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Meet Our Doctors
Cubbage, Matthew P., MD
Dr. Cubbage
graduated from Creighton University...
Cubbage, Matthew P., MD
Meet Our Doctors
Mohr, Alexander R., MD
Mohr, Alexander R., MD joins Advanced Orthopaedics
Mohr, Alexander R., MD
Meet Our Doctors
Kareh, Victor, MD
Dr. Kareh's practice consists of brain and spine surgery
Kareh, Victor, MD
Meet Our Doctors
Barhorst, Mark, MD
Pain Management
Barhorst, Mark, MD
Meet Our Doctors
Bricker, Michelle, MD
Pain Management
Bricker, Michelle, MD
Meet Our Doctors
Edwards, Juanita P., MD
Pain Management
Edwards, Juanita P., MD
Meet Our Doctors
Wiggins, Michele, MD
Pain Management
Wiggins, Michele, MD
News

Optical topographic imaging seen as efficient, accurate navigation technique for cervical spine

SourceHealio

According to a presentation from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Annual Scientific Meeting, optical topographic imaging is an efficient, novel technique that allows for initial and repeat registration of the cervical spine and had accuracy similar to other spinal neuronavigation systems.

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Age no barrier for back surgery benefits

SourceMedical Xpress

Seniors can benefit from herniated disc surgery, according to the results of a study conducted by Mattis A. Madsbu, a medical student at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and colleagues at the Department of Neurosurgery at St. Olavs Hospital in Trondheim, Norway. Madsbu's supervisor was NTNU consultant neurosurgeon Sasha Gulati.

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Exercise good for the spine

SourceMedical Xpress

A world-first study has shown that specific physical activity benefits the discs in our spines and may help to prevent and manage spinal pain.

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Tai chi can help relieve chronic neck pain, study shows

SourceScience Daily

Tai Chi, a low-impact mind-body exercise, can be as effective as neck exercises in relieving persistent neck pain, according to results of randomized controlled trial.

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High-frequency spinal cord stimulation provides better results in chronic back, leg pain

SourceScience Daily

For patients with severe, chronic back and leg pain, a new high-frequency spinal cord stimulation (SCS) technique provides superior clinical outcomes, compared to conventional low-frequency SCS, reports a clinical trial.

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Surgical repair of phrenic nerve injury improves breathing

SourceScience Daily

In people with breathing difficulties caused by phrenic nerve injury, surgical reconstruction of the nerve can lead to significant improvement in breathing and an increase in regular physical activities, say researchers.

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Many back pain patients get limited relief from opioids and worry about taking them, survey shows

SourceScience Daily

Millions of people take opioids for chronic back pain, but many of them get limited relief while experiencing side effects and worrying about the stigma associated with taking them, suggests research.

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Motion Created in an Unstable Cervical Spine During the Removal of a Football Helmet: Comparison of Techniques

SourceHealio

Helmet removal is necessary to maintain airway access in a suspected cervical spine injury. The aim of this investigation was to determine which of two football helmet removal techniques minimized angular and translational displacement in a suspected cervical injury.

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Design could revolutionise spinal surgery

SourceMedical News Today

Researchers have designed a way to improve the safety and efficiency of a complex surgical procedure for children with cerebral palsy by using wearable technology like Google Glass.

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Ways To Prevent Lower Back Problems

SourceBack Pain Relief Daily

The following ways to prevent lower back problems will help to keep an individual engaged in daily activities without risking any injury to the back or neck. Changing the body position frequently and taking breaks during activities is important to prevent putting strain on the spine.

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Yoga and Pilates For Back Ache

SourceBack Pain Relief Daily

Yoga and Pilates for back ache help to maintain proper posture and are recommended by physiotherapists and doctors. Iyengar Yoga and Stott Pilates have many benefits, according to this article, through providing relief from different injuries and lead to a healthy lifestyle. Iyengar Yoga has become very popular because it helps by creating equality and awareness of spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental levels.

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Promising results from minimally invasive back surgery

Source Medical News Today

Beaumont research findings published in the February online issue of Spine shows that patients who have a low back surgery called minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbodyfusion, end up better off in many ways than patients who have more invasive surgery to alleviate debilitating pain.

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Ways to help manage chronic bone and joint pain

Source Medical News Today

The majority of chronic pain complaints concern the musculoskeletal system, but they also include headaches and abdominal pain. "As orthopaedic surgeons, we are experts in the management of acute injuries to the extremities and spine.

