If you have a back problem and your primary care physician deems that you need specialized care, they will most likely refer you to a spine doctor. A spine doctor is essentially an orthopedist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of the full range of conditions and injuries that affect the spine.
To give you a basic understanding of what a spine doctor does, we’ve outlined below some of the common conditions they treat.
Congenital Spine Deformities
Congenital spine deformities are spine disorders that are acquired in the womb. They occur due to the abnormal development of the vertebrae very early in fetal development, resulting in structural abnormalities of the spine and spinal cord.
Examples of congenital spine deformities include the following:
- Kyphosis- This refers to the abnormal rounding of the upper back caused by excessive curvature of the spine.
- Lordosis- The exact opposite of kyphosis, lordosis is a condition characterized by an exaggerated inward curve of the spine typically affecting the lumbar area (lower back).
- Scoliosis- This refers to the abnormal sideways curvature of the spine.
Degenerative Spine Conditions
Degenerative spine conditions are those in which there is gradual loss of the normal structure and function of the spine. Degenerative spine conditions are typically brought on by aging, but they may also occur due to infections, injury, and tumors.
Examples of degenerative spine conditions include the following:
- Degenerative disc disease– This is essentially not a disease, but rather a condition in which the discs (the spongy cushions that separate the bones of the spine) gradually dry out, shrink, and lose their ability to protect the spine from stress.
- Spinal stenosis – This refers to the narrowing of the spaces within your spine, which can consequently compress the nerves that run through it.
- Adult scoliosis – Also known as adult-onset scoliosis, this condition occurs either due to age-related wear and tear or complication from a previous spine surgery.
- Spine arthritis – This refers to the inflammation of the facet joints (the small pairs of joints in between the vertebrae) or sacroiliac joints (the joints the connect your pelvis to your lower spine), caused by the breakdown of cartilage in these joints.
- Disc herniation– Commonly called a ruptured or slipped disc, a herniated disc develops when a fragment of a disc’s jellylike area known as the nucleus seeps in through a tear in the disc’s exterior referred to as the annulus.
Osteoporosis is a common culprit in compression fractures of the spine. It causes low bone density and strength—so low that even a slight fall or minor stress, such as coughing, can lead to a fracture. Osteoporosis occurs when the rate of new bone being produced (ossification) cannot keep up with the rate of the old one being lost.
Osteoporosis can affect men and women alike, but it is most prevalent among older women past their menopausal stage.
Spine Doctor in Plantation, FL
At Baylis & Brown Orthopedics, Dr. Christopher Brown—our board-certified spine surgeon—has decades of experience in helping patients successfully manage, or even reverse their spine problems, enabling them to live an excellent quality of life.
To see Dr. Brown, please call our friendly staff at (954) 476-8800. You may also use this appointment request form.