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Talking with Your Spine Surgeon – Neurosurgeon / Orthopedic Spine Surgeon by KBNI Houston Sugarland Woodlands Katy Pearland Galveston Beaumont Memorial City

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Talking with Your Spine Surgeon – Neurosurgeon / Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

 

back pain, orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, pain levels, anti-inflammatory drugs, Houston

back pain, orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, pain levels, anti-inflammatory drugs, Houston

 

 

Communicating about your back pain is the first step in setting down the road to recovery. The importance of communicating honestly with your physician cannot be overstated here. A physician’s ability to prescribe an effective course of treatment depends upon the information he or she receives from you. Considering that most chronic back pain is a result of lifestyle choices, this means your input could go a long way toward reducing your recovery time.

Physicians will likely ask you questions regarding your work and recreational histories, including detailed questions about any injuries. Be forthcoming with details about your pain levels, including descriptions of the location, duration, and intensity of your pain. Note how your pain levels change as you perform different activities, and let your doctors know which activities make it worse.

back pain, orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, pain levels, anti-inflammatory drugs, Houston

back pain, orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, pain levels, anti-inflammatory drugs, Houston

A physician arrives at a diagnosis after taking a detailed history from the patient about their Chief Complaint (CC) .  They then ask about a History of Present Illness (HPI) , which are detailed questions about what causes the symptoms, when they began, what makes them better or worse, how long they last.  The physician also asks about issues such as fevers (which might indicate presence of an infection) or a history of cancer (which might indicate that cancer may be involved).  The physician will also ask about family history, which may play a role in genetically inherited disorders.  The physician then will perform a comprehensive detailed physical examination, focusing on where the problem lies.  Then, the physician will order additional tests if needed.  These may include imaging studies, nerve studies (EMG/NCV), bone density studies, X rays, CT scans.

back pain, orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, pain levels, anti-inflammatory drugs, Houston, Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City

back pain, orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, pain levels, anti-inflammatory drugs, Houston, Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City

If your pain levels are severe and are not resolved with conservative treatments like physical therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs, you may wish to consult a spine surgeon – neurosurgeon or  orthopedic spine surgeon (though this will likely require a referral from your regular physician or specialist). Major back surgery is costly and necessitates a long recovery time, so doctors generally do not recommend it unless a patient’s chronic back pain is not adequately mediated by other treatments. Neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons may be able to provide you with helpful consultation on how to proceed with your treatment, but just like general physicians, surgeons depend on accurate information from you to find the best course of treatment. Prior to your back surgery, surgeons consult imaging exams (magnetic resonance imaging, x-rays, computerized tomography scans CT Scans) in order to better understand the cause behind your pain levels.

Both prior to surgery and during post-operative care, back pain patients should take advantage of anti-inflammatory drugs to regain mobility and reduce their pain levels. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen and ibuprofen help to reduce inflammation in the body, which can be crucial during post-operative care depending on the length and depth of the incisions involved. Note that after a spinal fusion, your surgeon may want you to stay away from taking anti-inflammatory medications because they can impede the fusion process.  Inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing response to muscle trauma, but inflammation and arthritis along the spinal column can lead to compressed spinal nerves in patients with degenerated spinal disks (the shock-absorbing pads between our vertebrae).

back pain, orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, pain levels, anti-inflammatory drugs, Houston, Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City

back pain, orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, pain levels, anti-inflammatory drugs, Houston, Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City

Continue providing detailed information about your recovery to your spine surgeon (neurosurgeon or orthopedic spine surgeon) during your period of post-operative care. You will likely be subject to several post-operative checkups to monitor your progress. Remember that physicians will sometimes make adjustments according to the information you give them, so take detailed notes regarding your pain levels and provide truthful information at all times.

Physicians at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) have significant experience treating patients with a variety of causes of low back pain and neck pain.  Because of their diverse experience with conservative as well as surgical modes of treatment, they approach each patient with the treatments options which are best for the goals, desires and expectations of that patient.

The Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston TX cares for patients in Houston and the surrounding areas, including Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City, Texas Medical Center  (TMC) and other Texas TX cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin.

