Spinal Surgery

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Artificial Disc Replacement Remains More Hype Than Reality

If you read this blog, you know that I often write about things I experience on a day-to-day basis while seeing patients. This past week a patient came in with a herniated disc in her neck and was offered an artificial disc as a treatment. After a short discussion, she no longer wanted one. What…read more

Helping a Competitive Teen Gymnast with Spondylolysis Avoid Surgery

For many teen athletes, their sport is their life. These days, a good number of teens come up against serious physical obstacles. This morning we’ll review a patient journey who reached back out to Dr. Jason Markle of our Colorado HQ site to update him on how she’s doing 5 years down the road. We’ll…read more

Understanding Medical Risk: Where Patients Go Wrong

I’ve blogged on this a few times, but when it comes to where patients often go wrong with keeping themselves safe, understanding medical risk is usually where they have a hard time. Hence, today we’ll go over several common medical risk scenarios to help you better decide how to manage your risk and live your…read more

Interspinous Spacers: The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread or a Bad Idea?

Lumbar stenosis is a big problem that can make it hard to stand upright, so invasive surgery is often recommended. However, over the last five years, a new device category called an interspinous spacer has emerged that promises to solve this problem with minimally invasive surgery. However, is this a good idea? Let’s dig in.…read more

ANOTHER Study Shows Fusion Is an Expensive Tip

What if a very invasive spine procedure became common to treat degenerative disease despite a high complication rate and multiple studies showing it was ineffective? This would make little common sense, right? However, that’s what has happened with Lumbar Fusion. Now yet another new study shows it doesn’t work. Let’s dig in. What Is DDD…read more

Why Are Interventional Pain Physicians Becoming Spine Surgeons?

We’ve all started attending in-person conferences again while some are still virtual. Having not been doing this for two years, one of the things that startled me was the number of booths selling percutaneous fusion devices to interventional pain physicians. So what’s up? Is this a good or a bad trend? What Is an Interventional…read more

Do You Need Spondylolysis Surgery?

Do you need spondylolysis surgery? The answer is probably not. However, let’s review what your options are including new procedures that promote healing without surgery. What is Spondylolysis? Before we learn about spondylolysis surgery, we need to learn about the medical problem of spondylolysis and it’s cousin spondylolisthesis. This is a medical term derived from…read more

Should I Have Artificial Disc Replacement?

If you read this blog, you know that I often write about what I experience on a day-to-day basis. Yesterday, I spoke to a patient from New York who had already had an artificial disc implanted in his back that failed and was contemplating another in his neck. Given that my neck on MRI was far…read more
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