Proof That Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Is Safer for You

surgeryA lumbar discectomy is an invasive surgical procedure performed in a hospital to remove herniated spinal disc material that is pressing on a nerve root. A study published in the medical journal Spine reported that people undergoing procedures as in-patients were experiencing an 85% increase in complications, such as infection from wounds, than those who opted for outpatient surgeries.

Using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database, University of Iowa’s Andrew J. Pugely, MD, led this research study that included a review of the records of over 4,000 lumbar discectomy patients. An analysis of the data showed that in-hospital surgery patients were more apt to acquire infections or to need additional surgery afterward the initial procedure than outpatient patients.

The minimally invasive procedures performed on an outpatient basis, such as those performed at the Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA, are safer for patients. Dr. Solomon Kamson, MD, PhD, notes that these less invasive types of surgery result in far fewer complications for patients. Dr. Kamson relates the following information on this groundbreaking research study for patients and for potential surgical candidates to learn more about its in-patient lumbar discectomy findings.

About the NSQIP: This quality assurance program was developed in 2005 by the American College of Surgeons to study and improve surgical outcomes. Close to 500 hospitals in the US take part in the NSQIP database.

Number of cases reviewed in the study: The cases studied of patients who went through a lumbar discectomy procedure between the years 2005 and 2019 numbered 4,310.

What the study examined: The research team looked at the number of short-term complications and the risk factors for complications in a 30-day period following a single-level lumbar discectomy. Risk factors such as age, diabetes, past wound infections, blood transfusions, length of operating time, and other components were taken into consideration.

The study’s findings: Of the 4,310 lumbar discectomy cases studied, 2,658 (or 2/3 of them) were performed on an inpatient basis. These patients experienced a 6.5% complication rate. Those who had outpatient discectomies (1,652 of them) had just a 3.5% complication rate. Dr. Kamson notes this lowered risk of complication when the discectomy is performed in an outpatient setting.

Conclusions: The study’s conclusions state that having outpatient lumbar discectomy results in a lowered rate of possible overall complications than for those who are treated in a hospital setting. For appropriate candidates, outpatient lumbar discectomy surgery should be considered.

Dr. Solomon Kamson, MD, PhD, agrees wholeheartedly with the philosophy of the Spine Institute Northwest: less is better. Dr. Kamson is committed to utilizing the least invasive techniques and treatments to better help patients ease their pain and recover more fully and rapidly. Call the Spine Institute Northwest offices today at (208) 496-0630 to learn more about lumbar discectomy and how Dr. Sol Kamson can assist you. Our patient advocates will be happy to schedule an appointment for you.

Massage and Chronic Back Pain

back massage in chairEighty percent of adults in America will complain of at least one episode of back pain during their lives. Nearly a third of the population, however, suffers from chronic back pain, placing close to 100 million people in pain for long periods of time. Sometimes, the source of this back pain can be difficult to trace, often leaving people in pain with little to no hope for long-term relief.

Major muscle groups and nerves that connect to various parts of your body are located in your spinal area. Stress, strain, and overuse of these other body parts that are connected to the spine can be felt as back pain.

The Promising Treatment of Massage

If you’re seeking a conservative treatment to relieve your back pain, massage is an excellent therapy to try. Scientific studies published in the Journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the International Journal of Neuroscience have shown that massage therapy can give patients lasting relief from their spinal pain. In 2011 the Annals of Internal Medicine reported a study involving 400 patients who were suffering from moderate to severe pain in the lower lumbar region of the back. Three groups of patients were assigned to receive either a weekly full-body massage, a weekly massage targeting specific muscle issues, or no massage at all, with instructions to simply continuing their present pain-management techniques. The results, after ten weeks, showed significant improvements in pain relief for those receiving massage therapy. In fact, a third of the patients in each massage group reported either a complete absence of pain or close to feeling pain-free.

Why Massage Can Help With Back Pain

One of the key benefits of massage therapy is that it increases blood flow and circulation. If your pain is stemming from a strained muscle, for instance, better blood circulation can lessen soreness and help heal soft tissue injuries. Living with chronic back pain can bring on feelings of anxiety and depression that may intensify your pain. Massage therapy relieves muscle tension, and your psychological mood improves, too, through the release of endorphins, chemicals in your brain that lift your spirit.

Some causes of back pain are greatly helped with regular massage treatments, though not all pain can be successfully treated in this way. If you are suffering from pain that is caused by spinal stenosis or sciatica, massage may not be the answer to your pain relief. If your main complaint stems from muscle strain, particularly of the lower back, massage treatments are a good conservative treatment. Dr. Solomon Kamson, MD, PhD, at the Spine Institute Northwest, acknowledges the benefits of massage therapy for those who have spinal osteoarthritis, though Dr. Kamson recommends using a massage therapist with special training in this area.

