Author: Dr. Shim:


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 […]

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 […]