An Expert Diagnosis for Every Spine Condition
Treating the many and varied conditions that afflict the human spine requires specialists who have the highest level of experience and skill. That, along with the highest expectation for a positive outcome, is precisely what the team at Saint Agnes offers patients.
Treating neck pain, back pain or a spinal injury requires skilled, hands-on evaluation and diagnostic testing, plus plenty of individualized attention. Your spine physicians at Saint Agnes will work with you before, during and after your surgery. Together, you’ll determine the best form of treatment, as well as a plan for rehabilitation and pain management—so you can get back on your feet faster.
Degenerative Disc Disease
This condition is a weakening of one or more vertebral discs, which normally act as a cushion between the vertebrae. This condition can develop as a natural part of the aging process, but it may also result from injury to the back. Degenerative disc disease generally begins when small tears appear in the disc wall, called the annulus. These tears can cause pain.
A herniated disc is a common injury that can affect any part of the spine. A herniated disc can cause severe pain and other problems in the arms or legs. Herniated discs commonly result from age-related weakening of the spinal discs. This is called disc degeneration, and it can occur gradually over many years as a result of normal wear and tear on the spine. A herniated disc can also result from a traumatic injury or from lifting a heavy object improperly.
Lumbar Radiculopathy (Sciatica)
This condition is an irritation or compression of one or more nerve roots in the lumbar spine. Because these nerves travel to the hips, buttocks, legs and feet, an injury in the lumbar spine can cause symptoms in these areas. Sciatica may result from a variety of problems with the bones and tissues of the lumbar spinal column or from a herniated disc.
Myelopathy is spinal cord dysfunction related to abnormal pressure placed on the spinal cord. Unlike conditions that cause pressure on individual nerve roots, this type of damage can result in loss of nerve function anywhere along the spinal cord below the damaged area. The effects of myelopathy can range from mild to severe and can worsen over time.
The spinal column contains open spaces that create passageways for the spinal cord and the spinal nerves. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of, or an intrusion into, these openings. This can cause a compression of the nerves. Stenosis is commonly caused by an excess growth of bone around the spinal nerves. Spinal stenosis can cause pain, weakness, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs.
In this condition, damage to bones or joints causes vertebrae to slip forward and distort the spinal cord. This animation will show two types of spondylolisthesis: degenerative and isthmic.
This condition is a degeneration of the spine that can affect the spine at any level, resulting in pain and discomfort that can grow worse over time. It commonly results from normal wear and tear associated with aging. As the body gets older, the spinal discs begin to dry out, lose their elasticity and collapse.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
This condition is a compression of the nerves and blood vessels as they pass through the thoracic outlet – the space between the collarbone and the first rib. Symptoms can include pain and numbness in the neck, shoulder, arm or hand. Compressed blood vessels may restrict circulation in the arm, causing discoloration and a cool feeling in the arm and hand.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
An MRI is different than an X-ray or CT scan in that it utilizes radio waves and magnets to create an image. This technology also requires that a dye be used, and the imaging process lasts approximately an hour.
CT (Computerized Tomography)
A CT scan is similar to an X-ray, but it provides a more detailed look inside the body. The Spine Center team can utilize CT scans to build a composite, 3-D image of the patient’s spine, making an accurate diagnosis of the issue affecting the spine easier. This technology may require a dye to be injected in the body to illuminate the area in question. A CT machine requires you to lie on your back in a tube for a period of time.
EMG (Electromyogram)/NCS (Nerve Conduction Studies)
An EMG records the level of electrical activity of muscles while they are at rest and while they are being contracted. NCS measure the speed at which specific nerves convey information to the brain. When combined, these tests can help your physician better diagnose whether leg pain is directly caused by issues related to the spine.
Awards and Recognition
Industry peer groups applaud our Orthopaedic & Spine Institute for its quality of care and treatment. Recent honors include:
Designated Institute of Quality For Spine, Hip and Knee surgery by the Aetna Institutes of Quality for Orthopaedic Care.
Achieved status as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery and Knee and Hip Replacement by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.
Contact Rehabilitation Services
When you have spine surgery, supervised rehabilitation is often necessary. Our rehabilitation experts help patients get back to a normal life as safely and quickly as possible.
Call 410-368-2800 or click here for more information.
View interactive 3D animations of orthopaedic surgical procedures.