Posts Tagged pain

Automobile Accidents, Truck Accidents, Car Accidents and the Spine, review by Kraus Back and Neck Institute Houston, Baytown, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Sugarland, Katy, Spring, Pearland, Woodlands, Kingwood

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Automobile Accidents, Truck Accidents, Car Accidents and the Spine

 

spinal nerves, spinal, automobile accidents, accidents, truck accidents, motor vehicle injuries, spinal cord injury, spinal column, paralysis, bowel and bladder, numbness, nerves, injuries, pain, whiplash, weakness

spinal nerves, spinal, automobile accidents, accidents, truck accidents, motor vehicle injuries, spinal cord injury, spinal column, paralysis, bowel and bladder, numbness, nerves, injuries, pain, whiplash, weakness

Automobile accidents, arising from motor vehicle injuries or truck accident injuries,  are the most common source of new spinal cord injuries, accounting for roughly 35% of new injuries in a given year. Unfortunately, the nature of automobile and other motor vehicle accidents’ (including motor vehicle injuries and truck accidents) effects on patients is inherently unpredictable: the extent of the spinal cord injury depends upon the types of vehicles involved, how fast they were moving, which direction they were traveling at the point of impact, and a variety of other mechanical factors, not to mention the age and physical health of the vehicles’ passengers. Quick changes in direction (much faster than the body is normally subjected to) with massive inertial forces behind these changes can cause serious trauma within the spinal column. The body adjusts well to its own changes in direction, but when these large external forces act on the body, they can cause what is commonly known as whiplash: the body’s cervical facet joints  are hyperextended from the initial impact, then they “whip” back as the reactive force comes through, which can cause inflammation and severe pain, as well as permanent damage to spinal anatomy including discs, vertebrae, and spinal nerves.

 

spinal nerves, spinal, automobile accidents, accidents, truck accidents, motor vehicle injuries, spinal cord injury, spinal column, paralysis, bowel and bladder, numbness, nerves, injuries, pain, whiplash, weakness

spinal nerves, spinal, automobile accidents, accidents, truck accidents, motor vehicle injuries, spinal cord injury, spinal column, paralysis, bowel and bladder, numbness, nerves, injuries, pain, whiplash, weakness

Whiplash isn’t the only possible cause for injury to the spinal column during automobile accidents, however. Those same enormous forces resulting from the impact can crush parts of the spinal column, fragmenting vertebral bone and disc material. These cases are particularly dangerous, because if these shards pierce the walls of the spinal canal (the membraned structure that runs most of the length of the spinal column and houses the major tracts of spinal nerves), these nerves can suffer irreparable nerve damage. We depend on functional spinal nerves for interpreting fundamental motor control signals sent by the brain, as well as interpreting sensory data collected from other parts of the body. The spinal nerves sometimes cannot heal themselves if they are damaged, often meaning that a spinal cord injury has drastic negative consequences for a patient’s long-term mobility. Whiplash, paralysis, numbness, weakness, pain, deformity, and bowel and bladder problems are all potential consequences of spinal injury resulting from automobile accidents and from truck accidents.  Paralysis may occur focally in a limb, if the nerves to a limb are injured or severed.  Paralysis can also occur when the spinal cord itself is severely injured.  Bowel and bladder dysfunction may occur when there is damage to the spinal cord.

spinal nerves, spinal, automobile accidents, accidents, truck accidents, motor vehicle injuries, spinal cord injury, spinal column, paralysis, bowel and bladder, numbness, nerves, injuries, pain, whiplash, weakness, Houston, Baytown, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Sugarland, Katy, Spring, Pearland, Woodlands, Kingwood

spinal nerves, spinal, automobile accidents, accidents, truck accidents, motor vehicle injuries, spinal cord injury, spinal column, paralysis, bowel and bladder, numbness, nerves, injuries, pain, whiplash, weakness, Houston, Baytown, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Sugarland, Katy, Spring, Pearland, Woodlands, Kingwood

