Does everyone eventually get some form of spondylosis?

Spondylosis is degenerative arthritis of the spine.  Most, if not all, people develop evidence of spondylosis on X-rays, CT or MRI, since it is normal wear and tear changes of the spine.   Fortunately many people do not develop significant pain or other symptoms from it.  For more information click on Back arthritis or Sciatica.  Good Luck!

Does everyone eventually suffer from degenerative disc disease?

Degenerative disk disease is the wearing out of your disks in your back.  This is a slow process resulting from drying out of the nucleus pulposus changing how the disk manage forces. Over time the disk may darkens, collapse, bulge, tear and rupture producing leg pain called Sciatica.

Everyone or at least most people develop radiologic evidence of degenerative disk disease if they live long enough, but not everyone will have pain and suffering as a result of it.  There are many new treatments for degenerative disk disease including artificial disk replacement, endoscopic discectomy and annuloplasty,  Endoscopic Spinal Fusion (that is Endoscopic Lumbar Interbody Fusion or ELIF). 

Schedule an Appointment to learn more how Executive Spine Surgery can help.  Good Luck!

What causes neck and shoulder blade pain and arm tingling?

The neck and shoulder pain and arm tingling may be from a disk pinching a nerve in your neck. This often will cause spasms in the shoulder and lower neck.   You may benefit from rest, physical therapy and/or anti-inflammatory medicine.  If the pain does not improve with conservative treatment you may benefit from steroid injections or surgery depending on the cause of the pain.  There is new endoscopic spine surgery options for treatment of symptomatic disks in the neck.  Good Luck!

Will my pain go away after L4-L5 spinal fusion surgery?

Pain may improve, stay the same or worsen after fusion surgery.  The majority of people will see improvement in there pain, but few people will have complete pain relief.  Unfortunately spine surgery does not give you a new uninjured back.   I would discuss what the likelihood of you improving with your surgeon.

Spinal fusion surgery  is usually done through an open traditional technique causing significant skin, muscle and bone damage.  Recently open traditional fusion surgery is being replaced by percutaneous endoscopic fusion techniques I call Endoscopic Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ELIF).  These surgeries appear to have less bleeding, soft tissue and bone damage compared to open traditional fusion surgery.  Due to less soft tissue and bone damage these endoscopic surgeries appear to have less post-operative pain and a quicker recovery.

For more information on percutaneous endoscopic fusion surgery please contact Executive Spine Surgery.   Good Luck!

I am having back pain and trouble urinating.

Trouble urinating may be stress incontinence (urinary dribbling or wetting when you cough), urinary urgency (sudden urge to go to the bathroom and may wet yourself if you can not get there in time, this is commonly associated with pain), urinary incontinence (no or little control over urinating resulting in peeing your pants) and urinary retention (unable to start to urinate, bladder fills with urine and may cause abdominal discomfort).

Back pain and problems urinating can be a surgical emergency called cauda equina syndrome.  This may be associated is numbness in the perineum (butt and groin), leg weakness, numbness or pain (such as Sciatica), urinary retention (unable to pee), urinary incontinence ( unable to control your peeing causing you to wet your pants) and bowel incontinence (uncontrolled bowel movements).  If you develop these symptoms you should immediately go to the emergency room.    You may have herniated disk (or something else) pinching your nerves that innervate your bladder and may need emergency surgery to remove it. Good Luck!

What happens if scoliosis goes untreated?

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. This usually involves the thoracic and lumbar spine.  When the spine is viewed from behind the patient the spine may look “C” or “S” shaped.  It can also cause a hunch back called kyphosis.

Treatment of scoliosis depends on the age of the patient, the severity of the scoliosis and types of problems it is causing. Children are watched annually for scoliosis during their growth spurt. If the scoliosis is treated early with a brace sometimes future surgery can be prevented. If scoliosis becomes severe it can cause pain, numbness and weakness and affect the posture, walking, lungs, heart and gut function. People with significant scoliosis should be closely monitored by spine surgeon. Good Luck!