Spinal Health

The spine serves as a connection site for many of the major ligaments and muscles in the body. These ligaments and muscles provide a dense network structure that adds complex layers of support and strength to assist with overall back health. Abnormalities, deformities and trauma in the spine can often result in back pain, leg pain and associated neurological conditions that can have a significant impact on your overall quality of life.

Dr. Henrik Mike-Mayer, MD is our resident spinal surgeon here at the Texas Pain Network. He understands the difficulties and challenges associated with spinal conditions resulting in the need for corrective therapy and/or surgery. And he can help you regain the quality of life you’ve lost as a result of your spinal injury and associated pain.

below is a list of conditions treated by Dr. Mike-Mayer, as well as a list of procedures he offers to help restore your pain-free mobility.

Conditions treated

Conditions treated

About Texas Pain Network History

Positioned between each bony vertebrae of your spine, spinal discs act as shock absorbers to enable comfortable mobility while protecting and stabilizing the spine. They are cartilaginous with a liquid center called the nucleus and a firm outer covering that holds the nucleus in shape called the annulus.
When bulging or herniated, the disc material can pinch any one of the nerves extending through the spinal canal, causing pain.
Symptoms of a bulging disc include:

  • Back pain
  • Leg pain
  • Spasms
  • Cramping
  • Numbness
  • Sciatica
  • Pins and needles
  • Pain when coughing, sneezing sitting, lifting, straining or bending forward
  • And even compromised bladder or bowel function in more severe cases

Spinal Stenosis

Typically just a symptom of age, spinal stenosis occurs when bony growths in the spine narrow the central canal, constricting the spinal cord and associated nerves. Deterioration of the facet joints in the back of the spine can also play a contributing factor – as well as injury or structural deformity (as in scoliosis).
There are two types of spinal stenosis and both exhibit different symptoms:

  • Lumbar stenosis: occurring in the lower back, symptoms often include tingling, weakness or numbness in the lower back and legs and leg pain when walking.
  • Cervical stenosis: occurring in the neck, symptoms often include pain, weakness or numbness in the shoulders, arms and legs, neck pain and burning sensations, pins and needles and tingling in the impacted extremity.

Arthritis of the Spine

Spinal arthritis is inflammation of the facet joints in the spine or sacroiliac joints between the spine and the pelvis. Stiffness and loss of flexibility in the spine are the most common symptoms, which often results in noticeable difficulty with straightening your back or turning your neck. Swelling and tenderness over the affected vertebrae and sensations of grinding when moving the spine are also common, as well as pain, swelling and stiffness in other areas of the body

Degenerative Disc Disease

An age-related condition that happens when one or more of the discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column deteriorates or breaks down, degenerative disc disease can often cause moderate to severe loss of flexibility, in addition to bone spurs and resulting nerve root compression, that can often lead to pain. Symptoms can also include weakness, numbness and pain that radiates down the leg.

Sciatica

Typically affecting only one side of your body, sciatica refers to an aggravation or compression of the sciatic nerve that branches from your lower back, through your hips and buttocks, and down each leg. 

Symptoms often include a radiating pain that travels down the path of the sciatic nerve. This pain can range from mild to severe and from uncomfortable to immobilizing. Other symptoms include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Pain in the buttocks or leg that gets worse when sitting
  • Burning or tingling down the leg
  • A constant pain on one side of the buttocks
  • Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up

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Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. Often times uncomfortable and even painful in more severe cases, this condition impacts the entire skeletal system – including the spine, ribs and pelvis. It can even influence the brain and central nervous system through impacting the body’s hormonal and digestive balance. Symptoms most commonly include pain, discomfort and loss of mobility.

Fractures of the Spine

A consequence of the bony block or vertebral body in the spine collapsing, vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) can lead to severe pain, deformity and loss of height. These fractures most commonly occur in the thoracic spine (the middle portion of the spine), with specific emphasis in the lower region.

Procedures

Minimally Invasive Microdiscectom

 

Typically used to treat leg pain and numbness associated with a herniated disc, a microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves relieving the pressure on the spinal nerve root by removing the material causing the pain.

