My doctor advised me to wear a back brace after having two of my discs heated up with a special coil. The operation was called "IDET." There were a group of us who had the operation at the same time. The brace gets in the way at work. Do I really need it? No one else is wearing one.

Some doctors ask their patients to wear a brace to help stabilize the spine until it heals. No one knows for sure how IDET (intradiscal electrothermal therapy) really works. Using a brace may help patients get a better result after the operation.

A survey done of patients in the Los Angeles area showed 79 percent wore the brace more than six hours every day. Some stopped wearing it after a month. Others continued to wear it for more than a year.

You should discuss this with your doctor. Find out what his or her thinking is on bracing, and share your concerns about the brace at work. You may be able to wear the brace in a schedule that better fits your lifestyle.