Improve Your Quality of Life and Walk Without Pain

If you’re having pain in your foot, legs and/or lower back that’s making you unable to take even a few steps without feeling burning agony, it’s time to find a solution so you can take back your life.
pain free Alfred Gatti
One person who was living a diminished lifestyle because of his pain is Alfred Gatti. But once he found Dr. Solomon Kamson, MD, PhD, at the Spine Institute Northwest, Mr. Gatti was in good hands. Dr. Kamson suggested a minimally invasive procedure to help Mr. Gatti’s painful burning symptoms. The doctor performed lumbar region decompression surgery at Spine Institute Northwest and, within three weeks’ time, Mr. Gatti was walking comfortably again with no burning. He now is able to return to a more active lifestyle, though he still may need to take pain medication as needed. The important thing for Mr. Gatti is that Dr. Kamson solved his most significant complaint, and the burning, searing sensations in his foot are all but completely gone.

Lumbar Region Decompression

During this minimally invasive procedure, Dr. Sol Kamson uses advanced technological devices, such as radiofrequency and ultrasound, to target and then remove sections of a bulging disc or other fragments that are causing pain by compressing on spinal nerves. Patients are in the operating room for roughly 90 minutes per vertebrae level being worked on. Either a local anesthesia or general anesthesia can be used during the procedure to keep you comfortable. Using fluoroscopy, Dr. Kamson can find the disc in question and enter it with an endoscope. The material causing the patient’s misery is removed and the inner disc tissue is then shrunk using other technologies, such as a Holmium laser or an RF electrode.

The experts at the Spine Institute Northwest are firm believers in first treating patients using the least invasive types of therapy to help relieve pain. With a lumbar region decompression procedure, most of our patients are done with surgery within just one day. After about six weeks, your disc(s) will start healing. Right after the surgery, you may experience some discomfort where the incision was made and its surrounding area. As time goes on, however, relief from pain, numbness, burning, and weakness will happen. In fact, some patients find complete relief right almost immediately.

If you’re anything like Alfred Gatti, who could no longer bear his pain or walk without feeling the burn of a blowtorch that would bring him to tears, it’s time you did something positive towards getting your life back. Contact Dr. Solomon Kamson today at the Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA, for a consultation to learn more about how we can help you.

Q&A: Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery vs. Traditional Techniques

Question: Dr. Kamson, I suffer from lower back pain and have been told that minimally invasive surgery is a much better option than regular back surgery. Why is minimally invasive surgery such a better alternative and what are the benefits?

Answer: For close to 50 years traditional back surgeries have been destroying different structures in the back while trying to repair problems with the spine. In order to gain access to the spine, muscles are removed from the vertebrae, which can cause disturbances to tendons and lead to more extensive damage. Vertebrae are held together by ligaments that if they are removed can weaken the spine. These surgeries not only can cause more harm than they repair, they also usually require a lengthy recovery. There are still times when traditional surgery is required, but with the advancements in minimally invasive procedures, one day it will be a thing of the past.

A great benefit of minimally invasive spine surgery is that there is less damage to the tendons, muscles, ligaments, bones, and joints of the spine. This is all done with the use of small incisions. These are made to insert thin endoscopes that are equipped with high powered cameras, allowing the surgeon to visualize the procedure that is being performed. Additionally, some surgeons will also use data from MRI’s or CT scans to view computer-generated 3D models of the spine. The incisions that are made will generally be small, and most procedures require incisions the size of two small needles. Other procedures like a spinal fusion at one time required an incision of 4-6 inches, but as the field continues to advance, incisions from 1/2 to 1 inch can now be used in this procedure.

Once the procedure begins, instead of cutting muscle fibers like traditional surgeries, the fibers are separated so they can be put back in place. This results in very little scarring to the nerves that are exposed. If your surgery requires screws, clamps, or rods to be implanted to stabilize the spine, they can be inserted through these same small incisions. Procedures that require damaged discs to be removed can also be done through the incisions, as well as inserting artificial discs.

