to diagnose and treat degenerative diseases, arthritic conditions, fractures, tumors, deformities such as scoliosis, lower back pain and other conditions through various surgeries and treatments (some non-surgical) of the spine and vertebrae. Dr. Chung will consult with the patient to explain the various avenues of treatment, and may consult with other physicians to determine if a surgical procedure is necessary.
Orthopedic spine surgery is a highly specialized field of orthopedic surgery that encompasses the surgical and non-surgical treatment of injuries and/or disorders affecting the spine. Although many diseases or disorders affecting the spine may be treated with conservative management of the condition, this is not always the case. Spine surgeons may often work in conjunction with a multidisciplinary team when providing care, coordinating with specialists such as radiologists, oncologists, internists, and physical medicine physicians to ensure a healthy surgery and rehabilitation.
These physicians are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of spinal injuries, whether they be congenital disorders, tumors, degenerative disorders, traumatic injuries, growths, herniated discs, spinal nerve problems or otherwise. Procedures performed by orthopedic spine surgeons may include spinal fusion to correct scoliosis, lumbar decompression, lumbar disc replacement, discectomy & endoscopic microdiscectomy and laminectomy operations, among other procedures.
Depending upon the diagnosis, specific patient’s condition and skill of the orthopedic spine surgeon, varying surgical techniques may be utilized. Traditional spine surgery (sometimes referred to as open back surgery) requires the surgeon to create a 5 to 6 inch incision in the patients back before moving muscle and tissue away from the spine in order to begin operating. Surgeries like these will cause substantial post-operative pain, and may take the patient up to a year to fully recover. Other, minimally-invasive operations require a much smaller incision and less manipulation of the muscle and tissues of the back. For obvious reasons, post-operative pain of minimally invasive surgery and recovery time is not as significant and lengthy.