Fortunately, many injuries sustained during automobile accidents, whether they be car accidents or truck accidents,  may be successfully rehabilitated with spinal physical therapy, with the caveat of no permanent damage to the spinal nerves. As long as patients retain motor control, the long-term prognosis at maintaining their mobility through regular spinal physical therapy and spinal injury rehabilitation exercises is quite good. These rehabilitation exercises focus on re-building range of motion, flexibility, strength, and endurance, re-stabilizing the spinal column by core strengthening all the core muscles along the spine and throughout the torso. Once patients complete a spinal physical therapy program, they are advised to continue the exercises indefinitely in a home setting in order to maximize benefits to their long-term mobility.

spinal nerves, spinal, automobile accidents, accidents, truck accidents, motor vehicle injuries, spinal cord injury, spinal column, paralysis, bowel and bladder, numbness, nerves, injuries, pain, whiplash, weakness, Houston, Baytown, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Sugarland, Katy, Spring, Pearland, Woodlands, Kingwood

spinal nerves, spinal, automobile accidents, accidents, truck accidents, motor vehicle injuries, spinal cord injury, spinal column, paralysis, bowel and bladder, numbness, nerves, injuries, pain, whiplash, weakness, Houston, Baytown, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Sugarland, Katy, Spring, Pearland, Woodlands, Kingwood

Physicians at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston, have significant experience treating patients who have suffered from motor vehicle injuries and truck accident injuries.  They not only treat patients from the medical aspect, but are very well versed in working with excellent attorneys to help the patients.  The KBNI treats patients in Houston as well as surrounding areas including Katy, Spring, Woodlands, Sugarland, Beaumont, Baytown, Pearland, Conroe, Port Arthur.

Patients suffering from neck pain or lower back pain and have been in a motor vehicle injury or truck injury, 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 nerves, spinal, automobile accidents, accidents, truck accidents, motor vehicle injuries, spinal cord injury, spinal column, paralysis, bowel and bladder, numbness, nerves, injuries, pain, whiplash, weakness, Houston, Baytown, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Sugarland, Katy, Spring, Pearland, Woodlands, Kingwood, Conroe

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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Legal Aspects of Spinal Injury review by Kraus Back and Neck Institute Houston, Baytown, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Sugarland, Katy, Spring, Pearland, Woodlands, Kingwood

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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Legal Aspects of Spinal Injury

contingent fee basis, health insurance, spinal injury, back pain, injury, spinal, pain, lawyers, settlement, legal, contingency

contingent fee basis, health insurance, spinal injury, back pain, injury, spinal, pain, lawyers, settlement, legal, contingency


 

Perhaps one of the most common questions asked in the wake of a spinal injury is: where do I begin? Dealing with newfound immobility can be traumatizing, and patients generally have a long road of healing, recovery, and physical rehabilitation ahead of them with no guarantees of recouping the mobility they may have lost. Family members and friends of the patient should work on organizing legal counsel for the victim. Be forthcoming with all the details of the accident. Personal injury lawyers need to have all the pertinent facts of the case in order to have the best chance at reaching a settlement for the patient.

Many spinal injury patients may understandably be concerned with the financial aspects of their recovery. After all, healthcare in the US is remarkably expensive relative to many other first-world nations, and spinal injuries necessitate a variety of expensive treatments, especially if the patient’s mobility has been permanently compromised. Fortunately, most personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis / contingency , meaning that they only receive compensation if they are able to secure a claim for the patient. Otherwise, the patient is not responsible for compensating their services. If a settlement is indeed reached, however, the patient does not receive the full amount. His or her lawyers are then compensated for their services from the settlement. Even with a contingent fee basis / contingency, the patients may be responsible for other legal fees depending on their locality and circumstances of their injury.  Most cases are handled on a contingent fee basis / contingency, and fee for service is infrequently used.

