Category: Spine Care

I Think my Balance is Off & I Keep Falling – Why?

Jeffrey R. Carlson, MD The title of this article echoes complaints I often hear from patients in the exam room.  Poor balance can be caused or exacerbated by many things – aging, medications, blood pressure, ear infections or disorders, arthritis, circulation issues – the list is long.  However, most folks don’t know that a problem… Read more »

Your Amazing Spine and Self-Inflicted Harm

Mark W. McFarland, DO As a busy spine specialist, I diagnose and treat patients who have a variety of spine related issues.  I’m often asked if lifestyle or activities have anything to do with their spine issues.  The answer is yes!  In my practice, the major factors I observe which may cause harm to the… Read more »

Will I Need Another Spine Surgery?

Jeffrey R. Carlson, MD As a fellowship trained spine surgeon, I see patients every day that have had spine surgery in the past but who are again facing worsening pain and dysfunction.  When they had their initial surgery, they were told that this procedure would correct their current problem for a time, but they should… Read more »

Degenerative Disc Disease

Jeffrey R. Carlson, MD There are some medical terms that confuse patients.  There are some medical terms that mean the same thing.  There are medical terms that we research on the internet and then find we are more confused than before doing research.  Degenerative disc disease (DDD) seems to be one of these terms. On… Read more »

The Stinger:  A Common Neck Injury in Football

Jeffrey R. Carlson, MD In the spring, young men across America get mopey, starry-eyed and stare off into space, dreamily thinking of only one thing…WHEN is football season going to start?  Well, sports fans, August is almost here and the pre-season NFL games will be starting soon, as will college games.  With the advent of… Read more »

Does Cervical Spine (Neck) Surgery Work?

Jeffrey R. Carlson, MD Patients ask me if surgery on the cervical spine (neck) will relieve their pain and disability. This isn’t an unusual question for those contemplating the potential outcomes of a surgical procedure compared to their current state of dysfunction.  The considerations can be especially important for older patients who are losing their… Read more »

Should I have Back Surgery?

Jeffrey R. Carlson, MD Patients who are told they need spine surgery have many questions, and rightly so.  They want to know about all of the risks, the expected downtime for recovery, any restrictions on movement and activity, and when they will start to see the benefits from having the surgery.  Even with all the… Read more »

Should I Worry about Getting a Spine Infection?

Jeffrey R. Carlson, MD Severe back pain can be a sign of several significant spinal disorders that bring patients to consult with me, as a spine specialist.  Although most back pain, even severe pain, is not going to be a symptom of a severe or life-threatening disorder, most people’s thoughts immediately go to the most… Read more »

The Risks and Complications of Disc Herniation Surgery

A spinal disc herniates when the covering of the disc cannot hold the gel-like material inside, due to injury, overuse or aging.   Often the inside portion of the disc will rupture through the covering, kind of like a jelly doughnut that is squished.  Because the spinal nerves are right next to the spinal discs, the… Read more »

Does Time Spent in Surgery Affect Outcomes?

Jeffrey R. Carlson, MD Whenever I discuss an upcoming surgery with my patient, there are lots of questions that come from the patient themselves, their family members and/or their caregivers.  One question that most patients don’t ask is “How long does the actual surgery take to perform?”  In general, patients want the surgeon to “take… Read more »