April 17th, 2013
Often a herniated disc in the neck can not only be painful, but it can alter your daily activities too. Herniated discs in the neck can cause pain and numbness in the arm and hands, making it difficult to do a lot of things we take for granted. One CSC patient who experienced this faced a serious challenge when she was no longer able to do what she loved most: riding her beloved horses. CSC neurosurgeon Michael J. Musacchio, Jr., M.D. , who specializes in minimally-invasive spine surgery, was able to perform a modern technology on her. Recently Dr. Musacchio and this patient were featured on the Best Docs Network television show. Watch here! Michael J. Musacchio, Jr., M.D. is a Center for Spine Care minimally invasive neurosurgeon specializing in the spine. . To learn more about Center for Spine Care, visit our website!
April 14th, 2013
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March 29th, 2013
Written by Michael J. Musacchio, Jr., M.D. Fans of the television show “Dancing with the Stars” are well aware that former Olympic ice skating gold medalist, Dorothy Hamill, has withdrawn from the competition due to a spine injury described as a synovial cyst. While synovial cysts are actually quite common in the spine, they are probably less known than the more common disc bulges or bone spurs. Like disc bulges and bone spurs, synovial cysts can cause back and leg pain that can be quite severe. Synovial cysts are benign cysts that develop as the lining of the joints in the spine (aka the synovium) degenerates over time due to wear and tear. They can be quite small and not cause any clinical symptoms, but they may also grow larger and cause nerve pain or back pain. Classically, they develop in an […]
March 7th, 2013
Written by Michael J. Musacchio, Jr., M.D. At Center for Spine Care, we are continually evaluating new technology and assessing whether new techniques or devices help us to offer the most advanced, cutting-edge options for our patients with conditions and ailments of the spine. We diligently investigate and assess these new devices to be certain that they are effective and safe before incorporating them into the operating room. Often this involves working with new technology in training labs, and corroborating with industry manufacturers to ensure the validity of these therapies. Data and evidence through stringent clinical trials are crucial to popular acceptance of new technology so that there is limited risk to patients. One such device that we have found to be a great advancement in minimally invasive technologies is the iO-Flex® device by Baxano, Inc. (San Jose, CA). iO-Flex® […]
November 15th, 2012
Like any joint in the body, facet joints may cause pain if they are irritated or inflamed. The facet joint block is a procedure where a local anesthetic medication (like the dentist uses to numb your mouth) with steroid is injected into the facet joint. The lidocaine numbs the area around the facet joint and the steroid helps reduce inflammation. If the pain resolves or is significantly reduced, the doctor or physician assistant may assume that the facet joint is a problem or at least part of the problem. Facet blocks may be repeated. When the joint becomes irritated a third time, a rhizotomy procedure is recommended. This procedure cauterizes the tiny sensory nerve that innervates this facet region. The nerve may grow back in 6-18 months, and this procedure may be repeated. One may expect long term relief from […]
November 13th, 2012
An epidural is a potent steroid injection that helps decrease the inflammation of compressed spinal nerves to relieve pain in the back, neck, arms or legs. Cortisone is injected into the spinal canal for pain relief from conditions such as herniated disks, spinal stenosis, or radiculopathy. Some patients may need only one injection, but occasionally more than one injection is needed to provide significant pain relief. Frequently, these are done using a transforaminal approach to selectively isolate a specific nerve root. Along with electrodiagnostics, this can help identify a specific nerve root as the pain generator. Cortisone is a steroid that is produced naturally in the body. Synthetically-produced cortisone can also be injected into soft tissues and joints to help decrease inflammation. While cortisone is not a pain reliever, pain may diminish as a result of reduced inflammation. In orthopaedics, […]
November 8th, 2012
Physical therapy is the treatment of musculoskeletal and neurological injuries to promote a return to function and independent living. Physical therapy incorporates both exercise and functional training. Exercise restores motion and strength while functional training facilitates a return to daily activities, work, or sport. More Frequently Asked Questions: What is degenerative disk disease? What is sciatica? What is a bulging/ruptured/herniated disk? What is radiculopathy/nerve impingement? What is spinal stenosis? What is the difference between x-rays, MRI, and CT scan? What is an EMG or NCS? . To learn more about Center for Spine Care, visit our website!
November 5th, 2012
John Peloza, M.D. and Michael J. Musacchio, Jr., M.D., FAANS are the first in the United States since FDA approval to use the coflex® Interlaminar Technology, a motion preserving, minimally invasive treatment for people with degenerative spinal stenosis. The first case was done November 5, 2012 at the Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery in Dallas. For patients with lumbar stenosis or spondylolisthesis, which are both very painful conditions, this is a welcome and much awaited treatment. Stenosis is a painful condition caused by narrowing of the spinal canal, which puts pressure on the nerves causing pain in the groin, buttocks and down the leg. Spondylolisthesis is when one vertebra slips forward over the vertebra below it. Most often, this happens in the lower back because that part of the spine bears excess weight and absorbs significant directional pressures. The coflex […]
November 1st, 2012
Electrodiagnostic studies include electromyography (EMG); nerve conduction studies (NCS); and evoked potentials (EP). Like imaging studies, these studies cannot confirm the presence or absence of pain. They are most useful in evaluating a patient when pain is present with an observed neurological deficit. Electromyography (EMG) is the most commonly used test to assess the function of the nerve roots leaving the spine. The test is done by inserting tiny electrodes into the muscles of the arm or leg. By looking for abnormal electrical signals in the muscles, the EMG reveals nerve irritation, or pinching of the nerve, as it leaves the spinal canal. Think of how you test the wiring on a lamp. If you place a working bulb into the lamp, and the bulb lights up, you assume that the wiring is okay. However, what if the bulb does […]
October 30th, 2012
X-rays are a type of radiation, and when they pass through the body, dense objects such as bone block the radiation and appear white on the x-ray film, while less dense tissues appear gray and are difficult to see. X-rays are typically used to diagnose and assess bone degeneration or disease, fractures and dislocations, infections, or tumors. MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, combines a powerful magnet with radio waves (instead of x-rays) and a computer to manipulate magnetic elements of internal organs and tissue to create highly detailed images of structures in the body. Images are viewed as cross sections or “slices” of the body part being scanned. There is no radiation involved as with x-rays. MRI scans are frequently used to diagnose bone, joint, and soft tissue problems. A computed tomography (CT) scan (also known as CAT scan) is […]
Center for Spine Care offers stem cell therapy as a conservative treatment to promote natural healing for back or neck pain. Utilizing mesenchymal stem cells, this new method is used to treat patients with neck and back pain caused from degenerative disc disease.