Author: Dr. Shim:

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Why Lumbar Discectomy?

Why Lumbar Discectomy? Most people have heard about lumbar discectomy surgery for herniated disks. This surgery has changed the way many people feel about back surgery. In the past many back surgeries had uniformly poor results, and the chances of a positive outcome was not that great.  But, times have changed, and the forces of […]

Compulsory Medical Examination

Since I started my practice in 1993, I have also been performing examinations that are now known as Compulsory Medical Evaluations. To those who do not know, it is an examination arranged to evaluate a person with claims of injury from an accident. The causes are usually related to a work injury, a motor vehicle […]

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Microdiscectomy Surgery

What exactly is Microdiscectomy?  In the simplest terms,  it means removal of disc material that is pinching a nerve,  using small incisions and with magnification.  In the United States,  there is an average of 300,000 discectomy type surgeries performed per year. For the vast majority of patients,  the reason for microdisectomy is PAIN,  despite treatments such […]

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Is Cervical (neck) Fusion Surgery Considered a Radical Solution?

Many people are both upset and frightened when their spine surgeon recommends a fusion as a solution to their neck problems. An anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), in the properly selected patient, has a very high success rate, with very satisfied patients. In our practice, patients who elect to have cervical fusion typically have […]

Why You Need to Trust Your Doctor

When you have pain, or when you have medical concerns, you need to trust your doctor. If you do not,   I suggest you find a doctor you do trust. That trusting relationship should provide security,  hope, and cost savings. As a Spine Specialist,  I know that a majority of the patients with  pains will improve over […]

Minimally Invasive Discectomy vs Micro/Open Discectomy

We’ve all heard of “Minimally Invasive Discectomy” as it is used as a marketing ploy almost everywhere. Everyone has a different description of what minimally invasive actually is. Some consider MIS as surgery being done through small incisions, with less dissection, and therefore less pain, and faster recovery.   With that criteria, many of the spine […]

Risks Associated with MRI Scans

What are the risks associated with MRI Scans? From a practical point of view,  there are few medical risks.  MRI’s do not utilize radiation.  Unless there is use of a dye,  it is completely noninvasive. Most patients can tolerate the procedure well. But, certain patients do have some medical risks associated with MRI Scans.  If […]

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Questions for the Spine Surgeon

Have you been told you need Spinal Surgery? If possible, it is always wise to get a second opinion. But wait!  Do your homework first. This is what I would do before seeing a spine surgeon for a second opinion…. 1.  Go with a trusted friend or family member. Two sets of ears and two […]

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Degenerative Disk Disease? There Will be Pain…Maybe

Have you been told you have Degenerative Disk Disease? If so, welcome to the club. If you live long enough, you will get it. If you think about it, degenerative disk disease really should not be called a disease, as it is the normal process of disk degradation. It is like saying aging is a […]

Does Optimism Help Spine Surgery Results?

People who undergo elective spine surgery usually fall into three general groups: 1. Hard charging optimists –  People who do not have time for the pain,  and dysfunction, of spine problems.  These folks are often in a rush to go directly to surgery. 2. Cautious realists –   These patients spend appropriate time to understand their problem  and the risks […]

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