Broken Bones and Injuries
Fracture of the thoracic and lumbar spine
Herniated disc is a medical condition affecting the spine in which the inner central portion (nucleus pulposus) of the spinal disc is forced outthrough a tear in the outer, fibrous ring (annulus fibrosus) of an intervertebral disc. Herniated disc is also known as a bulging disc, ruptured disc or slipped disc.
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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 a 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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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.
Neck Strains and Sprains
The neck is the most flexible part of the spine and supports the weight of the head. The unique anatomical structure of the cervical vertebrae allows free movement of the head. The neck is also composed of muscles and ligaments. Any excessive stress on the ligament and muscles may injure or damage them.
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Lumbar 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. Spinal stenosis can also affect the spine in neck region. The symptoms include back pain, burning or aching type of pain in buttocks that radiates to the legs (sciatica), weakness in the legs or “foot drop”. One of the causes for spinal stenosis is the ageing and other causes include Paget’s disease, achondroplasia, spinal tumors and spinal injuries. As age advances the chances of developing osteoarthritis, disc degeneration and thickening of ligaments may increase and these conditions cause spinal stenosis.
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Cervical radiculopathy, commonly known as a “pinched” nerve, is caused by an injury to the root of a spinal nerve. It is characterized by neck pain that radiates to the shoulder and arms. As we grow older, the spinal discs degenerate, bulge and lose height. The intervertebral disc collapses and the vertebrae come closer to one another forming bone spurs and causing stiffness of the spine. The bone spurs constrict the foramen and compress the nerve root. If these changes are secondary to ageing, the condition is referred to as arthritis or spondylosis. The other disorders that can cause radiculopathy are herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, bony outgrowths and thickening of spinal ligaments.
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Spondylosis refers to the degenerative changes in the spine that may cause loss of the normal spinal structure and function. Spondylosis can occur in the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), or lumbar (low back) regions of the spine. It is also known as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease.
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Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy
Myelopathy is a term used to refer diseases that affect the spinal canal. Some of the common myelopathy diseases include carcinomatous myelopathy (degeneration of spinal cord associated with cancer), compressive myelopathy (changes in the spine because of pressure from hematomas or masses), and radiation myelopathy (spine destruction because of X-ray therapy).
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Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS)
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS) uses the latest advanced technology to treat back pain and neck pain caused by a variety of spinal conditions. Special surgical instruments, devices and advanced imaging techniques are used to visualize and perform the surgery through small incisions. The aim of MISS is to minimize damage to the muscles and surrounding structures enabling faster recovery and less pain.
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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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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.
Click on the topics below to find out more from the Orthopaedic connection website of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
- Cauda equina syndrome
- Fracture of the thoracic and lumbar spine
- Herniated Disk
- IDET (Intradiscal Electrothermal Annuloplasty)
- Kids and Backpacks
- Kyphosis (Curvature of the Spine)
- Scoliosis in Children and Adolescents
- Spinal fusion
- Spinal Stenosis
- Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis
- The Spine