Top10MD Blog

10 TIPS FOR CHOOSING YOUR SPINE SURGEON

 6 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



Having surgery on your spine is a very serious matter. These days, choosing a spine surgeon is no easy matter. You should not choose just anyone; you should only want the best.

Here are a few tips that should help find the right spine surgeon.

Spine Surgeon Checklist

  • Board Certifications – The American Board of Orthopedic Surgery certifies Spine Surgeons. If you have a spine surgeon that is not certified, you should run away immediately.
  • Experience – Everyone has to start somewhere, but when it comes to spine surgery, you should look for experience, not being an experiment.
  • Empathy – Back problems can be very severe, and your surgeon should be understanding and empathetic toward your needs.
  • Minimally Invasive Options – Choosing a spine surgeon that is experienced in minimally invasive spine surgery is best. Minimally invasive surgery leads to a quicker recovery.
  • Be Aware of Lasers – Do not get sucked into the trap that lasers are a minimally invasive way to cure your back problems. Lasers cannot cut into bone; therefore, it will not help your spine problems.
  • Innovative – Your spine surgeon should be innovative and give you only the best options for curing your problem.
  • Thorough – Your spine surgeon should take very good care of you and look at all the options for treating your problem. Treatment should be specific to your needs.
  • Professionalism – Respect and professionalism are very important. If you feel disrespected, you should move on.  
  • Credentialed – Hospital privileges is a must for a spine surgeon. If your spine surgeon is not credentialed, you could be working with an imposter.
  • Open Minded – Spine Surgeons should always be open minded about your care. If one treatment does not work, they should be open to trying new and different options.

Following these tips should help you get the right spine surgeon. If you are in need of surgery, you should look no further than Top10MD. We only work with the best. Our spine surgeons not only meet these criteria, but they will go above and beyond to give you the care you need.

If you are experiencing back pain and spine issues, contact a Top10MD Spine Surgeon today and schedule a consultation.


TOP CAUSES OF LOW BACK PAIN

 7 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



We all have had low back pain at one time or another. Low back pain can range from a dull ache to I need to see a spine surgeon now!

Low back pain usually begins after an activity, a sudden movement, or lifting a heavy object but can also arise without any strenuous exertion.

Low Back Pain Symptoms

  • Soreness, Sensitivity to touch
  • Your pain is achy and dull
  • You are suffering from muscle spasms
  • You have difficulty moving around, standing or even sitting
  • Your pain is traveling, moves around to your groin, buttock, upper thigh or down your leg.

A possible cause of low back pain can be a simple muscle strain – with heat or cold packs and time the pain will slowly dissipate. When the pain begins to travel to the buttock, leg and/ or foot you may have a case of sciatica.

Sciatica Symptoms

  • Ongoing pain as opposed to flaring up every few days
  • Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving a leg or foot appears
  • Tingling or burning begins
  • Standing still or sitting for long periods worsen your pain than when you’re walking
  • Your pain is typically on one side of the buttock or leg

When your low back pain begins to affect your everyday life, and impedes your ability to do the things you love to do it’s time to see a specialist. As we age degenerative disc disease begins to set in and should be monitored by an orthopedic surgeon you can trust.

Dr. Cameron Carmody is a Fellowship trained Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and a Top10MD. Dr. Carmody has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions affecting the spine from disc surgery to scoliosis. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Carmody at Texas Spine Consultants, call 214-370-3535. Dr. Carmody has been named a Top10MD – an honor only 1-in-3 doctors succeeds with in the United States.


WORKDAY UPPER BACK PAIN | DON’T SLOUCH!

 11 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



If you’re used to working at a desk all day, you are no stranger to upper back pain. Sometimes you may switch out chairs, even try medicine balls and various trendy seating that promotes a better posture. Even with countless options available to you, it can be tough to kick that burning and aching in your muscles. The two common sources of upper back pain are joint dysfunction or muscular irritation. Back pain causes a lot of discomforts, but don’t give up! There are simple things you can do to relieve the pain.

