Spine Conditions

At Elite Brain and Spine, our top rated spine specialists use minimally invasive techniques to treat a wide range of spine conditions. Our patients work with our doctors to create treatment plans that improve their symptoms. These treatment plans include physical therapy, pain management and surgical intervention. Our doctors will attempt to utilize all other options before turning to surgery to treat spine conditions.
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Specializing in Spine Conditions 

The neurosurgical team at Elite Brain and Spine has specialized in spine conditions for decades. Using minimally invasive surgical techniques and conservative approaches to treat patients with spine conditions, has drastically improved and sometimes even eliminated patients symptoms. 

 

Herniated Disc (Lumbar and Cervical)

A herniated disc is a problem that occurs in the lower back or neck. It occurs when the soft center of a spinal disc is pushed through a crack in the exterior casing. When the portion of the disc is pushed through the crack, this is the herniated disc. Often, a herniated disc can pinch a spinal nerve, which causes neck or back pain and this pain may radiate through your extremities. 

This problem can be caused by lifting an object that is too heavy or without proper form. It can also result from other spinal conditions like degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis. 

Symptoms 

  • Pain in the neck of lower back 
  • Weakness in the hands or feet
  • Numbness in the hands or feet
  • Burning in the hands or feet

Symptoms can range from mild to severe. It is important if you have these symptoms to come into Elite Brain and Spine so our spine specialists can help your pain. 

Treatment 

There is usually no surgery necessary to treat herniated discs. Options such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, activity modification, physical therapy and injections should help. However, if these options do not help, your Elite Brain and Spine specialist may suggest a minimally invasive spine surgery to help. Our spine specialists are experts when it comes to herniated discs.

Cervical Myelopathy

Cervical Myelopathy occurs when the spinal cord is compressed by a spinal disc or a piece of bone in the spine. In the cervical spine, there are seven vertebrae with nerves that extend outward and each vertebra is cushioned by these spinal discs. 

 It usually occurs due to degenerative changes to the spinal discs or joints. Specifically, degenerative disc disease and arthritis can cause cervical myelopathy. However, in some cases, it can be caused by a sudden impact to the neck such as a car accident. 

Symptoms 

  • Neck pain
  • Weakness in the arms, hands, and fingers
  • Tingling in the arms, hands, or fingers
  • Difficulty grasping objects
  • Loss of balance or motor skills

These symptoms can vary from person to person. They may appear over time and become more frequent. 

Treatment 

To reduce the pain, our spine specialists have to reduce the pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Therefore, in some cases, our spine specialists can alleviate pain non-surgically. These options include: 

  • A cervical brace
  • Physical therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 
  • Corticosteroids
  • Epidural steroid injections

 If these non-surgical options do not work, your spine specialist may suggest a surgical procedure to reduce the pressure in the spinal cord and nerves. The surgical procedures are minimally invasive and can include a cervical spinal fusion or a laminectomy. 

Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy is not a diagnosis, but a term used to describe a pain that develops in the neck but flows into the shoulders, arms, or fingers. This pain is a symptom of an underlying condition that is compressing a nerve in the cervical spine. Underlying conditions may include herniated discs, spinal stenosis, spinal arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and spinal bone spurs. 

Symptoms 

  • Neck pain
  • Pain in the shoulders, arms, or fingers
  • Weakness in the shoulders, arms, or fingers
  • Numbness or tingling in the shoulders, arms, or fingers

Treatment 

Treatment for cervical radiculopathy is usually non-surgical. Here at Elite Brain and Spine, your specialist may use a combination of these treatment options to help with cervical radiculopathy: 

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications 
  • Physical therapy 
  • Injections 

In some instances, surgery may be suggested if your pain does not go away with non-surgical treatment options. At Elite Brain and Spine, all of the spine specialists are top rate and are experts in treating patients with cervical radiculopathy.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is an age-related disease where the discs between the vertebrae lose cushioning, fragmentation and herniation. In some cases, osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis may develop.  Any of the discs can degenerate, however the discs in the lower back and neck are usually the ones that are affected. 

Symptoms 

Sometimes degenerative disc disease in its early stages does not show symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, symptoms do appear which include: 

  • Pain in the neck or back 
  • Pain that radiates into the extremities 
  • Feeling of stiffness in the neck or back 
  • Pain in the back that is made better by sitting or standing 

Delaying treatment could cause these symptoms to become worse. 

Treatment 

Usually, Degenerative disc disease can be treated non-surgically with treatment option such as: 

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 
  • Physical therapy 
  • Activity modification 
  • Injections 

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, it is important to make an appointment today at Elite Brain and Spine to have one of our spine specialists help with these treatment options. All of our top specialists are experts when it comes to treating degenerative disc disease. Although degenerative disc disease does not require surgery itself, if you develop osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis or other conditions you may need surgery.