If you are suffering from chronic back pain, find out if you can achieve relief through non-invasive massage therapy. Dr. Kamson will be able to diagnose your condition and recommend the appropriate treatment. He will help you determine whether massage is worth a try or whether it may worsen your pain. Contact the Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA, today at (208) 496-0630 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Sol Kamson.

Are Regenerative Stem Cell Treatments For You?

stem cell therapyOne of the fastest growing fields in orthopedic surgery treatments is in the field of regenerative medicine. Adult stem cells, which can very often be taken from a patient’s own body, are not only safe, but they are also continuously being found to have more and more potential when it comes to pain-relieving treatments.

Sol Kamson, MD, is a huge proponent of regenerative medicine. Dr. Kamson cites a recent research study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. The outcome of the study found that knee surgery patients who received stem cell injections into the meniscus about a week following surgery reported less osteoarthritic pain and no complications from the injections.

Though arthroscopic knee surgery is a common procedure, about 25% of patients do not achieve good results, with many put at an increased risk for osteoarthritis post-surgery. Stem cell regenerative treatment after surgery can present a major step forward in combating these risks and outcomes.

The research study reviewed 55 patients who had undergone arthroscopic knee surgery called partial medial menisectomy. All of the patients were divided into three groups, each of which received a different stem cell injection seven to ten days following surgery.

One group’s injection contained 50 million messenger stem cells. These cells help form connective tissue to regenerate the lost knee tissue. Another group received 150 million messenger stem cells, while a third group received an injection containing no messenger stem cells.

The results showed that, over time, the groups who were treated with the stem cells showed some regeneration of tissue with no complications. The more exciting results showed a dramatic improvement in patients’ reports of osteoarthritic pain relief over those in the control group who did not receive stem cells injections.

Though this was a small study with a limited number of subjects, the resulting data shows that regenerative medicine is both safe and quite effective as related to joint pain.

The team at the Spine Institute Northwest understands the power and the potential benefits that regenerative medicine can extend to our patients now and in the future. Call our Bothell, WA office today to discover more about these cutting-edge applications to combat joint pain.

The Latest Procedure Options Available at Spine Institute Northwest (SINW)

pain treatmentDr. Sol Kamson and the surgical team at Spine Institute Northwest place their primary focus on minimally invasive endoscopy guided procedures. Some patients, however, may not qualify for these traditionally non-invasive techniques, leading the SINW to expand their expertise in the field of spine surgery.

If you or a loved one requires pain relief from vertebrae-related conditions, but you’ve been told that traditional minimally invasive endoscopy guided procedures are not recommended in this particular case, it’s good to know that the Spine Institute Northwest literally has your back. We now offer alternative surgeries to treat pain, symptoms of weakness, and other issues affiliated with spinal disease.

One of the latest options to treat pain caused by bulging or ruptured discs in the cervical spine is called Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF). In this instance, Dr. Kamson makes a small incision at the front of the neck. He is then able to remove the damaged disc to decompress the spinal cord and nerve root. A spinal fusion is then performed in order to make the surrounding vertebrae more stable. Next, Dr. Sol Kamson inserts an implant to replace the degenerated or ruptured disc, stabilizing it with a tiny titanium plate, after which regenerative therapy is applied. Regenerative treatment is done during the surgery, using stem cell autografts and allografts to increase healing time and improve fusion rates.

Sometimes a patient will suffer a vertebral compression fracture, often caused by osteoporosis or an acute injury, such as a fall. A minimally invasive procedure, percutaneous vertebroplasty, can be used to stabilize and strengthen the collapsed vertebra. In this case, a small portion of medical-grade acrylic cement is injected into the vertebra using a flexible needle. Sol Kamson can gain access to the entire vertebra with just a tiny incision to deliver the cement directly to the fracture.

An even more recent development in vertebroplasty is now offered at the Spine Institute Northwest to treat deformities of the spine due to vertebrae fracture. VBA, or percutaneous vertebral body augmentation, also called kyphoplasty, uses a balloon type of device to make space in the vertebrae. This space is then filled with a medical grade cement to relieve pain and stabilize the spine. Regional anesthesia coupled with intravenous sedation can be used during this procedure.

These exciting options for minimally invasive treatments to relieve chronic pain brings hope for a new lease on life for those who thought they could not find relief without having to endure open back surgery. Discover if one of these procedures can be helpful to you by calling the Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA today.

Why Should You Choose the Spine Institute Northwest?

Living with chronic back pain can have a huge negative impact on your quality of life. It’s difficult, if not sometimes impossible, to enjoy daily life when pain is intruding on your ability to work and take part in activities you enjoy.

Turn to spine surgeon, Solomon Kamson at Spine Institute Northwest, who will help you sort out the best options in minimally invasive spine surgery to help you take back your life.