 

contingent fee basis, health insurance, spinal injury, back pain, injury, spinal, pain, lawyers, settlement, legal, contingency

contingent fee basis, health insurance, spinal injury, back pain, injury, spinal, pain, lawyers, settlement, legal, contingency

Costs do not end there, however, especially if the patient has experienced a permanent injury. Long-term physical therapy and rehabilitation are often necessary to make sure the patient’s mobility does not undergo further decay. Patients may experience extremely sharp back pain during the first few months of post-operative care, since traditional back surgery involves long, deep incisions that take months to heal completely. The extent of the surgery will of course be dependent on the severity and location of the patient’s injury. Back pain will also fluctuate depending on if the spinal nerves were permanently damaged. Normally, the spinal nerves serve as pathways for motor control signals from the brain, as well as helping the body to interpret external stimuli (pressure, heat, cold, pain, etc.). If the injury damages the spinal nerves, they do not recover, since they have no native regenerative capacity. In these cases, patients may lose partial or total sensation below the point of injury, which minimizes back pain but obviously causes much more serious problems with long-term mobility.

 

 

 

contingent fee basis, health insurance, spinal injury, back pain, injury, spinal, pain, lawyers, settlement, legal, contingency, Houston, Baytown, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Sugarland, Katy, Spring, Pearland, Woodlands, Kingwood

contingent fee basis, health insurance, spinal injury, back pain, injury, spinal, pain, lawyers, settlement, legal, contingency, Houston, Baytown, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Sugarland, Katy, Spring, Pearland, Woodlands, Kingwood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

contingent fee basis, health insurance, spinal injury, back pain, injury, spinal, pain, lawyers, settlement, legal, contingency, Houston, Baytown, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Sugarland, Katy, Spring, Pearland, Woodlands, Kingwood

contingent fee basis, health insurance, spinal injury, back pain, injury, spinal, pain, lawyers, settlement, legal, contingency, Houston, Baytown, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Sugarland, Katy, Spring, Pearland, Woodlands, Kingwood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keywords: contingent fee basis, health insurance, spinal injury, back pain, injury, spinal, pain, lawyers, settlement, legal, contingency, Houston, Baytown, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Sugarland, Katy, Spring, Pearland, Woodlands, Kingwood

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Infections, Pain and Back Surgery review by KBNI Houston, Katy, Woodlands, Sugarland, Galleria, Pearland, Kingwood, Spring, Memorial City, TMC

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Infections, Pain and Back Surgery Review

infections, back surgery, pain, Houston

infections, back surgery, pain, Houston

Physicians often advise back surgery as a last resort when more conservative treatment methods (anti-inflammatory drugs, rest, physical therapy) have failed to adequately reduce pain levels. Back surgery for pain is not only costly, but also occasionally  necessitates a long period of post-operative care during which patients must work to re-develop muscles damaged by the back surgery incisions. Patients often head into surgery aware of the recovery period, but they also need to prepare for the low but distinct possibility of surgical site infection during post-operative care.  Fortunately, infections from back surgery are an infrequent occurrence, but they must still be considered, watched, and prevented.

The extensiveness of some back surgeries may require deep or long incisions to provide the surgeon with adequate vision and access to damaged spinal discs or nerves. Major back surgery also goes hand-in-hand with a significant number of implanted devices, such as metal screws or plates ( back surgery fusion or spinal fusion )to stabilize a compromised spinal column. Though these materials are required to be sterile prior to surgery, they can still potentially become contaminated in various ways. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are bacterial populations that have developed resistances to several conventional (and even some last-resort) antibiotics ( bacteria such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), represent an increasingly dire problem for hospitals worldwide. In cases of major back surgery, the risk of contamination is increased due to the physical procedure itself: internal parts of the body remain exposed to the surrounding air for several hours. Any bacteria that have survived on the operating staff or on the implantation devices are capable of causing problems for the patient during post-operative care.

infections, back surgery, pain, Houston

infections, back surgery, pain, Houston

Patients who want to minimize their recovery time and pain,  as well as reduce the possibility of secondary back surgery will regularly monitor their incision sites for signs of back surgery infection. Back surgery patients occasionally do not have much mobility during post-operative care (especially if the surgery was extensive, like a spinal fusion or artificial spinal disc implant), so patients will need to communicate their needs and pain issues to family and friends. Have them check for redness, swelling, pus, and foul odors around the incision site. Patients must pay  attention to their pain levels and note any sudden or drastic changes.

