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Lumbar Spine Anatomy 101

Posted by Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants on December 5, 2017

In this post, we'll cover the basics of lumbar spine anatomy. The lumbar spine is in the lower back (whereas the cervical spine anatomy refers to the neck region).

This curved part of the spine helps support and move the body, and is made up of interlocking bones called vertebrae, ligaments and nerves. 

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Topics: Spine, Back

Three Neck Pain Causes and Treatments

Posted by Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants on November 27, 2017

Determining which of the neck pain causes is involved is the first step to establishing an effective treatment plan.

Treatment for problems affecting the neck – or cervical spine – range from rest and over-the-counter medication to spinal surgery. It’s best to work closely with an experienced orthopedic specialist to build a customized course of treatment.

This blog describes three neck pain causes – herniated disc, spinal stenosis and cervical spondylotic myelopathy – as well as treatment options. You can learn more about 

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Topics: Spine, Neck

Do You Need Surgery for Neck Pain?

Posted by Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants on November 20, 2017

Neck pain can sometimes be treated using non-surgical methods, such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and steroid injections. But some problems are serious enough to require surgery for neck pain. Herniated discs and cervical spondylotic myelopathy are two conditions that often result in the need for cervical spine / neck surgery.

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Topics: Spine, Neck

Spinal Stenosis vs. Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy

Posted by Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants on November 13, 2017

Many different conditions can affect the cervical spine, or the neck. Some factors that may cause neck problems are age, lifestyle, work, diet and your genetics. Different conditions may require different treatments — from rest to physical therapy to spinal surgery. This blog covers the differences between two of the common problems orthopedic specialists find in the cervical spine: spinal stenosis and cervical spondylotic myelopathy.

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Topics: Spine

Treating Common Problems of the Cervical Spine

Posted by Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants on November 6, 2017

Many different problems can affect the neck — or cervical spine — especially with age. Treatment for neck conditions can range from a conservative approach that involves rest and over-the-counter medication to spinal surgery. Neck conditions may occur with age, trauma or disease, or a combination of factors. This blog describes common cervical spine conditions and how they are treated. 

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Topics: Spine

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