There are many great benefits that come with minimally invasive procedures. Shortened recovery time is perhaps the biggest benefit with this surgery. With traditional back surgery, patients are generally stuck in a hospital for 4-5 days before being released. At the Spine Institute Northwest, after most procedures patients are able to leave within an hour. The amount of blood loss is significantly reduced, and so is the risk of an infection. By using small incisions there is also much less scarring. With minimal damage being done to the tissues, there is a much quicker recovery time at home, and the potential of other injuries to the nerves is greatly reduced. A last great benefit is that many of those who were considered to be poor candidates for traditional back surgeries are able to be treated with minimally invasive procedures.

Want to learn more about Dr. Solomon Kamson, MD, PhD and the Spine Institute Northwest? Visit Dr. Kamson online at www.spineinstitutenorthwest.com.

Q&A: Diagnosing Chronic Pain

Question: I constantly live with chronic back pain that continues to get worse over the years. Some of my symptoms include muscle spasms, pain down my left leg, as well as tingling and numbness in my foot. I’ve tried chiropractors, physical therapy, and medications, but they only offer temporary relief, and my doctor says I would require back surgery which I’m not a fan of being cut open. Dr. Kamson what would you recommend be my next step to figuring out the exact problem and fixing it?

Answer: It’s unfortunate that you have been living with back problems like this for several years with no relief! This is an all too common complaint, and the reason patients seek treatment at the Spine Institute Northwest. There could be several different issues causing these problems, and for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, a consultation would be needed along with a review of your medical history and any MRIs or scans that you have had performed. However, I can give you a sense of some of the options that are available including different minimally invasive surgical procedures.

Many patients don’t like the idea of traditional surgeries where they use a large incision in the back to perform the operation, which can take hours. Not only that, but afterwards patients can experience post-operative complications from infection or scar tissue, usually followed by a long and painful recovery that in itself can cause other issues. Then there is always the possibility of the surgery being unsuccessful, leaving you in pain and possibly with more issues than before.

There are many great benefits of minimally invasive surgical procedures, beginning with the amount of time they take. Most procedures will take around an hour and a half, and only a very small incision needs to be made in the back. Since a minimal amount of muscle and tissue is disturbed, patients generally experience much less pain with a considerably faster recovery. Instead of having to stay several days stuck in the hospital, several hours after the procedure you can be released from the facilities. These procedures have a higher rate of success, and patients are able to get back to living a pain-free life.

A couple of procedures that could be options based on your symptoms are the Endoscopically Assisted Spinal Decompression and the Lumbar Interbody Fusion and Facet Fixation. An Endoscopically Assisted Spinal Decompression procedure uses a small incision for a needle guide, and then uses a Laser and radio frequency to fix the problem. This is done by shrinking portions of intervertebral discs that are causing the pain. This prevents nerves and the spinal cord from being compressed, which causes pain. The Lumbar Interbody Fusion and Facet Fixation is a procedure for those who require a spinal fusion. This procedure uses a facet screw system that stabilizes the spine to aid with fusion. The surgeon removes the material causing the issues, and then inserts an implant. A spacer is then installed to ensure proper height as the spine begins to fuse.

Again though, to get a truly accurate diagnosis, you would need to come in and get an examination and a review of your case. You can get started though by actually submitting your MRI or CT scan to the Spine Institute Northwest online to have a free review. You can also feel free to contact our dedicated and helpful staff if you have any questions, or would like to set up a consultation. There are many different alternatives to traditional surgeries that can alleviate your pain and give you back the life you deserve.

About Dr. Solomon Kamson
Dr. Solomon Kamson, MD, PhD, is the founder of the Spine Institute Northwest, a Seattle, Washington area practice dedicated to helping people who suffer from chronic back pain with minimally invasive spinal surgery options. Dr. Kamson’s philosophy for treatment is that less is more, and his research and practice are focused on finding strategies for pain relief and management that are effective yet unobtrusive. Learn more about Dr. Solomon Kamson and the Spine Institute Northwest at www.spineinstitutenorthwest.com.