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Back surgery offers long-term societal benefits, according to new study

SourceScience Daily

Back pain is a significant problem in America. In 2010, more than 10 million people experienced back pain. More than 200,000 of these patients are diagnosed with a herniated disc. Employees who experience back pain miss an average of 26 days of work and spend nearly 34 days in bed each year. While at work, back pain can affect productivity.

Past research has found herniated disc surgery to be an effective treatment option to ease the extreme back pain associated with herniation of a disc. However, until now, none of these studies accounted for lost productivity in the workplace. A new study, commissioned by AAOS and conducted by health economists, found surgery to be a cost-effective option for patients who used it, particularly because of its effect on productivity.

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Spinal cord stimulator success depends on time factors

SourceHealio

Patients who waited less than 2 years for a spinal cord stimulator implant experienced success rates of 75% compared with a success rates of 15% in patients who waited 20 years after the onset of pain to receive the implant, according to a retrospective analysis.

The investigators involved in a poster presentation scheduled to be presented at the recent American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) Annual Meeting reported their findings in a press release from the AAPM.

Fewer than 50% of all patients report long-term success with spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for treatment of chronic pain, they noted in the release.“The success of SCS is time sensitive, in that as wait times decline, long-term outcomes with SCS are enhanced,” Krishna Kumar, MD, of Regina General Hospital, in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, stated.

The study included 443 patients who received SCS. Starting with the initial pain diagnosis, investigators examined points of delay to referral for SCS implantation by primary care physicians and specialists. Patients first saw a physician 3.4 months after developing a pain syndrome. The mean time to implantation from the first symptoms was 5.12 years. Neurosurgeons were quickest to refer these patients and non-implanting anesthetists were most likely to delay implantation, according to the release, which noted that treatment was 2.15 years longer if a non-implanting anesthetist versus a neurosurgeon referred the patient.

“Chronic pain is a disease unto itself, which is responsible for physical and psychological suffering. The importance of timely treatment must, therefore, be recognized by all physicians,” Kumar stated.

Shortened wait times could significantly improve the success rates for SCS, he stated.

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Stem cell transplants may help treat degenerative disc disease

SourceScience Daily

Stem cell transplants was found to be viable and effective for halting or reversing degenerative disc disease in the spine, based on research conducted at the Mayo Clinic and presented at the American Academy of Pain Medicine Annual Meeting.

Recent developments in stem cell research made it possible to assess the effect of this therapy on intervertebral disc (IVD) height, investigators from the Mayo Clinic stated in a press release about their presentation.

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Quality of life improves with minimally invasive surgery for low back pain

SourceScience Daily

Patients who have a low back surgery called minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbodyfusion, end up better off in many ways than patients who have more invasive surgery to alleviate debilitating pain. Quality of life improvements include smaller incisions, and reduced chronic low back pain, hospital stays, complications and scarring. The minimally invasive surgery can also lower costs and infection rates compared with more invasive, open procedures.

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Spotting spinal arthritis early

SourceDaily Rx

Patients with chronic back pain caused by inflammation should be screened for ankylosing spondylitis. That is because inflammatory back pain is an early sign of ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis that affects the spine.

Early diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis gives patients a better chance at controlling pain and slowing joint damage. Because inflammatory back pain is an early sign of ankylosing spondylitis, it could be used to diagnose this painful form of inflammatory arthritis.

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How do we experience back pain?

SourceDaily Rx

Lower back pain is a nebulous and common problem. Often, the cause of chronic pain can be traced back to a specific cause such as lumbar spinal stenosis, or degenerative disk disease.
But typically, lower back pain comes from something more difficult to diagnose, like overuse, strain, or stress.

It's also important to try to avoid back pain by staying active, and having proper ergonomics while sitting at your desk, if that's what you do all day. Keep your body relaxed and position your computer screen at eye level. A quick exercise or two can help stave off back pain.

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Good news for short term back pain

SourceDaily Rx

Low-back pain is a common condition that can affect every day life through discomfort, health care costs, disability and loss of work. Luckily, most back pain is alleviated in the course of six weeks.

Researchers have identified that patients with low-back pain improve quickly within the first six weeks of seeking care.

This is particularly true for those whose symptoms have been ongoing for less than 6 weeks. Those with back pain that has lasted for 12 weeks to one year at the time of seeking treatment find more difficulty in alleviating their symptoms.

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Scoliosis treatment might reduce need for surgeries

SourceUS News Health

Scoliosis is an abnormal curving of the spine that occurs mainly in young children and adolescents. Traditional treatment for children who are still growing is surgical insertion of growing rods. Every six months, however, a new surgery is required to lengthen the rods.

