Chronic back pain is one of the most common medical complaints. FOX 26 News met with Dr. Saqib Siddiqui from The Spine Center in Houston about the symptoms of a problem that is often misdiagnosed.

“This is a particular form of back pain called sacroiliac pain and has different words, like Sacroilitis. It’s really quite undiagnosed! About 25 percent of chronic back pain sufferers may have pain coming from this joint, and it’s often forgotten about by the diagnosing physician. Unless you look for it and do the proper exam or diagnostic injection, you may not know that the sacroiliac joint is causing their chronic back pain,” explains Dr. Siddiqui.

Let’s get right to the point about the symptoms. Dr. Siddiqui says the typical signs that this could be your problem would be low back pain, on the left or right. He adds that sometimes that pain radiates down the buttock or leg.

Dr. Siddiqui also says the problem is often misdiagnosed, because it seldom shows up on imaging results (like x-rays and CT scans). That’s why he says it’s important to undergo the right diagnostic testing.

“There are six different current physical exams of them lying down on the couch, and we do a sacroiliac injection under sedation at a surgery center or hospital. We inject the joint under fluoroscopy, using an x-ray machine, to make sure they’re in the right place. Then within a few hours, the patient should get relief of pain.”

Options are available to treat the pain. Dr. Siddiqui says he always prefers to begin with non-invasive treatments like physical therapy. He says cortisone injections and chiropractic treatments can often help ease the pain. His last resort is surgery, but a fairly new procedure has really made it a lot easier on patients.

“In the past, the surgery for this was really quite extensive. It was a 12-inch incision, and required several days in the hospital. It was similar to what you’d have if you were in a severe car wreck with a broken pelvis. We had to expose all of that! Now we have a technique which can fuse the sacroiliac joint using a small incision, that’s 2-3 inches long. Now we can (make an incision through the side), and put in three implants,” explains Dr. Siddiqui. He also says most patients walk within an hour of surgery and feel relief of pain within a few days. They’ll be on crutches for about three weeks.

As far as the ideal candidate is concerned, it would be someone who’s had chronic back pain for six months or longer, who has failed physical therapy, injections, and chiropractic treatment for this joint.

Dr. Siddiqui says the patient would need to have had two positive injections, so that he’s sure of the diagnosis. He tells us the incision heals in a week, and most people are back at work after a few days.

“This will take six months to fully heal, but within three weeks, they can return to full weight-bearing and within two to three months, full sport and contact activities,” says Dr. Siddiqui.

“I’ve been doing this (procedure) since September, and patients are happy with their outcome, and we have more patients on the way,” says Dr. Siddiqui.

For more information, visit http://www.surgicalspinesolutions.com/.

Read more: http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/20495428/2013/01/03/new-procedure-to-ease-that-aching-back#ixzz2HWWj2I4j

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If you have ever had back pain or back surgery, then you know the pain can be life altering. It just gets in the way, it hurts, and you just want some relief now. I have personally known two people who have surgical steel rods implanted into their spine. This was not an easy process for them. The mere thought of either dealing with chronic back pain or having to have back surgery of any kind can take its toll. Back pain is not only physically challenging but can be an emotional roller-coaster as well. Chronic back pain can be one of the most agonizing and debilitating afflictions the human body can endure. Below are five tips to minimize failed back surgery and continued back pain.

First, it is essential that you know, trust and understand your diagnosis. Many pains look alike. A proper diagnosis is crucial to getting the appropriate treatment for your problem. For example, if you had Multiple Sclerosis but were diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, your treatment would not work and possibly make your pain worse. The same goes for back surgery, if you are treated for the wrong problem, the results are likely to do nothing or possibly even make the situation worse. Continue reading

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Infections after surgery are somewhat rare with spinal procedures, but if they do occur, they can cause serious issues if they are not properly addressed. This fact begs the question: are there any risk factors that one should look out for following the spinal surgery?

An article was recently published in the Journal for Bone and Joint Surgery that claimed that there is a surgical infection rate of about 2% with spinal surgeries. They concluded that one of the biggest risk factors when it came to such infections was the condition diabetes. They also claimed that patients with an elevated level of glucose in their blood before or after the operation were at a higher risk for infection to occur. This find indicates that the present understanding of glucose levels within the blood have a relationship with the level of bacterial growth is indeed correct. Other factors that were also associated with an increased infection risk were obesity, the presence of more than one surgical operators in the operating room, and sub par timing of antibiotic therapy using prophylactics. There were not the only factors associated with a heightened possibility of infection, but they are some of the most common causes. Continue reading

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Spine pain can leave people in severe pain, and unable to take part in life the way they used to be. However, not all surgeries to relieve this back pain have to be very invasive. Consulting a surgeon for lumbar disc degeneration is the best way to see if there is anything that can be done through non-surgical treatment before moving forward to look into surgical options. Nobody has to suffer forever with back pain, there are procedures that can give people back their livelihood. However, once patients have gone through several types of non-surgical treatment, artificial disc replacement may be the next option.

