Author: Dr. Shim:

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Why Plates and Screws?

So,  your surgeon says you need spine surgery.  And,  it is a surgery that will require hardware,  including plates and screws.  Go to the other blog pages about why the surgery.  Let’s talk about Why Plates and Screws? For the most part,  plates and screws are used to hold your vertebra still,  or in a certain […]

Goals of Spine Surgery

As a Spine Surgeon,  I want to give my patients a chance at a successful outcome.  But,   I find some patients to be unrealistic about the goals. So the topic can be broached,  I thought I would share my thoughts on the Goals of Spine Surgery.  As we will see,  there are many considerations to spinal surgery.      As always,  these […]

C5 Syndrome

For patients who undergo cervical myelopathy/radiculopathy surgery,  surgeons always have concern for developing the so called C5 Syndrome.   Some patients do wake up with weakness to the deltoid and biceps muscles.  Typically, however,  patients will not experience the weakness for a few days after the surgery.  You can imagine the concern for both the patient and […]

Waddell’s Signs

This is a very difficult topic.  It, however is an appropriate discussion,  considering we are in a national debate about healthcare and its costs. As a physician,  sometimes we are asked to make judgements on the validity of a patients complaints, and compare them to the physical findings.  It can be an uncomfortable position for some […]

Back Pain and Traveling

Back pain is inconvenient at best,  life altering at worst.   Still,  with or without it,  we must continue to do what we need to do to participate in the activities of life.  A common question asked by patients concern traveling.  The specific questions asked are, when I have back pain, can I ride on a […]

Disk Surgery

Have you been told you need Disk Surgery?   Unfortunately, that is a common situation faced by many patients that suffer from back pain with radiating,  shooting leg pain. In extreme situations,  such as severe weakness, or loss of control of bowel and bladder function,  assuming the disk is the cause of the problem,  you will need […]

Neck Pain Treatment

Are you interested in Neck Pain Treatments?  Obviously, you have neck pain.  Your physician must now figure out why. Initially, your physician may ask a series of questions about the pain: When did the neck pain start? Is there any associated trauma, such as a fall, accident, or altercation? Was the development of pain gradual, […]

Repeat Surgery After Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

Traditionally,  spinal surgery  had a bad reputation.  But,  epidemiological studies have demonstrated efficacy of certain procedures.  Recent analysis of the SPORT data indicates that for a matched population of patients with symptomatic disk herniations  there are better long term outcomes for the surgical patient. Still,  there is the constant fear of spinal surgery leading to additional […]

Whiplash, a spine surgeon’s perspective

Unfortunately,  whiplash has automatic negative connotations to most people. I hope we can have a civil discussion about this very emotional,  personal, and at times, controversial topic. Whiplash does have it orgins related to locomotion.  It was first described as an “acceleration-deceleration” motion to the neck  (Crowe, 1928) typically cause by a collision.    In the 1980’s  the […]

Is Trauma the Cause of Cervical Radiculopathy?

As a practicing orthopaedic Spine Surgeon,  I am constantly asked about the cause of cervical radiculopathy.  From the patients,  I am asked ” Doc,  do you know why I developed this pinched nerve in my neck?”.   And,  since we are now in this environment of medical cost evaluation,  the insurance companies then ask ” Doctor,  […]

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