• How Smaller Incisions Are Changing Spine Surgery Recovery

    Minimally invasive surgery is the method of choice for spine surgeons. With minimally invasive techniques, the spine surgeon creates a series of smaller incisions instead of one very large incision. Then, he or she can insert tiny, specialized instruments to perform the procedure. There are a number of benefits patients can enjoy with minimally invasive techniques. You can find out about them by watching this video.

    This video features a spine surgeon, who demonstrates the size differences of the open incision versus the incisions for minimally invasive surgery. He explains that with minimally invasive procedures, patients can experience less pain, get back to their normal activities more quickly, and return home from the hospital more quickly.

    At Spine Institute of Nevada, we perform sophisticated outpatient spinal surgery using minimally invasive surgery techniques for our patients in Las Vegas. Call (702) 239-3787 to request a consultation with our spine surgeon.

  • Can Scoliosis Be Prevented?

    Patients with scoliosis have abnormal curvatures of the spine. These abnormal curvatures typically appear in adolescence, although some older adults develop different forms of scoliosis. Unfortunately, it is not currently possible to prevent scoliosis from occurring. Instead, spine surgeons focus on preventing the condition from growing progressively worse. They also emphasize the prevention of complications related to scoliosis. This is accomplished through early detection efforts and aggressive management of the condition when needed.

    Spinal Scoliosis Prevention at Spine Institute of Nevada

    Early Detection of Scoliosis

    It is standard for school nurses across the country to conduct brief screening exams for abnormal spinal curves . If scoliosis is not detected during these exams, it is usually found during a routine appointment with a pediatrician. When a school nurse or pediatrician expresses concerns about a child’s spinal development, that family will usually be referred to a spine doctor for further evaluation of possible spinal deformities. Adults might not have the benefit of spinal screenings, but they can still support the early detection of scoliosis by bringing their unusual symptoms to the attention of their doctors. Adult-onset scoliosis might be accompanied by low back pain and stiffness, and shooting pains, cramping, numbness, and weakness down the legs.

    Nonsurgical Management of Scoliosis

    Detecting and managing the problem early can help prevent the abnormal curvatures from getting worse. Children with mild curves may be monitored regularly by the spine doctor. Those with moderate scoliosis might be good candidates for spinal bracing, which can help prevent the progression of the abnormal curvature.

    Surgical Options for Scoliosis Patients

    For patients with severe scoliosis, surgery may be the only way to prevent further progression and to prevent possible complications. Spinal surgery can help decrease the degree of the abnormal curve, although it might not entirely correct it. Surgery also involves stabilizing the spine, such as by fusing two or more vertebrae together. This prevents movement between the vertebrae and consequently prevents the curvature from growing worse.

    At Spine Institute of Nevada, you’ll find a continuum of care-from diagnostics to treatment to follow-up care. If you require spine surgery in the Las Vegas area for scoliosis management, you can call us at (702) 239-3787 to schedule a comprehensive evaluation with our board-certified spinal surgery specialist. Visit us online if you would like to read more about your diagnosis .

  • Comparing Scoliosis in Children and Adults

    The spine naturally curves inward and outward. However, in some patients, the spine also curves from side to side. This condition is known as scoliosis . The degree of scoliosis can vary considerably from patient to patient. For some patients, scoliosis may be little more than a minor nuisance. Others might require spinal fusion surgery to prevent the problem from becoming worse.

    Scoliosis in Children & Adults Nevada

    Scoliosis in Children

    Scoliosis is most often diagnosed in children and adolescents. It is typical for the patient to not notice anything unusual. Instead, the abnormal curvature of the spine may be detected during a routine physical exam. Much of the time, children are diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis, which simply means that the cause cannot be determined. In other cases, this spinal deformity may be the result of an infection, injury, or neuromuscular disease. One major difference between this condition being present in children versus in adults is that a child’s skeletal structure is still developing. If the curvature remains mild, a spinal surgeon may recommend re-examining the curve every few months. Patients with moderate spinal curvature might need to wear a back brace to prevent the curve from progressing. Children and adolescents with severe curvatures or those that are still progressing might need surgery.

    Scoliosis in Adults

    Adults may be affected by adult idiopathic scoliosis or degenerative scoliosis. The first type is diagnosed in adults who were first found to have scoliosis as children. Those who had curves greater than 50 degrees may be more likely to experience a continuation of the abnormal curvature into adulthood. The other type, degenerative scoliosis, first begins in adulthood. It’s more common among people older than 65 years of age and it’s caused by the degeneration of the facet joints of the spine. As the facet joints deteriorate, they begin to shift, which allows the spine to curve abnormally from side to side. Generally, degenerative scoliosis is initially treated with ongoing monitoring, braces, and nerve block injections. If these options fail and the patient experiences functional problems from the condition, then surgery may be considered.

    At Spine Institute of Nevada , you’ll find a comprehensive range of solutions for patients with spinal deformities in the Las Vegas area. Our spine surgeon performs minimally invasive procedures such as spinal fusions. New and current patients can reach a friendly staff member at (702) 239-3787.

  • A Look at Kyphoplasty Procedures

    Kyphoplasty is a type of minimally invasive surgery that can be performed on a fractured vertebral body. Usually, spine surgeons will recommend conservative treatment first, such as rest and pain medications. If the patient still experiences symptoms, then the surgeon may use a balloon tamp device to inflate the fractured vertebral body. Once it is inflated, the surgeon can inject bone cement to restore the vertebra and prevent future fractures.

    You can hear more about kyphoplasty by watching this animation. It also discusses how compression fractures can occur and how a surgeon might perform a vertebroplasty to correct vertebral fractures.

    If you’ve been experiencing spine problems and live in the Las Vegas area, call Spine Institute of Nevada to find out if you could be a good candidate for minimally invasive surgery . You can reach us at (702) 239-3787 or visit us online for more information on vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty procedures .

  • Preparing for Minimally Invasive Surgery

    Minimally invasive surgery is associated with a reduced risk of complications and a faster recovery time than conventional open surgery. However, it’s still necessary to follow your spine surgeon’s pre- and post-operative instructions carefully. When you meet with the spine surgeon , you may be asked to undergo a physical exam and have some imaging studies performed, such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

    Give the spine doctor the details of your medical history, including other medical conditions you have and any drugs or supplements you take. Certain drugs might need to be discontinued for a period of time prior to the surgery. In general, patients are asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight before the appointment. If you develop a cold or other infection before your surgery, call the clinic and ask if your surgery needs to be rescheduled.

    When you become a patient at Spine Institute of Nevada, you’ll receive all the information you need to make an informed decision regarding your spine surgery at our Las Vegas facility. Contact us at (702) 239-3787 or visit us online for a list of minimally invasive procedures we offer.