problem in gait disturbance occurs (motor weakness, bad joints, central neurological disorder). Sinemet is typically used for Parkinson’s disorder. Were you diagnosed with a neurological disorder?
Dr. Corenmansteber.kirParticipantMarch 14, 2020 at 8:29 pmPost count: 8
I do not quite understand the limited benefits of the DRX 9000; would you please elaborate? My understanding is that by creating a vacuum environment, the discs can heal. I’ve tried to search for “before and after” MRI images, and some I thought I found (in my unprofessional opinion) noticeable/remarkable results. Is traction with any other machine or technique effective?
I was diagnosed at around 10 or 13 years old with cerebral palsy. Most recently, various doctors have suspected I could have hereditary spastic paraplegia or dopamine responsive dystonia. I’ve had genetic testing done for HSP which came back negative (I understand that doesn’t rule HSP out). Officially, there has been no diagnosis other than the early one of cerebral palsy.
I recently read about surgery for clonus. Is that highly disruptive to the body systems?
I highly appreciate your time!Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorMarch 15, 2020 at 11:53 amPost count: 8465
Traction has no long term benefits but can be helpful in the short term in a limited number of individuals. Discs will not heal. A tear in the wall of the disc will never become healed as there is no blood supply to the disc. It is just like a tear of the ACL ligament. It simply will not heal no matter what anyone pontificates. Do not trust any images that demonstrate improvement after traction. I have never seen any degeneration of the disc improve in my career so the pictures of disc improvement that are used to market this device have to be a hoax.
Your use of Sinemet now makes sense as you have a neurological disorder that most likely causes your gait disorder. I do not know what surgery for clonus could entail. Possibly deep brain stimulation (DBS) which I have no experience.
Dr. Corenmansteber.kirParticipantMarch 15, 2020 at 6:32 pmPost count: 8
Thank you for the information! It is extremely helpful. Do you have any experience with stem cell injections into the discs? Do you have any information for me on artificial discs? Balanced Back is one product I’ve been curious about. Is there absolutely no way for a disc to improve once damaged?
Kira SteberDonald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorMarch 16, 2020 at 10:11 amPost count: 8465
Stem cells injected into the disc will die due to the lack of blood supply. Artificial discs work well in selected neck cases but are not recommended by me for the lumbar spine. I am working on a biological disc replacement but that is down the road some ways.
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