Monthly Archives: February 2013

What is Claudication?

Posted: Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 | Filed under: Back health, Spinal Surgery, Spine conditions, Spine Surgery | author: By admin


Its name sounds complex, but the condition is very basic: Claudication is a pain, typically in the legs, caused by too little blood flow through the blood vessels during exercise. Claudication can affect the arms as well as the legs. At first the pain is only noticeable when exercising, but as the condition progresses, the pain can be present even when at rest. It is a symptom of, most commonly, peripheral artery disease, a treatable circulatory problem.

The pain is felt in areas where of artery narrowing or damage, and may present first in the feet, calves, thighs, hips or buttocks. The pain may come and go in tandem with the intensity of the exercise. As the condition progresses, claudication may occur when sitting or lying down.  If the blood flow is severely compromised, toes or fingers may appear blue and feel cold to the touch. Sores may also develop as a result of reduced blood flow that would otherwise nourish the skin and flush toxins and infectious agents. Claudication may also cause a burning or aching sensation.

Spinal stenosis, an unnatural narrowing of the spinal canal, can cause claudication, though sometimes the back connection is missed in the initial diagnosis. Claudication can be treated through therapies ranging from healthy changes in lifestyle to vascular surgery performed on blood vessels. Spinal stenosis with claudication can be treated as well. Spinal decompression surgery can relieve pressure on nerve roots emanating from the spine, relieving the spinal claudication. Spinal decompression therapy can also be performed on a variety of spinal conditions that can cause pain and restrict mobility, like spondylolisthesis. Following decompression, the TOPS (Total Posterior Solution), an implant device, can stabilize the spine while preserving the full range of independent motion of each vertebrae. Before TOPS was available, patients were resigned to spinal fusion back surgery after decompression, a procedure that eliminates independent motion of the fused vertebrae, and that can contribute to spinal deterioration of adjacent vertebrae. Whatever the name of the spinal condition, make sure you get all the information about its treatment available.

Recognizing and Preventing Post-Surgical Complications

Posted: Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 | Filed under: Back health, Spinal Surgery, Spine conditions, Spine Surgery | author: By admin
Spinal Surgery

Spinal Surgery

With advanced procedures performed by highly trained and experienced surgeons, spinal surgery today boasts highly successful outcomes. Yet complications can and do occur during the recovery process after surgery. The spinal surgery patient serves as the first line of defense, taking an active role in managing his or her recovery.

Infection is one post-operative risk. Infections occur in about one to two percent of patients who have back surgery. You will be prescribed antibiotics as part of your recovery regimen, and instructed in how to care for your surgical incision. It’s important to carefully follow all of your physician’s directives to minimize the chances of infection occurring.

Pneumonia is another post-surgery risk. Again, taking an active role in your recovery is the best way to avoid this or other respiratory problems. Post-operative respiratory difficulties are exacerbated by inactivity and shallow breathing. The sooner you get up and about, the less chance of post-operative pneumonia. Read More »

Post Op Day 1

Posted: Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 | Filed under: Spinal Surgery, Spine conditions, Spine Surgery | author: By admin
Post Op

Day after surgery

You had your back surgery operation yesterday. The day after a lumbar laminectomy, spinal decompression, or other back surgery is likely going to be quite disorienting. You will still be feeling the effects of the anesthesia that knocked you out during your surgery. You’ve probably been given medication to numb the nerves in the area where the surgery was performed. You are, as they say, feeling no pain. Some patients are taken to the ICU, or Intensive Care Unit, from the recovery room, for overnight observation following back surgery. Often, this is planned beforehand, and the patient understands the reasons for this cautionary approach. The patient in ICU may be intubated – that is, have a tube inserted in your throat connected to a respirator that will assist breathing, but will not permit talking. Read More »

What should I expect the day of my spinal surgery?

Posted: Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 | Filed under: Back health, sciatica, Spinal Surgery, Spine conditions, Spine Surgery | author: By admin
Day of Surgery

Day of Surgery

This is the big day, the day your spinal surgery will be performed and your back condition – be it facet arthrosis or lumbar radiculopathy – gets effective treatment. You’ve had your pre-operative appointment a day or so ago, and had your pre-operative physical assessment and other pre-operative workup. You’ve also met with an anesthesiologist team member to talk about your anesthesia. Read More »

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