Eliminating Back Pain
The unique structure of the spinal column allows normal body movement such as bending, twisting, standing, sitting, etc. There are 24 vertebrae in the spinal column with cushioning pads called discs between the vertebrae to allow spine movement and absorb pressure.
One of the most common causes of back pain is the displacement or herniation of the disc, typically caused by improper lifting, a fall or sudden twisting. Other spinal disorders include abnormal curvatures such as scoliosis or kyphosis, weakness of the spine caused by infections or tumors, injuries to the spinal vertebrae, and spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal caused by the wear-and-tear effects of aging.
Surgical procedures performed by St. Mary’s Medical Center:
Disc repair. Designed to relieve the pressure placed on the nerves in the spinal cord by a herniated or protruding disc, this procedure involves removing a portion of bone and ligament overlying the nerve roots and removing the displaced disc material.
Spinal fusion. This procedure is a “welding” process by which two or more of the vertebrae are fused together with bone grafts and metal rods to heal into a single bone. This surgery eliminates motion between vertebrae segments, relieving the pain caused by motion. It also stops the progress of spinal deformities such as scoliosis.
Laminectomy. This procedure for spinal stenosis involves removing the bone and soft tissue that are pinching the nerves within the spinal column.
Kyphoplasty. A minimally invasive surgical procedure, kyphoplasty is used to treat painful progressive vertebral body collapse caused by osteoporosis or the spread of a tumor to the vertebral body. The procedure involves the use of a balloon to restore the vertebral body height and shape, followed by bone cement to strengthen it.
Restoring Function & Pain Management
Physicians such as Dr. Robert Frazho who specialize in this field of medicine are called Physiatrists. Physiatrists focus on restoring function, and provide integrated care in the treatment of all neurologic and musculoskeletal disabilities from traumatic brain injury to lower back pain. Dr. Frazho treats people who have experienced catastrophic events resulting in paraplegia, quadriplegia, or traumatic brain injury and individuals who have had strokes, orthopaedic injuries or neurologic disorders such as multiple sclerosis, polio or ALS.
In addition to specializing in electromyography (EMG), a diagnostic test for nerve and muscle disorders, Dr. Frazho performs epidurals, facet blocks, radiofrequency ablation, percuntaneous microdisectomys, sacroiliac injections, and discography. These procedures offer patients comfort and optimal recovery time.