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Lumbar Fusion is Still an Option

Lumbar fusion, also called spinal fusion, is just what it says — the welding of two or more vertebrae in the back. Fusing vertebrae allows them to heal into a single bone, reducing painful motion or restoring stability. In the practice of orthopedist Paul Brisson, MD, spinal fusion isn’t not the first choice, it’s recommended only after we pinpoint the source of back pain and other, non-invasive procedures don’t bring relief.

Why Consider Lumbar Fusion

Spinal fusion may help relieve pain caused by arthritis, a fractured vertebra, infection, herniated disks, lumbar degenerative disk disease, spinal decompression, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, tumors or the fact that we are just getting old and wearing out. These conditions may cause unnatural stretching of the nerves or the ligaments and muscles attached to the spine, causing unnatural motion. When that motion is eliminated, the pain usually follows.

How Does It Work?

To determine the exact source of pain and to plan your treatment, your orthopedist has numerous imaging tests (computerized tomography [CT] plus magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] or x-rays scans) to gather information. Once the data is analyzed fully and the nature of the problem is clearly understood, the medical team can determine which bones to fuse and how to approach it — from the front, the sides or the back, depending on the nature and location of the problem — and if they can employ new, minimally-invasive techniques which use smaller incisions.

A bone graft may be placed in the problem area to stimulate healing and increase bone production, helping the vertebrae merge into one solid bone. In the past, grafts were taken from the patient’s hip bones, which adds more to the surgery and, therefore, more to healing time, but it was the only way. New materials and options, developed in recent years, including bone banks and synthetic bone, have speeded recovery and lowered post-operative pain for many patients.

For added recovery success, immobilization is necessary — the bones will heal faster when they don’t move. Internal fixation means surgeons implant plates, screws and rods to hold the spine still. External fixation means using a back brace or similar device. Internal fixes generally hasten post-operative recovery, but added surgery always carries some additional risk.

Visit New York City’s Top Spinal Surgeon

Located just east of Madison Square Park on 25th Street in Manhattan, Dr. Brisson’s practice provides the best possible service to all his patients. He is a fully-qualified and well-respected member of the New York City medical community, with over 30 years of practice and a skilled staff to back him up. If you’re in pain, contact Dr. Paul M. Brisson, MD, today for a consultation. Hundreds of the Doctor’s previous patients are proof positive — you don’t have to live with back pain. 

Relieve Neck Pain Without Invasive Surgery

Surgery is always an option when cervical (neck) pain invades your life, but ongoing research has given orthopedists like Dr. Paul M. Brisson, MD, new tools that can reduce or cure neck pain without resorting to the scalpel. We’ll all probably be in pain at some point, due to accident or injury, lifestyle, work habits or just the fact that we’re getting old.

Treatment depends on the source and severity of your pain — most neck pain is a short-term problem that the body heals on its own, with a little help from pain relievers, chiropractic and lifestyle improvements.

Non-surgical Treatment Options

Most neck injuries occur in the soft tissues — muscles, tendons or ligaments. Patients describe them as a persistent ache, stabbing or burning; areas sensitive to the touch; numbness and tingling or headaches. To help these small problems work themselves out:

  1. Apply Ice: These are different treatments for different situations. The body often rushes additional blood to an injured area, but, when the body overdoes it and swelling occurs, ice helps reduce blood flow by constricting blood vessels.

 

  1. Apply Heat: As swelling goes down, switch to heat (via heating pad, hot tub or warm wrap, to loosen muscles and send more blood to the area. Apply it for about 20 minutes at a stretch, several times daily.

 

  1. Correct Your Posture: Sitting up straight, walking with shoulders high is old, and very sage advice, but there’s more. Tilting your neck forward 20 degrees, like looking at your phone or tablet — puts 30 extra pounds of pressure on your spine. Over time, this can erase the natural curve of your neck, weaken muscles and cause shoulder muscles to tighten, producing create chronic neck pain. Sit with your eyes facing straight forward as much as possible then move around and stretch out regularly.

 

  1. Exercise: Appropriate exercise strengthens neck muscles, enabling them to do more without pain. Aerobic exercises increase blood flow to soft muscles and tissues of the neck, loosening tight muscles, strengthening weak ones and increasing range of motion. Discuss your goals with your physician, who can help you design a suitable exercise program.

 

  1. Eat Right, Quit Smoking, Don’t Misuse Drugs: These should be no-brainers, but some people insist on risking their long-term health with bad habits.

 

Visit New York City’s Top Orthopedic Surgeon

Dr. Brisson is a fully-qualified, well-respected member of the New York City medical community, with over 30 years in practice and a skilled staff to back him up. Located just east of Madison Square Park on 25th Street in Manhattan, his practice provides the best service to every one of his patients. If you’re in pain, contact Dr. Paul M. Brisson, MD, today for a consultation. You don’t have to live with neck pain.

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