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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Week of July 23, 2001

    Question:   My daughter is 10-years-old and her feet toe in. Our orthopedist determined that this is caused by either the thigh bone or the hips. She also is very flat footed. One or both of these problems causes her knee pain after exercise. Are orthotics appropriate for children? Our doctor didn't give us a definitive answer, rather he suggested that we wait and see if she outgrows it. He felt that the thighs or hips may straighten out as she grows. He also indicated that there are two schools of thought about whether a child should use orthotics, one being that once they start using them, they will require them for the rest of their life. I would hate to have my daughter use them and cause her more harm than if we did nothing. Any suggestions?    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer

    Question:   Can you tell me what is the cause of my right eyebrow spasming frequently (at least once a day)? I have dry eyes and use artificial tears, but my left eye often still feels like there is sand in it. This happens when I get the spasm in the other eye. It never happens on the left eye. I try to push the eyebrow down, but it goes back up again. After I sleep 8 hours it is gone again, but always comes back. Could this be caused by a mineral deficiency, like magnesium or potassium? Or is it related to allergies?    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer

    Question:   In Febuary, I had a percutaneous disectomy on L-5. I had lost the feeling in my left leg and foot. Three weeks after my surgery I got great relief from the pain and all the feeling back in my leg and foot. Now, I am having the same pain as before. My leg and foot has started going numb again. My doctor did another MRI and it showed a broad based bulge at L-5 with an annular tear. My doctor says this is normal for the MRI to show this when actually it is scarred tissue. I'm not so sure I agree with him this time. The pain is there and it is real. My questions is: Is it normal for this to happen after surgery and is a tear in the annulus serious?    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer