• A Look at Potential Complications of Scoliosis

    Patients are diagnosed with scoliosis when their spine doctors identify an abnormal side-to-side curvature. Normally, scoliosis doesn’t result in back pain or any other symptoms. However, some cases are severe enough to cause complications. For patients with severe spine problems , surgeons may recommend a spinal fusion to prevent complications.

    scoliosis treatment

    Nerve Compression

    When the vertebrae in the spine form abnormal curvatures, it is possible that the spine can exert pressure on nearby nerves. This nerve compression can result in complications. Typically, numbness and tingling indicate a problem with the nerves. This can manifest as numbness and tingling that extends down the legs. Patients might also suffer from back pain . In very severe cases, nerve compression in the back can result in the loss of bowel or bladder control. Men may sometimes develop erectile dysfunction from nerve compression.

    Cardiac and Thoracic Problems

    When the spine shifts out of its proper position , it can create problems for other structures of the body. For example, the abnormal curvatures can push the ribcage against the patient’s lungs, which can cause problems breathing normally. If the ribcage presses against the heart, the heart may have trouble pumping enough blood. Heart failure and lung problems such as infections like pneumonia are some of the serious complications of scoliosis.

    Psychological Complications

    When scoliosis is mild, it might not affect a person much in his or her daily life. In severe cases; however, scoliosis may cause palpable discrepancies in a person’s anatomy. The patient may notice that one shoulder and hip are higher than the joints on the opposing side. Clothes may hang asymmetrically. If the patient needs to wear a back brace, he or she might have to give up certain activities. For young people, in particular, scoliosis can lead to emotional problems like poor self-esteem and increased self-consciousness. If you or your child is experiencing psychological complications of scoliosis, a patient support group may help.

    The surgical team at Spine Institute of Nevada has extensive experience treating patients with scoliosis. If you have scoliosis and live near Las Vegas, you can contact our office at (702) 239-3787 to speak with a friendly representative. We offer both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options .

  • Your Guide to Recovering from Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

    Spine surgery was traditionally performed as open surgery, which meant a very long incision, a lengthy hospital stay, and a greater risk of complications. Now, patients often have the option of having minimally invasive surgery to correct their back problems. Although these procedures are minimally invasive, it’s still important for patients to become fully aware of what’s involved and what they can expect before making the decision to move forward with the operation.

    minimally invasive spine surgery

    Returning Home

    Each patient’s recovery time is subject to change, depending on factors like the patient’s overall health. However, patients undergoing minimally invasive surgery can expect a shorter stay in the hospital. As a general rule of thumb, minimally invasive procedures reduce the hospital stay by one-half . For example, the hospital stay for an open lumbar fusion is typically five to seven days. When this procedure is performed with minimally invasive techniques, patients might return home in two to three days.

    Managing Medications

    Once you’ve returned home, it’s important to manage your medications properly or enlist the help of a family member. Your doctor might ask that you take antibiotics to prevent an infection. You may also be started on blood thinners to reduce your risk of blood clots. And you can manage your pain with pain medication. If you find that your pain is not well controlled with your current medication regimen, call your doctor for guidance.

    Resuming Normal Activities

    You may begin physical therapy before you return home from the hospital. After you are discharged, it’s important to keep your physical therapy appointments to facilitate your recovery and help you resume your normal activities. Some patients might be fully recovered in as few as six weeks. Talk to your doctor about when you can begin driving, working, and lifting heavy objects again.

    Spine Institute of Nevada is a leader in minimally invasive procedures . Some of the minimally invasive surgeries we perform in Las Vegas include cervical discectomy, thoracic lateral fusion, lumbar microdiscectomy, and lumbar laminectomy—just to name a few. You can schedule a consult with a spine surgeon by contacting us at (702) 239-3787.

  • Reasons for Posterior Thoracic Fusions

    Spinal fusion is a type of spinal surgery that involves fusing two or more vertebrae together. The spine is divided into three regions: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. The cervical region is the upper back and the lumbar region is the lower back. This means that a thoracic spinal fusion is performed on the middle of the back. All types of spinal fusion surgeries are performed because the spine has become unstable. They are intended to prevent further complications, such as injuries to the spinal cord and nerves.

