Spine Conditions Library

The Neurosurgical team at Elite Brain and Spine specializes in minimally invasive surgical techniques for degenerative, traumatic spine condtitions. We have developed a conservative approach to treating patients with the use of multidisciplinary modalities including physical therapy, pain management, and surgical intervention. When treating spine conditions, surgery is our last option, taking first into consideration all other therapies available to our patients.

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We Specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of the following Spine conditions. Please review our specialties below:

The Neurosurgical team at Elite Brain and Spine specialize in minimally invasive surgical techniques for degenerative, traumatic and neoplastic spine disease and has developed a conservative approach to treating patients with the use of multidisciplinary modalities including physical therapy, pain management and surgical intervention.  When treating spinal conditions, surgery is our last option, taking first into consideration all other therapies available to our patients. We treat patients with conditions that include:

Herniated Disc (Lumbar and Cervical)

What is a Lumbar or Cervical Herniated Disc? 

A herniated disc (also known as a bulging disc or slipped disc) is a common problem that occurs in the lower back or neck. The intervertebral discs lie between the vertebrae (spinal bones) and act as shock absorbers to take pressure off the spine during weight-bearing activities. 

When a portion of the disc protrudes into the spinal canal, it is known as a herniated disc. Often times, a herniated disc can pinch a spinal nerve and cause back or neck as well as pain that radiates into the extremities. 

A herniated disc can occur when lifting an object without proper form or when lifting an object that is too heavy. It can also occur as a result of other spinal conditions including: 

  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Osteoarthritis  

Our Board Certified Neurosurgeons have helped thousands of patients with herniated discs live active and healthy lives using the latest non-surgical and surgical procedures. 

The symptoms of a herniated disc may be experienced in the lower back or neck as well as in the extremities. They include the following: 

  • 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

If you are experiencing symptoms of a herniated disc it is best to make an appointment with one of the Board Certified Spine Specialists at Elite Brain and Spine as soon as possible. Delaying treatment may cause the symptoms to become worse. 

Treatment Options for a Lumbar or Cervical Herniated Disc 

A herniated disc can usually be treated using non-surgical treatment options such as the following: 

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Activity modification 
  • Physical therapy
  • Injections 

In some instances where non-surgical treatment options have not relieved the symptoms of a herniated disc, your Elite Brain and Spine Specialist may recommend a Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery to remove the herniated disc or bone fragments that are causing pain. Our Board Certified Neurosurgeons are experts in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. 

Cervical Myelopathy

What is Cervical Myelopathy?

Within the cervical spine there are 7 spinal vertebrae with nerves extending outward and each vertebrae is cushioned by spinal discs.  Cervical myelopathy occurs when the spinal cord itself is compressed by a spinal disc or a piece of bone in the spine.

In most instances, cervical myelopathy occurs due to degenerative changes to the spinal discs or joints within the spine including degenerative disc disease as well as arthritis within the spine.  However, cervical myelopathy can also be caused by a sudden impact to the neck such as a car accident or injury.

Because cervical myelopathy affects the spinal cord and spinal nerves, the symptoms can be varied and complex.  Also, these symptoms may appear over time and become progressively more frequent.

If you have cervical myelopathy the symptoms can include:

  • 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

How is Cervical Myelopathy Treated?

To alleviate the symptoms of cervical myelopathy the key is to alleviate the pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerves.  In many cases this can be achieved using non-surgical treatments.

Non-surgical treatments may include:

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

If non-surgical treatments fail to alleviate symptoms, your Elite Brain and Spine Specialist may recommend a surgical procedure to decompress the spinal cord and spinal nerves.  These minimally invasive procedures can include a Cervical Spinal Fusion or a Laminectomy.

Cervical Radiculopathy

What is Cervical Radiculopathy?

Cervical Radiculopathy is a term used to describe the pain that originates in the neck but radiates into the shoulders, arms or fingers.  This condition is not a diagnosis but a symptom of an underlying condition that is compressing a nerve in the cervical spine. When the nerve is compressed pain signals travel from the nerve root in the spine into the extremities.  Common conditions that cause Cervical Radiculopathy include herniated discs, Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, spinal arthritis and/or spinal bone spurs.

