Additional Spinal Education


We’ve compiled some additional educational materials on the neck and back from OrthoInfo, a database created by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Click the computer icon to the left of each category and the links will redirect you to their website for wonderful graphics and articles to help you understand more about the conditions and treatments of the spine.

MORE ABOUT THE NECK



Conditions and Diseases of the Neck


BURNERS AND STINGERS

Burners and stingers are injuries that occur when nerves in the neck and shoulder are stretched or compressed after an impact. These injuries are common in contact or collision sports, and are named for the stinging or burning pain that spreads from the shoulder to the hand…. Keep Reading


CERVICAL RADICULOPATHY

Cervical radiculopathy, commonly called a “pinched nerve” occurs when a nerve in the neck is compressed or irritated where it branches away from the spinal cord. This may cause pain that radiates into the shoulder, as well as muscle weakness and numbness that travels down the arm and into the hand…. Keep Reading


CERVICAL SPONDYLOSIS

Neck pain can be caused by many things—but is most often related to getting older. Like the rest of the body, the disks and joints in the neck (cervical spine) slowly degenerate as we age. Cervical spondylosis, commonly called arthritis of the neck, is the medical term for these age-related, wear-and-tear changes that occur over time….. Keep Reading


CERVICAL SPONDYLOTIC MYELOPATHY

Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is a neck condition that arises when the spinal cord becomes compressed—or squeezed—due to the wear-and-tear changes that occur in the spine as we age. The condition commonly occurs in patients over the age of 50…… Keep Reading


NECK PAIN

The neck (cervical spine) is composed of vertebrae that begin in the upper torso and end at the base of the skull. The bony vertebrae along with the ligaments (which are comparable to thick rubber bands) and muscles provide stability to the spine. The muscles allow for support and motion…… Keep Reading


NECK SPRAIN

The seven bones of the spinal column in your neck (cervical vertebrae) are connected to each other by ligaments and muscles–strong bands of tissue that act like thick rubber bands. A sprain (stretch) or tear can occur in one or more of these soft tissues when a sudden movement, such as a motor vehicle collision or a hard fall, causes the neck to bend to an extreme position……. Keep Reading


Treatments for the Neck


BONE GRAFTS IN SPINE SURGERY

Spinal fusion is one of the most common surgeries done in the neck or back. The basic idea is to fuse together painful bones in the spine so that they heal into a single, solid bone….. Keep Reading


CERVICAL PLATING ANIMATION

A video animation showing how a cervical plate may be applied after spinal fusion surgery to add extra stability to the spine….. Watch Video


CERVICAL RADICULOPATHY SURGICAL OPTIONS

This article provides information on surgery for cervical radiculopathy. When symptoms of cervical radiculopathy persist or worsen despite nonsurgical treatment, your doctor may recommend surgery….. Keep Reading


CERVICAL SPONDYLOTIC MYELOPATHY SURGICAL OPTIONS

This article provides information on surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy. When symptoms of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) perist or worsen despite nonsurgical treatment, your doctor may recommend surgery…… Keep Reading


MINIMALLY INVASIVE SPINE SURGERY

Spine surgery is traditionally done as “open surgery.” This means that the area being operated on is opened with a long incision to allow the surgeon to view and access the anatomy…… Keep Reading


SPINAL FUSION

Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure used to correct problems with the small bones of the spine (vertebrae). It is essentially a “welding” process. The basic idea is to fuse together the painful vertebrae so that they heal into a single, solid bone….. Keep Reading


SPINAL FUSION ANIMATION

A video animation describing spinal fusion, a surgical procedure used to correct problems with the small bones in the spine (vertebrae). …. Watch Video


SPINAL INSTRUMENTATION

A video animation describing spinal instrumentation, a method of strengthening or stabilizing the vertebrae in the spine through the attachment of rods, hooks, or wires…… Watch Video


SPINAL INJECTIONS

Spinal injections are used in two ways. First, they can be performed to diagnose the source of back, leg, neck, or arm pain (diagnostic). Second, spinal injections are used as a treatment to relieve pain (therapeutic)….. Keep Reading


Recovery for the Neck


SPINE CONDITIONING PROGRAM

After an injury or surgery, an exercise conditioning program will help you return to daily activities and enjoy a more active, healthy lifestyle. Following a well-structured conditioning program will also help you return to sports and other recreational activities….. Keep Reading


SPINE REHABILITATION EXERCISES

After an injury or surgery, an exercise conditioning program will help you return to daily activities and enjoy a more active, healthy lifestyle. Following a well-structured conditioning program will also help you return to sports and other recreational activities….. Keep Reading



MORE ABOUT THE BACK



Conditions and Diseases of the Back


ADULT SPONDYLOLISTHESIS IN THE LOW BACK

In spondylolisthesis, one of the bones in your spine — called a vertebra — slips forward and out of place. This may occur anywhere along the spine, but is most common in the lower back (lumbar spine)…. Keep Reading


CAUDA EQUINA

Although leg pain is common and usually goes away without surgery, cauda equina syndrome, a rare disorder affecting the bundle of nerve roots (cauda equina) at the lower (lumbar) end of the spinal cord, is a surgical emergency….. Keep Reading


HERNIATED DISK

Sometimes called a slipped or ruptured disk, a herniated disk most often occurs in your lower back. It is one of the most common causes of low back pain, as well as leg pain (sciatica)…. Keep Reading