Patients suffering from neck pain or lower back pain, or who have been told they may require a spine surgery, can contact the Kraus Back and Neck Institute at

…….  281-713-6296

…….  Or visit www.SpineHealth.com to SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE

……. KBNI VIDEO on Back and Neck Pain Treatment : Don’t Live in Fear and Pain

 

 

Keywords: back pain, orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, pain levels, anti-inflammatory drugs, Houston, Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI and Herniated Disc by KBNI Houston, Katy, Woodlands, Spring, Sugarland, Memorial City, Texas

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MRI, herniated disc, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland

MRI, herniated disc, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland

Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI and Herniated Disc by KBNI Houston, Katy, Woodlands, Spring, Sugarland, Memorial City, Texas

Patients often wonder what the best test is to determine whether they have a herniated disc in the spine.  Without a doubt, magnetic resonance imaging MRI has revolutionized the imaging field of medicine, and allowed immense clarity and accuracy when trying to diagnose a herniated disc.  There are several different primary imaging exams that physicians use to aid in making an accurate diagnosis. When it comes to the spinal column anatomy, an incredibly complex system of powerful load-bearing bones and facet joints all working in conjunction with spinal discs and nerves, making an accurate diagnosis can be difficult. Typically, physicians will begin with a series of physical exams that test a patient’s mobility and back pain levels. Based on these findings, physicians will have a much better approximation of the possible causes for the patient’s back pain. Consequently, a series of spinal imaging exams may be recommended to confirm the diagnostics. X-rays are normally used when spinal fracture is suspected, but if soft tissue damage (such as spinal nerve compression) is the main cause of a patient’s back pain, magnetic resonance imaging MRI is used to gain an accurate estimate of the damage.

MRI, herniated disc, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland

MRI, herniated disc, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland

Magnetic resonance imaging MRI uses powerful magnetic fields and radio wave energy to map the body’s soft tissue systems. This information is then relayed to a computer so that different systems can be studied in more detail. Magnetic resonance imaging MRI also has the advantage of remote viewing, where clinics that have access to other physicians’ MRI recordings can make recommendations based on samples that have been relayed electronically. MRI scans can be done on what is known as a closed machine or magnet, or an open machine or magnet.  Typically, for patients who have difficulty with claustrophobia, an open magnet or machine may be easier to tolerate.  For patients with claustrophobia, a mild oral sedative or an intravenous ( IV ) sedative may help them to tolerate the machine.  Most patients are able to have their MRI scan done on a closed machine, with accommodations made, even if they have mild claustrophobia.

MRI, herniated disc, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland, Texas Medical Center, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Texas, TX, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin

MRI, herniated disc, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland, Texas Medical Center, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Texas, TX, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin

Different MRI sequences on the MRI scan can help the radiologist and spine surgeon (neurosurgeon or orthopedic spine surgeon) to help determine whether the herniated disc is more acute or chronic in nature.  In addition, MRI images can be taken in different planes.  This means that the orientation of the images of the spine can be seen in sagittal (as if looking from the side), coronal (as if looking from the front of the body) or axial (as if looking from the feet with the patient lying on their back) views.  With a high quality MRI scan, individual nerve roots can be seen in cross section, and a herniated disc which compresses the nerves can usually be easily visualized.  Typically, an MRI scan of the cervical spine shows the spine from the skull base to the top of the thoracic spine.  A cervical herniated disc can be easily seen in cross section or sagittal views on a cervical MRI.  A thoracic spine MRI scan typically shows the spine from the bottom of the cervical spine to the top of the lumbar spine.  A thoracic herniated disc can be seen on axial and sagittal MRI views.  A lumbar MRI scan usually shows the spine from the bottom of the thoracic spine to the sacrum, which lies below the lumbar spine.  An axial or sagittal MRI scan will usually show a lumbar herniated disc.  A spine surgeon finds that an MRI scan provides critical information for a herniated disc surgery.

Within the spinal column, magnetic resource imaging MRI allows for complete renditions of the spinal discs (herniated disc) , which help in determining conditions like advanced disc degeneration, herniated disc, cartilage degeneration between the facet joints, and integrity of the spinal canal that houses the central nervous system’s spinal nerves. MRI scans can also be used as a secondary imaging exam if the results of an X-ray or CT scan (computerized tomography) are inconclusive. MRI scans are not always able to pinpoint the origin of a patient’s back pain, however, due to the fact that some patients may exhibit extreme pain while showing relatively few signs of soft tissue degeneration. Other patients may show much more degeneration in the spinal column, facet joints, or spinal disks, but have much lower levels of back pain during routine movement. As with other imaging exams, MRIs are used in conjunction with other imaging exams to ascertain whether more serious methods of treatment (such as back surgery) are necessary.

