What does a spine specialist/spine surgeon deal with?
One of the most common musculoskeletal complaints, for which patients in Hungary visit a rheumatologist, orthopedic specialist or spine specialist (or more recently, an alternative medicine provider) is lower back pain and neck or back complaints, sometimes accompanied by limb pain. Almost 80 percent of the Hungarian population suffers from some form of spinal pain at least once in their lives. In addition to these symptoms, other abnormalities of the spine, complex musculoskeletal abnormalities, deformities, corrections, and limb pain syndromes may also belong to the spine specialist’s scope.
In addition to healing, the spine surgeon/spine specialist helps the patient to develop a special healthy lifestyle with regard to the individual characteristics of the spine, in which proper exercise, everyday load, work, sports, hobbies, environmental factors and a balanced diet are also included. taking into account whether inherited risk factors, comorbidities, and possibly other psychological causes play a role in the complaints.
What diseases or complaints are covered?
- Lower back pain
- Discus hernia
- Sciatica, lumbago
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Pain due to improper posture
- Limb pain syndromes
- Inflammatory spinal disorders
Abnormal lateral curvature and torsion of the spinal column is called scoliosis, which is caused by the displacement or twisting of the vertebrae. So far, medicine has not been able to find a clear explanation for the causes of the development of scoliosis. In some cases – in approximately 15 percent of diagnosed scoliosis cases – a developmental disorder, muscle atrophy, or metabolic disorder leads to its development. It is twice as common in women. Symptoms include an abnormal posture in which one side of the shoulder and hip is higher, which may be accompanied by a limp, a rib hump as well as back or lower back pain. In extreme cases, this deformity can also cause respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms. As the deformity leads to unevenly loading of the joints, patients may develop knee and hip cartilage wear as well.
Treatment also depends on the degree of curvature, the symptoms and the rate of worsening: with a smaller curvature, special individual physiotherapy is enough, but swimming can also help a lot.
In case of moderate curvature, it may also be advisable to wear a custom-made corset.
However, with greater curvature, often only extended corrective surgery can help.
Lumbago and sciatica
Commonly known as low back pain and sciatica, it is one of the most common symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders affecting one in four people between the ages of 20 and 50. Most of the pain comes from the lumbar region of the spine (this is lumbago), but due to nerve inflammation, it can also radiate to the rest of the body, namely, the lower extremities. Depending on the extent of the complaints, even limited movement or neurological symptoms may develop.
Sciatica/lumbago can usually cause pain in the lower and upper part of the buttocks, but also in the back of the thigh, the outside of the knee, and the outer ankle. After a thorough medical examination, the specialist may use a number of methods during treatment, depending on the severity of the complaint, the extent of nerve inflammation and the nerves it affects, and the exact diagnosis established by imaging scans. In most of the cases, complaints can be eliminated with conservative (non-surgical) therapy, relaxation, medication (for inflammation reduction and pain relief), infusion treatments, physiotherapy, McKenzie therapy, manual therapy, and physical therapy. In the case of long-term ineffective therapy, of course, surgery may also be considered.
A slipped disc or colloquially spine hernia (discus hernia in Latin) is a spine disorder where discs protrude between the vertebrae. It can develop following intense, prolonged physical exertion, a bad movement, high-energy training without warm-up, but even without any precedents, during sedentary work. The patients usually (but not always) feel pain in some part of the spine and the pain may radiate to the legs or even the buttocks. However, the complaints depend on the progress of the disc herniation and also on the area where the nerves have come under pressure due to the protrusion. Our specialist will decide on the treatment accordingly. In the initial stage, conservative therapies such as anti-inflammatory drugs, injections, infusion therapy, physiotherapy, rest, and personalized physiotherapy can still be effective and efficient. McKenzie therapy and manual therapy may be useful as well. In more severe cases, however, only surgery can help.
What happens in a personal consultation?
At Emineo Private Hospital, our orthopedic, spinal surgeon, spine specialist carefully and thoroughly interviews the patients about their complaints, history, possible known developmental disorders, previous accidents that have affected the spine, and any diseases that may play a role in their musculoskeletal complaints or may affect further treatment. After learning about the symptoms and performing physical examination, our specialist may also request imaging tests to make an accurate diagnosis.
Complex conservative therapy has a very prominent role in all cases, as the most common disease of the spine is degenerative disease (its known incidence is 70-80%) which responds very well to non-surgical therapies in the vast majority of cases.
Our specialist, together with qualified physiotherapists, manual therapists and physical therapists, determine the therapy and treatment methods for the patient’s problems, individually. Of course, all of this happens in discussion with the patients and taking into account their individual needs!
Introduction of video consultation
Even in the epidemiological situation related to the coronavirus, we endeavor to resolve the complaints of our patients and reduce their pain. To this end, we have launched our video consultation service, in which our specialists are at our patients’ service on-line.