Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is a curvature of the spine that can occur in children aged 10 to maturity. The spine may curve to the left or right. Sometimes AIS may start at puberty or during an adolescent growth spurt.
Idiopathic means the curve develops for unknown reasons. We now know that there is undoubtedly a genetic pre-disposition for some adolescents to develop AIS. Scoliosis is actually quite common – in fact, 3-5% of adolescents will be found to have some form of scoliosis. Most of these children are girls.
Dr. Hershman at Florida Spine Specialists is an expert in treating scoliosis. Having been trained by several of the world’s foremost experts in scoliosis, he is able to diagnose and treat all types of scoliosis using the latest techniques in the field. Each child’s case is different, and the treatment plan is tailored to each individual’s specific problems and needs.
Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. Many people think it only occurs in children, but adults can have scoliosis as well. Adult scoliosis is defined as an abnormal curvature of the spine in someone over the age of 18. Sometimes, this is the result of a childhood curvature that was left untreated but has since progressed. Other times, scoliosis can develop as a result of age and normal “wear and tear” on the spine.
The neck, or cervical spine is made up of 7 bones, or vertebrae. These bones are separated from each other by a specialized cartilage cushion called an intervertebral disc. As we age, the tough outer ring of the discs can become weaker allowing the soft jelly like center to “squirt out”, or herniate. Herniated discs can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots that pass close by. Herniated discs are also referred to as slipped discs, ruptured discs, protruding discs, or bulging discs.
In the cervical spine, a herniated disk can irritate the spinal cord or nearby nerve roots and result in neck, arm, or shoulder pain, numbness, or weakness in the arm or hand. Occasionally, large disc herniations can even cause some strange symptoms like problems with balance, difficulty controlling one’s bowels or bladder, and changes in dexterity of the hand (this can cause changes in handwriting, problems buttoning one’s shirt, or difficulty finding one’s keys in a pocket or purse.
The neck, or cervical spine, is made up of 7 bones (vertebrae). These bones are separated from each other by a specialized cartilage cushion called an intervertebral disc. As we age, the discs begin to “wear out”, causing them to flatten out like a pancake. When this occurs, the space available for the nerve roots is narrowed, and can cause neck, arm, or shoulder pain, and numbness or weakness in the arm or hand (radiculopathy). Occasionally, the narrowing is so significant that the spinal cord is compressed – this is called myelopathy.
Cervical stenosis is not uncommon. Fortunately, many times the symptoms are tolerable, and sometimes, it doesn’t cause pain at all. Additionally, cervical stenosis is often effectively treated with nonsurgical modalities. However, if surgery is indicated, the vast majority of patients obtain good or excellent outcomes.
The physicians and surgeons at Florida Spine Specialists are experts in treating cervical stenosis. Our priority is providing the best care for our patients, and treatment plans are tailored to each individual’s specific problems and needs.
A vertebral compression fracture refers to a break of the vertebral body of the Thoracic spine (upper back) or Lumbar spine (lower back), and is most commonly caused by weakened bone due to osteoporosis. Most compression fractures result in a loss of more than 20% of the height of the vertebra.
Compression fractures can occur in the course of normal physical activities, without significant accident or injury. When the fracture occurs there is usually a sudden onset of severe back pain.
Compression fractures increases the risk of future vertebral compression fractures at adjacent levels, which can cause significant height loss, spinal deformity (kyphosis, or hunchback).
The lower back, or lumbar spine is made up of 5 bones, or vertebrae. These bones are separated from each other by a specialized cartilage cushion called an intervertebral disc. As we age, the tough outer ring of the discs can become weaker allowing the soft jelly like center to “squirt out”, or herniate. Herniated discs can put pressure on the spinal nerves that pass close by. Herniated discs are often called slipped discs, ruptured discs, protruding discs, or bulging discs.
In the lumbar spine, a herniated disk can irritate nearby nerves and result in pain, numbness, or even weakness in the leg or foot. On the other hand, most people with herniated discs experience no symptoms whatsoever. When people do have symptoms, the vast majority of their symptoms will improve with time, and do not require surgery.
Traditionally, spinal surgery has involved large incisions down the middle of the back and the spreading (retracting) of the back muscles to gain access to the spine. This is referred to as “open” spine surgery. Open techniques provide the surgeon with easy access to the spinal anatomy. The downside of “open” spine surgery is that the muscle retraction damages the spinal muscles and can cause significant post-operative pain. In addition, “open” surgery can result in increased blood loss, larger scars and relatively long recovery times.
In many situations “open” techniques are still preferred, but recently, more and more conditions are being surgically treated using new techniques called minimally invasive spine surgery.
Minimally invasive spine surgery allows the surgeon to make smaller incisions in the skin and avoid large muscle retraction. The surgeon uses a microscope, small instruments, and tubular retractors to perform the surgical procedure.
Spondylolisthesis is a condition of the spine in which one vertebral body has slipped forwards or backwards on the vertebral body below. There are several different types of spondylolisthesis. Sometimes the slip is caused by abnormalities of the bone – this type of slip often causes problems during childhood or young adulthood. More commonly, the slip is a result of a degenerative process that occurs as we age.
Often, the slip doesn’t cause problems until there is a narrowing of the space available for the nerve roots, resulting in a condition known as spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis causes back pain and/or leg pain, and limits the ability to walk. Treatment for spondylolisthesis is based on the severity of the patient’s symptoms, as well as the degree and extent of slippage.
Our team of caring specialists improve the lives of people with spinal conditions.
Florida Spine Specialists provides customized treatment programs to return you to your active life quickly and safely. Our highly skilled, multidisciplinary team includes doctors dedicated to non-surgical approaches, surgeons specializing in advanced minimally invasive procedures with the best history of successful outcomes, on-site physical therapists, a psychologist to provide counseling, a team of medical support people who provide the best of compassionate care, and a terrific administrative staff to help you navigate the complexities of insurance coverage.
Our state of the art, 17,000 square foot facility is fully dedicated to spinal care. Our leading edge technology means you get the best medical treatment possible, but it’s our entire team’s dedication to patient outcomes that sets us apart. At Florida Spine Specialists you are not a patient, you’re a person we care about. Our focus on quality care, from evaluation through the treatment program and beyond, will provide you with the best treatment possible and the best healthcare experience.