Advanced Spine Treatment for a More Comfortable Life

Living with a spine condition or back pain can make normal activities uncomfortable or even impossible. At Palm Beach Health Network's Good Samaritan Medical Center, we have a compassionate spine care team, with doctors from several medical and surgical specialties, including orthopedics and neurology, who want to help you live a more comfortable life.

Our doctors conduct physical exams and request diagnostic imaging tests to further evaluate your condition. Then, they may recommend non-surgical options first, such as lifestyle changes, stretching exercises, posture correction, medications and/or physical therapy. But when these won’t take care of the disruptive, nagging or potentially dangerous pain or disease, our spine specialists may offer advanced treatment options, including robotic-assisted spine surgery.

What Are the Common Symptoms of a Spine Condition?

The spine, also known as the backbone, is composed of 26 bone discs called the vertebrae. The vertebrae allow you to bend and stand and protect your spinal cord as well. There are several problems that can damage your vertebrae and surrounding tissues as well as change the structure of your spine. These include injuries, infections, conditions, tumors and bone changes that happen as we age.

Please see a doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms of a spine condition or disorder:

  • Back or neck pain that persists up to 10-14 days
  • Stiffness at the lower back that restricts range of motion
  • Inability to maintain a normal posture
  • Noticeable decline in motor function such as the ability to heel walk or tip toe
  • Muscle spasms at rest or with activity

How Do Doctors Diagnose a Spine Condition or Disorder?

Your doctor may diagnose your condition based on your signs and symptoms, through a physical exam and by asking you to undergo any or a combination of the following diagnostic tests:

  • X-ray
  • Computer tomography (CT) scan
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Lumbar and cervical discography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Nerve conduction studies

What Are the Benefits of Robotic-Assisted Spine Procedures?

We want to see our patients recover as soon as possible. That’s why we offer some robotic-assisted, minimally invasive procedures that may lead to shorter hospital stays and faster recovery periods. These advanced procedures may also help reduce our patients’ exposure to radiation and fluoroscopy, making them a safer option than traditional surgery.

Our advanced technology helps our surgeons in planning the surgery by having a three-dimensional view of the location of the area of concern. Also, robotic-assisted surgeries usually make smaller incisions than traditional surgery and may also provide better accuracy that may help lessen the risks of complications.

Orthopedic Spine Surgeon vs. Neurosurgeon

Your primary care physician may recommend you to either an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon based on your specific concerns and initial findings. Both orthopedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons are board-certified surgeons and are considered spine specialists who can help treat your back and spine concerns. The only difference between the two is that an orthopedic surgeon is trained to treat the spine, while a neurosurgeon is specialized in treating brain and spine conditions or illnesses.

What Are the Risk Factors for Spine Pain or a Spine Condition?

The following factors may increase a person’s risk for a spine condition or spine pain:

  • Advanced age
  • Family history of a spine condition
  • Occupational activities
  • Obesity and excess weight
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Strenuous physical activities, especially when done incorrectly
  • Prior medical conditions such as cancer and arthritis

If you are at an increased risk for spine pain or a spine condition, please schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

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