The Spine Service provides care for patients with degenerative spinal problems, traumatic injuries of the spine, tumors, infections, and spinal deformity. The service encompasses all areas of diagnosis and treatment for conditions of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.
Back and Neck Pain
Back and neck pain is often caused by stress on the muscles and ligaments supporting the spine. Limited rest combined with appropriate exercise is a primary mode of treatment. In some cases, the pain is caused by a serious underlying condition. Most acute back pain is relieved spontaneously within a week, but seek medical attention for an expert diagnosis if pain persists.
Herniated Disk (Slipped Disks)
Disks in the neck and spine are composed of a thick outer ring of cartilage and an inner gel-like substance. A disk herniates or ruptures when part of the inner substance pushes through the outer edge of the disk causing pain, numbness or weakness in the arm or leg. Conservative treatment of symptoms is effective in more than 90 percent of patients. In rare cases, a herniated disk may result in loss of bowel or bladder control (Cauda Equina Syndrome) and requires emergency surgery.
Curvature of the spine is a common problem usually requiring only observation with repeated examination in the growing years. A small percentage of young people require surgery for scoliosis. Expert follow-up is needed to determine when surgery is required. When adult scoliosis is accompanied by spine or limb pain, then an expert diagnosis is essential.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal resulting in low back, leg, neck or arm pain. Treatment can include changes in posture, medication, exercise, weight loss, and, if necessary, surgery. Some forms of spinal stenosis can cause balance problems in which case treatment should be sought immediately.
Affecting over 200 million people, osteoporosis is characterized by decreased bone mass and poor bone quality leading to fractures typically of the hip, spine and wrist. Medication and exercise are prescribed for prevention and treatment. Bone density scans are used to document the degree of osteoporosis and the risk of fractures.