 

Facet Joint Syndrome / Arthritis

The facet joints are two bony attachments at the back of the spine that allow for mobility and flexibility of the spine. Facet joint syndrome is caused by degenerative changes to these joints. Degenerative changes such as arthritis can cause this to happen. When arthritis affects these joins, the joints lose fluid and cartilage. This can cause inflammation, pain formation of small bone spurs and thickening of the joints. 

Symptoms 

  • A dull pain in the neck or lower back
  • Pain that radiates into the extremities
  • Pain when standing for long periods of time
  • Pain when bending backward or twisting

Symptoms can range from mild to severe. 

Treatment 

Non-surgical options for treating facet joint syndrome usually work. At Elite Brain and Spine, all of our top neurosurgeons will create a treatment plan with the following non-surgical options: 

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injection
  • Nerve ablation

However, if these non-surgical options do not work, surgery may be recommended by our specialists. At Elite Brain and Spine, our neurosurgery specialists are experts at treating facet joint syndrome so you will be in the best hands!

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Failed back surgery syndrome is a term that is used to describe a spinal procedure that was unsuccessful in alleviating pain or has led to new symptoms after the spinal procedure has taken place. It is not a specific syndrome and is very uncommon. 

One cause of FBSS is that the previous surgery did not decompress the spinal nerve or cord correctly. Another cause could be that the surgeon did not place the spinal implant correctly or the piece of the hardware is compressing the spinal cord or a spinal nerve. A third cause could be that scar tissue has built up after surgery and therefore is compressing the spinal cord or a spinal nerve. 

Treatment 

Treatment for FBSS depends on your symptoms. Our Elite Brain and Spine specialist will work with you to determine your best treatment plan. Common treatment plans include: 

  • Physical therapy
  • Injections
  • Revision or removal of implants
  • Operating on adjacent segments of the spine
General Neck Pain

Most cases of neck pain are caused by a sprain or strain in one of the muscles in the cervical spine. Often, these pains should go away on their own after resting or modifying your activity.

However, if neck pain continues for weeks and interferes with your daily activities, it is known as chronic neck pain. If this is the case for you, you should make an appointment with one of our board-certified neurosurgeons here at Elite Brain and Spine. Our neurosurgeons will do their best to determine the cause of your neck pain. 

Chronic neck pain can be a result of damage to a spinal disc or vertebrae. The only way to find out if there is damage is through a thorough examination by one of our specialists. 

Causes

  • Herniated, bulging or slipped spinal discs
  • Cervical Spinal Stenosis
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Spinal bone spurs
  • Spinal arthritis
  • A pinched nerve in the cervical spine
  • Spondylosis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Facet Joint Disease
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal fractures

At Elite Brain and Spine we’ve seen it all. All of our top specialists are experts when treating general or chronic neck pain. 

Treatment 

To treat your neck pain at Elite Brain and Spine, our whole team of board certified physical medicine, rehabilitation specialists, neurosurgeons and physical therapists will all collaborate to create a treatment plan that is right for you. Treatment options include: 

  • Physical Therapy
  • Interventional Pain Management
  • Injection Therapy
  • Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery
  • Complex Spinal Surgery

Our team will do everything before suggesting surgery. 

Pathological Spine Fracture

Spine fractures can be caused by an accident or injury. A pathological spine fracture is when it is caused by a disease such as osteoporosis or a tumor. 

Symptoms 

  • Back pain
  • Extremity pain 
  • Numbness and/or weakness in the extremities 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment today at Elite Brain and Spine so our spine specialists can help treat your pain. Delaying treatment can cause the fracture and its symptoms to become worse. 

Treatment 

Depending on the type of fracture, non-surgical treatment options can be used. These treatment options include: 

  • Rest
  • Bracing
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and pain medications
  • Osteoporosis medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Radiation therapy (for a tumor)

However, in some cases depending on the fracture, your Elite Brain and Spine specialist may suggest minimally invasive surgery to fix and alleviate pain. These surgeries include kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty. In these procedures, your specialist will use X-ray guidance, tiny surgical instruments, and bone cement to restore normal anatomy to the fractured vertebrae. Our spine specialists are experts when it comes to treating pathological spine fractures.

Sacroiliitis

Sacroiliitis is an inflammation of one or both of your sacroiliac joints. These joints are where your lower spine and pelvis connect. The bones within the joints rub together which causes inflammation and pain. As sacroiliitis progresses, more cartilage is lost which means more bone is exposed. Once the cartilage has completely disappeared, the bones of the joints can rub together which leads to more pain and the formation of bone spurs. It is most commonly seen in the older population, pregnant women, and patients who have been involved in a motor vehicle accident or fall. 