In the study, researchers assessed the use of magnetically controlled growing rods that were implanted in two patients. The key advantage: Surgery is not required to lengthen these rods.

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Best ways to reduce back pain at your desk job

SourceFox News.com

A number of studies have shown that sitting at your desk all day is not good for your overall health, but there's been little proof that sitting for long hours leads to back pain.

"One of the negative effects of sitting is that it puts the spine in a flexed position (bent forward) and this may cause your back muscles to stop working efficiently, putting your back at risk of injury," said Donald R. Murphy, clinical assistant professor at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, R.I.

Also, many people, at least anecdotally, complain that sitting makes their backs start to ache, and if you already suffer from back pain, sitting may make it worse. But there are definitely steps you can take to protect your back-- and some bad habits that can make it worse.

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Lumbar disc degeneration more likely in obese adults

SourceOrthospinenews

An age related disability, known as degenerative disc disease, was recently found to be linked to obesity. As a person ages their spinal discs begin to break down and will result in loss of fluids or tears in the outer layers of the discs, all together eventually causing the degenerative disease. A recent study at the University of Hong Kong found that adults who are overweight or obese were significantly more likely to have disc degeneration than those with a normal body mass index (BMI).

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Epidural steroid injections do not improve outcomes in patients with lumbar stenosis

SourceOrthosupersite

A subgroup analysis of the SPORT study found that patients with spinal stenosis who received epidural steroid injections had significantly less improvement compared to those who did not receive them, despite whether patients were treated surgically or nonsurgically.

The research, presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the North American Spine Society, also revealed that epidural steroid injected [ESI] patients showed no avoidance to surgery, had longer surgical times and hospital stays.

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Study investigates risks for re-operation after spondylolisthesis surgery

SourceOrthosupersite

A subgroup analysis of the SPORT study showed a 14% re-operation rate at 4 years for patients who undergo surgery for degenerative spondylolisthesis and found no link between the risk of revision and traditional factors, such as surgical variables, body mass index and baseline clinical scores.

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Epidural steroid injection returns most professional football players to the field

SourceOrthosupersite

Researchers found an 89% success rate of epidural steroid injection treatment for acute lumbar disk herniation in professional football players, according to Aaron J. Krych, MD at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine 2012 Specialty Day Meeting, here.

In our hands, epidural steroid injections were an effective therapeutic option for treatment of acute lumbar disk herniation in professional athletes,” Krych said. “They appear to be safe and well-tolerated with minimal side effects. In this small study, risk factors for failure included sequestered disk on MRI as well as presentation of lower extremity weakness. We continue to recommend an individualized treatment approach for our athletes.”

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Low back pain - practitioners recommend time off despite guidelines

SourceMedical News Today

Even though guidelines for clinical management of patients with low back pain (LBP) encourage health care practitioners to advise patients to remain active and return to work, most practitioners feel that work factors can cause or aggravate LBP and often recommend a 'short break from work' to allow healing. According to a new study published in the December issue of PAIN, practitioners believe that there are some aspects of work that are harmful to patients' recovery and feel that their role in returning patients to work is limited.

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Herniated disc surgery - who benefits the most?

SourceMedical News Today

According to a study led by Dr. Adam Pearson of Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, N.H, in the January 15, issue of Spine, married patients undergoing surgery for herniated spinal discs whose symptoms are getting worse see greater improvements following the procedure than patients who received nonoperative treatments.

Although, researchers are unsure why marital status affects response to surgery, investigations have demonstrated improved outcomes for a wide variety of health problems among married patients. The team was not surprised by the effect of worsening symptoms, as these individuals were already getting worse without surgery. In addition, patients without other joint problems may have better general health.

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Results of surgery for spondylotic myelopathy unaffected by diabetes, study finds

MONDAY, November 7, 2011 — Diabetes does not appear to impact the outcomes of surgery for patients undergoing treatment of symptomatic spondylotic myelopathy, according to a study presented here at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the North American Spine Society.

"If diabetic patients come in with myelopathy and you are hesitant to operate on them because they have diabetes, you should consider those patients could do just as well [as patients without diabetes] and have significant improvements," study investigator Paul M. Arnold, MD, said during his presentation. "We recommend surgical management, all other things being equal."

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Preoperative vitamin D deficiency common in patients undergoing spinal fusion

FRIDAY, November 4, 2011 — Researchers from St. Louis found an "alarmingly high" vitamin D abnormality rate in adults undergoing spinal fusion, according to a study presented here at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the North American Spine Society.

