Whether acute or chronic, back and neck pain can limit your life and keep you from activities you enjoy. Fortunately, comprehensive spine care - including both operative and non-operative options - is available at King's Daughters' Health in Madison.
Our Comprehensive Spine Program was created with you in mind. We will develop a plan of action that fits your needs and best helps you achieve your goals. Exceptional care begins the moment you call to schedule an appointment, as our team is dedicated to helping you get your life back while providing an unprecedented standard of care and service throughout the process.
Common Spine Issues
Spine issues may develop for many reasons, including injuries and degeneration (arthritis). Patients most often complain of pain in the back and/or neck which can sometimes travel down the legs or arms. Some patients may also develop numbness or tingling in the legs/arms, or even weakness. Common spine issues include:
- Stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal/nerve openings)
- Herniated Discs
- Spondylolisthesis (instability/slippage of one or more vertebrae)
- Deformities (abnormal curvatures of the spine)
Treatment options vary depending upon the diagnosis and severity of the issue as well as the individual goals of each patient. Once a diagnosis is made, Dr. MacKinlay guides patients through the process, which includes the development of a personal treatment plan. The majority of spine conditions can be successfully treated without surgery, using non-invasive options. In most cases, surgery is only recommended when other treatments are ineffective and when surgery is likely to have the most significant benefit.
- Oral Medications - Over-the-counter medications may help with symptoms. Sometimes, an oral steroid medication may be needed to decrease inflammation around the spine/nerves. There are also specific medications for nerve pain.
- Physical Therapy - Personalized exercise programs can reduce pain through improved flexibility and increased muscle strength. Physical therapists may also incorporate additional treatments such as ice/heat or electrical stimulation to alleviate your neck and/or back pain, when appropriate.
- Chiropractic Care (referrals)
- Injections - Spinal injections can be helpful in both diagnosing the source of pain and providing relief. The process typically involves injecting a combination of a powerful anti-inflammatory medicine and numbing anesthetic around the affected nerve (epidural injection) or around the arthritic and painful joint in the spine. They are safely administered by board certified pain medicine physicians, and results are quickly communicated with Dr. MacKinlay for further determination in your treatment process.
- Alternative Treatments - in certain cases, treatments such as acupuncture, yoga and massage can provide back pain relief. If appropriate, these options will be discussed with patients.
- Spinal Decompression - This procedure relieves pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerves by removing bone spurs/arthritis or herniated discs and enlarging the spinal canal. Pressure on the neural structures can cause pain, weakness and/or numbness/tingling in the arms, hands, legs and feet, depending on the area of the spine affected.
- Spinal Fusion - The goal of spinal fusion is to stabilize the spine by eliminating motion between two or more vertebrae. The elimination of motion can improve pain and will depend on the specific cause of the pain. Fusion is often combined with a decompression surgery.
- Cervical Disc Replacement - An alternative to cervical fusion surgery (when indicated), this surgery involves replacing the affected disc and maintaining motion between segments of the cervical spine.
If operative (surgical) treatments are needed, Dr. Kenneth MacKinlay is trained in both traditional surgeries (open) as well as minimally invasive surgical (MIS) options. He would be happy to discuss both options with you in order to decide which approach would be best for you.