If you have Cervical Radiculopathy the common symptoms can include:

  • 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

Our specialists have helped thousands of patients with Cervical Radiculopathy return to an active and healthy lifestyle using a variety of treatment options.

How is Cervical Radiculopathy Treated?

Cervical Radiculopathy is usually effectively treated using non-surgical treatment options. The Board Certified Neurosurgeons at Elite Brain and Spine create treatment plans based on your lifestyle and goals. These treatment plans may consist of any combination of the following non-surgical treatment options: 

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications 
  • Physical therapy 
  • Injections 

Surgery may be recommended if Cervical Radiculopathy does not respond to non-surgical treatment options. The Board Certified Neurosurgeons at Elite Brain and Spine are experts in a variety of Minimally Invasive Surgical procedures to treat Cervical Radiculopathy.

Degenerative Disc Disease

What is Degenerative Disc Disease? 

Degenerative disc disease is a common term used for several conditions of the spine that occur to the intervertebral discs of the spine with age. As we age, the intervertebral discs that act as shock absorbers in the spine lose some of their fluid content and therefore decrease in size and height. The combination of these factors may cause the discs to dry, weaken or herniate. Osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis may develop as a result of degenerative disc disease. 

Any of the intervertebral discs can degenerate; however, those of the neck and lower back are the ones most often affected. 

In many cases, degenerative disc disease in its early stages typically does not cause symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they range in type and severity. 

If you have degenerative disc disease the symptoms can 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 

If you are experiencing symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease it is best to make an appointment with one of the Board Certified Neurosurgeons at Elite Brain and Spine as soon as possible. Delaying treatment may cause the symptoms to become worse. Our Board Certified Neurosurgeons have helped thousands of patients with Degenerative Disc Disease return to an active and healthy lifestyle. 

How is Degenerative Disc Disease Treated?

Degenerative Disc Disease can usually be treated using non-surgical treatment options such as the following: 

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

Degenerative Disc Disease itself is not treated with surgery. However, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and vertebral compression fractures that occur due to Degenerative Disc Disease may require surgical intervention. Depending upon your condition and if non-surgical options have not relieved your pain, your Elite Brain and Spine Specialist may recommend a Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery to relieve pain and correct the underlying spinal condition. 

Facet Joint Syndrome / Arthritis

Facet Joint Syndrome / Arthritis

What is Facet Joint Syndrome?

The facet joints are the two bony attachments at the back of the spine that allow for mobility and flexibility of the spine.  Like many joints within the body, the facet joints are susceptible to degenerative changes due to arthritis. When arthritis affects the facet joints, the joints lose fluid and cartilage and can cause inflammation, thickening of the joints, pain and the formation of small bone spurs.  This inflammation can cause pressure on the nerves that exit the spine, which is known as Facet Joint Syndrome. 

If you have Facet Joint Syndrome the common symptoms can include:

  • 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

The Spine Team at Elite Brain and Spine has helped thousands of patients with Facet Joint Syndrome return to an active and healthy lifestyle using a variety of treatment options.

How is Facet Joint Syndrome Treated at Elite Brain and Spine?

At Elite Brain and Spine, Facet Joint Syndrome is usually effectively treated using non-surgical treatment options. The Board Certified Neurosurgeons at Elite Brain and Spine create treatment plans based on your lifestyle and goals. These treatment plans may consist of any combination of the following non-surgical treatment options: 

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injection
  • Nerve ablation

Surgery may be recommended if Facet Joint Syndrome does not respond to non-surgical treatment options. One of the most common procedures used is a Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion. The Board Certified Neurosurgeons at Elite Brain and Spine are experts in a variety of Minimally Invasive Surgical procedures to treat Facet Joint Syndrome.

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

What is Failed Back Surgery Syndrome?

As technology and approaches to spinal surgery become more advanced, studies have shown that spinal surgery is more effective than ever.  When indicated for the right patient, spinal surgery changes the spinal anatomy so that pain and other symptoms can be alleviated. However, as with all surgeries, there is a small margin of patients where surgery will not be successful.   

 Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS) is a term used to describe a spinal procedure that was unsuccessful in alleviating pain or has lead to new symptoms that were not present prior to surgery.  FBSS is not a specific syndrome or leads to specific symptoms and is uncommon in spinal surgery. In most cases, the cause of FBSS are one of the following:

 The previous surgery did not adequately decompress the spinal nerve or spinal cord

  • An improperly placed spinal implant or piece of hardware is compressing a spinal nerve or spinal cord
  • Scar tissue buildup after surgery is compressing a spinal nerve or spinal cord

How is Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Treated at Elite Brain and Spine?

The treatment for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome is most often based on the underlying cause of your symptoms.  Your Elite Brain and Spine Specialist will work with you to find the cause of FBSS and discuss the most appropriate treatment options.

Common treatment options for FBSS include:

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

What Causes Neck Pain?

Most cases of neck pain are caused by a sprain or strain to one of the muscles in the cervical spine and the good news is that most cases of neck pain will subside on their own after rest and temporary activity modification.

When neck pain does not subside for weeks and interferes with daily activities, it is then known as chronic neck pain.  This is when you should seek the expertise of one of the Board Certified Neurosurgeons at Elite Brain and Spine to determine the underlying cause of chronic neck pain.  Also, it is important to make an appointment if you begin to experience pain, numbness or tingling in the shoulders, arms or fingers as this may be a sign of a more serious condition.

Chronic neck pain can be the result of damage to the spinal discs or the spinal vertebrae.  Proper examination and testing from an Elite Brain and Spine Specialist is the most effective way to determine what is causing pain.

Common causes of chronic neck can be the result of underlying conditions including:

  • 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

Our specialists have helped thousands of patients with chronic neck pain return to an active and healthy lifestyle using a variety of treatment options.

How is Neck Pain Treated?

Our multidisciplinary Spine Team consists of Board Certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialists, Neurosurgeons, and Physical Therapists – each of whom collaborate to decide the best treatment plan for you based on your unique condition and lifestyle.

We offer the latest in non-surgical as well as Minimally Invasive treatment options for chronic neck pain, including:

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

In most cases, we begin with the most conservative treatment options and only recommend surgery if neck pain does not respond to these conservative treatments.

Pathological Spine Fracture

What is a Pathological Spine Fracture?

The spine consists of a column of twenty-six bones located between the base of the skull and the pelvis. The spine helps support and move the body as well as protect the spinal cord. Spine fractures can be caused by an accident or injury, such as a fall or direct blow onto the back, or as the result of a disease, most commonly osteoporosis or a tumor. 

If you have a spine fracture caused by a disease, which is called a Pathological Spine Fracture, the common symptoms can include:

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

If you are experiencing symptoms of a Pathological Spine Fracture, it is best to make an appointment with one of the Board Certified Neurosurgeons at Elite Brain and Spine as soon as possible. Delaying treatment may cause the fracture and its symptoms to become worse. At Elite Brain and Spine, our Board Certified Neurosurgeons have helped thousands of patients with Pathological Spine Fractures live active and healthy lives using the latest non-surgical and surgical procedures.

How is a Pathological Spine Fracture Treated? 

Depending on the classification of the fracture, nonsurgical treatment options may be used to reduce pain and other symptoms while the pathological spine fracture heals. These can include:

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

In other cases, your Elite Brain and Spine specialist may recommend minimally invasive surgery to fix the fractured spine using a procedure known as kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty. These procedures use x-ray guidance, tiny surgical instruments, and bone cement to restore normal anatomy to the fractured vertebra. 

Sacroiliitis

What is Sacroiliitis?

Sacroiliitis, which is often referred simply as lower back or pelvic pain, is a common orthopedic condition, especially in the older population, pregnant women, and patients who have been involved in a traumatic motor vehicle accident or fall. Sacroiliitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the bones and soft tissues of the sacroiliac joint—where the lower spine and pelvis connect—which causes the bones within the joint to rub together, which results in pain and decreased function of the joint. As the condition progresses, more cartilage is lost and more bone is exposed. Once the cartilage has completely worn away the bones of the sacroiliac joint can begin to rub together causing increased pain and the formation of bone spurs within the joint.

If you have sacroiliitis the common symptoms can include:

  • 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 very mild to severe but treating sacroiliitis in its early stages can prevent pain and symptoms from getting worse. At Elite Brain and Spine, our Board Certified Neurosurgeons have helped thousands of patients with sacroiliitis live active and healthy lives using the latest non-surgical and surgical procedures. 

