Why Do I Have Clicking Sounds In My Back?

“Clicking” and “popping” sounds, otherwise known as crepitus, in the back are normal. All joints in the body can make sounds from time to time. The spine is no exception. In fact, there are more than 70 joints in the human spine and any one of these can make clicking sounds. If that sound is accompanied by pain, you should discuss it with a member of our Spine Team.

What Is Laser Spine Surgery?

We’ve all seen the commercials advertising laser spine surgery. The Spine Team at SIOA doesn’t perform this procedure, and for good reason! The latest recommendations from the North American Spine Society indicate and peer-reviewed medical literature has shown that there is no significant benefit in outcomes from the use of lasers in spine surgery. The majority of fellowship-trained, board-certified spinal surgeons in the U.S. do not recognize laser surgery as being safer, less invasive, or more effective than minimally-invasive microscopic and surgical telescopic techniques. In our experience at SIOA, there is only a very small subset of surgical patients with mild symptoms that would even be candidates for laser surgery. In our practice, we have seen patients who had a failed laser surgery at another facility, which demonstrates that lasers don’t guarantee success. Until better techniques and studies become available supporting its use, the Spine Team does not endorse the unproven use of laser spinal surgery.

Will I Bleed During Surgery?

Yes; all surgeries, including spine surgeries, have a bleeding risk. However, we follow the latest procedures and guidelines to control that risk to the greatest extent possible. SIOA performs a wide variety of minimally-invasive surgical procedures with very little bleeding. We also perform complex reconstructive surgeries such as spinal deformity correction and revision surgery that do have a bleeding risk. When there is a higher risk of bleeding, we use Cell Saver automated blood collection devices to reduce the chance of requiring a blood transfusion.

Should I Go to New York City for Spine Surgery?

No. The doctors at SIOA were trained in major metropolitan areas, just like the doctors in New York City, Albany, Boston, and others. The difference is that they’re available right here in your own community. From years of experience, we know that back pain can frequently be made worse by extensive travel. There’s simply no reason to travel all that way when you can receive the same quality care close to home. We firmly believe that you should be devoting your time and energy to recovering, not driving.

I Have Constant Pins & Needles and Numbness in My Feet, Can This be Related to Lower Back Problems?

Pins and needles feeling in the feet (aka paresthesia ) are a result of nerve dysfunction somewhere along the course of a nerve that supplies the strength (motor nerves) or in this case sensation (sensory nerves) in the feet. Multiple different causes are possible including pinched nerve in the spine by disc compressing from in front of the nerve (herniated disc) and/ or from a bone spur compressing from behind the nerve (an arthritic enlarged facet joint or ligament -spinal stenosis) . Other causes such as peripheral neuropathy where the nerve is not compressed but misfires due to metabolic problem such as diabetes can also contribute to pins and needles sensation.

For persistent pins and needle sensation that lasts for more than 4 weeks, a nerve test called an EMG/ nerve conduction study can help localize the cause of the problem. If the test suggest a spinal cause. (aka Radiculopathy- meaning literally nerve root disease) , an MRI of the spine may further identify any pinching or compression of the nerves .