As a state-of-the-art specialty spine health care practice, Nelson Spine Institute focuses on the treatment of degenerative disc disease of the cervical and lumbar spine, adult deformity conditions such as adult scoliosis and spondylolisthesis, nerve compression, radicular extremity pain through the arms and legs, and spine tumors in cooperation with specialized oncologists. Dr. Nelson and his dedicated staff provide the highest level of expertise for the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the following degenerative spine conditions:
A spinal fracture resulting from compression of the vertebra. Compression fractures can occur in any area of the spine.
Degenerative Disc Disease:
A normal wear-and-tear process of the spine that occurs after multiple annular tears have developed, resulting in the nucleus pulposus losing the ability to function as a shock absorber.
Also referred to as herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP), disc rupture, or disc prolapse. The disc consists of a tough outer layer (the annulus fibrosus) and a gel-like center (the nucleus pulposus). A herniated disc occurs when the outer wall of the disc is torn and a portion of the disc is now pushed out through this outer wall tear. The term "annular tear" comes from the tear only without herniation and the term "herniated disc" arrives when the center nucleus is herniated out through the tear in the wall. This phenomenon will cause pain in two ways. The nucleus will produce a chemical and the irritant response on the nerves. Back pain is also produced by the tear in the annular wall.
A form of spinal curvature similar to scoliosis but causes a bowing of the back, usually the upper back.
Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is caused by compression of the spinal cord in the upper spine, or cervical stenosis. There are multiple causes of cervical myelopathy. The traumatic, from fracture or injury, chronic pressure due to disc and spur build-up and then, less commonly, caused by tumor. The onset of myelopathy is also more common in the patient born with a smaller spinal canal.
A pathologic condition that causes pressure on nerves, resulting in possible nerve damage and muscle weakness or atrophy.
A disorder characterized by abnormal bone loss, occurring most frequently in post-menopausal females, in sedentary individuals and in patients on long-term steroid treatment. Also, cigarette smokers more commonly have osteoporosis.
A dysfunction of a nerve root with symptoms that may consist of weakness, pain, numbness and tingling.
Pain radiating or traveling into the buttock, back of the thigh and often down the leg into the calf and foot usually caused by irritation of a nerve root of the sciatic nerve, often from compression by a disc or degenerative disease.
A lateral (to the sides) curvature that also occurs with a rotational component is most readily noticed when looking at the body from the back. This is frequently manifested as a shoulder or pelvic asymmetry or an overall imbalance of the trunk to the left or right.
An overall narrowing of the spinal canal and can occur on a more congenital basis where a patient has pre-existing canal tightening which is exacerbated by disc injury or a degenerative process producing a build-up of ligament and joint as well as disc bulge from the anterior side producing spinal stenosis.
A forward slippage of one vertebra over the other. This condition has many causes, the most common of which is a lysis in the pars separating the joints of the vertebra posteriorly allowing spondylolisthesis. It also occurs on a degenerative basis with wearing out of the facet joints posteriorly and the disc anteriorly allowing the entire vertebra to slip forward. This is a less common cause of spondylolisthesis.