Sacro-iliac Pain

During my training (residency and fellowships), the sacro-iliac joint (SI joint) was rarely addressed. This complicated piece of anatomy is responsible for transferring weight from the legs to back/ torso and vice versa. The stresses across the joint can easily be 2-3 times greater than your body weight. However, this area is often ignored because [...]

October 19th, 2016|Neck and Lower Back|

Smoking and Spine Surgery

Patient's often respond with questioning about their smoking habits with "I know.....I know". We all know the negative effects of smoking in regards to cancer and pulmonary function. What about Spine Surgery? Whether it's basic science or clinical studies......the evidence is undeniable; smoking is bad for you! Multiple basic science studies have shown smoking leads [...]

October 19th, 2016|Neck and Lower Back|

SPORT Results-What Does It Mean?

The other day in clinic a patient asked me about the “SPORT” study they had read about in the paper. I explained the research trial to the patient and in turn they stated that most patients would want to know this information. On this month’s blog we will discuss this important study. The Spine Patient [...]

October 19th, 2016|Neck and Lower Back|

Is Fusion Bad?

Simply put, a spine fusion is where the body attempts to grow new bone in an area that had no prior bone. Surgeons typically perform fusion surgery for instability of the spine, fractures, tumors, infections, painful discs. Cages (spacers), screws, plates and bone-like material help the body create/ grow new bone. Instrumentation is used to [...]

October 19th, 2016|Neck and Lower Back|

Love Can Take Your Pain Away

Recently at a lecture in San Francisco during the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS); I was able to listen to a talk regarding narcotic use in Pain Management. Sean Mackey, MD Chief of Pain Management at Stanford University detailed a study regarding "intense" or "passionate" love and it's effects on Pain. Interestingly, the same [...]

October 19th, 2016|Neck and Lower Back|

Vitamin D Deficiency Common in Surgery Patients

Ask any Spine Surgery patient at Las Cruces Orthopedic Associates (LCOA) and they will tell you that after surgery; protein shakes and Vitamin pills are routine. Many people unknowingly, are low in certain vitamins which could slow down healing or inhibit fusion. Fusion is the biologic process where the patient manufactures new bone in an [...]

October 19th, 2016|Neck and Lower Back|

The Aging Spine

by Paul Saiz, M.D. Back pain is as common as it is enigmatic. An estimated 90% of the population will experience at least one episode of back pain with the vast majority of symptoms resolving within one month. However, for certain people, back pain can become chronic and disabling. There are multiple causes of back [...]

October 19th, 2016|Neck and Lower Back|

Spinal Stenosis

The more miles you put on the car the more likely you are to have wear and tear changes occur. This is a simple mechanical phenomena that applies to our spine as well. Our lumbar spine and cervical spine are multiple bones separated from each other by cushions (discs) and connected to each other via [...]

October 19th, 2016|Neck and Lower Back|

New Advances in the Treatment of Spinal Tumors

by Paul Saiz, M.D. Back pain has many faces and most problems of the spine are self-limiting and benign. In fact, 90% of low back pain, for example, will resolve without physician intervention. However, if back pain doesn't go away, it's important to obtain an accurate diagnosis so treatment can be initiated. The physician must [...]

October 19th, 2016|Neck and Lower Back|

Lumps, Bumps, and Masses

As clinicians we have all encountered the situation where a patient asks "Doc, I have this bump here," or, we review an X-ray with "something funny in the bone." These are precarious situations because we do not want to miss a malignancy or cause a delay in diagnosis in today's litiganous society. However, benign masses [...]

October 19th, 2016|Neck and Lower Back|