Many orthopedic surgeons specialize in treating a certain area of the body or type of condition. They may focus on sports injuries, arthritis injuries, inherited (congenital) disorders, back issues, and more.
An orthopedic spine surgeon specializes in issues that affect the back, and they can offer both nonsurgical and surgical treatment to help the patient find relief from pain or from disabling symptoms. Orthopedists always aim to perform the least-invasive treatment possible, so physical therapy, medication, and pain-relief injections will be considered before going the surgery route.
An orthopedist who specializes in the spine actually combines the fields of orthopedics and neurosurgery, because the spine houses the spinal cord – which is the nerve center between the brain and the rest of the body. Let’s talk about what an orthopedic spine surgeon treats and what this type of doctor might be able to do for you.
Conditions Treated by a Spine Specialist
People can suffer all sorts of spine-related conditions. A back injury may be due to a car accident, sports accident, arthritis, osteoporosis, or degenerative disc problem in the spine. A spine orthopedist can quickly pinpoint the issue and develop a treatment that works to alleviate the problem.
The range of conditions treated by a spine surgeon goes from spina bifida to simple lower back pain. Some of the causes of spine problems include the following:
Orthopedic doctors routinely treat patients who have osteoarthritis in the spine that is causing chronic or intermittent back pain. The orthopedist will consider conservative measures before surgery, but severe arthritis may indeed warrant back surgery to relieve the pain or to correct the disability.
Orthopedic spine surgeons treat children with congenital deformities of the spine such as spina bifida. This occurs when the spinal cord does not finish developing in the womb before birth, so a small portion of the spine protrudes through the baby’s back. The spine surgeon can repair the defect as much as possible and close the skin.
Scoliosis is an “S”-shaped curvature of the spine, and it can affect children and adults. In mild cases, a wait-and-see approach is recommended; a back brace may be prescribed. Severe cases of scoliosis may warrant spinal fusion surgery so the curvature doesn’t impact lung function and other organs.
Herniated or bulging discs can occur naturally or may be a result of trauma to the spine. This can also cause a pinched nerve, which causes pain in the area of the body that is controlled by that area of the spinal cord. The spine surgeon may recommend surgery whereby part or all of the disc is removed in order to relieve pain caused by the herniated disc.
Trauma to the spine – such as in a car accident, sports injury, or violence – can result in a broken back or broken neck (cervical spine). A spine injury can cause partial or total paralysis, depending on where the injury occurred on the spine and how severe the injury was. If medical treatment for back trauma is sought quickly enough, paralysis can be minimized with recent medical advancements.
Spine Surgeon in Rochester Hills, MI
An orthopedic doctor who specializes in treating spinal disorders knows how to quickly diagnose, treat, and oversee the rehabilitation of the patient. If you or a family member have any sort of back problem, see a physician who specializes in the spine.
If you are in or near the Rochester Hills area of Michigan, contact Ahlgren Spine today by calling us at (248) 215-8080 or request an appointment via our online form now. We look forward to helping you take care of your back problems.