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Understanding the Procedure

The Hip | The Knee | The Shoulder | The Spine

Take your first step. Click here to contact us.How the Normal Spine Works

The spine is designed to allow for flexibility and support at the joints so that you can move about and stand supported. Your spine is made up of interlocking stacks of bone called vertebrae. Between each pair of vertebrae is a disc, which cushions the bones so they will not grind together. Each disc absorbs shock as you move, by compressing and deforming. Discs allow your vertebrae to rock back and forth, giving you the flexibility to bend and move.

Common Causes of Back Pain and Loss of Mobility

  • Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more of your joints, which can cause pain, stiffness, swelling and tenderness of the neck, back and joints. Arthritis and “wear and tear” from aging can lead to disc problems and back pain.

  • Disc Problems: With age, the discs in the spine lose their height and water content, creating an abnormal motion between the bones that leads to pain. Overuse, arthritis, bad posture, strained muscles, and aging can increase your risk for disc problems. Disc problems, such as herniated discs, ruptured discs, slipped discs, abnormal discs, and bad discs, can lead to neck and low back pain.

  • Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome that causes widespread pain in your muscles and your back. The muscle inflammation can lead to severe back pain.

  • Osteoporosis is a condition that leads to a thinning of the bones and is associated with aging. Osteoporosis causes your bones to become brittle, which places more stress on your vertebrae and can make you more at risk for spinal fractures and lead to pain in your back or neck.

  • Scolisis refers to a curvature of the spine that is mostly caused by your posture. If the curvature is severe, you might experience more pain in your neck or back.

  • Spinal Stenosis is the degeneration of the spine. It is a common problem in older adults.There are several causes for stenosis. The most common cause of stenosis stems from arthritis of the spine or degenerative disk disease, which leads to disc herniation. However, others might experience instability from a condition called spondylolisthesis, which causes slippage from degeneration or a severe back injury. Yet others are born with the condition, which is referred to congenital stenosis.

  • Neck Pain: Most incidents of neck pain are a result of an injury or a muscle strain that can improve with conservative treatment options such as rest and medications. However, if the neck pain is severe and accompanied by arm pain or numbness, it can be a sign of a serious condition such as Cervical degenerative disc disease, cervical stenosis, or cervical arthritis.

  • Nerve Root Compression: Added pressure on individual nerves can cause chronic, severe irritation that can lead to tingling, numbness and pain in your back.

Realistic Expectations about Spine Surgery

Spine surgeries have a proven track record of providing long term pain relief for patients who have significant or progressive symptoms. The team at the Orthopaedic and Spine Center understands that surgery can be an unsettling prospect. People do not know what to expect. They trust their doctors and nurses but are still apprehensive about the unknown. At Touro, patients are well-informed during each step of the surgery process. Through the use of community outreach seminars, multimedia educational tools, pre-op classes for you and your family members and patient guide books, you will know what to expect and when. We take every step possible to make your spinal surgery experience stress free and pleasant. Keeping you informed is the key.

Surgical Procedure

An important factor in deciding whether to have spine surgery is understanding what procedures are available to you. For some conditions, such as a herniated disc, the surgical treatment options will be minimally invasive and include shorter recovery times. For other conditions, such as degenerative disc disease, the surgical treatment options are more extensive and will require a 2 -3 month recovery period. Your orthopaedic surgeon will review the type of surgery best suited for your pain based on your preoperative diagnosis which might include a thorough history and physical, xrays, MRI, CT and EMG tests.

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Touro Infirmary, 1401 Foucher Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70115
Phone: 504-897-7011 Pencil
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