This involves completely removing and replacing a disc in the lumbar spine. Spinal fusion is another option, but it doesn’t offer the same results as disc replacement. Disc replacement offers a better range of motion, and it can even get rid of the pain that could be caused by a pinched disc. It’s also a somewhat simpler surgery, there are no screws used or bone grafts. Those suffering from lumber disc degeneration may finally be able to get some relief with a new artificial disc. It will remove the pressure that has been causing pain along nerves or along the spinal cord. In some cases though, there are non-surgical treatments that can also improve movement and reduce pain. People can also look into less invasive surgeries to help to alleviate their symptoms without having a major surgery. Continue reading

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Lumbar Spinal stenosis (LSS) is a terrible affliction that affects many people. More than just typical back pain, the pinched nerves in the spin can cause pain in other areas of the body as well as causing numbness, limping, and lack of physical activity. All of this adds up to one serious medical problem. The good news is that the Spine Center in Arizona is ready, willing, and able to help you or your loved one over come this debilitating medical problem with a minimally invasive surgical procedure known as X-STOP. Contact us today to see how we can help you beat lumbar spinal stenosis for good.

How X-STOP Works

There has been a lot of talk in the medical community about a new treatment method for spinal problems known as X-STOP. This is because unlike other complicated, and sometimes risky, invasive surgeries on the spine, X-STOP is much safer and easier.

Spinal stenosis occurs due to the space in between the vertebrae being reduced and pinching down on the nerves. This pain is worse when a person stands due to the fact that sitting or bending over tends to relax the spine and allow for more spacing between the vertebrae.

Capitalizing on this fact, X-STOP is a system in which a small implant is inserted in between two bones in your spine where the pinched nerves are located. The implant permanently holds the space open so that the nerve isn’t being pinched and therefore keeping your pain free. Continue reading

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It is imperative to recognize what a spinal compression fractures is and the symptoms they cause. These fractures are often seen in patients who are suffering from damaging diseases like Osteoporosis. Generally the elderly or those who have suffered a trauma are victims of breaks due to the weakening of the bones. The spinal cord can be traumatized due to these breaks and it can leave one in a wheelchair if not caught in time.

For some, they may feel some mild discomfort in their back, but for others the pain can be agonizing. There really is no sure way to know that it is a compression fracture that one is dealing with. That is why medical attention is necessary. The pain for the elderly is usually sharp and severe in their back. When these sharp pains occur, it could be an indication that the spine is involved. This condition is called a spinal compression fracture and it is more severe than just a compression fracture itself.

Any kind of trauma or weakness in the vertebra can cause compression fractures. When these pressures occur in the vertebra they can cause them to collapse. Osteoporosis treatment is a difficult thing, the main key is prevention. It is most common to see these types of fractures in those over 50 years of age. If someone is experiencing back pain and they are above the age of 50, they should seek immediate assistance. By getting the proper treatment, it can help to decrease the gamble of additional fractures. Continue reading

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Although, many professionals in spinal medicine were hopeful of Stryker’s PMA for the OP-1 Putty to use in uninstrumented posterolateral fusion as a treatment method for lumbar spondylolisthesis. However, when it came before the FDA in 2009 it was not approved. Stryker sought FDA approval based on the 2 years of clinical data and 36 months of CT scan and reoperation rates gathered through the company’s study.

When it came before the FDA advisory board they denied the approval base don the results made in the trial, which suggested that the documentation was not enough. This was the second denial of the PMA application which started back in 2006, and where again the data just didn’t offer enough support for the product approval. The FDA also suggested there were a number of other issues which also affected the approval process – these included: Continue reading

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While there are many conservative treatments for spinal pain, sometimes the only solution is surgery. Every surgery has the potential for complications, but patients who are medically defined as obese, especially those who fall into the severely obese category, have more complications with spinal surgery. These complications arise with all types of spinal surgery, including spinal fusion surgery.

Severe obesity is sometimes referred to as morbid obesity. It can be defined by measurement of the Body Mass Index, or BMI, or by being more than 100 pounds overweight. Severely obese individuals place more strain on all parts of their body, including the spine. Any problem of the spine is going to be aggravated by extra weight. The pain will be worse, and the patient will, in general, just be more uncomfortable. Surgery on the spine can have the same positive results for the severely obese patient as a patient with normal weight. The problem is the aftermath of the surgery, better known as the complications. Most patients will benefit from weight loss prior to surgery. Not only will there be less spinal pain, the surgery will have fewer complications. Minimizing the risk of surgery is always a desirable goal. Continue reading

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For someone living with chronic or occasional back pain or neck pain, daily life can often be a kind of balancing act. You can alleviate your pain with over the counter medications, medicinal patches, stretching, and/or applying heat via a heating pad or patch but it is a constant struggle to find a solution that makes it possible for you to function. Does your lifestyle really allow you to rest on a heating pad for relief? Do you really want to keep taking ibuprofen and other pain killers just to be able to get out of bed? Treating your pain yourself can become expensive and frustrating so it is important to research the relief options available.

An option to consider is a spine clinical trial. Clinical trials are regulated by the FDA and designed to allow individuals access to new medications and treatments before they become available to the general public. Participation in a spine clinical trial is voluntary and it is required that you understand any and all risks involved before enrolling in a trial. Being in a clinical trial can give you insight into new back pain treatments and advancements currently in process to aid in relief and therapy. Continue reading

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