The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care
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Dr. Okubadejo and The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care are committed to excellence by providing the highest quality of spinal care in New Jersey and New York.

Conditions Associated with Lower Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most prevalent medical problems among adults in the U.S. In fact, it’s a leading cause of lost productivity and disability. Fortunately, for most people, lower back pain resolves within a few days or weeks as an injury or strain heals. In other cases, the pain becomes chronic and the patient must consult a spine surgeon to explore treatment options. If you experience significant or chronic lower back pain, your spine surgeon might diagnose you with one of the following conditions.

Backache

Herniated Disc
With age, the intervertebral discs between the bones of your spine are prone to degeneration, a condition called degenerative disc disease. When a disc becomes weakened, the soft material on the inside of the disc can bulge through the disc wall. This is a condition known as a herniated disc, and it most often affects the lower back area, causing back pain.

Sciatica
Sciatica is another condition that can cause lower back pain. However, sciatica is also characterized by pain that radiates down a buttock and leg. This occurs when the material from inside the intervertebral disc compresses the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the spinal column. In severe cases, numbness and loss of mobility can occur. Some of the other possible causes of compression of the sciatic nerve include a spinal tumor or breakdown of the nerve root.

Cauda Equina Syndrome
Sometimes, lower back pain requires swift intervention by a spine surgeon, as with the case of cauda equina syndrome. This rare condition occurs when the material from a herniated disc affects the cauda equina, which is a group of nerve roots in the lower back. Without prompt treatment by a spine surgeon, this condition can cause paralysis, loss of bladder and bowel control, and loss of sensation.

Get on the road toward reclaiming your health by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Okubadejo of The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care. Call our NJ practice at (201) 285-5317 and ask us about our spine care specialties. Dr. Okubadejo is committed to upholding the highest standards of patient care with the latest advances in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery.

How Degenerative Disc Diseases Leads to Back Pain

Mature woman suffering from a back pain

Your spine is composed of vertebrae, or bones, and intervertebral discs. The discs have soft, spongy centers that allow them to provide shock absorption and flexibility for the spine. However, the discs can become drier and more brittle over time, leading to a condition called degenerative disc disease. Many patients seek treatments from spine surgeons for degenerative disc disease because the condition can become painful. Additionally, it may lead to the following complications, which can also cause discomfort.

Herniated Disc

Degenerative disc disease increases the risk of suffering a herniated disc. Also called a ruptured or slipped disc, this refers to the protrusion of the soft inner material of the disc through the exterior. This material can irritate and compress nerves in the area, resulting in back pain that can radiate down the leg.

Osteophytes

As the intervertebral discs lose fluid, they become thinner and the spaces between the vertebrae narrow. This results in a less stable spinal structure. In response, the body creates osteophytes, which are bone spurs. These growths may exert pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots, causing nerve pain.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis can occur as a result of the process of degenerative disc disease, the formation of osteophytes, or the herniation of a disc. If your spine surgeon diagnoses you with spinal stenosis, it means that your spinal canal is narrower than usual. This places pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Although some people may not experience symptoms, this condition often causes pain, muscle weakness, and numbness.

If conservative treatments aren’t effective in relieving your back pain, consult a spine surgeon. Call the NJ office of Dr. Okubadejo, board-certified spine surgeon, from The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care at (201) 285-5317 to schedule an appointment. You can also visit our website to get a better idea of our spine services. We invite your questions about your spinal condition.

A Look at Spinal Arthritis Treatment

Piece of spine

Spinal arthritis results in inflammation, stiffness, tenderness, and back pain. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that can affect the spine. Typically, doctors recommend trying conservative treatments first, such as physical therapy, electrical nerve stimulation, and medications. If these treatment options aren’t doing enough to relieve your pain, consult a spine surgeon about additional treatment options. Depending on your condition, your spine surgeon might recommend one of the following procedures:

Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion surgery is an effective means of preventing movement between two vertebrae, addressing the cause of pain from spinal arthritis. During the procedure, the spine surgeon uses a graft to bond the vertebrae together. Often, the graft is prepared from bone harvested from elsewhere in your body; however, a synthetic bone graft may also be used. In addition to the graft, the surgeon uses special rods or screws to hold the bones together while the area heals.

