Author: Dr. Shim:

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I rarely see a normal spine MRI

Hi, I'm Dr. John Shim, an orthopedic spinal surgeon, and today I'd like to discuss how to read a lumbar MRI. As many of you know, MRI is a specific study used to closely examine various body parts. It has lots of applications and can give a very detailed look. It's useful […]

Obesity and Spine Surgery

Obesity and Spine Surgery is a sensitive issue.  The March 1 issue of Spine does tackle this issue by comparing the results of surgery for obese patients to normal weight patients. Not surprisingly,  the results do show a difference, with patients in the obese catagory having inferior rates of success compared to the normal weight patients. […]

Why won’t the Surgeon Operate on my Spine?

There are legitimate reasons why a Surgeon will not offer elective spine surgery on patients. Bear in mind,  we are talking ELECTIVE SPINE SURGERY,  not emergency surgery.    As you know,  elective surgery may definitely be warranted,  as the patient has debilitating pain,  or loss of function that does not improve with non surgical care. […]

You Will have Back Pain

Hi my name is dr. John Shim and I want to talk about a topic that's very familiar to all of you and that's back pain. The truth is if you live long enough you'll have back pain. When you're in your teens some develop back pain that's related to sports or […]

The Cold and Pain

Cold temperatures are often associated with an increase in back pain. While only some of us believe that, there is some scientific data that suggests the statement is true.  The Northeast has experienced a record cold winter, and I am sure many are tired of it.  Unfortunately, the cold is associated with increased musculoskeletal complaints, […]

InterLaminar Decompression and Instrumentation

Hi my name is Dr. John Shim, and I want to discuss the lumbar Co flex interlaminar stabilization surgery. By now you have already tried non-surgical treatments, and have decided to move forward with surgery. Lumbar Coflex interlaminar stabilization is offered because your pain patterns match the spinal stenosis findings on your […]

Stem cells for Back Pain

Lately,  I am seeing more and more advertisements on the use of stem cells to cure almost everything. This is concerning to me as the science (or the FDA)  is not yet behind many of the treatments now being offered by many clinics and physicians. The FDA is now “cracking down” on many of these businesses for […]

Exercise and Back Pain

When your back hurts,  the last thing you want to do is exercise.  And that is usually a mistake.  Traditionally,  our grandparents were advised to lie in bed, and not move when experiencing back pain.  More and more evidence suggests prolonged bedrest has adverse effects, and unintended consequences of more prolonged pain,  and disability. Exercise […]

Spine Technology. Is that all we Need?

I started my practice in 1993. Since that time, there have been significant technologic changes in medicine.  Spine Technology has experience significant advances. The whole medical experience has changed. I think for the most part better, but some will argue differently. In the 1970’s-1980’s, patients were routinely admitted to the hospital for very simple procedures. […]

How Common are Disc Herniations?

Surprisingly,  I am rarely asked  questions about frequency of disc herniations.  But the answer is, it is very common. The better question is, “Is the disc herniation seen on the MRI the cause of my pain?”.  The answer to that question is maybe. Research has demonstrated that findings of disc protrusions, disc hernations, and disc degeneration are very […]

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