The back is a unique structure of the body. It consists of many vertebrae and muscles. Lower back pain typically occurs from injury, but upper back pain can happen from just sitting wrong during a long day at your desk. When your back pain is not treated right away, you are at risk of severe back trouble later in life.

Why Do I Have Upper Back Pain?

  • Bad Posture – Sitting hunched over a desk all day can cause major problems.
  • The Head – The way you hold your head can lead to pain. Having your head misaligned with your back may irritate the muscles in the upper back. Do you have the phone tucked between your ear and shoulder? This position alone requires the upper back muscles, and it may put the joints in an unnatural position. Not only will you have upper back pain, but your neck will not be too happy either.
  • Uncomfortable Chair – This is one of the leading causes of problems for those who have desk jobs. When your seat isn’t giving you great support, you put unnecessary tension on the upper back.
  • Emotional Well-Being – Are you tense or stressed at work? Take time at least once an hour to stand up and stretch. Relieve your muscles of any tension and relax!

How Can I Prevent Pain?

  • Back pain treatment can be very simple with some slight adjustments. Sitting up straight and not leaning forward during the workday can help relieve your symptoms very quickly.
  • Purchase a chair that supports both your upper and lower back.
  • Sometimes our back muscles are just weak. Various exercises to gain strength in the back will help keep those muscles tight and keep you sitting up properly.
  • Acupuncture or Massages can help provide temporary relief from pain.

Dallas Fort Worth Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeon Douglas Won, MD is Director and Founder of Lumin SpineCARE. Dr. Won is fellowship-trained spine surgeon and board-certified by The American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons. Chosen as one of America’s Top Orthopedist/Spine Surgeons, he provides the most comprehensive methods of minimally invasive and endoscopic (camera-assisted) laser spine surgeries available to treat cervical, thoracic and lumbar disorders. Dr. Won uses cutting-edge surgical techniques to avoid traditional, open back and neck fusion surgeries. Experiencing neck or back pain? Schedule your consultation today with Dr. Won and Lumin SpineCARE to begin your path to a pain-free life. Schedule an appointment or call 972-829-0505.


FINDING A SURGEON, YOU TRUST | A MATTER OF LIFE & DEATH

 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)



Surgeries that some consider routine can still sometimes cause serious complications. No matter how straightforward you think your surgery might be, you still want to be in the absolute best surgical hands.

Today, your surgeon and hospital are especially important for procedures that are new or complex or even routine. You should be concerned and research but your surgeon and the hospital for that matter as most errors happen in a hospital setting according to John Hopkins report in May noting the third leading cause of death is medical errors. In your search for the best surgeon one indicator is how often your surgeon performs the procedure you’re seeking. For example, a study by researchers at New Hampshire’s Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center of people undergoing surgery for pancreatic cancer found that annual death rates were nearly four times higher for those treated by surgeons who performed the fewest operations.

With that being said, how should you choose a surgeon, someone with whom you’ll be sharing some of your most personal information and entrusting with life-and-death decisions? Communication with your surgeon is essential.

Ask your prospective surgeon these questions before going under…

Are you board certified, and is your certification current?

  • Look for a surgeon who has the necessary board certification(s), necessary training, and has maintained their certification(s) in the specialty they are practicing.

Is this surgery necessary?

  • Avoiding surgery entirely is the only sure way to avoid a surgical complication; understanding the effectiveness of the surgery and having exhausted alternatives you then need to compare the results of your alternatives with the possible risks of the surgery. 

What are your success, failure, and complication rates?

  • Not all surgeons are willing to be upfront with this information, but a good surgeon will.

What is your experience with this surgery?

  • Ask your surgeon how many of these procedures he or she has performed and compare that number with other surgeons performing the same procedure. The best surgeon is not necessarily the busiest surgeon; it’s about avoiding the surgeon who has not performed the procedure as much or as often or as well.