Also commonly referred to as a microdecompression, a microdiscectomy involves removing a small part of the bone over the nerve root, and/or a portion of disc material under the nerve root, both of which are a proven remedy for pain relief associated with a herniated lumbar disc.

 

Minimally Invasive Laminectomy

Most often used as a means of relieving the pain associated with spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal that is often caused by the formation of bony growths that can press against the nerve roots), this procedure is done by removing part of the spinal vertebrae, known as the lamina, so that the spinal nerve can be decompressed, and pain can be relieved.

The most common conditions that benefit from this procedure are:

  • Sciatica 
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Bone spurs
  • Herniated Disc
  • Arthritis of the Spine

Neck and Back Fusions

A procedure designed to mimic the normal healing process your body initiates when healing a broken bone, neck and back fusion (or more commonly referred to as spinal fusion) involves connecting (or fusing) two or more vertebrae in your spine. This is done to eliminate the natural motion between them, in an effort to improve stability and reduce pain.

This procedure is often recommended as treatment for the following conditions:

  • Herniated disc: following the removal of a herniated disc, spinal fusion may be recommended to stabilize the spine and optimize the healing process.
  • Spinal deformities: this procedure can often be used to assist in the correction of spinal curvatures found commonly in scoliosis. 
  • Spinal weakness or instability: abnormal or excessive motion between vertebrae (a common side effect of severe arthritis in the spine) can often result in pain and discomfort due to spinal instability. Spinal fusion is often recommended in such cases as a means of restoring stability in the spine and assisting with pain management.

Total Disc Replacement

Usually seen as an alternative to spinal fusion surgery, total disc replacement involves replacing a worn or degenerated disc in the lower part of your spine with an artificial disk made of metal or a combination of metal and plastic.

The most common candidates for total disc replacement include those with chronic back pain and if you meet the following criteria:

  • Your back pain most commonly originates from one or two specific discs in your lower spine
  • You are not excessively overweight
  • You do not have significant joint disease or nerve compression in your spine
  • You do not have scoliosis or any other spinal deformity
  • You have no previous history of spinal surgery

Kyphoplasty

A minimally invasive procedure used to treat vertebral compression fractures, kyphoplasty involves inflating a balloon into the fractured area to restore bone height and then injecting bone cement into the vertebral body.

Fractures may occur as a result of conditions such as osteoporosis or trauma to the spine and this procedure is done to relieve the back pain that accompanies these types of spinal fractures.

Scoliosis Correction

Scoliosis correction is a procedure done to address the spinal curvatures (commonly found in those suffering from scoliosis) through bone grafting, strategic hardware placement and spinal fusion. To begin, your surgeon will attempt to straighten the curvature in your spine by using hardware and bone grafts. Graft material can be taken from several locations, including the hip and from the spine itself.
Hardware will then be used to hold the spine straight while the grafted material is used to fuse the existing bone together in a manner that supports the spinal correction. Fused spinal sections become solid and immovable, which ensures that spine stays straight and the correction remains sustainable.

 

About Dr. Mike-Mayer

Dr. Henrik Mike-Mayer, MD is an Orthopedic Surgery Specialist in Rockwall, TX., with more experience in corrective spinal procedures than other specialists in his area. He is affiliated with medical facilities such as Baylor Scott and White and Methodist Hospitals.

A fellowship-trained Orthopedic Spine Surgeon specializing in the non-operative and surgical treatment of spinal disorders, Dr. Mike-Mayer completed his undergraduate degree at Drake University, earned his medical degree at the University of Medicine and Dentistry-New Jersey Medical School and received his Orthopedic training while acting as Chief Resident at the Seton Hall University School of Graduate Medical Education in New Jersey.

He also fulfilled a one-year spine fellowship in ‘disorders of the spine’ at Texas Back Institute and continues to be involved in research and physical education.

To ensure the highest quality of patient care, Dr. Mike-Mayer and his staff carefully and thoroughly evaluate each and every patient’s condition and provide customized non-operative and surgical care to improve their spinal health, based on their individual needs.

Dr. Mike-Mayer manages a wide-range of spinal cases from children, adults and geriatric patients, to injured workers and sports-related injuries

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