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Neck and lower back pain are some of the most common symptoms experienced by patients in today’s society. Sometimes this pain is simply localized to the spine, but occasionally it can differ and include numbness, tingling sensations, and weakness traveling down into the arms and/or the legs. While the onset of these symptoms will vary from patient to patient, the underlying cause of the pain is often due to compression of the spinal nerves. These important spinal nerves help to control and manage the muscles of our body. Our spinal nerves also are responsible in providing a pathway for sensation from our body and extremities back to our spinal cord and brain. Common reasons for spinal nerve pain are injury, disk herniations and/or arthritic conditions such as bone spurs or synovial cysts that can crowd or compress the nerves within the spinal canal oftentimes causing intense pain from the resulting nerve tissue inflammation. Other less common reasons for nerve compression can include infection, tumor formation, unstable fractures and bleeding within the spinal canal.

Fortunately, the majority of patients with spinal nerve symptoms can be effectively managed with conservative treatment like physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) medications, spinal steroid injections and even chiropractic care. For some patients, surgical intervention is needed to correct the underlying “structural issue” and to deliver long term, durable relief for the patient. One of the most common spinal surgical procedures is “Decompression Surgery”. When appropriately applied, decompression surgery is highly effective in relieving the pressure on the spinal nerves and in providing lasting relief to the patient. This surgery is often performed using small tubular tissue retractors just slightly larger in diameter than a standard ink pen. A lighted operating microscope allows for excellent visualization of the crowded nerve tissue so that the surgeon may shave away any offending arthritic spinal structures or retrieve herniated disc material.

Stewart M. Kerr, M.D. is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who focuses on neck and spine surgery, joint replacements and complex fracture repair. He thoroughly evaluates each patient on a case by case basis to create a thoughtful, individualized treatment plan that will be the most effective in removing the pressure on the nerves. Dr. Kerr has an expertise in numerous different types of decompression and minimally invasive surgical procedures, giving him the ability to thoroughly discuss and select which procedure will be the most beneficial for each individual patient. He is passionate in effectively managing neck and back spinal nerve pain so that his patients may promptly resume a healthy, active life.

To learn more about the many treatment options for your spinal nerve pain simply call and schedule today.

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1919 Lathrop St.
Suite 105,
Fairbanks, AK 99701