What’s the hospital’s infection rate?

  • Seventeen states now make that information public, and many hospitals report their rates voluntarily. Kudos to them! After asking these questions and others relating to your needs, likes, and dislikes, do your homework and make your choice. Your final decision could be one of the most important you’ll make for you and your family.

To locate a Top10MD Surgeon you can trust visit Top10MD.com and schedule your appointment today.


3D PRINTED SPINAL IMPLANTS|GROUNDBREAKING TECHNOLOGY

 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)



3D Spinal Implants? Who has ever heard of such? You may have seen something like this on TV, but it is now becoming reality. Being able to print off spinal implants that fit perfectly for the patient is groundbreaking. Doctors are now literally printing custom made body parts for you. Everyone is different so trying to make one thing work for everybody is not always effective. When it comes to spinal problems, making 3D implants are changing the prognosis of many patients and improving the quality of life for people.

3D implants have been used previously to make body parts, but never to make vertebrae. Vertebrae are very intricate structures and difficult to remake. 3D printing has changed all of that. Doctors are teaming up with device companies to make spinal implants custom made for their patients. A Dallas-Fort Worth Company – 4Web Medical is printing 3D implants. They combine architecture with engineering to create spinal implants. Some diseases associated with a spine are difficult to treat without making life worse for the patient. Being able to transplant a copy of a person’s spine to treat diseases like cancer is amazing.

3d spinal print transplant orthopedic surgery md top10mdThe Next Question is how does this work? To print anything, you need an image. You cannot put someone on a scanner, but you can use the imaging tools that are already being used to make a diagnosis. CT scans and MRI scans are the most commonly used images for 3D printing. Once the image is formed, the 3D printer makes a copy of that image. The 3D structure that is made as a result of printing is usually porous; this allows for bone growth and helps to keep the spine straight. These procedures have been going on all over the world. It has become groundbreaking here in the United States only recently. 4Web Medical is the first FDA-approved 3-D company in the United States. As time progresses, there will be more.

3D spinal implants are only the beginning. Today it is spinal implants. Tomorrow it is new organs or new body parts. Imagine someone needing a kidney transplant and being able to get a new kidney by using his or her own cells. Scientists are working on using a person’s cells on a 3D field to make these types of organs. If you are suffering from spinal problems, this could be a treatment that will suit you well. Many people are benefitting from this surgery and living long healthier lives; this is truly only the beginning.

Dr. Cameron Carmody is a Fellowship trained Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and a Top10MD. Dr. Carmody has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions affecting the spine from disc surgery to scoliosis. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Carmody at Texas Spine Consultants, call 214-370-3535. Dr. Carmody has been named a Top10MD – an honor only 1-in-3 doctors succeeds with in the United States.


TEXT NECK SYNDROME

 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)



First, there was carpal tunnel syndrome, now “text neck” is the new tech-induced body condition. Text Neck Syndrome occurs when we are stuck in an unnatural posture of looking down for periods of time. This position leads to soreness in the neck and shoulders, tightness across the shoulders, and even chronic headaches. “The injuries from Text Neck Syndrome results from repetitive stress, “says Dallas Fort Worth Spine Surgeon Dr. Mark Valente- “having your head hung forward and looking down at your device for extended periods of time is not healthy.”

The more you flex your neck, the more weight it has to carry. For every inch forward your head hangs from correct posture- ears above shoulders- the weight of your head increases 100%. If you can remember from Jerry Maguire, we all learned the human head weighs 10 pounds, so imagine how much it begins to weigh as you lean your head forward to select that perfect emoji.

Once upon a time, kids’ heads would be hung to read books, textbooks, study, and take tests. But in the good old days, it would even out when we would then go outside and exercise. We would be balanced and wouldn’t spend the greatest amount time in a poor posture position while texting or using a mobile device.

