Scoliosis – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Scoliosis is an abnormal curve of the spine. The curve can vary in location and severity. The causes of scoliosis are unknown. While most common in young women ages 9 to 15, presenting as an S-shaped curve of the spine, there are many types of scoliosis that can affect others age groups as well.
+ Scoliosis before birth: Congenital Scoliosis
+ Scoliosis in young children: Early Onset Scoliosis
+ Scoliosis in older children/teenagers: Adolescent/Idiopathic Scoliosis
+ Scoliosis in Adults: Degenerative Scoliosis

There are different types of scoliosis curvatures such as kyphoscoliosis (outward and lateral spine curvature), dextroscoliosis (curvature of the spine to the right), rotoscoliosis (curvature of the vertebral column on the axis), levoconvex (curvature of the spine to the left), and thoracolumbar (curvature in both thoracic and lumbar regions).

Some patients with scoliosis may be asymptomatic (no painful symptoms), and others may have chronic back pain and/or symptoms such as leg pain or numbness due to nerve compression as a result of the scoliosis. These symptoms can affect your activities of daily living.

Treatment depends on the type, severity and location of the curve and can range from observation and/or brace to surgery. Patients with Degenerative Scoliosis in the thoracolumbar region with pain radiating to their legs may be a candidate for lumbar fusion (an operation that results in vertebrae in the lower back to grow together, reducing pressure on nerves). Given the intricacies of the surgery, it may be performed by an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon. While there is no cure for scoliosis, treatment can reduce symptoms and prognosis is good, particularly if diagnosed and treated early.

Interested in learning more or seeking treatment for back pain, a spine doctor at Miami Back and Neck Specialists can support you in taking next steps in protecting your back and minimizing any pain. Contact us at 305-901-1511 or today for a free evaluation with a board-certified specialist and develop your individualized plan.

Know the Signs of Spinal Cancer

What is spinal cancer?
Cancer is an uncontrolled overgrowth of cells that can occur anywhere in the body. Spinal cancer occurs when cells in the spine–nerves, bone, fluid, or connective tissue–begin to overgrow in this way. Most back pain isn’t related to spinal cancer, but being informed of the signs can help you get early, effective treatment.

When to seek treatment
Spinal cancer is easy to mistake for other types of back problems, which is why it’s important to make an appointment with a spine doctor right away if you are experiencing persistent back, neck, or shoulder pain that worsens at night and is unrelated to physical activity, especially if it’s accompanied by nausea or vomiting.

What a spinal cancer diagnosis means for you
If your doctor suspects spinal cancer, they will probably order an MRI, CT scan, or biopsy in order to confirm the diagnosis and decide on the best course of treatment. Spinal cancer is treatable, and treatment often focuses on managing pain as well as controlling the growth of cancer.

Best available spinal cancer treatments
Spinal cancer is usually treated with a combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Miami Back Specialists can help you receive a diagnosis and achieve your treatment goals for spinal cancer and other back and spine conditions.

The Vast World of Spine Surgery

Are you dealing with any problems that relate to your back? Is a problematic spine making your daily life practically unbearable? If so, it may be the right time to learn all about big changes and improvements that are taking place in the spine surgery world. Spine surgery can do wonders for people who suffer from severe and incessant back pain.

Spine Surgery Advancements
Spine surgery is something that’s constantly evolving. Researchers are always trying to come up with fresh and in-depth solutions to all kinds of spine surgery concerns and needs. Lateral access techniques are a big part of the newest wave of spinal surgery practices. These techniques can do a lot for people who appreciate options that are markedly less invasive. Other big focal points for the spine surgery world are instrumentation and implant materials, image guidance technology, growth tethers, disc regeneration treatment, biologic treatment and bone morphogenic protein. These things all serve different functions and purposes. Bone morphogenic protein can help with spine fusions. It can be suitable for situations that involve extensive comorbidities. Image guidance technology, on the other hand, can be superb for revision purposes of all varieties.

Contact Us Right Now
Are you looking for a great spine doctor? Get in contact with Miami Back Specialists as soon as possible. We specialize in all kinds of treatments for backaches. We want to help you reclaim your happiness and comfort as soon as possible. Our phone number is 305-901-1511

Understanding Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition that will eventually affect most men and women, although its physical effects may not be the same in every person. The treatment of spinal stenosis is one of the medical services available from Miami Back Specialists.

Understanding the Spinal Cord
The spinal column extends the length of our backs and allows us to stand, walk and generally move about. The column itself is comprised of more than 30 bones, known as vertebra, through which runs the spinal cord. An important element of the central nervous system, the spinal cord carries signals from the brain, making possible the normal functioning of the body.

