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Cervical Spine Anatomy Basics

Posted by Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants on October 30, 2017

In this blog, we'll describe the components of cervical spine anatomy, including the vertebrae, ligaments, nerves, veins, and arteries that make up the neck.

The primary function of the cervical spine is the mobility, support and protection of spinal canal and neural structures. The cervical spine is made up of:

  • 7 vertebrae
  • 6 intervertebral discs
  • 8 pairs of exiting nerve roots

The vertebrae are C1-C7. The primary motion at the C1-C2 joint is rotation.

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Topics: Spine, Neck

Recovering from Lumbar Fusion Surgery

Posted by Michal Szczodry, MD on August 29, 2017

Lumbar fusion surgery — one of the most common types of spine surgery — is an operation to fuse vertebrae in the lower back. It takes hours to complete and many weeks of recovery. Knowing what to expect, how to prepare for spinal surgery, and what to plan for during the immediate and longer-term recovery period is key to a successful recovery. Below are some of the instructions and recommendations I give to my patients having this surgery at MOC. 

If you undergo this procedure, make sure to follow your own doctor's instructions for the recovery period to ensure that you heal as quickly and completely from surgery as possible. 

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Topics: Spine

How to Prepare for Spinal Surgery

Posted by Michal Szczodry, MD on August 15, 2017

Having to undergo spine surgery can be a daunting experience to prepare for mentally and physically. Fortunately there are steps you can take to make the experience more comfortable and manageable. Reducing stress by being prepared in the time leading up to surgery can help you have the optimal experience and help you focus on recovery during the post-operative experience. You can start by brushing up on the basics, learning about the different types of spine surgery getting answers to the most common questions about spine surgery. Get more pre-surgery tips and information below.

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Topics: Spine

Causes of Sacroiliac Joint Pain

Posted by Michal Szczodry, MD on March 31, 2017

You may have heard of SI joint pain without realizing that the abbreviation SI stands for the sacroiliac, which is the joint connecting the sacrum – or tailbone – and the iliac bone of the pelvis.

Sacroiliac (SI) joint pain is fairly common – though not as common as some practitioners think – and while it can be uncomfortable, the good news is that it responds well to a variety of treatments.

Let’s look at some common questions regarding sacroiliac joint pain and my treatment recommendations.

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Topics: Spine, Joint Pain

Recent Innovations in Spine Surgery

Posted by Michal Szczodry, MD on February 6, 2017

Every month, the medical device industry introduces some innovations into the world of spine surgery that they are promoting as the next big thing. While I watch these trends closely, I take a conservative approach to using any new technology in my practice. I wait until an innovation is proven to be effective, safe and better for patients than classical approaches before I consider them.

Two major innovations in spine surgery over the last decade that meet my criteria are: minimally invasive surgeries and disc replacement. Both are commonly used and have a track record of providing benefits for suitable patients. I use both procedures in my practice after carefully screening patients to ensure that they’ll benefit from the new approach.

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Topics: Spine

Most Common Types of Spine Surgery

Posted by Michal Szczodry, MD on January 5, 2017

For many patients who are experiencing pain or discomfort from a spinal condition, spine surgery can be an excellent option to relieve pain and return to every day activities.

Before having surgery, patients must be properly qualified by an experienced orthopedic spine surgeon and fully informed of their treatment options. Any surgery can be scary, and knowing the facts is an important step on the road to recovery. 

Here, I’ll describe the most common types of spine surgery

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Topics: Spine

10 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Spine Surgery

Posted by Michal Szczodry, MD on November 30, 2016

The prospect of any surgery can be scary for patients, and that’s especially true for spine surgery. Patients wonder whether surgery will negatively impact their mobility, increase their pain or require a long recovery.

What’s scary for patients, though, is routine for experienced orthopedic surgeons. We’re always developing new techniques to lower pain and enhance patients’ well-being.

Below, I’ll address patients’ 10 most frequently asked questions about spine surgery. You can also learn more about how to prepare for spinal surgery here.

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Topics: Spine