What is Neuromonitoring?

Brain and spine operations are typically performed with patients asleep. While these surgeries are intricately executed by surgeons with highly specialized training, the nervous structures commonly are manipulated. Techniques for examining the nervous system are limited in the asleep patient. To ensure temporary or permanent damage does not occur, intraoperative monitoring (IOM) is commonly performed.…

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This is Your Brain on Drugs

The D.A.R.E. program, Drug Abuse Resistance Education, was started by the LA Police Department Chief of Police, Daryl Gates, in the early 1980’s. It blossomed from a tiny local program to a massive national campaign practicing in 75 percent of American schools. The message was simple, “Just Say No.” Unfortunately, at its peak, D.A.R.E was…

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The Smoking Spine: Nicotine’s Ability to Cause and Worsen Back Pain

20 percent of American adults are cigarette smokers. Of these individuals, about 80 percent smoke daily. Cigarette smoke has been found to contain over 4,700 chemical substances with the most notable being nicotine. Nicotine in cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vapes, oral tobacco and even nicotine patches all contain carcinogenic substances such as hydrocarbons and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA).…

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Will Stem Cells Fix My Back Pain?

Low back and leg pain is very common. It has many causes including arthritic and degenerating discs and joints in the spine which compress the nerves. The cause and standard treatment strategies have been well studied over many decades. Spine surgeons and other treatment providers are now confident in the traditional therapy, injections and even…

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Which Low Back Surgery is Right for Me?

Low back surgery refers to surgery on the lumbar spine between the L1 bone and the L5-S1 level. Decompression, fusion and artificial disc replacement are all options to treat low back conditions. However, it is important to remember that these surgeries are not interchangeable, but instead have very specific indications. Depending on your symptoms and…

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