Educate Yourself!

At Southeastern Spine Center, we philosophically believe that education is an integral part of the plan of care for our patients. Understanding their condition and treatment options is key for patients to make an informed decision for their road to recovery. Below is some basic information about commonly treated conditions. You may also view our Helpful Links page for additional resources.

Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips forward on the adjacent vertebrae due to instability caused by arthritic wear and tear, a developmental defect or a fracture. This will produce both a gradual deformity of the lower spine and also a narrowing of the vertebral canal. The most common symptom for this condition is lower back pain.

Osteoporosis: This is a degenerative disease where bone mass and density are lost making bones extremely susceptible to fractures. When osteoporosis affects the spine, the symptoms may include chronic pain, loss of mobility and an alteration of physical appearance.

 

 

Compression Fractures: These result from external trauma (falling) or weakness of the vertebrae (osteoporosis), causing one or more vertebrae to crush or wedge. Depending on the severity of the fracture, the symptoms range from back pain to radiating pain to loss of strength or sensation in the legs.

Minimally invasive techniques such as Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty can be used to reduce symptoms and enhance recovery from compression fractures.

Myelopathy: Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is caused by compression of the spinal cord in the upper spine, or cervical stenosis. Bony spurs formed by long-standing arthritis grow into the canal and compress or place pressure on the cord. The most common procedure performed to relieve compression or pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots is anterior cervical decompression. Since removal of bone during a decompression may disrupt continuity and increase instability of that area of the spine, a fusion is also performed to provide structural stability.

Kyphosis: Kyphosis is a progressive spinal disorder that can affect children or adults. This disorder may cause a deformity described as humpback or hunchback. Kyphosis can be in the form of hyperkyphosis or sharp angular gibbus deformity. Abnormal kyphotic curves are more commonly found in the thoracic or thoracolumbar spine, although they can be cervical.

Kyphosis is classified as either postural or structural. Postural means the kyphosis is attributed to poor posture, usually presenting a smooth curve, which can be corrected by the patient. Structural kyphosis is caused by an abnormality affecting the bones, intervertebral discs, nerves, ligaments, or muscles. Kyphosis with a structural pathology may require medical intervention because the patient alone cannot control curve progression.