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A Patient’s Guide to Cervical Foraminotomy

Introduction

Foraminotomy is a surgical procedure for widening the area where the spinal nerve roots exit the spinal column. A foramen is the opening around the nerve root, and otomy refers to the medical procedure for enlarging the opening. In this procedure, surgeons widen the passageway to relieve pressure where the spinal nerve […]

A Patient’s Guide to Thoracic Spine Anatomy

Introduction

The section of the spine found in the upper back is called the thoracic spine. It goes from the base of the neck to the bottom of the rib cage. Knowing the main parts of the thoracic spine and how these parts work is important as you learn to care for your back problem.

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Patient’s Guide to Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Introduction

Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) is a procedure used to treat problems such as disc degeneration, disc herniation, and spine instability. In this procedure, the surgeon works on the spine from the back (the posterior) and removes a spinal disc in the lower (lumbar) spine. The surgeon inserts bone graft material into the space […]

A Patient’s Guide to Lumbar Facet Joint Arthritis

Introduction

Arthritis of the lumbar facet joints can be a source of significant low back pain. Aligned on the back of the spinal column, the facet joints link each vertebra together. Articular cartilage covers the surfaces where these joints meet. Like other joints in the body that are covered with articular cartilage, the lumbar facet […]

A Patient’s Guide to Low Back Pain

Introduction

Low back pain is one of the main reasons Americans visit their doctor. For adults over 40, it ranks third as a cause for doctor visits, after heart disease and arthritis.

Eighty percent of people will have low back pain at some point in their lives. And nearly everyone who has low back pain […]

A Patient’s Guide to Anterior Lumbar Fusion with Cages

Introduction

Anterior lumbar fusion is an operation done on the front (the anterior region) of the lower spine. Fusion surgery helps two or more bones grow together into one solid bone. Fusion cages are new devices, essentially hollow screws filled with bone graft, that help the bones of the spine heal together firmly. Surgeons use […]

A Patient’s Guide to Neck Pain

Introduction

Neck pain is a common reason people visit their doctor. Neck pain typically doesn’t start from a single injury. Instead, the problem usually develops over time from the stress and strain of daily activities. Eventually, the parts of the spine begin to degenerate. The degeneration can become a source of neck pain.

Knowing how […]

A Patient’s Guide to Cervical Spine Anatomy

Introduction

Knowing the main parts of your neck and how these parts work is important as you learn to care for your neck problem.

Two common anatomic terms are useful as they relate to the neck. The term anterior refers to the front of the neck. The term posterior refers to the back of the […]