How is Sacroiliitis treated at Elite Brain and Spine? 

There are many treatment options at Elite Brain and Spine that can decrease inflammation as well as relieve pain and symptoms of sacroiliitis. At Elite Brain and Spine, sacroiliitis is usually effectively treated using nonsurgical treatment options and the specialists at Elite Brain and Spine create treatment plans based on your lifestyle and goals. These treatment plans may consist of any combination of the following non-surgical treatment options:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Injections
Spondylosis

What is Spondylosis?

Spondylosis, which is often referred simply as spine osteoarthritis or spine arthritis, is a common spine condition, especially in the older population. Spondylosis is a condition that causes inflammation of the bones and soft tissues of the spine, which results in pain and decreased function of the spine. As the condition progresses, more inflammation occurs and it becomes more difficult to move the spine. 

If you have spondylosis the common symptoms can include:

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

Symptoms may range from very mild to severe but treating spondylosis in its early stages can prevent pain and symptoms from getting worse. At Elite Brain and Spine _, our Board Certified Neurosurgeons have helped thousands of patients with spondylosis live active and healthy lives using the latest non-surgical and surgical procedures. 

How is Spondylosis Treated at Elite Brain and Spine?

Although the damage from spondylosis cannot be reversed, there are many treatment options at Elite Brain and Spine that can slow down inflammation as well as relieve the pain and symptoms of spondylosis. At Elite Brain and Spine, spondylosis is usually effectively treated using non-surgical treatment options and the specialists at Elite Brain and Spine create treatment plans based on your lifestyle and goals. These treatment plans may consist of any combination of the following non-surgical treatment options:

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

Surgery may be recommended for severe spondylosis. The Board Certified Neurosurgeons at Elite Brain and Spine are experts at performing all Minimally Invasive and Open Incision Spine Surgeries. 

Sciatica

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is one of the most commonly mentioned spinal conditions and describes the pain that originates in the lower back and radiates into the buttocks, the back of the legs and into the feet.  The sciatic nerve is the longest continuous nerve in the body and begins in the lower back and extends into the legs. Sciatica is a term used to describe the pain but is not an actual diagnosis and is instead a symptom of an underlying condition that is causing pressure on the sciatic nerve.

These conditions can 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

The Spine Team at Elite Brain and Spine has helped thousands of patients with Sciatica return to an active and healthy lifestyle using a variety of treatment options.

How is Sciatica Treated at Elite Brain and Spine?

At Elite Brain and Spine, Sciatica is usually effectively treated using non-surgical treatment options. The Board Certified Neurosurgeons at Elite Brain and Spine create treatment plans based on your lifestyle and goals. These treatment plans may consist of any combination of the following non-surgical treatment options: 

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injection

Surgery may be recommended if Sciatica does not respond to non-surgical treatment options. Two of the most common procedures used are Minimally Invasive Microdiscectomy or a Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion. 

Spinal Meningioma

What is a Spinal Meningioma?

Along with the brain and spine, there is a protective layer known as the meninges.  A meningioma is a specific type of tumor that grows in this protective layer and although these tumors can appear anywhere along the spine they are most commonly found in the thoracic spine.  About 95% of these tumors are benign but can be malignant in some cases.  

In the early stages, these tumors may not cause any symptoms but if they grow larger they may begin to press on the spinal cord or spinal nerves.  Studies have shown that these tumors are 2-4 times more common in women and usually appear between the ages of 40-70 years old.

If you have a spinal meningioma there may be no symptoms present.  However, if the tumor is compressing the spinal cord the symptoms can include:

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

How is a Spinal Meningioma Treated at Elite Brain and Spine?

If the tumor is benign, your Elite Brain and Spine Specialist may recommend monitoring the tumor with regular MRI’s. 

 If the tumor begins to compress the spinal cord, there are a number of surgical treatment options to remove the tumor based on the size and location of the tumor.  Your Elite Brain and  Spine Surgeon will discuss with you the best treatment options based on your specific conditions and symptoms.

Spinal Compression Fracture

What is a Spinal Compression Fracture?

Spinal compression fractures are small fractures or cracks in the spinal vertebra. These fractures can be caused by an underlying condition that weakens the bones or can be caused by a high impact such as an accident or injury.