infections, back surgery, pain, Houston

infections, back surgery, pain, Houston

Risk factors of the patient which increase the risk of infection during back surgery include smoking, diabetes, malnutrition, obesity, and poor personal hygiene.   Hand washing is important before handling a wound.  In a hospital, all visitors, nurses and physicians should wash their hands before entering a patient’s room, as preventative care.   Patients who have any open sores or cuts on their body should alert the doctors and nurses before the back surgery, as the surgeon may potentially choose to cancel the operation until the open lesions heal.  If a patients suffers an infection post operatively, all visitors, nurses and physicians should wear protective attire upon entering the room.

infections, back surgery, pain, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sugarland, Sealy, Pearland, Baytown, Beaumont, Tomball, Galleria, Humble, Conroe, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Memorial City, Galveston, Texas Medical Center (TMC), Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin

infections, back surgery, pain, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sugarland, Sealy, Pearland, Baytown, Beaumont, Tomball, Galleria, Humble, Conroe, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Memorial City, Galveston, Texas Medical Center (TMC), Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin

It’s also possible that a patient’s  infection may be entirely internal, without many symptoms around their incision site. They should monitor  pain levels, and check in with their physician if they  experience nausea, vomiting, chills, or fever. Depending on the location and severity of the infection, physicians will likely prescribe a course of treatment involving one or more courses of different antibiotics. In some cases, both surgical site infections and internal infections have the potential to reduce healing during post-operative care. Secondary surgeries may be necessary to correct the problems the infections create, and help relieve the pain they create.

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.

infections, back surgery, pain, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sugarland, Sealy, Pearland, Baytown, Beaumont, Tomball, Galleria, Humble, Conroe, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Memorial City, Galveston, Texas Medical Center (TMC), Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin

infections, back surgery, pain, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sugarland, Sealy, Pearland, Baytown, Beaumont, Tomball, Galleria, Humble, Conroe, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Memorial City, Galveston, Texas Medical Center (TMC), Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin

Keywords: infections, back surgery, pain, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sugarland, Sealy, Pearland, Baytown, Beaumont, Tomball, Galleria, Humble, Conroe, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Memorial City, Galveston, Texas Medical Center (TMC), Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin

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Spinal Facet Joint Pain presented by KBNI Houston, Katy, Woodlands, Sugarland, Galleria, Pearland, Kingwood, Spring, Memorial City, TMC

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SPINAL FACET JOINT PAIN

spinal facet joint pain

spinal facet joint pain

A facet joint is a link between our vertebrae  within our spinal column, and can be the cause of pain within the spine. Regarding spinal anatomy, their ends are covered in cartilage, which allows for the relatively pain-free articulation of the spine during routine motion (sitting, standing, twisting, bending, lifting, walking, etc.). Over time, however, the cartilage covering the facet joints breaks down naturally as we age. Heavy lifting, poor weight management, improper lifting technique, and too much sedentary activity can all accelerate the breakdown of facet joint cartilage, increasing the chances of compressing nearby spinal nerves and causing extremely sharp back pain.  The spinal column can be the source of mechanical pain.

In many cases, imaging tests (x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging) will be necessary to confirm the diagnosis of a facet joint-related spinal  back pain. Your doctor will have to first rule out muscle tears and muscle spasms caused by oxygen-starvation in your back muscles (often occurring as the result of too much time spent in a sitting or standing position, which keeps muscles in the back in a highly tensed state). While a compromised facet joint is certainly a cause for concern, by no means is the problem untreatable. Many patients are able to successfully mediate their pain levels at home, without having to explore the possibility of spinal back surgery.

spinal facet joint pain

spinal facet joint pain

In order to treat back pain caused by degenerating facet joints, most patients effectively mediate their pain levels using over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Pain medication usually restores enough temporary mobility to explore other long-term treatments, such as physical therapy. Patients may use a physical therapy or chiropractor / chiropractic regimen to develop muscles along the spinal column, which in turn will relieve load stress from compromised spinal discs (the shock-absorbing pads between our vertebrae) and facet joints alike. During your physical therapy or chiropractor / chiropractic regimen, several checkups will likely be necessary in order for your physician to accurately gauge your progress and recommend changes to your course of treatment.

