Spine General (involves multiple spine areas)

Index for Spine Surgery May Be Helpful When Deciding Surgical Approach

While technically all surgeries are invasive, some surgeries are more invasive than others. Usually, the more invasive the surgery, the higher the risk of complications and the longer the postoperative recovery period. Surgeons have a lot to consider when they choose a particular approach for each patient. Some candidates need more invasive surgery but might not be good candidates, so a lot must be taken into consideration. This is often the case with spinal surgery.

Physicians Should Keep in Mind Possibility of Butterfly Vertebrae

Your spine is made up of small bones that stack one on top of the other. These are called vertebrae. Some people have a benign (not harmful) abnormality called butterfly vertebrae. Butterfly vertebrae have a cleft, an indentation or opening, through the middle. If you look at it with an x-ray, the shape reminds you of a butterfly. Usually, this doesn't cause any problems and goes undetected unless there is a reason to x-ray that part of the back.

My company won't invest in an ergonomic chair but I'm afraid that if I don't get one, my back will start hurting after a while.

If you don't have back pain, it's a good idea to stay active and maintain a strong back and, equally important, strong abdominal muscles. Researchers aren't sold on the benefits of any particular ergonomic chair for preventing back injuries or back pain. For that reason, even if you did get an ergonomic chair, there's no guarantee that it would be helpful to you.

Every time I see a new doctor and I mention my back pain, he or she asks me about my lifestyle. I mean, I know that if I lift a lot of stuff, my back might hurt, but what has how much I sleep, smoke or drink have anything to do with it? Sometimes I'm even asked if I have diabetes.

Back pain is one of the most common complaints that doctors see. When they are told that you have back pain, they have to make several assessments to understand if your pain is caused by something that can't be helped or if you have a severe problem that needs to be dealt with before it can cause much more serious problems than just the pain.

Importance of Recognizing Back Pain that Requires Specialized Care

Back pain is one of the most common chronic pains in the Western world. It's estimated that just about everyone will complain of some sort of back pain at some time in their life. Researchers who are looking for ways to manage and prevent back pain also are trying to find how to prevent uncomplicated back pain from becoming chronic back pain - pain that lasts for more than three to six months.

All the research that goes into medicine, such as treating chronic pain, seems to result in costly treatments. Do the researchers ever take into consideration how much a treatment will cost before getting people's hopes up?

It's true that many newer treatments can be expensive. As technology expands and researchers learn how to apply the technology to people, the machinery and knowledge needed can be pricey. That being said, it's important to balance out the cost versus the outcome. If a patient with severe back pain is being treated with a low-cost treatment that isn't relieving enough of the pain to allow him to work or enjoy life, is this cost effective?

Spinal Cord Stimulation Reduces Pain From Failed Back Surgery

For over 30 years now, doctors have used spinal cord stimulation (SCS), also called neurostimulation, to help relieve chronic pain. A stimulator is implanted into the patient's body, which then sends out impulses to interrupt the pain signals and prevent them from reaching the brain. It's important to understand that the treatment doesn't eliminate pain, but it prevents the person from feeling it as much, thus masking it.

Low-Molecular Weight Heparin Best to Prevent Thromboembolism After Spine Surgery

A major concern after any type of major surgery, particularly orthopedic (bone) surgery, is development of blood clots. Called venous thromboembolisms, they can cause severe health problems and even death. These clots can result in deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism. A deep vein thrombosis is a clot that forms in a vein deep in the body, well below the skin surface.

New, Targeted Therapies for Arthritis

There are many different types of rheumatological diseases. A rheumatological disease is an inflammatory arthritis that affects the entire body as a whole. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common rheumatologic disease. Certain types of rheumatoid arthritis seem to target specific joints.

Adult Degenerative Scoliosis

A Patient's Guide to Adult Degernative Scoliosis


A normal healthy spine will be straight when seen from the front or the back. When seen from the side, the normal spine forms a gentle ‘S’ curve.

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