Vital Support & Protection
The spine is arguably the most important structure in the body. It not only provides structural support for the entire body, but it also protects the spinal cord–a long tube of nerves that connects the brain to the nervous system. The spine is composed of 4 distinct parts: the cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, and sacral spine. These sections are divided by location, structure, and function: the cervical spine is the neck section of the spine, consisting of 7 vertebrae that protect the brain stem, spinal cord, allowing neck movement while supporting the weight of the skull.
Bulging, Herniation and Injury
The next section underneath the cervical section is the 12 vertebrae that make up the thoracic spine, connecting to the ribcage, and protecting your vital organs. Situated directly under the thoracic spine is the lumbar spine, composed of the 5 largest vertebrae that bears the majority of the body’s weight and allowing for increased range of motion. It is the lumbar facet joints that enable extension, but is often prone to bulging, herniation, and injury. The sacrum is the last 5 bones in the spine, found behind the bones are naturally fused in a triangle, and join to make the coccyx, or tailbone.
The Body’s Natural Shock Absorbers
All of the sections are made up of vertebrae, intervertebral discs that cushion and protect the vertebrae from articulating directly against each other. The spinal cord is located within the spinal canal, a protected tunnel in the spine with specific areas where nerve roots extend out into the body – connecting the brain and the body’s nervous system. Because the intervertebral discs absorb shock and bear weight between the vertebrae, they are prone to bulging and herniation.
When disc herniation occurs, the bulging portion may impinge on the nerve root, and dependent on the location cause a wide range of symptoms throughout the body. Herniated discs and nerve root compression may result in both localized back pain, and nerve symptoms throughout the body. Depending on where the herniated disc resides on the spine and the extent of herniation, the nerve impingement may present itself as numbness, pins and needles, sharp or burning pain, or a combination of symptoms in the arms or legs. Nerve impingement may cause decreased sensation, increased pain, reduced mobility, and limited control of the affected area. But if you find yourself suffering from symptoms of herniation, look no further than IOI to begin walking down the path to recovery with hands on support from the best orthopedic surgeons Joliet has to offer.
In-Depth Diagnosis: The First Step to Feeling Better
To diagnose the source of your pain, our medical team will use our on-site diagnostic equipment including our state of the art digital x-ray machine that allows us to diagnose bone injuries, malformities, fractures or misalignments. The digital nature of our x-ray equipment allows us to bypass the time it takes to develop tradition film x-rays, and allows for image enhancement, lessening the time and radiation it may require to get the same diagnosis with traditional film x-rays. Our MRI machine uses magnetic resonance to produce images of soft tissues, such as joints, discs, and muscles. Both digital xrays and MRIs are non-invasive, pain-free methods of diagnosing the source of your back pain. Our minimally invasive spinal arthroscopy procedures allow us to diagnose internally using a camera in a small incision, allowing our spinal specialists to investigate without the need to make large incision or damage healthy tissue in the area.
Arthroscopy, Microdiscectomies, and Tissue Removal
Arthroscopy also allows for minimally invasive surgical procedures in complex areas. Using a series of cameras and tools we are able to perform procedures such as microdiscectomies, and repair and removal of scar tissue and injured tissue. Reducing the size of the surgical incision limits tissue damage and allows for healthy tissue to remain intact while performing surgery. This type of surgery is minimally invasive and shortens recovery time, allowing for a quicker return to your life.
Sacroiliac injections are another way of treating and diagnosing sacroiliac joint issues, by receiving these injections we are able to determine if further surgical intervention would be successful to improve nerve pain. Some patients find enough relief with sacroiliac joint injections, while others will find only slight temporary relief of persistent symptoms. Our team of surgeons is dedicated to providing the best orthopedics in Joliet by staying by your side every step of the way as we walk you through the most effective treatment to meet your unique recovery needs.
Surgery: Spinal Fusion
Surgical procedures are always a last case option, but can help improve pain and mobility in the long term. Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure where two or more vertebrae are surgically fused together. This surgery may sound daunting, but our team has the best spine surgeons in Joliet, Illinois specializing in fusion surgery, ensuring your best chance at a successful recovery, and living an active life. A spinal fusion is usually recommended after repeated vertebral disc herniation or severe injury that damages the joint. By fusing the vertebrae we eliminate the ability for future disc injury, reinforcing spinal strength, and allowing for a return to your daily life.
Whether from acute trauma, injury, or post-operative, Illinois Orthopedic Institute has the best spinal rehabilitation program options. Our spinal specialists work with you to create a specified treatment program unique to your case. By using a combination of tried-and-tested modern physical therapy techniques with a state of the art physical therapy equipment we focus on increasing mobility and flexibility, improving strength to the injured area, and preventing injury. When you turn to IOI, you’ll achieve increasing fitness goals, lower pain levels, and prevent future injury, while working with the best Joliet spinal surgeons, and the most comprehensive rehabilitation programs in 60435.