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Memorial HealthWatch Winter 2008

Breakthroughs in Spine Surgery

Harold Bach, MD

Harold Bach, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon

Warren Grossman, MD

Warren Grossman, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon

Lloyd Maliner, MD

Lloyd Maliner, MD
Neurosurgeon

Alexander Poisik, MD

Alexander Poisik, MD
Neurosurgeon

Marshall Stauber, MD

Rochelle Ayala, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon

Memorial Healthcare System Offers Some of the Most
Innovative New Procedures

Breakthroughs in Spine Surgery

Back pain affects 80% of Americans at some point in their lives. Now there are more ways to treat spinal conditions than ever before.

"Today we can place a ball bearing in a disc base using a minimally invasive technique rather than perform total disc replacement," says Marshall Stauber, MD, a orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff of Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Regional Hospital South and Memorial Hospital West.

There's also an innovative technique at Memorial that involves replacing a diseased disc with one made from stainless steel. "Previously, cervical spine problems had been treated by the complete removal of the disc and fusion of bone to bone, resulting in increased degeneration, as well as problems above and below that point on the spine," explains Alexander Poisik, MD, a neurosurgeon on the medical staff of Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Regional Hospital South, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, Memorial Hospital West, Memorial Hospital Miramar and Memorial Hospital Pembroke.

Treatment for Degenerative Spine

Another kind of back pain stems from degenerative spine, or the aging spine, which can cause debilitating pain. "It's normal to have morning stiffness, or to ache if you overdo, but if you have pain that is restricting you from engaging in normal activities, then it's time to see a doctor," says Lloyd Maliner, MD, a neurosurgeon on the medical staff of Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Regional Hospital South, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, Memorial Hospital West, Memorial Hospital Miramar and Memorial Hospital Pembroke. That's because degenerative spine can lead to calcium buildup, or bone spurs, around the nerves, causing lumbar stenosis. Or it can cause instability of the spine and abnormal movement. Both issues can be helped through minimally invasive procedures.

Harold Bach, MD, orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff of Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Regional Hospital South and Memorial Hospital West, elaborates. "The new XLIF procedure allows us to place a spacer called a satellite ball to take pressure off the nerves," he explains.

There are even new products to help the body restore lost bone. Warren Grossman, MD, an orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff of Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Regional Hospital South, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital and Memorial Hospital West, says, "Another new breakthrough is an implant that contains an enzyme that helps the body make bone. It's a great aid in helping us achieve fusion."