If the cartilage has worn to the point where nearby spinal nerves are at risk, back surgery may be necessary to preserve a patient’s long-term health and mobility. Regular spinal nerve compression can lead to muscle weakness, sharp back pain, and eventual nerve damage and loss of sensation in other parts of the body. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention as soon as possible to determine if parts of your spinal discs or facet joints are responsible. If back / spine surgery is needed, your physicians can offer excellent advice on your post-operative care period, including incremental increases in physical therapy to preserve (and in some cases improve) patient mobility.

 facet joint, spinal, pain, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sugarland, Sealy, Pearland, Baytown, Beaumont

facet joint, spinal, pain, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sugarland, Sealy, Pearland, Baytown, Beaumont

Generally, spinal facet joint pain can be diagnosed by having a physician (spine surgeon, neurosurgeon, pain specialist) perform a facet joint block.  This procedure “numbs” the nerves (medial branch of nerves)  traveling to the facet joint.  If the block is successful at relieving the pain, it can be concluded that the pain is coming from the facet joint.  At that point, a more permanent facet joint rhizotomy, in which the nerves to the facet are destroyed (with thermal coagulation, also known as a rhizotomy) , may be of good benefit (after undergoing two trails of a facet joint nerve block).  A fusion of the spine (ALIF, TLIF, XLIF, PLIF, DLIF) can also help with pain coming from the facet joint, as the fusion will immobilize the joint.

Physician experts at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston, TX, have significant experience in diagnosing and treating spinal facet joint pain.  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.

 facet joint, spinal, pain, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sugarland, Sealy, Pearland, Baytown, Beaumont

facet joint, spinal, pain, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sugarland, Sealy, Pearland, Baytown, Beaumont

Keywords: facet joint, spinal, pain, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sugarland, Sealy, Pearland, Baytown, Beaumont, Tomball, Galleria, Humble, Conroe, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Memorial City, Galveston, Texas Medical Center (TMC), Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin

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SPINE PAIN, SCIATICA and LASER TREATMENT review by KBNI Houston, Katy, Woodlands, Sugarland, Kingwood, Beaumont, Memorial City, TMC (Texas Medical Center)

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spine, pain, sciatica, laser, Houston, katy, woodlands, sugarland, kingwood, Beaumont, Memorial City, TMC (Texas Medical Center)

spine, pain, sciatica, laser, Houston, katy, woodlands, sugarland, kingwood, Beaumont, Memorial City, TMC (Texas Medical Center)

There is much discussion about the use of the laser for treatment of pain in the spine, or for treatment of pain radiating down the leg, known as sciatica.  In order to understand more about this, it is necessary to have a better understanding of what is causing the pain, and what the laser actually does.

The laser is a device which delivers a high amount of focused energy into a small spot.  The word LASER stands for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.”  When used in the operating room, the laser allows the surgeon the ability to cut or vaporize tissue.

Pain in the lower back, and pain traveling down the lower extremities, is a very common problem facing society.  The daily impact which the spine encounters as it keeps us erect and wrlking, constantly battling the forces of gravity, do take their toll upon the spine.

Next, let’s discuss what actually causes pain in the spine, or radiating pain in the lower extremity, known as sciatica.  Pain in the spine can come from muscle or ligament strain and sprain, from pressure on nerves, from intervertebral disc injury or tears, or from injury to the facet joints (located between the different vertebral body levels).  Pain in the lower extremities (sciatica) may result from pressure on the nerves, from a herniated disc or from arthritis.  In order to relieve the pain, the pressure must be removed from the nerve.  This can be achieved by removing the portion of the disc which is pressing on the nerve, or drilling away or otherwise removing the bone spur pushing on the nerve.   In the event of removing the disc bulge, this can be done by cutting the disc, or pulling the fragment out, or burning or vaporizing this fragment with a laser.

laser treatment for spine pain sciatica Houston

laser treatment for spine pain sciatica Houston

When we are dealing with pain in the spine (low back pain), the pain can be coming from several sources, as indicated above.  When the pain is coming from the facet joint, a procedure can be done to disable the sensory nerves going to the facet joint.  This can be done by heating the nerves, either by a heated probe known as a rhizotomy, or by the use of a laser.  The nerves which are targeted are known as the medial branches of the spinal nerves which leave the spine.