"The objectives of this study were to characterize the prevalence of preoperative hypovitaminosis D on adults undergoing spinal fusion — and to ascertain whether previously identified risk factors for deficiency could be applied to the spine population," study author Jacob M. Buchowski, MD, said during his presentation.

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Comparable outcomes seen with unipedicular, bipedicular balloon kyphoplasty

FRIDAY, November 4, 2011 — Unipedicular balloon kyphoplasty can yield clinical and radiographical results similar to bipedicular balloon kyphoplasty while reducing operative time, according to a study presented here by Brian J. Rebolledo, BA, at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the North American Spine Society .

"We showed that unipedicular kyphoplasty is a safe and effective procedure that provides equivalent results in both self-reported and clinical outcome measures, as well as radiographic outcomes," Rebolledo said. "In addition, unipedicular kyphoplasty has a shorter operative time and can reduce operative costs."

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Patient Activation and Functional Recovery in Persons Undergoing Spine Surgery

November, 2011 — The importance of individuals' participation in their own health and recovery has been the focus of recent research. It is believed that patient activation, defined as "an individual's propensity to engage in adaptive health behavior that may lead to improved outcomes," can influence the difficulty or ease with which patients recover from surgery.

Overall, higher patient activation (ie, participants in Stage IV) was associated with better recovery postoperatively. Individuals with high patient activation preoperatively experienced significantly more resolution of their disability 2 years postoperatively than did those with low patient activation.

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Researchers Capture Breakthrough Data on Cervical Spine Breaks

WEDNESDAY 27 July, 2011 — A high school football player's broken neck from which he's recovered has yielded breakthrough biomechanical data on cervical spine injuries that could ultimately affect safety and equipment standards for athletes. University of New Hampshire associate professor of kinesiology Erik Swartz collaborated on the study, which appears in a letter in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

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New Method Allows for the Concurrent Treatment of Spinal Tumors and Stabilization of the Spine

TUESDAY 12 July, 2011 — The Orthopedic Clinic and Policlinic at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has recently deployed a new system for the treatment of spinal tumors for the first time. This treatment is a combination of the so-called radiofrequency ablation, which uses the heat energy of radio frequency waves to ablate and destroy tumors, and a subsequent kyphoplasty, by which the spine is stabilized through the injection of bone cement as filler material. A recently started single-center study involving 10 evaluable patients suffering from painful metastatic spinal tumors is now expected to provide information about the efficacy of this method.

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X-spine Announces CE Mark for AXLE™ Interspinous Fusion System

TUESDAY 21 June, 2011 — X-spine, a global manufacturer of implants and instruments for spinal surgery, announced it has received the CE Mark for its AXLE™ Interspinous Fusion System. The device, which was launched in the USA earlier this year, is designed to provide spinal stability for the treatment of degenerative disk disease, spinal tumors and trauma.

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Predicting Spinal Disc Degeneration

THURSDAY, 4 August, 2011 — Degenerative changes are believed to be linked to a failure in the transport of nutrients from the peripheral blood vessels to the discs, which affects solute concentration within the disc and depends on tissue composition and the disc's response to mechanical loads. Overloading can be damaging; however, normal loading allows healthy transportation of nutrients and solutes.

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In the Battle to Relieve Back Aches, Researchers Create Bioengineered Spinal Disc Implants

MONDAY, 1 August, 2011 — Researchers have created a biologically based spinal implant that could someday spell relief for these countless sufferers. From a biological perspective, the new discs could create a "huge advantage" over traditional implants because of how they integrate and mature with the vertebrae. An increasing number of patients need treatment or surgery from the degeneration of the intervertebral disc.

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Systematic Osteoporosis Management Urged After Vertebral Fracture Augmentation

MONDAY, 1 August, 2011 — Referring physicians should be aware that VP and BKP are available options for the management of vertebral compression fractures, with possible clinical benefits to their patients in terms of acute pain relief and improved quality of life. However, longer follow-up of patients are needed to ensure the efficacy and safety of these techniques, which should not be considered as a substitute for the medical management of osteoporosis, vitally needed in these patients at high risk of other fractures.

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Newly approved cervical artificial disc replacement procedure gets local man back into action

Scott Washburn, a 45-year-old entrepreneur, knew something was seriously wrong with his health several weeks ago when he began experiencing pain, numbness and tingling in both arms.

Thanks to a new, revolutionary surgical procedure, the Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement, Washburn will be returning to his active life of tennis, golf and snow skiing within a few weeks. The procedure, performed by Matthew Cubbage, M.D., Chief of Spine Surgery at North Cypress Medical Center, treated Mr. Washburn's failed disc in his neck with an Artificial Disc Replacement.

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