    Spinal Fusion Surgery At Spine Institute of Nevada

    Patients might undergo posterior thoracic fusions because of osteoporosis of the spine. Osteoporosis weakens the bones and can contribute to compression fractures. These fractures can destabilize the spine and require the patient to undergo thoracic spinal fusion. Other patients might need to have this spine surgery to treat injury to the spine or to prevent the abnormal curves caused by scoliosis from getting worse.

    Spine Institute of Nevada is a leading provider of minimally invasive surgery in Las Vegas, including posterior thoracic fusions to treat unstable spines . Call (702) 239-3787 to schedule a consultation with our board-certified spine surgeon.

  • What Are the Dangers of Ignoring Back Pain?

    In many cases, patients with fleeting cases of back pain will never need to see a spine surgeon. Back pain is often the result of spending a weekend gardening or helping a friend move furniture. But in some cases, back pain doesn’t go away by itself. Sometimes, it can persist, become worse, or perhaps even indicate a serious underlying spinal problem. Because of this, it’s best not to ignore your back pain. A spine doctor can let you know why you’re experiencing symptoms and point you in the direction of a full recovery.

    Dangers Of Ignoring Back Pain

    Your Symptoms Could Worsen

    One reason why it’s best not to ignore your back pain is that your condition could become worse. Going about your usual activities—which might include heavy lifting or spending hours in an office chair—can strain the soft tissues in your back further and complicate your problem. Eventually, you might even develop new symptoms to go along with your back pain. You might experience shooting pains that extend along your legs or arms, for example. This might be accompanied by muscle weakness, numbness, or tingling.

    You Might Require More Extensive Treatments

    Patients with back pain can often find sufficient relief of symptoms through conservative, nonsurgical treatment options. Spine doctors generally prefer that patients try nonsurgical options first before considering spine surgery. However, if you try to ignore your back pain, it is possible that you might require more extensive treatments later, which might include surgery. For instance, a herniated disc can get better with conservative treatment. If left untreated, it is possible for it to worsen. Rarely, this can cause permanent nerve damage, saddle anesthesia, and cauda equina syndrome.

    Pain Could Indicate a Serious Problem

    Lastly, it’s important not to ignore your back pain because it’s possible that it’s more than a mere muscle strain. Back pain could be caused by problems that require the attention of a spine surgeon, such as a compression fracture, cervical radiculopathy, or spondylolisthesis.

    Don’t delay getting a second opinion for your spine problems. Las Vegas area residents can visit Spine Institute of Nevada featuring Dr. Perry for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment recommendations. Call (702) 239-3787 or visit us online to learn more about our nonsurgical treatment options and minimally invasive surgeries.

  • 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.

  • Common Causes of Compression Fractures

    Compression fractures refer to the collapse of vertebral bodies, which are bones in the spine. The pain of compression fractures is often described as being “knife-like.” Although compression fractures can be debilitating, there are treatment options available to patients. A spine doctor will usually recommend non-surgical treatment options like rest and medications first, followed by spine surgery if the symptoms do not get better.

    Spinal Compression Fracture

    Loss of Bone Mass

    The loss of bone mass does not immediately cause a compression fracture, but it can predispose the bone to sustaining fractures when introduced to trauma. Osteoporosis is among the most common conditions associated with older age. It can affect both men and women. It occurs when the body breaks down more bone mass than it creates. Certain factors can exacerbate osteoporosis, such as the lack of sufficient calcium and vitamin D in one’s diet and the lack of weight-bearing exercises to keep the bones strong. As osteoporosis progresses, the bones continue to become more brittle and weak.

    Triggers of Vertebral Fractures

    Very brittle, weak bones may develop fractures from even slight trauma. Sometimes, this can occur when a person bends to lift a heavy object or trips on the stairs and falls. These trigger events can easily cause other types of fractures, such as hip fractures, in addition to compression fractures of the vertebrae. In some cases, a fall isn’t necessary to break a bone. A patient with advanced osteoporosis may trigger a compression fracture simply by sneezing or coughing.

    Incidents of Acute Trauma

    Although compression fractures are commonly associated with patients who are of advanced age, a person of any age can sustain these spinal injuries due to traumatic injuries. The force of the impact of a car crash or a fall from an elevated position may be sufficient to cause a spinal fracture.

    Spine Institute of Nevada specializes in minimally invasive spine care , including the surgical treatment of compression fractures. To find out if you could be a good candidate for spine surgery, schedule a consult with our spine surgeon in Las Vegas today. Contact us at (702) 239-3787 to get started.