To summarize, treating back pain or spine pain requires understanding what the source of the pain is.  Once this is determined, treatment of the problem can begin.  The laser functions as a focused source of heat which can destroy or vaporize tissue.  Other methods such as cutting or coagulating can provide a similar result.  The laser serves among other tools in the armamentarium of a spine surgeon or pain specialist, but in itself, is still merely a tool.  The critical role in treating pain of the spine or sciatica is diagnosing what is causing the pain.  The source of the pain can be chronic, or sudden (such as whiplash from a motor vehicle injury).

Experts at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston focus on discovering what the source and cause of the pain is.  They believe that it is only after the cause has been located, that the actual treatment can truly begin.  Simply treating the symptom of pain, without trying to find the cause, is not a good long term solution.

The KBNI, in Houston, TX  treats patients from Houston, Katy, Woodlands, Sugarland, Kingwood, Beaumont, Memorial City, and TMC (Texas Medical Center).  Patients who are suffering from low back pain, neck pain, and sciatica are welcome to call for an appointment.

They can also visit the website www.spinehealth.com and schedule online.

No testing or imaging studies are needed to make an appointment.  Experts at the KBNI will arrange for appropriate studies.

Tags:  spine, pain, sciatica, laser, Houston, katy, woodlands, sugarland, kingwood, Beaumont, Memorial City, TMC (Texas Medical Center)

 

Houston, katy, woodlands, sugarland, kingwood, Beaumont, Memorial City, TMC (Texas Medical Center)

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Spinal Fusion including Lumbar Fusion and Cervical Fusion for Pain and Nerve Compression in Houston, Katy, Woodlands, Sugarland, Memorial City, Texas Medical Center, TMC, Humble, Kingwood, Conroe and Beaumont

 

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spinal fusion, lumbar fusion, cervical fusion, nerve compression, pain, Houston, katy, woodlands, sugarland, memorial city, texas medical center, TMC, humble, kingwood, Conroe, beaumont

spinal fusion, lumbar fusion, cervical fusion, nerve compression, pain, Houston, katy, woodlands, sugarland, memorial city, texas medical center, TMC, humble, kingwood, Conroe, beaumont

Bone fusion (also called arthrodesis) (when performed in the low back  spine is called lumbar fusion, when performed in the neck is called cervical fusion) is the procedure by which bones are joined at specific joints, most often to alleviate pain. The new fused bones are allowed to grow together. This lowers pain levels because at common bone fusion sites (lumbar or lower spine, wrists, ankles, or thumbs, neck or cervical spine) there are often nerves nearby that are responsible for  sensation, as well as recognition of joint position and movement. Bones on either side of the deteriorating joint can compress these nerves and cause extreme pain. Fusing these bones significantly lowers the incidence of nerve irritation, and when bone spurs are removed, can reduce nerve compression.

Causes for a patient desiring bone fusion surgery, or spinal fusion surgery can include rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, as well as severe back pain due to tumors or herniated (slipped) discs. Like other joints in the body, the discs (shock-absorbing pads) between our spinal vertebrae, can wear out. Nerve compression in the spine occurs much more frequently when these spinal discs have been thinned or ruptured by age and activity. The arthritis, as well as the chronic herniated discs, can compress nerves passing next to them.  As in other regions of the body, bone fusion is a possible solution for reducing pain, but it will eliminate mobility at that particular joint.

Neurosurgeons at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute, in Houston, have a significant experience with utilizing spinal fusion (lumbar fusion, cervical fusion) to treat neck pain and low back pain in patients.  They have offices located in Houston and surrounding areas of Katy, Woodlands, Sugarland, Memorial City, Texas  Medical Center (TMC), Humble, Kingwood, Conroe, and Beaumont.

