Spine surgeons treat disorders of the cervical (neck), thoracic (middle back), and lumbar (lower back) spine. Cervical disorders often result in arm pain whereas thoracic and lower back disorders tend to affect the trunk and legs. Sometimes, cervical disorders can also cause trunk and leg pain. Common disorders of the spine include herniated disk and stenosis. Both of these can cause pressure on one or more nerves as they leave the spinal cord to go to the arms or legs. Sometimes these disorders can put pressure on the spinal cord itself. Arthritis of the spine often contributes to disk herniation and stenosis.
An increasingly common spine problem in our aging population is vertebral compression fracture. This is usually the result of the bones of the spine weakening because of osteoporosis. The vertebra then collapses and can result in significant pain, usually in the middle back. New techniques have been developed in the last couple years to help with the pain due to vertebral compression fracture.
Spine problems don’t always require surgery. Often, instruction in the proper care of one’s back, medication, and “cortisone” injections can successfully treat spine disorders. The GPOA spine surgeons are well-trained and experienced in developing appropriate surgical and non-surgical treatment plans for their patients with spine problems.