Spinal Conditions

(Links from the British Association of Spinal Surgeons)

Acute Back Pain
Acute low back pain is defined as pain in the back, anywhere between the lower ribs and the buttock crease. The definition of acute is simply an episode that is shorter than 6 weeks in duration. Read more...

Nerve Root Pain
Nerve root pain comes from a nerve in the spine. Disorders of nerves can cause pain, numbness, increased sensitivity or weakness of muscles. It's common for the leg and arm nerves to be affected. Read more...

Cauda Equina Syndrome
This is a 'Spinal Emergency'. It occurs when the nerves below the spinal cord are compressed. The nerves that supply the bladder and bowels also supply sensation to the skin around the bottom and back passage. Read more...

Coccydinia and Operations for Coccygeal Pain
Coccydinia is a collection of conditions which result in pain in the area of the coccyx (tailbone). Treatment most often is conservative and consists of tablets such as ibuprofen and naproxen to reduce inflammation. Read more...

Lumbar Discectomy and Decompression
The aim of lumbar decompression surgery is to relieve pressure on your spinal cord or nerves while maintaining as much of the strength and flexibility of your spine as possible. Read more...

Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is a term used to describe a narrowing of the spinal canal that gives rise to symptoms of compression of the spinal nerves or sometimes the spinal cord.  The symptoms experienced are those of back pain and leg pain. Most typically it occurs as you walk and will cause numbness, weakness or feelings of unsteadiness. Read more...

Scoliosis
The term scoliosis simply means a lateral deviation of the spine. It is usually detected in childhood. Some patients may have an underlying disorder that is associated with scoliosis such as muscle weakness or imbalance. Read more...

The Spine and MRI Scanning
It's very common that patients will ask for a scan of the spine. It is also very common that a scan is not necessary. A careful history and examination is of far greater value for most simple cases of back pain than a scan. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scans (MRI) give a very clear picture of the structure of the spine, however, it does not tell the doctor why the spine is painful. It is often more useful to concentrate on getting back to normal activities and taking good pain killers to get better quicker. Read more...

Antibiotics and Back Pain
A patient who may be appropriate for consideration of this treatment needs to fulfil specific criteria. They need to have;

  • Low back pain of more than six months duration.
  • + Pain which occurs after a previous disc herniation (whether or not it was treated with surgery).
  • + Inflammatory changes in the bone either side of the herniated disc identified by an MRI scan, referred to as Modic Type I changes. 
    Read more...