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Spine

Normal Anatomy of the Spine

Find out more in this web based movie.

Conditions

Back Pain

Back pain is often a common symptom of many disease conditions which range from simple or dull pain to sudden and sharp pain. If the pain persists for few days, it is an acute pain; whereas if the pain continues for more than 3 months, it is an considered as chronic pain. In most cases, back pain may resolve without any treatment, but incase if persists for more than 3 days, a medical intervention is necessary.

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Neck Pain

The first 7 vertebral bones on the spinal column form the cervical spine and are located in the neck region. The neck bears the weight of the head, allows significant amount of movement, and also less protected than other parts of spine. All these factors make the neck more susceptible to injury or other painful disorders. Common neck pain may occur from muscle strain or tension in everyday activities including poor posture, prolonged use of a computer and sleeping in an uncomfortable position.

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Spine Trauma

Spine trauma is damage to the spine due to a sudden traumatic injury caused by an accidental fall or any other physical injury. Spinal injuries may occur while playing, performing normal activities, operating heavy machines, lifting heavy objects, driving automobiles, or when you suffer a fall. Injury to spine may cause various conditions including fractures, dislocation, partial misalignment (subluxation), disc compression (herniated disc), hematoma (accumulation of blood) and partial or complete tears of ligaments.

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Vertebral Fractures

Vertebral compression fractures occur when the normal vertebral body of the spine is squeezed or compressed. The bone collapses when too much pressure is placed on the vertebrae, resulting in pain, limited mobility, loss of height, and spinal deformities. In severe compression fractures the vertebral body is pushed into the spinal canal which will apply pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

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Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is the compression of spinal nerves caused by narrowing of spinal canal and it is one of the common causes of low back pain.

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Sciatica

Sciatica is a painful condition caused by the irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in our bodies. It begins in the lower back and extends through the buttocks down the back of each leg to the thighs and feet.

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Ankylosing Spondylitis

The term ankylosis stands for loss of mobility of the spine, whereas spondylitis means inflammation of the spine. Therefore, ankylosing spondylitis is a condition where chronic inflammation of spine and sacroiliac joint, results in complete fusion of the vertebrae leading to pain and stiffness in the spine. Sacroiliac joints are present in the lower back where the sacrum part of the vertebrae joins the iliac bones.

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Degenerative Disc Disease

The term ankylosis stands for loss of mobility of the spine, whereas spondylitis means inflammation of the spine. Therefore, ankylosing spondylitis is a condition where chronic inflammation of spine and sacroiliac joint, results in complete fusion of the vertebrae leading to pain and stiffness in the spine. Sacroiliac joints are present in the lower back where the sacrum part of the vertebrae joins the iliac bones.

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Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is the displacement of vertebral disc from the spinal column. Outward (forward) displacement is termed as anterolisthesis and inward (backward) displacement is termed as retrolisthesis. This condition is often preceded by spondylolysis, a degenerative condition of the vertebra.

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Scoliosis

Scoliosis can occur at any age and is seen more frequently in girls than boys. It curves like an “S” or “C” shape. Larger curves cause discomfort while the small curves do not cause any problems.

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Herniated Disc

Scoliosis can occur at any age and is seen more frequently in girls than boys. It curves like an “S” or “C” shape. Larger curves cause discomfort while the small curves do not cause any problems.

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Kyphosis

Kyphosis is a condition of abnormal curvature of the spine that causes rounding of the upper back or a hunchback. The thoracic portion of the spine normally has a “C”-shaped curve, but excessive forward curve in the spine leads to kyphosis.

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Procedures

Spinal Deformity Surgery

The Spine or backbone provides stability to the upper part of our body. It helps to hold the body upright. It consists of several irregularly shaped bones, called vertebrae appearing in a straight line. The spine has two gentle curves, when looked from the side and appears to be straight when viewed from the front. When these curves are exaggerated, pronounced problems can occur such as back pain, breathing difficulties and fatigue and the condition will be considered as deformity. Spine deformity can be defined as abnormality in the shape, curvature and flexibility of spine.

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Spine Injections

Spine injection is a nonsurgical treatment modality recommended for treatment of chronic back pain. Injection of certain medicinal agents relieves pain by blocking the nerve signals between specific areas of the body and the brain. The treatment approach involves injections of local anesthetics, steroids, or narcotics into the affected soft tissues, joints, or nerve roots. It may also involve complex nerve blocks and spinal cord stimulation.

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Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion is the surgical technique of combining two or more vertebrae. Fusion of the vertebrae involves insertion of secondary bone tissue obtained either through auto graft (tissues from the same patient) or allograft (tissues from the other person) to augment the bone healing process.

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Endoscopic Discectomy

Endoscopic Discectomy is a minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of herniated disc, lower back and leg pain. The aim of surgery is to remove the herniated disc which is exerting excessive pressure on the spinal nerves to relieve the patient’s lower back and leg pain.

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Spinal Nerve Block

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Trigger Point Injections

Trigger point injection (TPI) are used to treat intense pain in the muscles containing trigger points. Trigger points are tight bands or knots that are formed when the muscle fails to relax after the contraction. A trigger point may also cause referred pain (pain in another part of the body) by irritating the adjacent nerves.

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Kyphoplasty

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used for the management of compression fractures in the spine caused by weakened bones.

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Spinal Neurostimulation

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Vertebroplasty

Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to treat vertebral compression fractures caused by weakened bones.

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Interactive web based movies (click on the desired topic to find out more)

Click on the topics below to find out more from the Orthopaedic connection website of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

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