About Solomon Kamson, MD

Dr. Kamson is a highly experienced physician specializing in interventional pain management and minimally invasive surgical techniques. His areas of expertise include the diagnosis and treatment of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine conditions.

He completed his Surgical/Medical Internship at Mercy Hospital, through the University of Michigan. He finished an Anesthesiology Residency in 1985 at the University of Washington and has received many awards and scholarships related to his clinical research, teachings, and scholarly publications. Sol Kamson is certified to treat Interventional Pain by the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians, and he is a Fellow at both the American Academy of Minimally Invasive Spine Medicine & Surgery and at the Interventional Pain Practice, World Institute of Pain. Clearly, Solomon Kamson is an excellent choice when you are seeking a physician to treat your spine issues in a minimally invasive way, without resorting to open-back surgical procedures.

About the Spine Institute Northwest

Dr. Sol Kamson has helped hundreds of patients find relief from persistent back pain. He utilizes the latest technological advances at the Institute using the least invasive methods.

The friendly staff working with Dr. Kamson at Spine Institute Northwest makes your visit here as stress-free and comfortable as possible. Being greeted with a smile and prompt service can make big difference in your first impressions upon entering our offices. You will find that the team at the Spine Institute Northwest will continue to impress you with their ability to make you feel right at home with each and every visit you make. The office staff, nurses, and clinical assistants all work to ensure patient comfort and confidence that you’ve come to the right medical practice for your needs.

Every staff member is prepared to answer your every question and address your concerns, from medical queries to billing or insurance issues. If an answer is not within that person’s sphere of knowledge, rest assured your concerns will be directed to the correct person, including Dr. Kamson, if you need answers that relate directly to his expertise.

Customized Treatment Plans

There exist a variety of treatment options for back pain. Rest assured that Dr. Sol Kamson works with you to find the treatment plan that is ideal for your specific issues. Each individual patient is offered a number of different treatment plans. Discuss the options available to you that may include laser spine surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery, radio frequency treatment, and many other choices. Contact Solomon Kamson, MD, PhD at the Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA,  today to discover how you can regain your life and relieve back pain.

Dr. Solomon Kamson Teaches at Boston BioLife Workshop

 teaching at Boston BioLife

Doctor Solomon Kamson of Spine Institute Northwest of Washington was recently in San Diego, California for the Boston BioLife Hands-On Sessions which are workshops for practitioners and researchers interested in new regenerative medicine techniques.

Dr. Kamson teamed up with Michael Meng, DC,  a musculoskeletal ultrasonographer to demonstrate live patient ultrasound joint imaging and fluoroscopy on a cadaveric workstation.

hands-on training for physiciansDr. Kamson, who specializes in minimally invasive surgical techniques to address chronic pain and issues involving cervical and thoracic spine problems, is an interventional pain specialist, anesthesiologist, and educator who advocates the advantages of non-surgical and minimally invasive surgery for back pain.

Boston BioLife is a Massachusetts-based training company that brings together practicing physicians and researchers to further knowledge in Life Sciences and to foster the exchange of ideas among colleagues through hands-on training. The company emphasizes the need to focus on stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine.

For more information on the event and for inquiries about future hands-on workshops, visits Boston BioLife’s page here.


Reasons For and Types of Cervical Spine Surgery

The neck is a complicated part of the body. It includes bones, muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments. The neck is the section of the spine that is referred to as the cervical section. This section is extremely delicate and can cause conditions that are crippling. Dr. Solomon Kamson of Spine Institute Northwest will be able to perform testing to diagnose the issue before it affects every aspect of your life.

Before Cervical Spine Surgery
Although there are non-surgical treatments available, at times the non-surgical treatments are ineffective to those who have had a long-lasting neck condition. Typically, pain management programs are set into place for those who need help with debilitating pain.

Once the pain management has been considered unsuccessful, the next option is normally cervical spine surgery. The normal time span for the surgery to be considered is approximately six months. In some cases, if the patient requests a longer period to recover instead, then Dr. Solomon Kamson will help the patient with other options available.

Reasons for Cervical Spine Surgery
There are different situations in which cervical spine surgery may be recommended to the patient by Dr. Kamson. One of the main reasons is a nerve root being pinched due to a bone spur or a herniated disc. This condition is also known as cervical radiculopathy. Nine out of ten patients who have endured this condition have been forced by the pain to undergo cervical surgery.

Another reason for this type of surgery is pressure being placed on the spinal cord by bone spurs; this is called spinal stenosis. This is a more complex surgery process. The success rate for this type of surgery is between 50% and 90%. It will depend on the specific details of the individual’s situation.

Those patients who have vertebrae that grind together due to degenerative disc disease will end up undergoing this type of surgery. Degenerative disc disease will cause pinched nerves and excruciating pain that will lead to repercussions in other aspects of the individual’s life.

