Back & Spine Care

• For an appointment with a DMC orthopedic specialist, call (888) 362-2500

Neck and back pain is one of the most common complaints, especially if you are a senior. This pain can be immobilizing and comes from a variety of different causes. While the majority of back pain patients can be successfully treated without spine or back surgery, surgery could be the best option to treat your pain. At DMC we have therapists, doctors, specialists and surgeons who all specialize in neck and back pain. Our experts provide complete and comprehensive evaluations treatment programs that are tailored to your specific needs.

It all begins by calling the DMC Spine & Back Program Coordinator. In one easy call, our DMC Spine & Back Coordinator will help connect you to the back specialist(s) best suited to your situation.

If a referral to a Detroit back specialist or specialty physician is necessary, we will directly schedule the appointment(s). You may indicate which DMC back specialist you wish to see, or if there is no preference, the DMC Spine & Back Program Coordinator will help find a physician and/or service. The most common referral options are:

  • Initial Assessment with Detroit Back Doctor
  • Initial Assessment with Detroit Spine Specialist
  • Diagnostic Testing
  • Pain Management Services
  • Adult Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery
  • Pediatric Back Specialists Detroit
  • Physiatry
  • Back Therapist and Rehabilitation

DMC Orthopaedic surgeons have expertise relieving back and neck pain with the use of new and innovative technologies.
Common procedures include:

  • Cervical Disc Replacement
    – used to replace spinal discs that are damaged beyond repair.
  • Discectomy
    – the surgical removal of part or all of a damaged disc in the neck or spine.
  • Epidural Blocks
    – an injection treatment for severe back pain.
  • Kyphoplasty
    – treatment for Vertebral Compression Fractures.
  • Lumbar Spinal Fusion
    – permanently fusing two or more vertebra together to relieve severe back pain caused by vertebra slipping out of position.

Cervical Disc Replacement

Cervical Disc replacement is an option if you suffer from herniated discs or bone spurs in the neck, degenerative disc disease or severe arthritis. It is typically done with cervical disc herniations that have not responded to non-surgical treatment options and are affecting your quality of life and ability to function.

Symptoms

Depending on the location of the herniation:

  • ache in the lower back
  • sciatica - pain that travels through the buttocks and down a leg to the ankle or foot
  • pain in the front of the thigh
  • leg pain occurring in one leg
Pain from a herniated disc may:
  • be constant or intermittent
  • get worse when sneezing, coughing
  • be aggravated by sitting, prolonged standing, and bending or twisting movements
  • be relieved by walking, lying down, and other positions that relax the spine and decrease pressure on the damaged disc
Symptoms of degenerative disc disease:
  • low back pain that worsens when seated
  • back pain that worsens when bending, twisting and lifting
  • pain that is alleviated by lying down

Treatment

An artificial disc is inserted in the space between two vertebrae. The goal is to replace the diseased or damaged disc while keeping your normal neck motion. Disc replacement can be done instead of fusing the neck and losing neck motion.

Charite Artificial Disc Replacement

Approximately 80 percent of the population will have low back pain at some point in their lives. While back pain does not usually require surgery, you can now benefit from a surgical approach that has been used to combat degenerative knee and hip conditions.

Known by some as a ‘bionic back,’ the Charite Artificial Disc™ is an alternative to spinal fusion for patients who have one diseased disc in the lumbar area of the spine. It is the first and only FDA approved artificial disc in the United States today.

The technique is performed by only a small number of surgeons in southeastern Michigan, and DMC Orthopaedic specialists are able to help you relieve your back pain with this high tech substitute. Even better, you could leave the hospital in as little as 24-48 hours!

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Discectomy

A discectomy is a surgery done to remove a herniated disc from the spinal canal. When a disc herniation occurs, a fragment of the normal spinal disc is dislodged. This fragment may press against the spinal cord or the nerves that surround the spinal cord.

Symptoms

Depending on the location of the herniation:
  • ache in the lower back
  • sciatica - pain that travels through the buttocks and down a leg to the ankle or foot
  • pain in the front of the thigh
  • leg pain occurring in one leg
Pain from a herniated disc may:
  • be constant or intermittent
  • get worse when sneezing, coughing
  • be aggravated by sitting, prolonged standing, and bending or twisting movements
  • be relieved by walking, lying down, and other positions that relax the spine and decrease pressure on the damaged disc

Treatment

Surgical treatment of a herniated disc removes the fragment of spinal disc that is pushing on the nerve. Traditionally, the surgery is called an open discectomy, where the surgeon makes a small incision to remove the disc and relieve the pressure on the nerve. The surgery may also be performed endoscopically, where a small scope is inserted into the back and the surgeon, using a small video camera and x-ray, can see and remove the bone fragments causing pain.

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Epidural Block

When your back or neck pain is not responding to a non-operative pain management program, the next step may be an epidural injection. There are many types of injections you and your physician can choose from, including corticosteroid, spinal nerve blocks, cervical (neck) blocks, and lumbar facet blocks.

Symptoms

  • chronic back or neck pain for months/years
  • sciatica

Treatment

An injection of an anti-inflammatory medication or steroid is placed in the space surrounding the membrane that covers the spinal cord and nerve roots in the spine or neck. The mediation will decrease inflammation of the nerve roots, reducing your pain. It may provide permanent or temporary relief, depending on your situation. This treatment is common after traumatic injuries or painful procedures that may cause you pain as the injection relieves your pain for several months while the injury/cause of pain is healing.

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Kyphoplasty

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive spinal surgery used to treat painful, progressive vertebral compression fractures, which cause vertebra to collapse. When a vertebra collapses, the spinal column above it will develop an abnormal forward curve.

Vertebral Compression Fractures may be caused by:

  • osteoporosis
  • tumors
  • certain forms of cancer

Symptoms

  • pain that does not get better with rest
  • numbness, tingling or weakness in legs
  • loss of control or inability to urinate

Treatment

In kyphoplasty, a tiny balloon is inserted through a small incision and placed at the fracture, creating a space between the compressed discs. Bone cement is then injected into this space to stabilize the discs. Kyhoplasty better aligns the spine, dramatically relieving your pain.

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Lumbar Spinal Fusion

Spinal surgery is usually suggested after other pain-relieving methods have been tried, including medication and physical therapy.

Symptoms

  • lower back pain with tingling or weakness in the legs
  • leg pain or sciatica
  • degenerative disc disease
  • arthritis

Spinal fusion surgery is performed when there is slippage of a vertebra or curvature of the spine that can only be corrected by permanently fusing two or more vertebrae together. A piece of bone, usually taken from the hip, is used to fuse the vertebrae together. Screws and rods may be used to hold the bones together while they mend, and can also facilitate a faster recovery time. Newer techniques have been developed which are minimally invasive and 80% percent of patients that have spinal fusion have good to excellent results and see an improvement in their leg and back pain.

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