The most common symptoms associated with Text Neck Syndrome are headaches and neck and shoulder pain. In younger adolescents, Text Neck can increase the curvature of the spine. Research has suggested this syndrome could lead to early onset arthritis or a decrease in lung capacity.

Symptoms of Text Neck Syndrome

  • Neck pain and tightening
  • Shoulder pain and tightening
  • Chronic headaches

The Solution

As with many health problems, if you do nothing, you will get worse. So, it’s important to implement steps to improve your posture, strengthen your neck, and create better habits.

  • Take frequent breaks, look up and stretch your neck every 15 minutes
  • Hold your device up near eye level
  • Do posture strengthening exercises

Patients should seek medical attention if the above measures do not relieve the pain.

Dallas Fort Worth Dr. Mark Valente is a fellowship-trained Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeon Board Certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery. Dr. Valente routinely performs all aspects of spinal surgery – cervical, thoracic and lumbar, including minimally invasive procedures. If you’re experiencing neck or back pain schedule your initial consultation today with Dr. Mark Valente to begin your path to a pain-free life at 972-707-0005.


CERVICAL ARTIFICIAL DISC REPLACEMENT

 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)



Your cervical spine is made up of seven bones, called cervical vertebrae, stacked on top of each other in your neck area. In between your vertebrae are cervical discs. Your cervical discs is as a cushion for your vertebrae. Dallas Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Cameron Carmody says, “Cervical discs are a marvel of the human body, they are amazing in their ability to absorb a large compressive load while also providing the range of motion between the bones in the neck.”

Cervical artificial disc replacement surgery involves removing a diseased or damaged cervical disc and replacing it with an artificial disc. When the space between your vertebrae has become too narrow and part of your vertebrae or your cervical disc is pressing on your spinal cord or spinal nerves it can cause weakness, numbness, or pain. When these symptoms do not respond to nonsurgical types of treatment, disc surgery may be recommended.

In the past, with traditional cervical disc surgery, the diseased disc is removed and your cervical vertebrae above and below the disc are fused together. The FDA has recently approved the use of an artificial disc to replace your natural cervical disc. This new procedure will allow more movement following surgery and place less stress on your remaining vertebrae.

The loss of space between your cervical vertebrae could result from cervical disc degeneration, or wear and tear. Cervical discs begin to bulge and collapse with age, beginning at age 60 for most people. Some have more symptoms than others from cervical disc degeneration.

Symptoms of Cervical Disc Degeneration

  • Headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • Pain that travels from the neck into the shoulders and arms
  • Numbness in the arms
  • Neck pain
  • Neurological symptoms

Dr. Cameron Carmody

is a Fellowship trained Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and a Top10MD. Dr. Carmody has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions affecting the spine from disc surgery to scoliosis. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Carmody at Texas Spine Consultants, call 214-370-3535. Dr. Carmody has been named a Top10MD – an honor only 1-in-3 doctors succeeds within the United States.


OUT-SMARTING SCIATICA

 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)



Simply put, sciatica is a symptom of the sciatic nerve being damaged or pressured for any reason. The sciatic nerve starts in the lower spine and travels through your hips and bottom, down the back of the thigh, through parts of the lower leg, and into the foot. Sciatica will usually affect one side of the body.

However, the pain sciatica can cause debilitating for some, making standing or sitting nearly impossible. The pain might feel like a bad cramp or could feel like a sharp knife tearing down your buttocks and leg. Sometimes it can feel like tingling, burning, or a dull ache.

Sciatica is common in the United States with over 3 million cases per year. Treatments for sciatica can vary depending on the cause and severity of pain. Even in cases where the pain is severe, mostly it will resolve without surgery and with alternative treatments within a few weeks. However, those who have a severe weakness in their legs or are suffering from bowel and bladder changes might benefit from surgery.

What Causes Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve can be aggravated for many reasons. The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated or slipped disc that causes pressure on one or more of the lower spinal nerves, therefore, “pinching” the nerve. Other common causes are:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Sudden injury, trauma or accident
  • Pregnancy
  • Other health issues, such as tumors or infection
  • Obesity, sitting for most of the day, poor posture, advanced age, and diabetes are all common risk factors associated with sciatica.

