Author: Dr. Shim:

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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

We do not have time for Back Pain. But, unfortunately, there is a good chance we will all experience back pain at sometime in our lives.  The good news is that most episodes of back pain are not serious and resolve over time. Physicians are always on the lookout for more serious causes of back […]

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

Spinal stenosis is a very common problem afflicting many people after the age of 60.  It should not be considered a disease,  but rather a normal process of aging. The degenerative cascade is the process by which the disk degenerates or collapses.  Because of the collapse,  the facet joints of the posterior spine rub abnormally […]

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 […]

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 […]

Cervical Neck Fractures

CT Scan of Cervical Neck Fractures:  Facet fracture and fragment in Foramen Transversalis   Cervical Neck Fractures are a common presentation associated with severe neck pain after trauma. Unfortunately,  cervical neck fractures commonly present after sports or recreational activities.  Common causes include diving accidents,  football collisions,  and racing activities.  Because of the activities involve, the […]

Boxing, MMA and Spinal Injuries

While it is well known that boxers  can suffer brain injuries from repetitive contact,  spine injuries can also occur during the boxing match. For boxers who develop neck pain after a match,  often times,  it is attributed to sprains and strains of the neck.  But if there is no rapid resolution of symptoms,  a screening […]

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Cervical Foraminotomy

What is Cervical Foraminotomy? In my prior blogs,  we discussed cervical radiculopathy,  or in simple terms,  a pinched nerve in the neck.  Usually,  there is associated pain, numbness and tingling corresponding to the distribution of the pinched nerves functions.  As we discussed before,  these nerves can have a distribution of sensation called dermatomes, as well […]

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