Symptoms 

  • Lower back or hip pain
  • Lower back or hip stiffness
  • Leg pain 
  • Pain that is worse after prolonged standing, running, or climbing stairs

Symptoms may range from mild to severe. Treating Sacroiliitis early on can prevent pain and symptoms from getting worse. 

Treatment 

At Elite Brain and Spine, non-surgical treatment options are used. Your specialist will create a treatment plan that suits your lifestyle and goals. These treatment options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and injections. Our board-certified neurosurgeons are experts when it comes to treating Sacroiliitis.

Spondylosis

Spondylosis is a term used to describe pain from degenerative conditions of the spine. It causes inflammation of the bones and soft tissues of the spine. This ultimately causes pain and decreased function of the spine. As the disease progresses, it makes it more difficult to move the spine. 

Symptoms 

  • Pain in the spine or extremities
  • Numbness, weakness, or tingling in the extremities
  • Stiffness
  • Trouble walking

Symptoms may range from mild to severe. Treating spondylosis early on can prevent pain and symptoms from getting worse. 

Treatment 

Damage from spondylosis cannot be reversed, however there are many treatment options that can help. At Elite Brain and Spine, our specialists use non-surgical options and create treatment plans based on your lifestyle and goals. Treatment options include: 

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical Therapy
  • Bracing
  • Injections

Our spine specialists are experts in treating spondylosis. In certain cases, surgery may be suggested depending on the severity of spondylosis.

Sciatica

Sciatica is a pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve which is located in the lower back through the hips, buttocks, and each leg. It usually only affects one side of your body and is the longest continuous nerve in the body.  The pain can be caused due to underlying conditions. These conditions include: 

  • Herniated, bulging or slipped spinal discs
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Spinal bone spurs
  • Spinal arthritis
  • Spondylosis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Facet Joint Disease
  • Spinal fractures

Treatment 

At Elite Brain and Spine, non-surgical treatment options are used. These non-surgical treatment options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and corticosteroid injection. Your spine specialist will help you decide what treatment option is best for you. 

Surgery may be recommended depending on how your body responds to the non-surgical treatment options. These surgeries include Minimally Invasive Microdiscectomy and Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion.

Spinal Meningioma

Meninges is a protective layer that covers the brain and spine. A meningioma is a specific type of tumor that grows in this protective layer. These tumors can grow anywhere on the spine, however they are most commonly found in the thoracic spine. Luckily, close to 100% of these tumors are benign, but some can be malignant. 

These tumors are up to four times as common in women. 

Symptoms

There may be no symptoms if you have a spinal meningioma. However, there could be symptoms if the tumor is compressing the spinal cord. These symptoms include: 

  • Neck or mid-back pain
  • Weakness in the extremities
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Loss of sense of smell, hearing or taste
  • Changes in personality

Treatment 

If the tumor is benign, your board-certified specialist may suggest monitoring the tumor with MRI’s. If the tumor is malignant or is compressing the spinal cord, surgical treatment may be recommended. Your Elite Brain and Spine specialist will create a treatment plan that will work best for your lifestyle and goals. 

Spinal Compression Fracture

Spinal Compression fractures are small fractures or cracks in the spinal vertebra. The fractures can be caused by an underlying condition or caused by an accident or injury. These conditions cause the bones to weaken. 

Osteoporosis is the most common cause of spinal compression fracture. It can cause these fractures because it weakens and decreases the size of the vertebrae. You can fracture the vertebrae in everyday movements like walking. Osteoporosis is also more common in women than men. 

Treatment 

At Elite Brain and Spine, your spine specialist will diagnose the fracture by an X-ray or MRI. After you have been diagnosed, a non-surgical treatment option is usually the first course of action. The fractures should heal within four to six weeks. During these weeks your Elite Brain and Spine specialist will tell you what activities you can and cannot partake in and will prescribe medication for pain and inflammation if necessary. 

However, in some cases, surgery may be suggested. The two procedures that are commonly performed are a vertebroplasty and a kyphoplasty. A vertebroplasty is where the fracture is stabilized with surgical-grade cement and a kyphoplasty is when the fracture is stabilized and the height of the vertebrae is restored by a tiny balloon that is inserted. At Elite Brain and Spine, both of these procedures are minimally invasive and you are able to return home the same day as your procedure.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces within your spine. This can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine, resulting in pain in the lumbar or lower back region of the spine. Spinal stenosis is the result of the aging process. 

