At Orthopaedic & Spine Center of New Jersey, we treat the gamut of conditions, employing our expertise to offer our patients individualized care and comprehensive treatment. Our vast experience includes dozens of disorders, from degenerative and inflammatory conditions to traumatic injuries to spinal abnormalities in both adults and children.
Compassionate, state-of-the-art, individualized patient care. Since most patients do not need spine surgery, this most often involves organizing and directing the best team nonsurgical professionals with advanced expertise in their fields including: physical therapy, physiatry, chiropractic, adjunctive techniques (e.g. acupuncture), psychiatry and counseling (e.g. cognitive behavior therapy, mindfulness meditation) and pain management.
There are many spinal conditions which occur in children. They can range from injuries to muscle strains, and to developmental problems such as scoliosis, spondylosis, or spondylolisthesis. Other problems include inflamed discs, osteomyelitis or even juvenile arthritis. In more rare cases, tumors can be the cause of such conditions.
A range of spinal problems or injuries can cause pain that manifests in the arm, but that may actually originate from conditions in the neck and/or upper back.
Back pain often originates from nerves, muscles, bones, joints or other places in the spine. Back pain may have a sudden onset or can be a chronic pain. Back pain can manifest as a sharp sensation or a dull ache, may radiate to other parts of the body, such as buttocks, arms or legs, and may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as weakness, numbness or tingling. Back pain can be caused by any number of conditions, such as a strain, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, sciatica or osteoarthritis. Approximately eighty percent of the adult population experiences a significant episode of low back pain at some time in their lives.
Back-related leg pain is a common variety of lower back pain. Estimates of those who experience it over a lifetime are as high as 40 percent. It arises from disorders of neural or musculoskeletal structures of the lumbar spine, and may be caused by conditions such as sciatica, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, a herniated disc, radiculopathy or arthritis. The pain can vary among patients, from sharp or burning to aching, and can be accompanied by a ‘pins and needles’ sensation, numbness or weakness in the foot and/or leg.
Bone spurs, also called osteophytes, are bony projections that develop along the edges of bones.
Bone spurs often form where bones meet each other, which is in the joints. Bone spurs can also form on the bones of the spine. Bone spurs are usually caused by localized inflammation, such as from tendinitis or osteoarthritis. Bone spurs may or may not cause symptoms. Those symptoms can include pain, numbness, tenderness, and weakness if the bone spurs are causing irritation to adjacent tissues.
A disc is a soft, gelatinous material that cushions the spine’s vertebrae. The majority of the time, a bulging disc, sometimes called a ruptured disc, occurs in the spine, usually the lower back, when the disc moves out of its normal area. The condition usually occurs as a result of age. Other causes can include aggravating a previous back injury, being overweight or poor lifting techniques of heavy items. Symptoms can include back pain, numbness or tingling. While a herniated disc may occur suddenly, a bulging disc typically occurs gradually over time.
Causes of buttock pain can range, but include such conditions as sciatica, piriformis syndrome (compression or irritation of the piriformis muscle), bursitis, strain, or arthritis. Injury of one or more of the gluteal muscles, especially the gluteus maximus (which is the body’s largest muscle) can cause buttock pain. Buttock pain may also be caused by disease or conditions of the nearby anatomy, such as the pelvis, tailbone, groin, or lower back.
Cervical Radiculopathy, commonly referred to as a pinched nerve, is the damage of nerve function that results from a compression of one of the nerve roots near the cervical vertebrae—at the spot where they exit the spinal column. Symptoms include pain, tingling, numbness or weakness along the affected nerve. While radiculopathy can occur anywhere along the spine, the areas most commonly affected are the neck and the lower back. Heavy labor or contact sports are risks for this condition, as well as compression from a herniated disc, a bone spur or osteoarthritis.
A compression fracture is the collapse of a vertebra. Most common in older people (occurring in 25 percent of all postmenopausal women), it is usually caused by osteoporosis (low bone mass, resulting in weak or brittle bones). It can also be caused by injury. A compression fracture can range from mild to severe. While pain is often in the neck or lower back, some pain may be present in the hip, thigh or abdomen. Numbness tingling or weakness may be results of nerve compression at the site of a fracture.
Degenerative disc disease in the lower back, technically lumbar spine, refers to a condition in which a compromised disc causes low back pain. This syndrome is often caused by simple wear and tear of the spine. It can begin by an injury, or a sudden twisting of the torso or other rotation, such as from playing golf. It is estimated that 30% of people aged 30-50 years old will have some degree of disc space degeneration. Not all cases of this condition cause pain or disability, but most people will experience from low-grade to occasional flare-ups of pain in the lower back that may radiate downward to the hips and legs.
Facet joints, also known as zygapophysial joints, are small stabilizing joints located between and behind adjacent vertebrae. They help support the weight and control movement between individual vertebrae of the spine. They are found at every level of the spine (except at the top level) and provide about 20% of the torsional (twisting) stability in the neck and low back. Common symptoms associated with this condition are adjacent muscle spasms. Usually, acute attack of back pain involving facet joints occurs suddenly and with no warning. Symptoms can be confused with disc-related disorders as patients may report referred pain in the lower extremities.
Failed back surgery syndrome (also referred to as FBSS) is a very generalized term that is used to describe the condition of patients who have not had a successful result with back or spine surgery, leading to pain following surgery. The number-one reason back surgeries are not effective and some patients experience continued pain despite surgery is because the operation did not, in fact, treat the true cause of the patient’s pain.
