We sat down with Dr. Erkan Alci of OrthoSC to talk with him about neck and back pain.
When should someone see a doctor about troubling neck and back pain?
The majority of the neck and a low back pain are self-limiting and the majority of them do get better on their own but if a person has neck or lower back pain that is associated with arm or leg symptoms with pain or numbness going down to the arm or the leg they should certainly seek a healthcare professional to investigate that problem.
How does neck and back pain affect a person’s life?
It can be very, very debilitating and it could be lifestyle changing in most circumstances. Most patients, unfortunately, have to bear through this pain, and they have a hard time doing the daily activities that they enjoy doing. So, it can be very, very debilitating
Why is signing up for our Spine Pain Seminar such a great step for people suffering from neck and back pain?
Well I enjoy the seminars because I think it’s very educational to let them know that the neck and back pain are common. They’re not alone. There are many people who are suffering from it and we are able to make them better.
We talk about different treatment options from medical management to active therapies with the CMC physical therapy team to home exercise programs. We talk about different type of injections and how these injections are performed and sometimes the surgical conditions that that might be needed and then what signs to look out for.
It is a great chance for the patients to ask the questions that they’ve been dying to ask. At the end of the seminar, we do spend one-on-one time with some of the patients who come so I get the chance to answer their questions. We also expedite their time to get in and to see us because I know that we all are very busy and have a difficult time getting patients in but if anybody attends our seminar we try to expedite them getting in to be seen as soon as possible.
Tell us about some of the cutting edge surgical technology at CMC.
We do have new technology at Conway Medical Center. We have a new machine called Ziehm Vision RFD 3D C-Arm. It actually allows us to take an intraoperative CT scan at the end of the case. One of the common issues that we face intraoperatively, especially when we use surgical instrumentation is assuring the accuracy of placement, so we do have different ways to do that. We are doing cases where we put the instrumentation anatomically where they should be, and we also use fluoroscopy which is x-ray guidance and we also use technologies like neural monitoring and actually test the screws to see if they’re in the right places. With this technology we are able to, I would say 96 to 98 percent of the time easily, to know exactly where the screws are. With this technology, with intraoperative CT scan, that CMC has that to my knowledge other hospitals don’t have, we are able to tell you right away at the end of the case before the patient leaves the room that I know all of the instrumentation is exactly where it needs to be.
We also have new technology that’s out there that we are looking into, so I think CMC is on the leading edge when it comes to having the technology that’s needed when it comes to spine surgery.
How is neck and back pain treated?
There are many treatments that are available and the majority of them are non-operative. 90% of back pain or neck pain can be treated without needing surgery. There are a lot of options.
Are you struggling with neck and back pain? Click here to sign up for one of our FREE Spine Seminars.