MRI, herniated disc, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland, Texas Medical Center, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Texas, TX, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin

MRI, herniated disc, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland, Texas Medical Center, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Texas, TX, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin

When a patient is not able to undergo an MRI scan, possibly due to an implanted pacemaker or spinal cord stimulator, they can undergo a myelogram. A myelogram is a study in which a spinal tap is performed, usually in the lumbar spine, and a water soluble iodine dye is placed into the spinal canal.  This iodine dye shows up on x ray and CT scans of the spine.  After the myelogram is performed, with iodine dye in the spinal canal, a CT scan of the spine is performed to show an outline of the spinal nerves, and determine whether there is pressure upon the nerves.  In this manner, a herniated disc in the lumbar, thoracic or cervical spine can be seen.  The CT scan will also who any hard bone spurs or calcium within the herniated disc.

Neurosurgeon spine experts at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston, TX, have expertise in using MRI scans to evaluate the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, and diagnose a herniated disc, among other spinal disorders.  With accurate scanning and imaging techniques, KBNI physician experts can help to diagnose the cause of pain or weakness in the neck, back, arms and legs, and to find a treatment strategy which will help the patient recover.  In the majority of cases, patients will achieve good relief of pain without the need of a spine surgery.  When surgery on the spine is needed, neurosurgeons at the KBNI utilize the latest techniques in minimally invasive spine surgery techniques, when appropriate.

The Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston TX takes care of patients in Houston and the surrounding areas, including Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City, Texas Medical Center  (TMC) and other Texas TX cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin.

Patients suffering from neck pain or back pain, or who have been told they may require a spine surgery, can contact the Kraus Back and Neck Institute at

…….  281-713-6296

…….  Or visit www.SpineHealth.com to schedule an appointment online

……. KBNI VIDEO on Back and Neck Pain Treatment : Don’t Live in Fear and Pain

Keywords: MRI, herniated disc, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland, Texas Medical Center, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Texas, TX, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin

 

herniated disc, mri, houston

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Spinal Imaging Cervical Thoracic Lumbar Spine with MRI and CT by KBNI Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland, Texas Medical Center

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Spinal, Imaging, Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, Spine, MRI, CT, KBNI,Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland, Texas Medical Center

Spinal, Imaging, Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, Spine, MRI, CT, KBNI,Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland, Texas Medical Center

Spinal Imaging Cervical Thoracic Lumbar Spine with MRI and CT by KBNI Houston

Spinal imaging tests of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine are essential for correctly diagnosing spinal deformities, injuries, and other related problems. Physicians normally start with a patient history and a physical exam to test the patient’s mobility, range of motion, and look for points of tenderness. Based on the findings, physicians can then make recommendations for the best course of treatment. Minor injuries such as muscle pulls may be treated with pain relievers, anti inflammatory medications and rest, and core strengthening exercises. If the patient’s neck or back (cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine) pain is not mediated by these measures, however, then a physician may recommend a series of spinal imaging tests to determine whether the problem is structural.  Spine imaging can consist of X ray,MRI or CT scans of the anatomy of the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine.

Spinal, Imaging, Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, Spine, MRI, CT, KBNI,Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland, Texas Medical Center

Spinal, Imaging, Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, Spine, MRI, CT, KBNI,Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland, Texas Medical Center

X ray, CT scans and MRI scans of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine show the physician different information about the body.  X ray of the spine shows alignment very well, as well as fractures of the vertebral bodies.  They can show collapse of the disc spaces (disc degeneration), and slippage of the bones (vertebral bodies) upon each other, known as spondylolisthesis.  X rays do not show herniated discs pushing into the spinal canal, unless the disc is calcified, in which case the calcium in the bone spur may show up on x ray.  X ray is good for showing the placement of hardware for spinal fusion (such as pedicle screws in the lumbar spine, and anterior cervical plates in the cervical spine) in the spine.  Bone growing between vertebral bodies and between transverse processes of a spinal fusion are also well seen on X ray and CT scans.

myelogram, cervical,  thoracic,  lumbar, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland, Texas Medical Center, Spring

myelogram, cervical, thoracic, lumbar, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland, Texas Medical Center, Spring

