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Matt Roloff Spinal Surgery? Is This His Last Option For Pain Relief?

Posted Oct 20 2009 10:01pm
I am a fan of Little People Big World. I am always amazed and impressed with what the Roloff family has accomplished. On a recent episode Matt (father) and Jeremy (older son) went on a skiing trip, much to their mother Amy’s dismay. Matt has recently been experiencing a lot of neck pain, shoulder pain and numbness into his left arm.

Matt Roloff is a little person or dwarf and has had some spinal and spine related issues in the past. Matt's type of dwarfism is called diastrophic dysplasia.

Over the years, I am sure he has built up a certain amount of degeneration in his spine. According to a cervical mri that he had recently, his Doctor mentioned that he has disc degeneration between two levels: C2-C3 and C3-C4. There was also multiple levels of degeneration in the cervical spine (aka spondylosis). Matt has also been experiencing neurological symptoms associated with this degeneration in his spine: numbness and tingling into his left arm, shoulder pain, neck pain, weakness in his upper extremity.

The Doctor also mentioned that he will need spinal surgery in about 6 months. In the mean time Matt is using some home traction - specifically overhead neck traction which he demonstrated during the episode. OvertheDoorTractionSystem A medieval looking device that stretches out the neck longitudinally creating a space between the bones, thus taking pressure off of nerves. This type of traction unit can help, but for some patients, it places a lot of pressure on one’s jaw. There are other types of neck traction that are more effective and much more comfortable such as the pronex pneumatic cervical traction system. Traction systems help improve the neck curvature which takes pressure off off of the nerves.

Regardless, this neck traction that Matt is doing should help give some relief. He also goes skiing with his son Jeremy, which I wouldn’t recommend someone with his neck condition do too much of. On the other hand they looked like they had a lot of fun and sometimes things like this help take your mind off the pain.

WikiPedia on Little People Big World

Source: TLC’s Little People Big World Episode

Additional Reading Resources:

Visit the Arc 4 Life: Your pain relief Source for Cervical traction Systems

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