Osteoporosis is the most common cause of spinal compression fractures. This is because as osteoporosis progresses, it causes the vertebrae to weaken and decrease in size and height. If you have osteoporosis a spinal compression fracture may be caused by simple, everyday movements like walking, running, twisting or turning. Lifting, bending, and falling are also common movements that can cause fractures. Studies have shown that osteoporosis is more prevalent in women than men and therefore women experience fractures at a higher rate.

Spinal compression fractures typically only cause pain in the area of the fracture and are therefore diagnosed with X-ray or MRI.

How is a Spinal Compression Fracture Treated at Elite Brain and Spine?

At Elite Brain and Spine, a non-surgical is most often the first course of treatment unless other symptoms are present or the spine is unstable due to the fracture.  The majority of spinal compression fractures will heal over the course of 4-6-weeks. Your Elite Brain and Spine Specialist will instruct you as to activities or motions to avoid during this time. Over-the-counter and prescription medications are also used to reduce pain and inflammation during this time. 

In some cases, spine compression fractures may require surgical intervention.  The following procedures are commonly performed to treat spinal compression fractures:

  1. Vertebroplasty. The fracture is stabilized with surgical-grade cement that is injected into the fracture
  2. Kyphoplasty. The fracture is stabilized and vertebral height is restored when a tiny balloon is inserted into the fracture and inflated. 

Both of these procedures are performed minimally invasively and on an outpatient basis so that you are able to return home the same day as your procedure. 

Spinal Stenosis

What is Spinal Stenosis?

The spinal canal is formed by adjacent vertebrae of the spine and the spinal cord runs through the spinal canal as it branches out to innervate the muscles and extremities throughout the body. Lumbar spinal stenosis is a condition characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal in the lumbar or lower back region of the spine.  In most cases, spinal stenosis is the result of the aging process as the ligaments of the spine begin to thicken and cause the spinal canal to become narrowed.

Lumbar spinal stenosis can pinch the spinal cord and cause it to become irritated and inflamed. Symptoms may present is the spine and/or the extremities.  The lumbar region of the spine is the most common area of the spine affected by stenosis but this condition can also occur in the cervical spine as well.

If you have spinal stenosis the symptoms can include:

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

These symptoms may be experienced in the back and/or the legs.

How is Spinal Stenosis Treated at Elite Brain and Spine?

At Elite Brain and Spine, the first course of treatment is to utilize non-surgical treatment options to alleviate the pain and other symptoms associated with spinal stenosis.  

These treatments can include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Injections

Surgical Treatment for Spinal Stenosis at Elite Brain and Spine

Surgical treatment may be required for severe cases of spinal stenosis. A spinal fusion is a procedure that is commonly performed.  This procedure is performed using a minimally invasive approach and can be performed as either an inpatient or outpatient procedure.

During the procedure, your Elite Brain and Spine Surgeon removes discs and bone spurs within the spine to widen the spinal canal. Adjacent vertebrae are then joined using a small rod and screws. As the vertebral bone heals, the vertebrae fuse together to form a single, solid bone. Following surgery, the spinal cord has room to travel through the canal and symptoms are alleviated. 

Using our advanced minimally invasive techniques, there is very little surgical trauma and you are able to recover and return to normal activities shortly after surgery.

Spinal and Spinal Cord Tumors

What are Spinal Tumors?

Spinal tumors and spinal cord tumors are growths within the spine that may be benign or malignant.  Like most cancers, the cause can be either genetic, environmental or the result of another cancer within the body that has spread.  One of the most common causes of cancers within the spine are cancers such as lung, breast or prostate cancer that metastasize into the bones and vertebrae of the spine.

There are various types of cancers that can occur within the spine and are typically classified by where in the spine they occur.  Some tumors may compress the spinal cord and spinal nerves and cause neurological impairments or symptoms.

Intramedullary tumors. Tumors that occur within the spinal cord itself (gliomas, astrocytomas or ependymomas).

Extramedullary tumors. Tumors that occur within the membrane that surrounds the spine or the nerve roots that exit the spine (meningiomas, neurofibromas, schwannomas and nerve sheath tumors).

