The Pain-free Gene

In a practice performing spine surgeries, pain management is a common topic. Attempts to minimize postoperative pain involve minimally invasive techniques, which have been shown to limit pain. Consideration of ERAS techniques, including semi-awake procedures, also helps diminish postoperative pain and avoidance of narcotic medications. Recently, it has been found that some patients have a…

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Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)

Dr. Smith received his medical degree from Rush Medical College and has been in practice for nearly 10 years. He is passionately concerned about the care of his patients and personally speaks with every patient during consultation and before surgery. He is committed to the wellness of each of his patients and continuously offers the…

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Marijuana’s Effect on the Colorado Brain

About a year ago we published a blog on marijuana, “This Is Your Brain on Drugs” (borrowed from the 1980’s campaign). We discussed our society’s 180 degree shift from once condemning the drug, to not just now accepting it, but in some ways encouraging its use. Cannabis is now being presented as a reasonable alternative…

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The Amygdala, Fear, or the Lack Thereof…

While I rarely follow the Oscars, I was made aware of the 2019 Best Documentary Feature winner, “Free Solo”. Intrigued by the story, I watched this movie with my family. When observing this young man plan and climb El Capitan in Yosemite, by himself and without any ropes or protective equipment, I found all of…

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Am I Too Old for Surgery?

With the advancement of medicine and more common knowledge of how to remain healthy, more of our population is living longer.    At Rocky Mountain Brain & Spine Institute, I am commonly asked by older patients, “Am I too old for surgery?” King Tut became pharaoh around the age of 10, and died when he…

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Leonardo da Vinci Had a Peripheral Nerve Injury?

A new study published this month reviews a portrait of da Vinci, painted by Giovan Ambrogio Figino.  Previously overlooked is da Vinci’s arm and hand in a sling, with the right hand in a position not typical of a stroke.  Following a stroke, a patient’s hand often is fully clenched. In this rendering, only the ring and pinky fingers are flexed and da Vinci’s right hand is in the typical “ulnar claw” position.

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This is Your Brain on Art

“You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.” Joan Miro While not everyone enjoys much or all types of art, most people at some point in their lives see a painting…

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Marijuana… And The Munchies

Well known is the theory that smoking marijuana is associated with the urge to eat junk food…. also known as the “munchies”.  However, researchers have actually scientifically explored the relationship between cannabinoids and eating.   A synthetic cannaboid, dronabinol (Marinol), is now a commonly used medication to increase appetite in certain medical conditions where the…

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Right, Left, Ambidextrous… Who Cares?

Each time I meet a new patient, I inquire whether they are right-handed, left-handed, or ambidextrous. Most patient’s answer without hesitation, however some patients are inquisitive why this would matter to me. Whether dealing with a brain or spine problem, handedness is crucial in evaluation, and then in determining a treatment plan. If the patient…

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