Neck & Back Treatments
Orthopedic Services in the Larger San Francisco Bay Area
Surgery or other nonsurgical treatments of the back and neck could be needed for multiple reasons including trauma, back or neck pain, spinal disorders, infections, failure of previous surgeries, deformity or tumors.
Muir Orthopaedic Specialists takes a multi-faceted approach to back and neck pain, conditions and treatments. We offer a range of treatments and always look to nonsurgical options first. But when patients need surgery, they can be confident that our orthopedic spine surgeons are board certified, highly trained, experienced and have undergone residency, fellowship and continuing education focusing on the neck and back.
Comprehensive Spine Center
Our Spine Center offers a comprehensive, state-of-the-art approach to spinal care. Leading-edge care really begins with a thorough evaluation and expert diagnosis that comes from training and experience. Our physicians have outstanding credentials from the nation’s most prestigious medical institutions. Our multi-disciplined team consists of orthopedic spine surgeons, interventional pain management, pain psychology and management, and physical therapy.
Common neck and back conditions we treat:
- Herniated discs
- Hunchback (kyphosis)
- Swayback (lordosis)
- Pinched nerve (radiculopathy)
- Neck pain from cervical spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, lumbosacral)
- Cervical kyphosis
- Cervical myelopathy
- Compression fractures
- Spine trauma
- Spine tumors
Treatments for neck or back pain vary depending on the cause and symptoms. Pain medication or anti-inflammatory drugs can be a great first step to ease mild pain and inflammation. Heat and ice can also be helpful. Heat can be used for muscle tightness and spasms, while ice can be used for sharp pains.
The following are various treatment options to consider with your orthopedic specialist.
Physical therapy can help patients exercise weak points in the spine and regain strength that may have been lost. This option can be used as an initial treatment or as a post-surgery treatment to help regain strength, flexibility, and movement. Each program will be tailored to an individual’s condition and pain level.
Another common treatment we consider prior to surgery is injections. We offer a range of injections to reduce or eliminate spine pain. These are temporary pain relievers and have yet to show permanent relief.
- Steroid injections: The specific steroid injections we offer are epidural steroid injections and sacroiliac joint injections.
- Medial branch blocks: This anesthetic injection is primarily used to diagnose the cause of the pain but can also be used as a short-term treatment.
- Medial branch radiofrequency ablation: This treatment uses heat that is placed on the spine through a needle to disrupt the nerve’s ability to send pain signals to the brain.
Neck & Back Surgery Options
If the patient’s back or neck symptoms do not respond to one of the nonsurgical treatments listed above or if the extent of the injuries is severe, a doctor may recommend surgery. These procedures can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, such as decompression and fusion procedures, or by using open techniques.
Microdiscectomies are a common minimally invasive spine surgery whose goal is to take pressure off the nerves to relieve back pain and leg pain. This treatment used to be performed as an open surgery and was called a discectomy.
Spinal fusion (arthrodesis)
Spinal fusion is a surgery that fuses two or more vertebrae to eliminate painful motion or restore stability to the spine. This surgery takes several hours. These procedures can be done from the front or back part of the spine. In principle, bone graft is used to make a bridge between the vertebrae, which will allow new bone to grow. Screws and rods or plates hold the segment in place until the fusion heals.
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) are common fusion procedures in our practice.
Artificial Disc Replacement
Artificial disc replacement is a procedure to remove and replace a degenerating spinal disc with an implant in order to help the spine retain its natural flexibility. These are performed in the cervical and lumbar spine.
Kyphoplasty is a common treatment for vertebral compression fractures, which can occur in older patients with osteoporosis.
Kyphoplasty is a minimal invasive procedure. It utilizes a balloon that is inflated in the vertebral body creating a channel for the bone cement while restoring height of the vertebral body.
Scoliosis Treatment, Adult & Pediatric
At times spinal surgery is needed for severe or rapidly worsening scoliosis. Surgery for scoliosis includes inserting two metal rods with screws and hooks to hold the spine in place until the bone heals together.
Our center specializes in these complex procedures. A multidisciplinary approach is taken to the deformities. Patient optimization and pre-operative detailed planning are key to a successful outcome.
If a tumor can be removed with minimal risk of nerve damage, the doctor may recommend surgery. New technology and techniques have expanded the number of tumors that can be removed that were once considered inoperable.
A laminectomy surgery removes certain parts of the vertebral bone to increase space within the spinal canal and relieve pressure.
A laminoplasty is a spinal canal expansive procedure which retains the outer covering of the spinal canal. This elegant procedure is performed most commonly for multiple level cervical stenosis in the neck.
A laminotomy removes a portion of the spine bone that covers the spinal canal. This removes less bone than a laminectomy but also decompresses the neural elements to relieve pressure.
A foraminotomy removes the bone or tissue in the neuroforamen, or the passageway, where the nerve roots branch off the spinal cord and exit the spinal column.
Risks of Surgery
As with any surgery, there are some risks associated with spinal surgeries. Prior to surgery, a Muir Orthopaedic Specialists surgeon will go over the specific risks related to your surgery.
Possible risks of spinal surgery include infection, complications from anesthesia, nerve damage, bleeding, and stiffness.
Make an appointment at Muir Orthopaedic Specialists to assess your back pain in Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Brentwood, and Concord.