The specific type of tumor is determined based on the cells that make up the tumor and other factors.  Common types of spinal tumors include:

  • Astrocytoma
  • Chordoma
  • Ependymoma
  • Glioma
  • Meningioma
  • Neurofibroma
  • Schwannoma

The symptoms of a tumor within the spine can vary based on the location and type of tumor and some may cause no symptoms at all.

If you have a tumor within the spine the symptoms can include:

  • 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

How are Spinal Tumors Treated at Elite Brain and Spine?

If the tumor is benign, your Elite Brain and  Spine Specialist may recommend monitoring the tumor with regular MRI’s. 

 If the tumor begins to compress the spinal cord, there are a number of surgical treatment options to remove the tumor based on the size and location of the tumor.  The goal of these procedures is to safely remove the tumor while ensuring that no other spinal structures are compromised during surgery.

Radiation therapy may be considered if your Elite Brain and  Spine Surgeon determines that surgery may harm other areas of the spine or if the tumor is inoperable.

Chemotherapy may also be used for specific types of tumors.  Chemotherapy uses specific drugs to destroy the cancer cells and stop them from growing.

Your Elite Brain and  Spine Surgeon will discuss all treatment options with you to determine the most effective option based on your specific type of tumor.

Spondylolisthesis

What is Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a condition characterized by a misalignment of the vertebrae and is usually the result of a severely weakened vertebra due to a stress fracture.  This fracture causes the vertebrae to weaken and shift from its normal anatomic position. The condition is common among young athletes that compete in high impact sports such as gymnastics, football and hockey.  Athletes who participate in sports that require lots of twisting, turning, bending, and jumping are most at risk. 

In older adults, spondylolisthesis is typically the result of a spinal fracture or degenerative disc disease.  As the vertebrae or spinal discs weaken the vertebrae may slip out of place.

If you have spondylolisthesis the symptoms can include:

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

How is Spondylolisthesis Treated at Elite Brain and Spine?

At Elite Brain and Spine, the first course of treatment for spondylolisthesis is a non-surgical approach.  

These treatments can include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Bracing
  • Injections

Surgical Treatment

In severe cases, or if non-surgical options have not alleviated the symptoms, a minimally invasive spinal fusion may be recommended by your Elite Brain and Spine Surgeon. 

During the procedure, your Elite Brain and Spine Surgeon realigns the vertebra and joins it to an adjacent vertebra using small rods and screws. Following surgery, the joined vertebrae heal as a single bone, proper spine anatomy is restored and symptoms decrease. 

Kyphosis

What is Kyphosis?

The natural curvature of the spine, known as lordosis, is important for stability and balance.  When one area of the spine becomes too curved it can create a visible “hunch” in the spine as well as other symptoms and is known as kyphosis  In some instances, kyphosis causes no other symptoms other than a visible hunch and requires only monitoring by your Elite Brain and  Spine Specialist.  However, if kyphosis progresses it can cause several painful symptoms.

If you have kyphosis the symptoms can 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 

Kyphosis can occur at any age and in any gender but is most common among older females.  In adults, kyphosis can be caused by several underlying that weaken the vertebrae of the spine and cause the spine to change from its natural shape, including:

  • Spinal fractures
  • Osteoporosis
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Scheuermann’s disease
  • Spinal tumors or radiation from cancer treatments

How is Kyphosis Treated at Elite Brain and Spine?

At Elite Brain and Spine, the first course of treatment is to utilize non-surgical treatment options to alleviate the pain and other symptoms associated with kyphosis.  

These treatments can include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Bracing
  • Injections

Surgical Treatment for Kyphosis at Elite Brain and Spine

Surgical treatment may be required for severe cases of kyphosis where the condition is causing chronic pain or other symptoms. A spinal fusion is a procedure that is commonly performed.  This procedure is performed using a minimally invasive approach and can be performed as either an inpatient or outpatient procedure.

During the procedure, your Elite Brain and Spine Surgeon removes discs within the spine and these are replaced with small implants.  These implants restore the normal anatomy and height to the spine and thus make the spine more stable.  Adjacent vertebrae are then joined using a small rod and screws. As the vertebral bone heals, the vertebrae fuse together to form a single solid bone. 

Using our advanced minimally invasive techniques, there is very little surgical trauma and you are able to recover and return to normal activities shortly after surgery. 

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