Posts Tagged physical rehabilitation
Minimally Invasive Surgery: Houston, Kingwood, Spring, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Humble: 281-713-6296
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Until relatively recently back surgery required large incisions accompanied by long periods of physical rehabilitation in post-operative care. With recent surgical advancements, however, new procedures have resulted in much shorter periods of physical rehabilitation. These surgical procedures—termed minimally invasive surgery or laporoscopic surgery—have revolutionized the way physicians approach not only back surgery, but several other varieties of major surgery as well.
Neurosurgeons specializing in spine surgery, Dr. Gary Kraus MD and Dr. Masaki Oishi MD PhD, at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute in Houston TX, have a vast experience in performing minimally invasive surgery of the spine. The procedures can be used to treat low back pain, neck pain, herniated discs of the spine, as well as sciatica. In some cases, spinal stenosis and spondylolosthesis can also be treated with minimally invasive techniques. Patients throughout the Houston and surrounding areas, including Katy, Spring, Woodlands, Sugar Land, Memorial City and the Texas Medical Center have trusted the neurosurgeons at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute for treating their spine with minimally invasive surgery. Call 281-713-6296 for an appointment.
Minimally invasive surgeries typically involve one or more small incisions into which physicians insert thin plastic tubes. The tubes then provide the means for small observation cameras to be inserted. Using these cameras, surgeons can continuously adjust their technique during the operation, minimizing scarring and ultimately decreasing the patient’s post-operative pain levels and length of recovery. New robotic surgical assistants further contribute to the process by plotting optimal routes of incision and minimizing the number of physical adjustments a surgeon makes.
Many types of back surgery, however, do not have minimally invasive equivalents. Thorough medical consultation should be a top priority for patients considering minimally invasive surgery, as a misdiagnosis could result in a less effective procedure. Should the patient be a good candidate, a shorter, less expensive hospital stay and a faster recovery is the norm. This makes physical therapy all the more necessary—patients may feel that they can skip the process entirely given that their pain levels during post-operative care are much lower. Patients are advised to follow up on their physical therapy sessions as well as any subsequent visits to their spinal specialist. This will minimize the possibility of additional back surgery as well as maximize the chances for an effective recovery.
Physical rehabilitation for minimally invasive surgery is often similar to other kinds of surgery. In the case of most back surgery, core strengthening is often emphasized to assist in load-bearing activities (lifting, sitting, and standing) as well as to pressure from the spinal discs. Patients will also receive information on how to change their daily lifestyles to minimize the chances of re-injury and subsequent surgery.
Neurosurgeons Dr. Kraus and Dr. Oishi, at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute, would be available for consultation to any patients suffering from low back pain, neck pain, sciatica, herniated discs, or any other spinal disorders. Even though they offer minimally invasive surgical approaches to the spine, they are able to treat many of their patients without the need for surgery. Patients from the Houston and surrounding areas including Katy, Spring, Woodlands, Sugar Land, Memorial City and the Texas Medical Center, can be seen without any prior testing or imaging studies.
Keywords: physical rehabilitation, minimally invasive surgery, spine surgery, back pain, back surgery, sciatica, Houston, katy, spring, texas medical center, Woodlands, Sugar Land
Spinal Injury Rehabilitation
If injured sufficiently, the regenerative capacity of the spinal cord—at least, on its own—is not nearly as great as other parts of the body. Trauma—from automobile accidents, sports injuries, or falls—can damage the nerves responsible for movement in parts of the body. Depending on where the spinal cord is injured, patients may experience paralysis of digits or limbs.
Fortunately, there are many options available for physical rehabilitation. Intense physical therapy from a licensed medical professional can help prevent further loss of mobility. Though the aftermath of a spinal cord injury may be terrible, patients who commit to their physical therapy regiments show demonstrably better mobility over patients who avoid the trials of physical rehabilitation.
New advances in medical technology—particularly techniques employing stem cells—offer patients, physicians, and medical researchers alike hope that even severe spinal cord injuries may someday be completely rehabilitated. Normally, the spinal cord lacks the ability to generate new specialized cells. Stem cells, on the other hand, are human developmental cells found in the umbilical cord that have yet to specialize to perform a specific function within the body. Researchers hope to reliably produce stem cells that can then become specialized cells within the spinal cord, restoring function, sensation, and patient mobility.
Apart from physical rehabilitation, there are also many emotional support networks in place, mainly classified by the extent of the patient’s injury. Physical therapy may help to preserve mobility, but patients and their families often struggle to come to terms with their new lifestyles. Support networks provide emotional therapy as well as an outlet for personal grief. Counseling can also provide families with information on how to adjust their homes and daily routines to better accommodate patients with spinal cord injuries.