CT scans of the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine anatomy show very detailed views of the cross sectional anatomy of the spine.  The images are taken as cross sections of the body, and these thin slices of information can be processed by the imaging computer, and reconstructed to show the spine as seen in the sagittal plane (from the side) or coronal plane (as seen from the front).  A CT scan of the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine can show fractures very well.  They also show the placement of screws into the spine, after surgery, very well.  CT scans of the spine do not show great detail of the soft tissues of the spine, such as the nerve roots passing through the spine, of the spinal cord running through the spine.  If a CT scan of the spine is performed after the patient undergoes a myelogram, the spinal nerves and spinal cord can be better visualized.  A myelogram is performed when a radiologist performs a spinal tap on a patient, by placing a spinal needle into the lumbar spine.  Even though this sounds like a difficult procedure, it is generally accompanied with minimal pain.  After the needle is in the spinal sac, or dural sac, the next step is to place a dye (which can be seen on CT scan) or contrast agent within the thecal sac.  Once this is completed, a CT scan is done through the appropriate portions of the spine (cervical, thoracic or lumbar), and the contrast dye shows up as white on the CT scan, while the nerve roots or spinal cord show up as dark shadows against the bright spinal fluid.  The myelogram procedure can accurately show disc herniations into the nerve roots or spinal cord.

MRI, scan, cervical,  thoracic,  lumbar, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland, Texas Medical Center, Spring

MRI, scan, cervical, thoracic, lumbar, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland, Texas Medical Center, Spring

MRI scan of the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine shows soft tissue, such as disc bulges (which may cause sciatica), spinal stenosis, spinal cord and nerve roots, very well.  It can also be used to see areas of contusion within the spinal cord.  It shows images in the axial plane (cross sections through the spine or body), as well as the coronal and sagittal planes.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), for example, is often used when the physician suspects damage to the soft tissues around the spinal cord. The spinal cord runs most of the length of the spinal column and houses the central nervous system’s spinal nerves, which are responsible for transmitting sensory information to the brain in addition to signals for voluntary muscle control. Physicians can use magnetic resonance imaging to see if these nerves or other soft tissues have been damaged by spinal fracture, impact trauma, or otherwise compromised by spinal deformities. CT scans (computerized tomography) and X-rays do not produce detailed images of soft tissue, so physicians typically do not require them to analyze soft tissue damage in the spine—unless that damage is suspected to be the result of a damaged vertebra. Magnetic resonance imaging can also reveal spinal abscesses and spinal tumors before they have a chance to compress spinal nerves, which often causes extreme pain.

If spinal fracture is suspected, physicians may require CT scans and X-rays to determine the extent of the fracture’s damage, as well as a magnetic resonance imaging exam to ensure the integrity of the spinal cord. Patients may think that these tests are excessive given that many spinal fractures occur during everyday motion (such as picking up a bag of groceries), but physicians must be absolutely certain that the soft tissues of the spinal cord are not compromised. Spinal column integrity greatly reduces the chances of the spinal nerves becoming compressed by nearby vertebrae, though the spinal disks (shock-absorbing pads between the vertebrae) can still degenerate to the point where compressed spinal nerves are a significant problem. All of these imaging exams serve to ensure that patients make safe recoveries.

Summary of Uses of Various Spinal Imaging Modalities:

X Ray: useful for evaluating curvature of spine, such as scoliosis; fractures; spinal alignment; instrumentation placed in the spine (pedicle screws, rods, plates); fusion between adjacent vertebral levels

CT scan of cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine: useful for evaluating fractures of spine; alignment of spine; bone spurs in cervical thoracic and lumbar spine

CT with myelogram: useful for evaluating nerve roots in cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine; spinal stenosis; fusion between adjacent vertebral levels (often used instead of MRI if patient has a pacemaker or implanted spinal cord stimulator)

MRI scan of cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine: useful for evaluating herniated disc, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis

Physician experts at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston TX have significant experience at taking care of patients with back problems, back injuries and other sources of back and neck pain.  They frequently see patients who are suffering from the symptom of neck pain, low back pain, and mid back pain, and have never received imaging studies of the spine.  Physicians at the KBNI will order the appropriate spinal imaging studies of the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine as needed, and review the results with the patient.

The Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston TX takes care of patients in Houston and the surrounding areas, including Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City, Texas Medical Center  (TMC) and other Texas TX cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin.

REFERENCE SITES

www.SpinePain.com

www.NeckPain.com

www.SurgerySpine.com


Patients suffering from neck pain or back pain, or who have been told they may require a spine surgery, can contact the Kraus Back and Neck Institute at

…….  281-713-6296

…….  Or visit www.SpineHealth.com to schedule an appointment online

……. KBNI VIDEO on Back and Neck Pain Treatment : Don’t Live in Fear and Pain

Keywords: spinal, imaging, cervical,  thoracic,  lumbar, spine, MRI , CT, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland, Texas Medical Center, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Texas, TX, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin

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