Bone fusion is somewhat unique in that in many cases, it seeks to mimic the body’s natural healing response. In one version, bone is taken from another region in the body and inserted between the two or more bones that are being fused together. This “foreign” bone stimulates bone growth during post-operative care, as it is placed under pressure and adjacent to other bone, which has been prepared to grow into the new bone graft.  Other versions of bone fusion or spinal fusion may include implantation of wires, metal plates, screws, and other devices to accurately position the new joint, and keep it immobile, while the new bone is trying to grow into the bone graft. Adequate rest and physical therapy during post-operative care are absolutely essential to ensure that a proper bone fusion takes place. If the new joint is displaced by excessive movement, subsequent corrective surgeries may be necessary to re-set the bone.

spinal fusion, lumbar fusion, cervical fusion, nerve compression, pain, Houston, katy, woodlands, sugarland, memorial city, texas medical center, TMC, humble, kingwood, Conroe, beaumont

spinal fusion, lumbar fusion, cervical fusion, nerve compression, pain, Houston, katy, woodlands, sugarland, memorial city, texas medical center, TMC, humble, kingwood, Conroe, beaumont

The technique of lumbar fusion or cervical fusion  (spinal fusion) can be performed in several ways.  The general principle is to have bone grow across the currently mobile disc space.  A number of techniques are possible.  One approach is to try to achieve this fusion on the sides of the spine, between what are known as transverse processes, which project outward from the vertebral bodies.  In doing so, the surgeon exposes these transverse processes during the operation, and removes the outer coating of the bone, known as the cortex, thus exposing the inner cancellous bone, which is the honeycomb type of bone seen when one breaks open a chicken bone.  With the outer hard cortex removed, the inner cancellous bone will attempt to grow into the bone graft which it is in contact with.  This bone graft can be placed on the side of the spine, which is known as a lumbar posterolateral fusion.  It can also be placed between the vertebral bodies, which is known as an interbody fusion.  When this type of lumbar fusion is performed, it is called a lumbar intervertebral body fusion.  When this type of cervical fusion is performed, it is called a an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF).  In the cervical spine, this type of fusion is generally performed through an anterior approach, which means going in through the front of the neck.  When this interbody fusion is performed in the lumbar spine, it can be performed from the back of the spine (known as a PLIF (posterior lumbar interbody fusion) or a TLIF (transverse lumber interbody fusion), the front of the spine (known as an ALIF (anterior lumbar interbody fusion).  It can also be performed from the side of the spine, known as an XLIF (extreme lateral interbody fusion) or a DLIF (direct lateral interbody fusion) (these different names utilized basically the same lateral approach, but were given different names by two different manufacturers of the spinal hardware equipment (Nuvasive and Medtronic).  It can also be performed through an approach going straight up the spine, through an incision made next to the tail bone, known as an AXIALIF (axial lumbar interbody fusion), the instruments of which are manufactured by TranS1.

There are also a number of different grafts which can be used for promoting the bone growth in a spinal fusion.  Cadaver bone can be used, which is harvested from cadavers.  This is known as allograft.  Bone can be taken from the patient undergoing surgery, either from a different site or from the same site.  This is known as autograft.  Substances known as bone morphogenic protein (BMP) ( Medtronic manufactures Infuse) can be used locally to promote bone growth.  Stem cells, taken from the patient’s own blood which has been spun down in a centrifuge, can be placed over the graft to help promote bone growth.

Candidates for bone fusion / spinal fusion also need to be aware of the effects of smoking on the procedure. Osteoblasts (bone-growing cells) are needed in droves to ensure a speedy recovery. One of the addictive chemicals in cigarettes, nicotine, is toxic to osteoblasts and can substantially lengthen the time necessary for a complete bone fusion, or even make it impossible to achieve. Smokers are advised to abstain before and after the procedure.

Patients suffering pain in the neck, low back, or other portions of the spine, can call the Kraus Back and Neck Institute in Houston, TX.  They will be evaluated and appropriate tests will be ordered.  No imaging studies are required for patients to be seen.

http://www.spinepain.com/anterior-cervical-discectomy-with-fusion-kraus-back-neck-institute.html

http://www.neurosurgery.com

http://www.neurosurgeryhouston.com/services/spine-conditions

spinal fusion, cervical fusion, lumbar fusion for nerve compression and pain in Houston

spinal fusion, cervical fusion, lumbar fusion for nerve compression and pain in Houston

Key Words: spinal fusion, lumbar fusion, cervical fusion, nerve compression, pain, Houston, katy, woodlands, sugarland, memorial city, texas medical center, TMC, humble, kingwood, Conroe, beaumont

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