Foraminal stenosis is the narrowing of the cervical disc space caused by enlargement of a joint in the spinal canal. Most of the symptoms of this condition are caused by one nerve root on one side. The symptoms may include numbness, weakness, burning sensations, and tingling in the arms and legs. Usually, the condition is characterized by intermittent pain developing slowly over many years and is related to an activity (such as bicycle riding) or stressful position of the neck. Although more common in the neck, it can also occur in the lumbar spine. Age and arthritis increase the risk of developing foraminal stenosis.
The bones (or vertebrae) that form the spine are cushioned by small, spongy discs. These discs act as shock absorbers for the spine, and keep the spine flexible. However, when one of these discs is damaged, it may bulge or break open. This is called a herniated disc, or also called a slipped or ruptured disc. Most herniated discs occur in the lower spine and can be caused by injury or wear and tear due to aging. When a herniated disc presses on the roots of a nerve, it can cause pain, numbness and/or weakness in the area of the body where the nerve it affects is located. Most commonly a herniated disc results in sciatica, which is pain and numbness in the buttock and down the leg.
Kyphosis, sometimes called hunchback (from the Greek kuphos humpbacked), is an abnormal curvature of the spine, causing an exaggerated rounding of the upper back. It is most common in older women, and occurs after osteoporosis causes weakening of the spinal bones, causing them to compress or break. While kyphosis can occur at other ages, it is most common among older women. If the condition is severe, it can impact the organs and tissues of the upper body.
Lumbar radiculopathy is nerve irritation caused by damage to the discs between the vertebrae. Damage to the discs is caused by degeneration (wear and tear), traumatic injury, or both, of the outer ring of the disc. When this happens, the central portion of the disc can rupture (herniate) through the outer ring of the disc. This rupture commonly causes sciatica, which is a back pain or numbness that travels down the leg. Prior to sciatica, a patient may experience low back ache, numbness and tingling. The pain often increases with movements involving the waist as well as coughing or sneezing.
Myelopathy refers to any functional disturbance and/or pathological change in the spinal cord. It is a term often used to characterize nonspecific lesions. Symptoms include lack of balance, weakness, decreased strength and decreased sensation. A common cause of myelopathy is degenerative disc disease. Spinal cord tumors are also a significant cause. When the injury is due to trauma, it is called a spinal cord injury; when due to inflammatory causes, it is called myelitis.
Over two-thirds of the population suffers from neck pain at some point in their lives. Neck pain can be caused by a number of conditions including muscle strain, arthritis, whiplash, pinched nerve (radiculopathy), or spondylosis—and in rare instances, from tumors or infection. Neck pain may result from abnormalities in the soft tissues—the muscles, ligaments, and nerves—as well as in spinal bones and joints. The most common causes of neck pain are soft-tissue cases due to injury or prolonged wear and tear.
Nerve compression, also called compression neuropathy and/or entrapment neuropathy, is caused by direct pressure on a single nerve. The direct compression, or entrapment, damages or injures the nerve, making it unable to properly conduct its signal. If a nerve is compressed in the low back, it causes pain to radiate into the buttocks and back of the thigh and calf, and may extend down to the foot. Other common symptoms include numbness, tingling, and/or a burning or ‘pins and needles’ sensation.
Osteoporosis, which literally means “porous bones,” occurs with a loss over time from bones of excessive amounts of protein and minerals, especially calcium. With the loss of bone mass and thus bone strength, bones become susceptible to breaking more easily. Age, gender, body type, diet, lifestyle and heredity are all factors that affect the risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis occurs most often in older people and in women after menopause. Women, who have smaller, thinner bones than men, are about five times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis.
A pinched nerve is the term for pain or impaired function that is incurred by too much pressure being applied to a nerve. That pressure comes from surrounding tissues — such as bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons and disrupts the nerve’s function. The initial symptoms of a pinched nerve may be tingling, numbness, burning sensation or shooting pains down the buttocks and legs or in the neck, shoulders, arms and fingers.
Radicular syndrome, which is characterized by symptoms of pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the arms and legs, is the result of compressed, irritated, or inflamed nerve roots, which are branches of the spinal cord that carry signals out to various parts of the body. Radicular syndrome often follows from a herniated disc or degenerative changes in the spine, and can cause anything from dull, aching sensations, to sharp and burning pain.
Sacroiliac joint pain, also called sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction, refers to a condition that causes discomfort in the sacroiliac joints, which are formed by the connection of the sacrum and the iliac bones. Similar to many other types of joint pain, sacroiliac joint pain occurs when the cartilage layer covering the bone is damaged or worn away, causing the bones to rub against one other. Often, pregnant women experience this joint pain due to the release of certain hormones and changes in weight and walking patterns. Pain caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction is commonly located in the back of the hips, groin, and thighs.
Sciatica refers to pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg. It occurs when there is damage or pressure on the sciatic nerve, which is comprised of five spinal nerve roots. This nerve controls the knee and lower leg muscles. Sciatica is a symptom of another medical problem, such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. Sciatica symptoms include pain, mild tingling or numbness of the lower back, buttocks, leg or foot. It usually occurs on one side of the body, and can be aggravated by standing, sitting or walking.