Specifically, lumbar spinal stenosis can pinch the spinal cord and cause it to become irritated and inflamed. This is the most common area where spinal stenosis can occur, however, it can occur in the cervical spine as well. 

Symptoms 

  • Pain
  • Numbness in the extremities
  • Balance problems
  • Burning, tingling, weakness in the extremities

These symptoms are usually experienced in the back and the legs. It can range from mild to severe. 

Treatment 

All of the top spine specialists at Elite Brain and Spine will try to utilize non-surgical treatment options. These treatments can include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy and injections.

However, if these treatments do not work, surgical treatment may be necessary for severe cases of spinal stenosis. One common surgical treatment is called a spinal fusion. A spinal fusion is a minimally invasive approach where our board-certified neurosurgeon removes discs and bone spurs within the spine to wided the spinal canal. The adjacent vertebrates are then combined with rods and screws. This is because as the vertebrae heals, it combines and makes one solid bone. The spinal cord then has room to travel through the canal and symptoms are reduced. 

Our specialists are experts on spinal stenosis so you will be in great hands at Elite Brain and Spine.  

Spinal and Spinal Cord Tumors

A spinal tumor is a growth that develops in the spinal canal or within the bones of your spine. A spinal cord tumor is a growth that begins in your spinal cord or in the covering of the spinal cord. Both tumors can be benign or malignant. 

Tumors that occur within the spinal cord itself are called Intramedullary tumors. They are also known as gliomas, astrocytomas, or ependymomas.  Tumors that occur within the membrane that surrounds the spine are called extramedullary tumors. They are also known as meningiomas, neurofibromas, schwannomas, and nerve sheath tumors. 

Symptoms 

  • Back or neck pain
  • Pain that radiates into the extremities
  • Pain that is worse at night
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Loss of sensitivity to cold or heat
  • Bowel or bladder control issues
  • Loss of muscle control in the extremities

These symptoms can differ in severity based on the location and type of tumor. Sometimes people may not have any symptoms at all. 

Treatment 

If the tumor is benign, your specialist at Elite Brain and Spine might suggest monitoring the tumor using MRIs. 

For tumors that are malignant, radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be suggested by your Elite Brain and Spine surgeon. Along with this, there are also many surgical options for certain tumors. Your surgeon at Elite Brain and Spine will consult with you on the best form of treatment based on the type of tumor and goals.

Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition that occurs when one of your vertebrae slips out of place or misaligns onto the vertebrae below it. It’s caused by a severely weakened vertebra due to a stress fracture. It causes lower back pain and is most common in young athletes that compete in high intensity and high impact sports. In older adults, it typically occurs due to a spinal fracture or a degenerative disc disease. 

Symptoms 

  • Back pain
  • Pain that radiates into the extremities
  • Muscle spasms
  • Spine stiffness
  • Hamstring tightness/pain/tenderness
  • Difficulty weight bearing

Symptoms can range from mild to severe. 

Treatment 

There are non-surgical treatment options to help with pain for spondylolisthesis. At Elite Brain and Spine, these include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, bracing, and injections. 

In severe cases of spondylolisthesis, surgery might be recommended by your spine specialist. A spinal fusion is a common procedure that is recommended by Elite Brain and Spine surgeons. During this procedure, the surgeon realigns the vertebra and joins it to the adjacent vertebra suring small rods and screws. This is because as the vertebrae heals, it combines and makes one solid bone. 

All of our top spine specialists will decide what treatment option is the best for their patient based on your lifestyle and goals.

Kyphosis

Kyphosis is an excessive outward curvature of the spine. It can occur at any age and gender, but it is seen mostly in older females. In adults, it can be caused by several underlying conditions such as spinal fractures, osteoporosis, degenerative disc disease, Scheuermann’s disease, spinal tumors or radiation from cancer treatments. 

Symptoms 

In some cases, kyphosis causes no other symptoms other than a visible hunch or curve in the back. However, it can cause symptoms if it continues to progress. These symptoms include:  

  • Visible hunch in the spine
  • Pain in the neck or lower back
  • Stiffness in the spine
  • Pain or numbness in the extremities
  • Trouble breathing 

Treatment 

There are non-surgical treatment options to help with pain and other symptoms for kyphosis. At Elite Brain and Spine, these include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, bracing, and injections. 

Surgery may be necessary depending on the severity of kyphosis.  One common surgical treatment is called a spinal fusion. A spinal fusion is a minimally invasive approach where our board-certified neurosurgeon removes discs and bone spurs within the spine to widen the spinal canal. The adjacent vertebrates are then combined with rods and screws. This is because as the vertebrae heal, it combines and makes one solid bone. It is either performed as an inpatient or outpatient procedure. 

Your spine specialist will determine the best option for treatment based on your symptoms.

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