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What is a painful spine condition?

Spinal conditions and disorders stem from damage and deterioration to the vertebrae of the spine or the spinal cord. Located within the vertebrae that comprise the spine, the spinal cord is made up of a bundle of nerves extending from the base of the brain down the back.

What are the different types of spine conditions?

Dr. Vasudevan specializes in the treatment of many painful spinal conditions including:

  • Disc herniation: the bones of the back that form the spine are cushioned by round discs with tough outer layers. When one of these discs ruptures, fragments can push out into the limited space of the spinal canal oftentimes causing severe pain and resulting in disc herniation. A herniated disc may be referred to as being compressed, ruptured, bulging, prolapsed, or slipped.

  • Spinal stenosis: is a narrowing of the spinal canal that subsequently puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Dr. Vasudevan, brain and spine surgeon in St. Louis, sees patients with spinal stenosis from anywhere in the neck and cervical area all the way to the lumbar and lower back areas.

  • Spondylosis: refers to the degeneration and abnormal wear of the spine’s vertebrae and the discs between them. A degenerative disorder, spondylosis can cause the loss of healthy spinal function and structure.

  • Spondylolisthesis: occurs when one of the spinal vertebrae is displaced or slips onto a vertebra beneath it. This improper position of the vertebrae is known to cause back pain and at times weakness in the legs.

  • Scoliosis: is simply defined as an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. While the condition can be present from birth or be the result of a neurological or muscular disease, most cases are idiopathic and have no known origin.

  • Spinal fractures or Spinal trauma: traumatic spine injuries are often the result of a sports injury, car accident, or major fall. These types of events can leave a patient with broken or dislocated vertebrae that need immediate care in an effort to avoid serious complications.

  • Radiculopathy: a condition that occurs when nerves in the spine are compressed or pinched. This can cause shooting pain and numbness in the arms, trunk, or legs. When not responding to other therapies, surgery can help.

What are the signs and symptoms of a spine condition?

Symptoms of a spinal disorder depend on the specific spine condition. Normal symptoms include:

  • Muscle spasms

  • Back or neck pain

  • Vomiting or nausea

  • Changes in reflexes

  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

  • Weakness, radiating pain, numbness, or paralysis of limbs

How does our practice treat spine disorders?

There are many methods and ways of treating the varied spine conditions at our office in St. Louis. Treatments for these conditions can vary depending on location and severity.

Dr. Vasudevan, brain and spine surgeon in St. Louis, believes that all non-surgical treatment options should be explored, and that spine surgery should be used as a last resort.

Possible non-surgical treatment options include:

  • Bracing

  • Therapy

  • Injections

  • Medications

Patients who require surgical attention for their spinal conditions in St. Louis may consider the following procedures we offer:

  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF): a herniated or degenerated disc is removed and then replaced by a bone graft that is then fused to the adjacent vertebrae.

  • Cervical disc replacement: a herniated or degenerated disc is removed and replaced with an implant that mimics the movement and stability of the original disc.

  • Laminectomy: the lamina (back part of a vertebra) is either partially or fully removed in an effort to ease pressure and widen the spinal canal.

  • Corpectomy: the vertebral body is partially or fully removed to ease pressure on the spinal canal.

  • Spinal fusion: permanently connects two or more vertebrae in order to achieve stability and decrease painful motions.

  • Spinal cord stimulation therapy: may help mask erroneous pain signals before they reach the brain via an implanted device similar to a pacemaker.

Why our practice?

Dr. Vasudevan is ready to help patients with a wide variety of spinal conditions and disorders. From non-surgical pain relief to the latest surgical therapies, Dr. Vasudevan, brain and spine surgeon in St. Louis, will strive to alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life. Schedule an appointment today.

Spinal Conditions Neurosurgeon in St. Louis - Kumar Vasudevan, MD

Painful Spinal Conditions


Delivering personalized care for painful spinal conditions using modern technology and clinical understanding.


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