OCRМ_s Spinal Surgeon Presents Seminar in Estes Park

For Immediate Release: August 14, 2008

Contact: Armi Hall, (970) 419-7140, ahall@orthohealth.com

Orthopaedic CenterМ_s Spinal Surgeon Presents Seminar August 19 in Estes Park

Orthopaedic Center of the Rockies spinal surgeon will discuss back and neck problems and treatments, including new artificial discs, during a free seminar August 19 at the Estes Park Museum.

Dr. Robert Benz will discuss the new artificial discs and other treatments for back and neck disorders in a special program for Aspen Club members, the Estes Park community, and visitors on Tuesday, August 19, at 1 p.m. at the Museum, 200 Fourth Street, in Estes Park. To register, call the Aspen Club, 624-1860.

Because of age, injury, or other factors, people can develop serious problems such as disc herniation (bulging disc) and narrowing of the spinal canal (the passage for the spinal cord and nerves). These problems will usually produce pain or weakness in the shoulders, arms, or legs. Occasionally there can be enough pressure on the spinal cord that we develop problems with co-ordination. Simple tasks such as buttoning buttons or writing our names become more challenging. With these symptoms, it is best to check with your physician to see if further testing needs to be done.

In the past, disc herniations in the neck generally required removal of the degenerated disc and fusion of spine. Now, new treatments involving placing an artificial disc in the neck may be a better option for certain patients who meet the criteria for the operation. This treatment preserves motion of the spine and decreases the chance that additional surgeries will be needed.

If a narrowing of the spinal canal creates pressure on the spinal cord in several places, a procedure called a laminaplasty may be an option. This surgery involves opening the spinal canal without completely removing the bony covering over the nerves. In addition it avoids doing a fusion, thus maintaining motion of the spine.

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