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Spine Surgery in Houston, Texas

Vivek P. Kushwaha, M.D. Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon

Spine Surgery in Houston, Texas

80 percent of Americans will suffer from back pain at some point in their adult life. Globally, back pain is one of the leading causes of disability and missed work. If you suffer from back pain, understanding the source of your pain is the key to relieving your symptoms and knowing if spine surgery in Houston, TX can help.

There are a number of possible causes of back pain, including:

  • muscle strain
  • herniated, bulging or ruptured disc
  • degenerative disc disease
  • arthritis
  • traumatic injury
  • scoliosis

Some causes of back pain can be treated with medication and therapy, while other more serious sources of back pain may require spine surgery.

Herniated, Bulging or Ruptured Disk

If a disc in the spine slips out of place and becomes herniated, it can put pressure on the nerves in the spine, causing pain and numbness to travel down the back and through the arms or legs, depending on the location of the herniated disc. A bulging or ruptured disc may also put pressure on a nerve.

Anti-inflammatory treatments may help relieve the pain of a herniated disc, but some cases may require spinal surgery. There are two surgical procedures commonly used to treat herniated discs: lumbar discectomy and lumbar spinal fusion. During a lumbar discectomy procedure, the herniated portion of an intervertebral disc (which causes pain by bulging into the spinal cord or radiating nerves) is removed. Spinal fusion combines two or more vertebrae to eliminate the pain caused by abnormal motion of the vertebrae.

Degenerative Disc Disease

When the discs between the vertebrae begin to break down (degenerative disc disease), the damaged disc can cause inflammation and instability in the back, resulting in back pain, muscle spasms and sciatica (low back pain that travels to the buttock, leg and foot).

Degenerative disc disease may also be treated surgically with the lumbar spinal fusion technique. Your surgeon may recommend extreme lateral interbody fusion, a procedure that fuses the front part of the lumbar spine from the side.  


Scoliosis is a medical condition in which a person’s spine is curved or possibly rotated. On an X-ray, viewed from the rear, the spine of a person with a typical scoliosis may look more like an “S” or a “C” than a straight line. For adults, this condition can be very painful.

Symptoms of scoliosis include pain, uneven musculature on one side of the spine, a rib hump and/or prominent shoulder blade caused by rotation of the ribcage in thoracic scoliosis, uneven hips, rib cage and shoulder levels and/or asymmetric size or location of breasts in females. Spinal lumbar fusion may be recommended to help straighten the spine and alleviate back pain associated with scoliosis.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain

Do you suffer from pain in your lower back, buttocks, groin and/or lower limbs? If traditional treatments for sciatica aren’t giving you relief, your pain may not be caused by sciatica at all. It might be because of the sacroiliac joint (SI joint), a large joint in the pelvis that connects the sacrum and the ilium of the pelvis. As you age, stability in the SI joint can decline and the joint can degenerate, resulting in pain and stiffness in your lower back and lower limbs.

In most cases, patients can receive non-surgical treatment through physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications or SI joint injections. But if these conservative therapies don’t provide relief and improve symptoms, spinal surgery may be necessary. Minimally invasive SI joint fusion is one surgical technique used to stabilize the joint, minimizing movement and providing significant pain relief, particularly in the lower back and/or leg.

No matter what cause of your back pain may be, it can have significant negative impact on your day-to-day life. Don’t suffer through your back pain any longer. Contact Dr. Vivek Kushwaha, Houston’s experienced spine surgeon, today.

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