Category: Dr. Mark McFarland

Is my Sciatica Caused by a Spinal Issue or my Piriformis Muscle?

Mark W. McFarland, MD Sciatica is a catch-all term that is used for pain that runs from the lower back through the buttock, down the thigh and calf, into the foot.  It is named thusly after the sciatic nerve, which when compressed, inflamed, or irritated in some way, causes the tell-tale signs of burning, numbness,… Read more »

Kyphosis FAQs

Mark W. McFarland, DO Doesn’t everyone have curves in their spine? Absolutely.  A normal spine has several shallow alternating curves, which helps it to balance the weight of the head, and evenly distribute the weight of the body in alignment from the shoulders to the hips, knees and feet. What is Kyphosis? This medical term… Read more »

Cervical Dislocation Fracture – Part IV – Rehabilitation and Life After Injury

Mark W. McFarland, DO After the emergent phase of injury and the immediacy of treating life-threatening injuries, after the surgeries have been performed and the subsequent acceptance of a new way of life, comes the challenge – living life after a cervical dislocation fracture.  In this article, I’d like to address those realities, but also… Read more »

Cervical Dislocation Fracture – Part Three – Urgent Treatment

Mark McFarland, MD

Mark W. McFarland, DO What happens to the patient from the scene of the accident, during transport to the hospital and after they make it to the hospital trauma unit?  In this article, I’ll talk about treatment for this type of cervical fracture and how we start to put the pieces back together for the… Read more »

Cervical Dislocation Fracture – Part II – The Symptoms

Mark W. McFarland, DO In part one of this article series, we discussed what a cervical dislocation fracture is, how it can happen and exactly how serious of an injury it can be.  In part two, I’d like to discuss the symptoms of a cervical dislocation fracture and how a tiny distance can make a… Read more »

Complete Dislocation Fracture of the Cervical Spine – Part I -What is it?

Dr. Mark McFarland

Mark W. McFarland, DO Most people are aware of basic spine anatomy – how the bones of the spine sit atop one another, sandwiched between cushiony discs filled with watery gel that act as shock absorbers.  These vertebrae, and the attached muscles and ligaments give us amazing strength and stability to lift heavy weights and… Read more »

What is a Burst (Axial) Fracture of the Spine?

Mark W. McFarland, MD One of the first things you learn in medical school is that human bones can withstand lots of punishment, but they also can break in a lot of different ways.  Spinal bones (vertebrae) tend to break in specific ways, and some can be more serious than others.  In this article, I’m… Read more »

Types of Vertebral (Spinal) Fractures

Mark W. McFarland, DO The phrases that conjure up the worst-case trauma scenarios are “someone’s going to break their neck” or “step on a crack, break your mama’s back”.  We can all recall images of TV shows of long ago, with hospital scenes of some unfortunate patient with a “broken” neck or back, lying in… Read more »

Can Your Foot Pain Be Caused by a Spinal Issue?

Mark W. McFarland, DO When I consult with patients about their spinal conditions, I often see them for pain which occurs in their limbs, shooting down an arm or a leg, perhaps even into the foot and toes.  These patients are typically surprised when, after x-rays and a thorough physical examination, I tell them that… Read more »

What Does a Herniated Disc Feel Like?  How Do I Know I Have One? 

Mark McFarland, MD

Mark W. McFarland, MD  This question came in over our web chat and it is a great one to answer. The human spine is made up of 26 vertebrae (bones) that go from your skull to your pelvis.  In between these bones are discs that act as shock absorbers or cushions which help the bones… Read more »