Author: Dr. Shim:

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Understanding Scoliosis

The spine has a natural curvature shaped like an “S” when viewed from the side. The neck and lower back regions are “C” shaped while the middle chest region has a “reverse-C” shape. When viewed from the back the spine appears straight. An abnormal curvature in this plane, with rotation of the vertebrae, is called […]

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What is the best mattress?

We spend one-third our life sleeping or attempting to do so. We all know what a restless night and a lack of sleep can do: it can affect our immune system and affect both our physical and mental health. When you spend over a third of your life in bed, you want to make sure […]

Lumbar Microdiscectomy

Here’s what you need to know about lumbar microdiscectomy: Description of surgery The Surgical goal is to relieve the pressure on the  spinal nerve by removing the disc material causing the leg pains.  A microdiscectomy is performed through a one inch incision in the lower back. The back muscles (noted here as erector spinae) are […]

Lumbar Laminectomy

Here’s what you need to know about lumbar laminectomy: Description of surgery The purpose of the surgery is to relieve the compression of the spinal nerves by removing the back portion of a vertebra in your lower back. That area of boney compression on the nerve is called the area of spinal stenosis.   The surgeon […]

Posterior Lumbar Fusion

Here’s what you need to know about posterior lumbar fusion surgery: Description of surgery The purpose of the surgery is to fuse two or more vertebral bones of your lower back to one. This is achieved by tricking your body into thinking the individual vertebral bones are broken at which point your body attempts to […]

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Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy

Here’s what you need to know about posterior cervical foraminotomy: The purpose of posterior cervical foraminotomy is to alleviate the spinal nerve compression caused by a specific type of  disc herniation or bone spur.  The surgeon makes a small incision on the back of the neck over the intended surgical site. Various tissues and muscles […]

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

Told you need neck surgery?  Let me explain what the patient can expect from an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, commonly referred to as ACDF. We’ll begin with breaking down the name: anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. Anterior refers to the direction in which the surgeon approaches the patient’s body, and cervical refers to the […]

Is Golf Bad For Your Back?

Is golf bad for my Back? The answer is yes. If you are a hard core golfer, you probably do not care. You might even be angry that I said this. Welcome to a conversation I have had 100’s of times during my career.  Despite the science, I cannot get my golfers to admit the […]

Is Tennis Bad For Your Back?

Is tennis bad for your back? The answer is maybe. Why do you ask this question? Are you a 5-0 player with back pain on your back hand or kick serve? Have you just started playing and noticed sciatica? Do you have back stiffness, and wondering if you should even start playing? For the avid […]

I rarely see a normal spine MRI

Spine specialists have an uphill battle when trying to explain MRI findings to a patient with back pain.  As human beings,  we want a reason for our complaints,  and the identification of MRI findings often become a convenient  answer.  Without a doubt,  an MRI is an excellent tool and can be very helpful in identifying […]