Laminectomy

If your spinal arthritis has compressed nearby nerves, resulting in pain, you could be a candidate for a laminectomy. A laminectomy relieves the pressure on the nerves by removing bone spurs. During the procedure, the surgeon also typically removes the lamina, which is the back section of the vertebrae. Sometimes, a laminectomy and a spinal fusion are performed together to provide greater stabilization for the spine.

Discectomy

If the spine surgeon determines that your condition has damaged the spinal discs, he or she might recommend a discectomy. A discectomy is a procedure to remove the part of the affected disc that is protruding into the spinal canal. Sometimes, a laminectomy is performed first to allow better access to the disc.

Dr. Okubadejo of The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care is an internationally recognized spine surgeon. He will perform a thorough evaluation of your condition and discuss your treatment options with you in-depth. Please contact our NJ spine surgery practice at (201) 285-5317.

Identifying Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a common condition that spine surgeons can treat. It is a condition characterized by a narrowed spinal canal. The symptoms typically include radiating pain in the buttocks and legs that worsens when you walk or stand for prolonged periods of time.

For more information on spinal stenosis and your treatment options, watch this video. This spine surgeon discusses a study that revealed how spine surgery is often more effective at correcting symptoms than conservative treatment options.

If you think you could have spinal stenosis, contact Dr. Okubadejo of The Institute for Comprehensive Spine care at (201) 285-5317. Our NJ spine surgery practice prides itself on a commitment to exceptional patient care.

Statistics on Back Pain in America

Back pain affects an estimated 80 percent of the population. At some point in your life, you’re likely to experience either acute or chronic back pain. Acute back pain occurs abruptly and typically lasts no longer than a few days or weeks. If your back pain persists longer than three months, you have chronic back pain.

Most cases of back pain are mild and can be alleviated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and cold therapy. While resting for the first one or two days is helpful, your back pain can worsen if you continue to rest. If you experience severe back pain or discomfort that persists longer than a few days, it’s time to consult a doctor. Your doctor will likely recommend conservative treatment measures first, such as injections and physical therapy. If your pain isn’t relieved by these treatments, you may need to consult a spine surgeon and explore other treatment options.

Back Pain

Discuss your spine surgery options with Dr. Okubadejo of The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care. You can reach our NJ practice at (201) 285-5317 or visit our website to learn about our spine surgery specialties

Everything You Need to Know About Kyphosis

The spine isn’t straight; it naturally curves in three places to accommodate body weight and allow for an upright position. However, sometimes the spine curves abnormally. This condition is known as kyphosis. Since kyphosis has the potential to cause complications, including inhibited lung capacity, deformity, and debilitating pain, it’s important to work with a spine surgeon as soon as you suspect this condition. The spine surgeon can recommend treatment options to mitigate the curvature.

Kyphotic spine in 3 phases

Possible Causes

Sometimes, kyphosis is caused by fetal development problems, a condition called congenital kyphosis. However, it more commonly develops in adolescents or adults because of connective tissue disorders, endocrine diseases, and infections. Other possible causes include tumors, Paget’s disease, and muscular dystrophy. Adults may develop kyphosis as a result of degenerative disc disease, or they may suffer a spinal trauma.

Typical Symptoms

Many patients with kyphosis experience back pain and stiffness or tenderness of the spine. As the curvature worsens, a rounded shape to the back may be noticeable. Fatigue is also likely, and some patients with severe kyphosis may even experience respiratory distress.

Diagnostic Measures

A primary care physician may refer a patient to a spine surgeon for a comprehensive evaluation if he or she notices abnormalities in the area. In addition to a physical exam, the spine surgeon can examine x-rays to measure the degree of curvature, known as the “kyphotic angle.” Kyphosis is diagnosed when the kyphotic angle is greater than 50 degrees.

Treatment Options

The spine surgeon will tailor the treatment plan to suit the patient’s unique situation. In the event of congenital kyphosis, early surgical intervention followed by close monitoring is typically recommended. An adolescent or adult with a kyphotic angle greater than 75 degrees may undergo surgery to straighten and fuse the vertebrae. Otherwise, non-surgical treatment options may include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, and back bracing.

If you or your child has been diagnosed with kyphosis, you can explore your treatment options with the assistance of Dr. Okubadejo, board-certified spine surgeon. NJ residents are encouraged to call The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care at (201) 285-5317 or visit our blog for more information about spinal conditions.