The Causes and Effects of Spinal Stenosis

The condition can affect anyone and may result from a traumatic injury or the development of a tumor in the spine. It can also occur if the tissue between the bone, known as a disk, becomes herniated. However, it normally begins to develop after the age of 50 and is related to the general effects of “wear and tear” on the body. The narrowing of the spaces in the bone will eventually begin will impose pressure on the spinal column. The effects of this pressure translate into the condition known as spinal stenosis. Some of those with the condition may not have developed obvious symptoms. Others may experience neck or back pain, numbness in the extremities and muscle weakness. Spinal stenosis may occasionally affect the functioning of the bladder and digestive system.

Treating Spinal Stenosis
In addition to recognizing the symptoms, doctors can usually detect spinal stenosis through internal imaging techniques, including MRI scans. The condition can in some cases be treated with medications or through physical therapy. In other cases, surgery may be needed to increase the space in the bones. A spine doctor can help determine the nature of the problem and help the patient decide on the best course of action. Our team of doctors and pain specialists offer a variety of treatment options for spinal stenosis and other back problems. Contact us at 305-901-1511 for a free consultation.

Myths About Spine Surgery

Spine surgery has changed drastically in the past decade and Dr. Brusovanik has been at the forefront of the most innovative techniques in minimally invasive spine surgery. With the use of these new methods, Dr. Brusovanik’s patients are walking the night of their spine surgery and rarely need physical therapy after surgery. His patients’ great outcomes are achieved because Dr. Brusovanik is very selective with who he does surgery on. Patients first try conservative therapies and only after those options have failed does Dr. Brusovanik consider surgery. He also performs diagnostic injections that aid in determining the level in the spine that is causing the pain. With the aid of a detailed history, comprehensive physical exam, studying the patient’s imaging and these diagnostic injections; Dr. Brusovanik is able to perform the most appropriate procedure that will yield the greatest outcome.

Furthermore, the use of the minimally invasive technique results in no muscle injury and the smallest incisions. This leads to a faster recovery and Dr. Brusovanik’s patients are never required to wear a brace or placed on bed rest.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It is occurs when there is inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot called the plantar fascia. This band of tissue connects the heel bone to the toes.

It is common for patients with spine issue to present with a similar pattern of pain. As the nerves exit the spinal cord, they innervate different muscle groups, each nerve follows a distinct pattern down the extremities. The pathway for the S1 nerve is down the back of the leg to the heel of the foot. Patients may feel this heel pain and it can be confused with plantar fasciitis. It is important to distinguish the two by obtaining a proper history, physical exam and diagnostic imaging.

What to expect with an Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion with Percutaneous Posterior Stabilization (ALIF/PSF):

The purpose of an ALIF/PSF is to fuse the segment in the lumbar spine that is causing pain with movement, if those segments are indeed degenerative. The idea behind the fusion is that stopping movement at that segment will no longer cause pain. Prior to surgery, proving that pain is coming from a specific level is usually confirmed with injections.

An ALIF/PSF (CPT code: 22558) is usually done for the last 2 levels in the lumbar spine, L4-5 or L5-S1. A vascular surgeon does the exposure for Dr. Brusovanik and accessing the spine from the front of the abdomen just below the navel. Once the spine is exposed the disc is removed and an interbody with bone graft is placed in the disc space. The incision is then cleaned and closed using a plastic surgery technique. Over the next few months, bone grows in the disc space connecting the two vertebrae causing a fusion.

The patient is then turned onto his/her stomach; small incisions are made in the back where the screws are passed through the muscle planes. This technique prevents muscle injury. Screws are inserted into both sides of each vertebrae (above and below) the disc space being fused. Rods are then placed on each side to connect the screws, stopping any movement at the painful level.

Patients are encouraged to walk the same night of surgery and are kept in the hospital for 1-2 nights. Patients are able to perform their daily activities once they are discharged home. They are able to go back to work within 1-2 weeks. Patients with labor intensive work can return in 3-4 weeks.

Getting an Epidural Injection

At Miami Back Specialists we specialize in all kinds of treatments for backaches. We want to help you reclaim your happiness and comfort as soon as possible.

A common question many patients have prior to getting an epidural injection is “how long will the effects of the injection last”. It is a hard question to answer because everyone has a slightly different condition causing the pain. Pain varies from patient to patient. Therefore, it is hard to predict how long the effects of the injection will last and maybe more than one injection will be needed. Some patients can get full relief of their symptoms and avoid or postpone surgery all together. An epidural injection for back or neck pain is administered by a pain management physician who is usually dual certified in Anesthesiology. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact me at 305-467-5678 or private message me.