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Stem Cell Research Blog

Why Back Surgery Side Effects Are so Common: BFH Syndrome

I write about what I see in clinic and around me. One of the interesting things from this week was a low back pain patient who had surgery that was so invasive it left a hole in his low back. I coined the term BFH syndrome (Big [Insert Expletive] Hole) to describe this back surgery…
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Can Strong Back Muscles Lower the Risk of Knee Arthritis?

Our medical care system for orthopedics has a serious issue. It loves to chop people up into parts. You see the back guy for a spine problem, the foot and ankle guy, the shoulder doctor, and so on. The problem is that this isn’t consistent with the way we’re designed. We are one big connected…
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Low Back BioDisc: The Kitchen Sink Approach

If you read this blog, you know that I tend to blog about what happens in daily practice. Hence, I just learned of a new spine-treatment approach from a patient who asked me to review his medical records to see if I could help his long-standing low back pain. In the records, it was called…
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Avoiding Knee Replacement and Back Fusion and Still Dancing in the Caribbean

Our orthopedic surgery care system is dangerously broken. Why? Surgeons teach patients to obsess over the structure of their bones, cartilage, and joints to sell surgical procedures that we now know, for the most part, aren’t needed or are barely better than doing nothing. That same “scared into surgery” fate would have befallen Sherry, but after being…
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Treating the Whole Spine with Orthobiologics

If you visit a doctor who injects the spine, it’s highly likely that he or she will focus on finding one spot that’s causing most of your pain. However, is that the best approach to trying to help your back pain? This morning I’d like to show you some data from our registry that argues…
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Exercise May Prevent Muscle Inflammation Due to Disc Degeneration

Should you be exercising if you have back pain and degenerative disc disease? The answer for my patients has always been a resounding “likely,” it all depends on what’s wrong. However, a new study would suggest that maybe we should all be pushing these patients harder. What Is the Multifidus Muscle? The multifidus is a…
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Don’t Expect to Toss the Opioids After Spinal Fusion

Most patients I speak to who are contemplating a spinal fusion for low back pain believe that their pain will be solved and that they will be able to stop using narcotics. However, what if that wasn’t remotely true? Would they still sign up for this invasive and potentially dangerous surgical procedure? New research suggests…
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The More Low Back Levels You Have Fused the More Likely You Are to Need More Fusion

Sometimes medicine isn’t rocket science, but common sense. Take for example the idea that the more levels in a low back you fuse, the more damage can be done over time to surrounding structures. You don’t need an MD or a PhD to see that this makes intuitive sense. However, despite this, we’re seeing surgeons…
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