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SPINE

 

Genetic disorders, age, illness, sports or traumatic injuries often leave otherwise healthy individuals with limited range of motion, mild to severe pain, even permanent paralysis.

Through advanced technology and experience, Goodman Campbell specialists are finding effective new surgical and non-surgical ways to care for the spine. As neurosurgeons, we are have a unique understanding of how the spine relates to the rest of the nervous system.

Check out the videos and diagrams in our Neuropedia for an even better understanding of spine-related conditions, treatments and anatomy, as well as further insights into back and neck pain.

 

Why choose a brain surgeon for your back and neck pain? 

Spine Model

 

 Looking at the picture above, you can see the yellow strands that are 
coming through the white bony parts of the spine, the vertebrae.  These yellow strands are nerves that are attached to the spinal cord which is contained within the spinal column. Only neurosurgeons have the advanced medical training to understand how the brain, spine and nervous system (your nerves) are all connected together and function as a whole.  Working on the spine is more than just working on the bones of the spine.  You need a doctor who understands the nerves that are part of your spine.  Trust a neurosurgeon to provide care for your back and neck pain.


 

 

common questions

SO, DO NEUROSURGEONS WORK ON THE SPINE, TOO?

Yes, we do treat the spine, in addition to the brain and nervous system. While other specialists may treat back and neck pain, they primarily focus on the structural aspects of the spine, such as the bones that make up the spine or the muscles that surround it. Neurosurgeons have the advanced training to understand the delicate role that nerves play in your body. Your nerves begin at your spine and radiate outward in a complex web to provide important messages back to your brain (e.g. if a touch feels good or is painful). Treatment from a neurosurgeon is especially important if you have any weakness or numbness anywhere in your body because nerve damage is likely the reason.

 

WHO ELSE DELIVERS SPINE CARE?

A team of 35 Goodman Campbell neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, and physiatrists provide care for our spine patients. Five physicians further specialize in treating the most complex spinal disorders and injuries.

 

WHAT MAKES UP THE SPINE?

The spine consists of 24 vertebrae with discs (a gel-like substance) that separate the vertebrae to provide shock absorption and protection. The spine also includes the sacrum and the coccyx. The sacrum is the large triangular bone at the base of the spine that helps to form the pelvis. The coccyx is also known as the "tailbone" and is the last part of the spinal column.

 

WHY DO I HAVE BACK OR NECK PAIN?

There are many causes of back and neck pain. Sometimes the cause can be muscular and over the counter medications and rest can heal the injury. Other times, the nerves are involved, especially if the gel-like material between the vertebrae "slips" or bulges out and touches the nerves surrounding it. If simple treatments are not providing you with relief, or if you experience tingling or numbness anywhere on your body, make an appointment with your family doctor and see if a referral to a neurosurgeon is appropriate.

 

ARE THERE NON-SURGICAL SOLUTIONS TO SPINAL DISORDERS AND INJURIES?

Our comprehensive spine care program includes the following non-surgical treatments: physiatry, spine traction, therapeutic injections and referrals to physical therapy in the community you live. As always, our physicians will thoroughly assess each patient's condition and discuss all available treatment options.

 

CAN MASSAGE HELP MY BACK OR NECK PAIN?

Massage may help your back pain by loosening up stiff muscles in the back that might be in spasm. If massage does not provide any relief or fails to provide long-term relief you should ask your doctor if a referral to a neurosurgeon is appropriate.

 

CAN I GET THE SAME RELIEF FROM A CHIROPRACTOR
THAT I CAN GET FROM A NEUROSURGEON?

Visits to a chiropractor can provide relief to some patients, especially if the cause of the pain is structural (bones) or muscular. If you do not have pain relief after a few visits, talk to your chiropractor or family physician about a referral to a neurosurgeon.



WHEN IT COMES TO BACK AND NECK PAIN, DON'T ORTHOPEDIC
SURGEONS AND NEUROSURGEONS DO THE EXACT SAME THING?

While it is true that orthopedic surgeons treat back and neck pain, this specialty approaches the spine from a different perspective than a neurosurgeon.  Certainly the spine is made up of many bones, which is what an orthopedic surgeon treats: bones.  But the spine also contains the spinal cord, which connects to the brain.  And all nerves in the body connect to the spinal cord.  A neurosurgeon focuses on the brain, spine and nervous system so understands how these all function together. Neurosurgeons are the only medical specialist that receives advanced medical training (over 7 years beyond medical school) to understand how your back and neck pain is likely caused by more than just your bones.

 Goodman Campbell physicians work closely with orthopedic surgeons in the community.  In fact, we receive many referrals from orthopedic surgeons when a spine problem ends up being due to a nerve issue or a tumor.  Goodman Campbell employs five neurosurgeons who specialize in the most complex spine conditions and injuries. They cover spine trauma at the city's busiest emergency departments: Methodist Hospital, Wishard Hospital and St. Vincent Hospital 86th St. campus

WHAT TYPE OF SURGICAL TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE?

Our expertise lies in the treatment of traumatic injuries, spinal tumors, degenerative disease, scoliosis, sports injuries, and disc disease. The most advanced surgical technology and procedures are available to our patients, including: 

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery:
Percutaneous discectomy, percutaneous fusion, percutaneous instrumentation, spinal decompression

Tumor Removal and Stabilization:
Surgical removal and stabilization of tumors with a focused beam of radiation

Spine Trauma Surgery:
Stabilization and repair of traumatic spinal injuries

Kyphoplasty:
Treatment to restore height and shape to vertebral body and strengthen with bone cement

Artificial Disc Replacement:
Advanced treatment to replace degenerative discs

 

To find out more about comprehensive spine care or to schedule an appointment, please call us to be seen at the location closest to you or at a hospital affiliated with your insurance plan.

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