Common Back Pain Conditions in Children

girl with backache

Back pain is a common reason why adults consult spine surgeons. When it occurs in children, the condition is typically indicative of a serious underlying medical problem. Children with back pain require medical care, particularly if the discomfort is accompanied by mobility problems, fever, radiating pain, or urinary or fecal incontinence. Sometimes, back pain is caused by muscle imbalances. In these situations, the child can benefit from physical therapy to strengthen the abdominal muscles and release tension on the hamstrings.

Back pain in children may be caused by an infection called discitis, which most frequently affects youngsters between the ages of one and five. Occasionally, a spine doctor may diagnose a child with a spinal tumor, which causes progressively worsening pain that is not affected by activity level. It’s also possible for children to suffer from a slipped vertebra, a spinal stress fracture, or kyphosis, which refers to an abnormal spinal curvature.

The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care in NJ offers unparalleled patient care and comprehensive treatment for a wide range of spinal conditions. Please call us at (201) 285-5317 for an appointment.

Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options for Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is somewhat of a misnomer. It’s a condition, rather than a disease, that involves the intervertebral discs between the vertebrae of the spine. These intervertebral discs are cushion-like structures that provide spinal flexibility. If your spine surgeon diagnoses you with this condition, it means that these cushions have begun to deteriorate and no longer function as well as they should. Talk to your spine surgeon about your symptoms and discuss your treatment options.

Acute back pain

Causes and Risk Factors

Typically, degenerative disc disease is associated with the natural aging process. Over the years, the discs begin to lose fluid, which reduces their flexibility and makes them thinner. This means they are less able to absorb shock and cushion the vertebrae in the spine. Although the process occurs as a natural part of aging, certain risk factors can accelerate its development. If you perform intense physical work on a routine basis, you could be more susceptible to developing degenerative disc disease. Lifestyle factors such as smoking and obesity also contribute.

Signs and Symptoms

Talk to your spine surgeon about how degenerative disc disease has interfered with your daily routine. You might experience chronic low back pain and pain in your thighs or buttocks, particularly while walking. If the affected discs are in the cervical region of the spine, you’ll likely have neck pain. Your symptoms may interfere with normal activities because they typically worsen with movements such as twisting, lifting, and sitting.

Treatment Options

Conservative treatments are often sufficient for pain management. A spine doctor might recommend injection therapy, pain medication, and physical therapy, for example. However, if your symptoms are severe, or you have already tried conservative treatment measures without a significant relief in pain, your spine surgeon might recommend artificial disc replacement surgery or spinal fusion surgery.

To find out if you’re a good candidate for spinal surgery, please call The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care at (201) 285-5317. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Okubadejo, who is happy to answer all of your questions. We offer three state-of-the-art facilities in NJ for your convenience.

Why Do We Experience Back Pain?

Back pain is a common medical complaint frequently caused by prolonged chair sitting. Sitting down for long periods of time has been linked with weakened back muscles, reduced hip flexibility, and excessive stress on the spinal discs. Poor posture adds to the problem by misaligning the spine and contributing to wear-and-tear damage over time.

Learn more about the basics of back pain by watching this video. This spine doctor explains the dangers of prolonged chair sitting and discusses the basic anatomy of the spine, including the critical role of the intervertebral discs.

If you’re experiencing back pain, schedule a consultation with a spine surgeon at The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care. You can reach our NJ office at (201) 285-5317 or online.

Are You at Risk for Spinal Stenosis?

Your spine has an open space that houses the spinal cord and nerves. Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of this space, which can cause pain and numbness. This condition is frequently the result of the natural changes associated with aging. As you age, your spine suffers wear and tear damage. In addition to age-related degeneration, the spine is susceptible to this type of damage from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Spinal Chord

Even if you’re not yet in your golden years, you could be at risk of spinal stenosis if you have a family history of the disorder. For example, it’s possible to inherit a naturally smaller spinal canal or scoliosis, a condition that causes abnormal curvatures of the spine. Other possible causes of spinal stenosis include physical trauma to the area, spinal tumors, and Paget’s disease of bone.

If conservative treatments aren’t enough to control your symptoms of spinal stenosis, talk to a spine surgeon about having a spinal fusion or laminectomy. You can learn more about these spine surgeries by scheduling an appointment with The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care in NJ. Please call us at (201) 285-5317 or visit our website to learn more.

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