What is Spinal Decompression?


Explained by Neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Shehadi from Neurosurgery Associates in Columbus Ohio.

Patients often come to us with low back pain, they frequently get diagnosed with what they call lumbar spinal stenosis.
MRI of the lumbar spine is typically needed to make the diagnosis properly of lumbar spinal stenosis.

Stenosis is a medical term that means narrowing. Which means to your spinal cord and or that your nerve roots are being compressed. Compressing your nerves causes pain.

So the treatment for spinal stenosis as always begins conservatively. Conservative treatment includes anti-inflammatory painkillers, outpatient physical therapy, sometimes a lumbar spinal brace which we provide here at this office and at times patients go for epidural steroid injections.

The steroid injections are optional, not mandatory if and when any or all of these conservative treatment measures fail then you become a good surgical candidate.

Surgical treatment options include lumbar decompression with or without spinal instrumentation. the key component is lumbar spinal decompression which means taking pressure off the spinal canal, spinal cord and nerve roots which are being compressed. Because compressed nerves are what causes the pain.

So in the simple sense, all you need to do is take pressure off of these nerves. so lumbar laminectomies have been done for decades with high success rates. More recently doctors including myself offer spinal instrumentation and spinal instrumentation is a medical term for screws and rods that provide stability.

Both surgical options, a decompressive laminectomy with or without instrumented fusion and stabilization with screws and rods have very good success rates.

Feel free to contact our office for an in-person live consultation to learn more about lumbar spinal stenosis and how to feel better. Thank you.

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Treatments of Concussions due to Football and other injuries

In a recent interview, we asked Neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Shehadi to give us an overview of concussions.

Read the interview and Watch the video.

The Interviewer:

“We’re here in Columbus Ohio with doctor Joseph Shehadi, the neurosurgeon and he will be answering some of our questions today.
Our first question is about football and concussions and the injuries that are related to football.
So, doctor Joseph Shehadi Can you please enlighten us a bit about the topic?”

Dr. Shehadi

“Concussion is a very hot topic nowadays, especially with all the media frenzy and the news articles on CTE and head injuries in the NFL.
A Concussion by definition is a temporary or transient impairment of brain functions. It is usually classified as mild, moderate or severe. However, there’s some controversy as to whether loss of consciousness is necessary for the definition, whether headaches and symptoms are necessary and whether or not you have a focal neurological deficit.”

The Interviewer:

“Thank you for your clarifications, what can be the treatments for such concussions?”

Dr. Shehadi

“Well the best treatment I think for concussion is threefold:
Number one is rest

Number two is the removal from the field, which is usually temporary

Number three is a quantitative and qualitative assessment tool to define your symptoms, the resolution of your symptoms, the extent of neurological deficits and whether you’re safe to return to the field.
and for that Component here at Neurosurgery Associates, we use the latest technology, namely Clear Edge which is a complex software.

Sports, in general, are a very important part of our culture and have many benefits, such as camaraderie, hard work, etcetera. However, unfortunately, injuries occur and when they do feel confident, knowing that Associates. Because we have the latest technology and expertise and software. First in Columbus OH, to best treat the athlete And have them back on the field as safely and as soon as possible “

Adult Vs Pediatric Neurosurgeon. What are the differences?

At Neurosurgery Associates, patients often ask us about the main differences between an adult and a pediatric neurosurgeon.
In this short video, Dr. Joseph Shehadi, neurosurgeon specialized in the treatment of adults, tackles the subject.


He notes three major differences:
1- Patient age group.
2- Problems treated.
3- Studies and training.


1- An adult neurosurgeon will treat patients from the age of 16 years old and over, whereas a pediatric neurosurgeon takes care of patients from birth until the age of 15.

2 -Pediatric neurosurgeons take care of congenital birth defects. Some of the most common defects are:
Craniosynostosis: a birth defect in which one or more of the fibrous joints between the bones of an infant’s skull, prematurely fuses by turning into bone, thereby changing the growth pattern of the skull.
Spina Bifida also known as Myelomeningocele: a type of birth defect where the spinal column and spinal cord do not develop properly.

Adult neurosurgeons on the other hand, take care of problems that develop and occur slowly over time. Some of the most common diseases are:
Cervical degenerative disc disease: develops when one or more of the cushioning discs in the cervical spine starts to break down due to wear and tear.
Lumbar degenerative disc disease: a syndrome in which age-related wear and tear on a spinal disc causes low back pain.
Herniated discs: a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (disks) between the individual bones (vertebrae).
Spine fractures: aka compression fracture is a vertebral bone in the spine that has decreased at least 15 to 20% in height due to fracture.
Cervical or Lumbar spinal stenosis: is a narrowing of the spaces within the spine, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine.

3-Pediatric Neurosurgeons do a pediatric neurosurgical fellowship at a children’s hospital. Whereas an adult neurosurgeon has other options, such as, neuro oncology, neuro vascular or functional neurosurgery.
Dr. Joseph Shehadi chose to do neuro surgical oncology fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Texas, so that he can treat patients with brain and spine tumors.
You can ask Dr. Shehadi questions by contacting him at his office or by using the contact page.

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