What Are the Treatments?

The goal of treatment for sciatica is to decrease pain and increase movement. A treatment plan will include rest, physical therapy, and medicine. Most find relief after about six weeks of alternative treatment. However, after a combination of conservative treatments have been exhausted, there are minimally invasive surgical options available. Dr. Douglas Won of Minimally Invasive SpineCARE offers state of the art minimally invasive methods to allow you a faster recovery time and pain relief.

Dallas Fort Worth Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeon Douglas Won, MD is Director and Founder of Minimally Invasive SpineCARE. Dr. Won is fellowship-trained spine surgeon and board-certified by The American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons. Chosen as one of America’s Top Orthopedist/Spine Surgeons, he provides the most comprehensive methods of minimally invasive and endoscopic (camera-assisted) laser spine surgeries available to treat cervical, thoracic and lumbar disorders. Dr. Won uses cutting-edge surgical techniques to avoid traditional, open back and neck fusion surgeries. Experiencing neck or back pain? Schedule your consultation today with Dr. Won and Minimally Invasive SpineCARE to begin your path to a pain-free life. Schedule an appointment or call 972-829- 0505.


FROM TOP10MD TO YOU…

 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)

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NO INCISION PAIN RELIEF

 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)



Commuting an hour in your car and then spending hours in front of the computer. Bending over to pick up your young kiddos. Sports injuries both old and new. All of these and many other everyday activities can make it easy for back pain to develop. As easy as it is to develop back pain, it is also easy to find back pain relief. Dr. Douglas Won of Lumin Spinecare in Dallas shares a few tips that you can introduce into your day-to- day routine to help reduce discomfort in your lower, middle or upper back.

Proper Movements

You can prevent back injuries by being aware of your proper movements and lifting habits. Did you know when you pick up a heavy object you should not bend at the waist? Instead, bend your knees and lift without moving your back more than 30 degrees forward.

Be Active

If you are like most of us, spending your day sitting at a desk, there are several things you can do to help reduce back pain. Several times a day stand up and stretch, and take a quick walk once or twice throughout the day to prevent soreness. Maintain good posture when you are sitting at your desk. Also, many have found relief by using a lumbar support cushion; this reduces the amount of pressure on your spine.

Try Back Strengthening Exercises

Just like the rest of your body, your back muscles can be exercised and strengthened. Focus on your back during your gym workout, or establish a series of simple exercises you can do at home. That way, you’re preparing your back to face wear and tear without having to suffer through pack pain.

Sleep on Your Back

If you are waking up with back and neck pain, you may want to try falling asleep on your back with the curve of your neck supported by a pillow. For an extra step to support your back, place a pillow under your knees. Pillows also come in useful if you sleep on your side or stomach. Place a pillow between your knees for extra back care.

Put Away the High Heels

Wearing high heels all day every day, or any ill-fitting shoes can put unnecessary strain on your back and cause back pain. Instead, choose flats or comfortable sneakers. The right shoes can make a difference, especially if you are on your feet for the greater part of the day.

Dallas Fort Worth Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeon Douglas Won, MD is Director and Founder Minimally Invasive SpineCARE. Dr. Won is fellowship-trained spine surgeon and board-certified by The American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons. Chosen as one of America’s Top Orthopedist/Spine Surgeons, he provides the most comprehensive methods of minimally invasive and endoscopic (camera-assisted) laser spine surgeries available to treat cervical, thoracic and lumbar disorders. Dr. Won uses cutting-edge surgical techniques to avoid traditional, open back and neck fusion surgeries. If you’re experiencing neck or back pain schedule your consultation today with Dr. Won and Minimally Invasive SpineCARE to begin your path to a pain-free life. Schedule an appointment or call 972-829- 0505.


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