Kraus Back and Neck Institute, Houston TX Gary Kraus MD Masaki Oishi Md PhD
Houston Back Injury and Houston Neck Injury Experts
Reducing Back Pain
Most often, low back pain is a product of one of the following scenarios: 1) improper lifting technique, which may tear muscle tissue or even herniate (displace) the intervertebral disk, 2) overuse or hypermobility, referring to intense labor or repetitive movement that puts increased wear on spinal disks and joints, or 3) low activity or hypomobility, which can lead to weight gain, as well as reducing the flow of nutrients to muscles and disks in the back.
Fortunately, physical therapy, rest, healthy dieting, and regular exercise can often have a long-term positive impact on low back pain levels. Those with acute or chronic back pain may be tempted to resist physical activity, but an approved regimen of physical therapy by a licensed physical therapist depends on regular implementation to be effective. Patients who opt out of the physical rehabilitation process may actually lose mobility as a result.
Core strengthening exercises play a fundamental role in most physical rehabilitation plans. The torso and spinal column are home to many different tendons, muscles, and ligaments that help support the weight of the body and provide stability during routine movement. All of these tissues work in tandem with the spinal column to participate in all load-bearing activities—running, walking, standing, and sitting among them. If core strengthening exercises are omitted from a patient’s physical rehabilitation regimen, the spinal column bears more weight than it otherwise would and low back pain is more likely to recur.
Patients with chronic back pain are advised to seek thorough medical consultation, given that their pain may be resulting from structural problems, deformities, or other abnormalities within the spinal column. Imaging techniques such as the X-ray, CT scan, and magnetic resonance imaging can reveal the integrity of the spinal column as well as allow physicians to design a more effective physical therapy regimen.
Post Operative Spinal Care
Depending on the seriousness of the back surgery, patients often have a wide variety of physical therapy treatments available. Physical rehabilitation can be further augmented by several different medications, including muscle relaxants, pain medication, and steroid injections.
Patients may also be required to take antibiotics to guard against infection. Spinal surgical procedures typically require an incision which can vary in length and depth depending on the patient’s condition. Patients should check the incision periodically for any indications of infection—these signs can include redness and / or the appearance of pus around the wound. Follow-up visits to your physician and spinal specialist are also necessary. Physicians will monitor the patient’s progression along previously established guidelines for procedural recovery. Adjustments to each individual patient’s needs are then made based on age, physical rehabilitation, weight, and other factors. New courses of treatment can then be continuously recommended based on the findings.
Though physical rehabilitation is a crucial aspect of post-operative care for some back surgery patients, many physicians advise a period of mandatory rest that differs depending on the procedure. Patients must allow the spine adequate time to heal prior to exercising even in moderation. If physical rehabilitation is undertaken too quickly, patients run the risk of disturbing the adjustments made by the surgery—which can then severely damage their recovery, possibly even making further corrective surgeries necessary. Post-operative care during the rest period often includes restrictions on how much a patient can bend, lift, walk, or even move. These restrictions are especially important after surgical procedures that implant pins or other artificial devices into the spine. The body must be given time to adjust to these foreign bodies. If patients follow these steps, however, recovery is normally assured.
Spinal Surgery: Reality and Myths
Spinal surgery can be one of the most costly, physically taxing methods of treatment on the healthcare market today. Fortunately, many patients overestimate the need for such serious measures. Many types of neck and back pain can be addressed and resolved with other methods of treatment, such as physical therapy, pain medication, exercise, and healthy dieting. These are typically the courses of action prescribed by physicians as well, given that spinal surgery may have unintended side effects on the patient’s daily life.
Some patients, however, will find that their pain and / or structural problems are not resolved by these treatment plans. With advancements in modern medical technology, there are now dozens of different spinal surgical procedures available to correct many types of structural problems. Disk degeneration, spinal tumors, bone spurs, spinal stenosis—all of these disorders and others may necessitate spinal surgery should they have a substantial negative impact on a patient’s quality of life.
For example, patients who have advanced degeneration of the spinal disks
(the shock-absorbing pads between our vertebrae that break down naturally over time) may be candidates for artificial disk implantation. During this procedure, an artificial disk mimicking the body’s natural shock absorber is implanted in the spine. Spinal fusion, a procedure that fuses vertebrae thus eliminating the possibility of further damaging the disks between them, may also be an available option. Patients are advised to seek thorough medical consultation when considering spinal surgery. Several imaging techniques, such as CT scans, X-rays, and magnetic resonance imaging, may be prescribed to evaluate courses of action. Specialists may be referred to address problems that have not been corrected through physical rehabilitation.
Post-operative care is crucial for patients who have undergone spinal surgery. Many surgical procedures require long recovery times with periods of mandatory rest and physical rehabilitation. Several subsequent post-operative visits to primary care physicians and specialists are necessary to monitor the patient’s recovery.