HERNIATED DISK VIDEO

A video describing what a herniated disc in the back is…… Watch Video


HERNIATED DISK IN THE LOWER BACK

Sometimes called a slipped or ruptured disk, a herniated disk most often occurs in your lower back. It is one of the most common causes of low back pain, as well as leg pain (sciatica)…… Keep Reading


INTRO TO SCOLIOSIS

Scoliosis is a sideways curve in the spine commonly seen in children and adolescents. There are several different types of scoliosis. By far, the most common type is “idiopathic,” which means the exact cause is not known…… Keep Reading


KYPHOSIS

Kyphosis is a spinal disorder in which an excessive outward curve of the spine results in an abnormal rounding of the upper back. The condition is sometimes known as “roundback” or—in the case of a severe curve—as “hunchback.” Kyphosis can occur at any age, but is common during adolescence……. Keep Reading


LUMBAR SPINAL STENOSIS

A common cause of low back and leg pain is lumbar spinal stenosis.  As we age, our spines change. These normal wear-and-tear effects of aging can lead to narrowing of the spinal canal. This condition is called spinal stenosis…. Keep Reading


OSTEOPOROSIS

Osteoporosis is a disease of progressive bone loss associated with an increased risk of fractures. The term osteoporosis literally means porous bone. The disease often develops unnoticed over many years, with no symptoms or discomfort until a fracture occurs…… Keep Reading


OSTEOPOROSIS AND SPINAL FRACTURES

As we get older, our bones thin and our bone strength decreases. Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become very weak and more likely to break. It often develops unnoticed over many years, with no symptoms or discomfort until a bone breaks…… Keep Reading


SCIATICA

If you suddenly start feeling pain in your lower back or hip that radiates to the back of your thigh and into your leg, you may have a protruding (herniated) disk in your spinal column that is pressing on the nerve roots in the lumbar spine. This condition is known as sciatica…… Keep Reading


SPONDYLOLISTHESIS AND SPONDYLOLYSIS

Spondylolysis (spon-dee-low-lye-sis) and spondylolisthesis (spon-dee-low-lis-thee-sis) are common causes of low back pain in young athletes. Spondylolysis is a crack or stress fracture in one of the vertebrae, the small bones that make up the spinal column….. Keep Reading


LOW BACK PAIN

Almost everyone will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. This pain can vary from mild to severe. It can be short-lived or long-lasting. However it happens, low back pain can make many everyday activities difficult to do…… Keep Reading


Treatments for the Back


ANTERIOR LUMBAR INTERBODY FUSION

Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure used to correct problems with the small bones in the spine (vertebrae). It is essentially a “welding” process. The basic idea is to fuse together the painful vertebrae so that they heal into a single, solid bone….. Keep Reading


ARTIFICIAL DISK REPLACEMENT IN THE LUMBAR SPINE

In artificial disk replacement, worn or damaged disk material between the small bones in the spine (vertebrae) is removed and replaced with a synthetic or “artificial” disk. The goal of the procedure is to relieve back pain while maintaining more normal motion than is allowed with some other procedures, such as spinal fusion…. Keep Reading


BONE GRAFTS IN SPINE SURGERY

Spinal fusion is one of the most common surgeries done in the neck or back. The basic idea is to fuse together painful bones in the spine so that they heal into a single, solid bone. In order for bones to fuse or heal together, additional bone is needed. This additional bone is called a bone graft….. Keep Reading


LATERAL LUMBAR INTERBODY FUSION

An interbody fusion is a method of fusing the lumbar spine that involves removing the intervertebral disk. When the disk space has been cleared out, a metal, plastic, or bone spacer is implanted between the two adjoining vertebrae…… Keep Reading


MINIMALLY INVASIVE SPINE SURGERY

Spine surgery is traditionally done as “open surgery.” This means that the area being operated on is opened with a long incision to allow the surgeon to view and access the anatomy…… Keep Reading


TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR SCOLIOSIS

A scoliosis curve will not get straight on its own. Bracing will help to keep it from getting worse. Surgery — a spinal fusion — is the only thing that will straighten out the spine, but it will not make it completely straight…… Keep Reading


POSTEROLATERAL LUMBAR FUSION

Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure used to correct problems with the small bones in the spine (vertebrae). It is essentially a “welding” process. The basic idea is to fuse together the painful vertebrae so that they heal into a single, solid bone….Keep Reading


PREPARING FOR LOW BACK SURGERY

If you and your orthopaedic surgeon have determined that your low back problem might be helped by surgery, there are several things you can do to help ensure that you are prepared for the procedure. This article provides information on how to best plan for your surgery….. Keep Reading


LOW BACK TREATMENT VIDEO

This video animation provides general information about the range of treatment options for low back pain, including medications, physical medicine, and surgery….. Watch Video


SPINAL INSTRUMENTAL ANIMATION

This animation describes spinal instrumentation, a method of strengthening or stabilizing the vertebrae in the spine through the attachment of rods, hooks, or wires….. Watch Video


Recovery for the Back


LOW BACK EXERCISE GUIDE

Regular exercise to restore the strength of your back and a gradual return to everyday activities are important for your full recovery after low back surgery. Your orthopaedic surgeon and physical therapist may recommend that you exercise for 10 to 30 minutes, 1 to 3 times a day during your early recovery…. Keep Reading


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