Types of Cervical Spine Surgery
Anterior cervical discectomy is one of the more commonly performed surgeries for this section of the spine. The surgeon will expose the spine using an incision, which is made on the front side of the neck next to the windpipe. Once the incision is made, the herniated disc or bone spur will be removed. Laminectomy is performed to relieve addition pressure that has been placed on nerve roots and the spinal cord. Laminae are plates of bone on the vertebrae.

Laminoplasty is performed to relieve suffering for those who have to endure spinal stenosis. This is performed to create more room for the spinal cord. After the spine is exposed using an incision on the back of the neck, the vertebral laminae are reconstructed to enlarge sections of the spinal canal.

In order to come to the proper diagnosis, Dr. Kamson will perform tests and ask questions about family history dealing with health conditions. It is important to be as accurate as possible. He will then offer pain management procedures and speak with you about the next step in your individual situation.

2016 Testimonials for Doctor Kamson, Part 2

Here is part 2 of Dr. Solomon Kamson’s patient testimonials for his patients who underwent minimally invasive procedures at Spine Institute Northwest in the past year. Click here for part 1.

Jeremiah Dawson – Cervical Fusion for 10-year Chronic Back and Neck Problem

Field training officer Jeremiah Dawson had been living with his chronic pain since 2006. Working around the pain for more than a decade, Jeremiah finally realized the severity of his problem during training with younger police officers. Jeremiah felt sharp pains in his leg as he was going through a routine running exercise.

Recognizing that the pain was becoming a hindrance to his job and to his life at home, Jeremiah sought out treatment from Doctor Kamson at Spine Institute Northwest (SINW).

After Jeremiah ‘s successful operation (a cervical fusion), he says, “Doctor Kamson has a way of putting you at ease, you are able to talk to him and he gives you the answers you need.” “I haven’t regretted one moment,” he explains, thankful that he is finally living his life as he wants to again.

Cameron Reyes – Lumbar Decompression for Back Pain

Cameron, a self-described ‘300 pound meat and potatoes guy’ who was struggling with long term chronic back pain had this to say about his experience at Spine Institute Northwest after undergoing lumbar decompression:

“When Doctor Kamson told me that he could make me better, I wept like a kid”, Cameron says. “I got a fresh start. It’s the closing of a horrible, horrible long chapter in my life,” says Cameron after finally being free of his chronic back pain.”

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2016 Patient Testimonials, First Part

Here is part 1 of Spine Institute Northwest patient testimonials for 2016. All these patients underwent minimally invasive treatments from Dr. Kamson

Margo Witters: “Everybody here is so friendly”

Margo knew immediately that she was in the right place when she decided to get treated for back pain at Spine Institute Northwest (SINW). The Spokane, WA resident came in for lumbar fusion to address her bad back. Of Doctor Kamson, Margo says, “He was right on top of my treatment.” She remembers the atmosphere at Spine Institute as “giving her a sense of peace” and the general feeling of “the (staff) just wanting to help you.

Before her procedure at SINW, her back was so bad that she was nearly immobile and had to resort to using a walker, or worse – confined to a wheelchair. Today, more than a year after her surgery, Margo is back to her old self before all her back pain began.

Watch Margo’s story in her own words below:

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Back Pain: Don’t Let History Repeat Itself!

History doesn’t have to repeat itself, right? If you are suffering from back pain, find out if other family members are suffering from back pain, too. Surprisingly, back pain issues can run in the family – especially a herniated disc. Research shows that those who suffer from a herniated disc are four times more likely to face a similar problem if another family has suffered a pain-related issue, too.

Do you know your family’s health history?

It’s always good to know your family’s health history when it comes to significant medical issues. You should at least be aware of health problems in your immediate family: Parents and siblings. The further out on the family tree you can get, however, the more forewarned you’ll be — grandparents, your parents’ siblings, and your cousins can also provide telling info. It’s not important to track every cough and cold; you just want to know about major illnesses and chronic conditions.

What are your choices?

What disease or health problem are you tracking? Is it back pain or something similar? Find out what’s available to you. If you know, for example, that you have a parent and a grandparent who suffer from chronic back pain, it’s important to rule out non-genetic elements that could be the root of the problem. For example, working at a physically demanding job isn’t something that’s hereditary (well, maybe unless you inherit the family farm). Other health issues that can contribute to back pain, like obesity, can be addressed with preventative measures. Learning about health problems that “run in the family” can help you determine whether there are other factors you have that may increase your chances of developing one of these problems.

Again, let’s not allow history to repeat itself. When you consult with Dr. Solomon Kamson, talk to him about your family tree when it comes to illness and chronic pain. Osteoporosis, arthritis, or even a bum knee is important to bring up as well. Knowing what health issues you may be more likely to face — even if they aren’t causing you trouble now — can help to determine a course of action that will better help you to find relief from pain.