At Florida Spine Specialists we are dedicated to providing every person we treat with the best possible care and the best possible healthcare experience. Learn what people who have experienced our quality care say.
All doctors at Florida Spine Specialists are fellowship trained. That means that they have focused their skills in specific sub-specialties which required additional training over and above that required for their board certifications. Our doctors now teach other doctors in fellowship programs.
Florida Spine Specialists’ unique 17,000 square foot building was designed to support the requirements of our multi-disciplinary approach to spinal health care. Upon entering, you will walk into a comfortable and peaceful waiting room where a smiling administrator or Physician’s Assistant will check you in and obtain all information necessary to guide you to your treatment or consultation quickly and efficiently.
Deeper into the facility, you will find rooms for examinations and non-surgical treatments. Additional rooms are specifically designed for minimally invasive surgical procedures and a radiology suite with state-of-the-art imaging equipment helps us provide accurate diagnoses and treatment feedback quickly. We are also happy to provide an on-site lab which will facilitate your care program by saving you trips to third party facilities.
Herniated Disc Requiring Surgery
LB is a super nice young lady in her mid thirties with two young children. When Dr. Blumberg first saw her in 2005 she had had a lumbar disc removed by a surgeon in Miami, who had done a very good job. The patients leg distress had resolved immediately after her first surgery. She came to see Dr. Blumberg on the recommendation of her friend when her discomfort came back suddenly after picking up her two year old daughter from the floor. Her L5/S1 disc on the left had herniated two years before and now it was back with a vengeance.
The scar from her prior surgery was tethering the nerve in the area of the new L5/S1 disc herniation. She had weakness of her left calf muscle and numbness, tingling and burning down her leg all the way to the side of her foot. She reported that she couldn’t sit, sleep or walk without agony. Medications and shots had not helped her and she was desperate for relief. The MRI with contrast verified the clinical impression; recurrent left L5/S1 disc herniation. Her best option was surgery.
Dr. Blumberg recommended surgery to remove the disc herniation and the entire disc from between L5 and S1. In his opinion, the fact that she had herniated the same disc twice indicated that the L5/S1 segment was unstable and likely to be a continuing source of discomfort and future problems for LB if it was left in place. Once the disc was removed she would require a fusion to make one solid segment from the two, L5 and S1. This was done using a minimally invasive technique, through a tubular retractor, placing a bone graft into the disc space along with a spacer and a couple screws and a rod from the posterior or back approach.
LB had the surgery and within three months she was able to resume full, unrestricted activities. We followed her for about a year longer and she seemed to be very happy with her result and functional level. She was now calling to ask if it was ok for her to start training for a half marathon six months down the road. This is not a common request from a patient after two low back surgeries but her fusion was solid and Dr. Blumberg explained to her that as long as she did her low back exercises to avoid a fatigue type injury to her back she was cleared to run. She very graciously consented to the use of her story on our website. Thank you LB.
Spinal Stenosis – Non-Surgical Approach
Shirley G came to Florida Spine Specialists after months of steadily progressing back and leg distress. Her physical examination revealed that her knee and ankle reflexes were diminished on both sides. Her spine range of motion was limited. Her X-rays showed significant spondylosis and her MRI showed multilevel spinal stenosis.
She wanted to avoid a big surgery so we proceeded with a conservative course of treatment which included an epidural steroid injection guided by fluoroscopy. This allowed Dr. Dalton to place the medication in the precise location of her neural impingement and irritation. As a result of this treatment her discomfort decreased dramatically and she was able to quickly return to her activities of daily living.
Spinal Stenosis – Surgical Approach
James is a 62 year old gentleman, working as a fishing guide in the Florida Keys. He has been guiding for many years, is very tough and tends to ignore any of the aches that might come on with his work. His job consists of standing on a platform on the back of a small boat, pushing the boat along with a 20 foot pole and spotting fish for his clients. This requires tremendous strength but also he must have terrifically good balance and finesse to expertly move the boat. James had always been able to perform with ease, subconsciously maneuvering the boat as needed. Over the last year he had noticed some numbness and tingling in his hands in the morning and in fact this would occasionally wake him from his sleep. Worse than that for James, he had started to feel unbalanced when getting around on the boat, a constantly moving platform. At first he thought he was just getting a little older but got really scared when he started to feel the tingling in his arms during the day, especially when sitting and looking out over the water.
Dr. Blumberg saw James in the office and upon examination found him to have signs of severe spinal cord compression. Numbness and loss of sensory function in his hands, poor dexterity of his fingers, imbalance and hyperactive reflexes all indicated a serious problem in James’ neck. An MRI confirmed severe spinal cord compression and swelling within the spinal cord. Usually this condition, spinal stenosis, is one of age and James was only 62 years old. Dr. Blumberg explained that even though we are all born with short arms and legs, as we grow some of us get long legs and some of us get short legs. It’s the same with the spine, some of us get big diameter spinal canals surrounding the spinal cord and some of us get small diameter canals. If when we are done growing our spinal canal is small then it takes relatively less time (62 years as opposed to 80) for the arthritis that naturally sets in to create a severe compression of the spinal cord. This is in fact what had happened to James and now he had begun to experience the effects of his cord compression.
Spinal stenosis is a very dangerous condition and not likely to respond to nonsurgical care. We performed a removal of two of the vertebral bodies from the front of James neck. This allowed us to decompress his spinal cord. The vertebral bodies were replaced with a vertebral body graft made out of surgical reconstructive plastic. The core of this graft was packed with the bone from the vertebral body removal. Once this graft was placed where the vertebral bodies had been, a plate made out of titanium was attached to the spine with screws to hold this entire construct in place until the spine fused. Once the fusion was solid at six weeks after surgery James was back out on the water working at what he loves to do. His balance was much improved and the numbness in his arms and hands was gone. James is kind enough to regularly torture us with fishing reports from the Keys.