My Blog
February 05, 2018
Category: Surgery
Tags: Spine Surgery  

Is it time you finally considered getting spine surgery in Fort Worth, TX?spine surgery

The spine is a pretty complex and complicated part of the body that can certainly impact your life if it starts to act up. If you are dealing with constant or severe back pain, our Fort Worth, TX, neurosurgeon Dr. James Kaufman knows that you aren’t just looking for answers but also relief.

While our goal is to make sure you get the treatment you need we know that getting spine surgery is serious, so it’s important that you understand the pros and cons of this treatment and when you might want to consider this treatment option. In many cases, a simple sprain or strain in the back can lead to pain and discomfort. This problem is just a minor nuisance that will often just go away on its own with time and rest.

Of course, it’s important to know when your back problem is a cause for concern and you should consult with our Fort Worth, TX, neurosurgeon. We know that everyone experiences health problems differently; however, there are some symptoms to be on the lookout for including:

  • Loss of function or weakness anywhere in the body
  • Numbness or tingling, particularly in the extremities
  • Pain that gets worse
  • Pain that doesn’t respond to at-home care after two weeks
  • Fever accompanied by persistent back pain

There are many reasons why someone might experience back problems besides the everyday strains and sprains. Spinal stenosis and other degenerative conditions are most commonly seen in older adults. If these conditions go ignored or you don’t seek treatment then other more serious complications may occur such as severe pain, stiffness, loss of mobility or function, limited range-of-motion or tingling.

Furthermore, a dislocated or broken bone, a slipped or herniated disc, or a spinal tumor or infection are also problems that our neurosurgeon can address here in Fort Worth, TX.

Even though advancements in technology have made it possible to get minimally invasive spinal surgery, this is still a serious medical procedure to undergo. It’s important that the condition you are experiencing can’t be treated with lifestyle modifications or simple conservative treatment options. If you’ve exhausted all treatment options and are still dealing with chronic pain then it might be time to weigh the pros of spinal surgery.

Don’t let pain affect your quality of life. We know how difficult chronic pain can be, especially when it impacts everything you do. If you want to find out whether spinal surgery is the answer then it’s time to call our office in Fort Worth, TX.

November 27, 2017
Category: Surgery
Tags: Myelopathy  

Nerve-related conditions like myelopathy can be a scary experience as they can cause alarming symptoms like numbness or tingling, myelopathydifficulty writing or walking, or balance issues. However, understanding the early signs and symptoms of this condition can help your doctor find and treat it early. Find out more about the symptoms of myelopathy with our Fort Worth, TX neurosurgeon, Dr. J. Kevin Kaufman.

What is myelopathy? 
The spine itself houses the spinal cord, a cluster of nerves which runs down the length of the back. Myelopathy is an injury to the spinal cord which can stem from trauma, certain diseases, disc herniation, or congenital conditions. The spinal cord becomes compressed, causing the symptoms of myelopathy. There are various kinds of myelopathy which depend on where in the spine the injury is.

Symptoms of Myelopathy 
While some symptoms occur according to the type of myelopathy present, there are some general signs and symptoms of this condition. Some of the common symptoms of myelopathy include:

  • loss of sensation
  • loss of function
  • back pain or discomfort
  • tingling or numbness
  • difficulty walking
  • balance and coordination issues
  • increased or abnormal reflexes

Diagnosing Myelopathy 
Diagnosing myelopathy usually begins with a physical examination with your doctor. X-rays or MRIs help your doctor see into your body to examine its connective tissues and bones. Your doctor will then use an assessment of your symptoms, medical history, and underlying conditions to determine if you suffer from myelopathy

Myelopathy Treatments in Fort Worth, TX
Treating myelopathy will depend on the location of the myelopathy in the spine and the severity of your symptoms. Your doctor may begin by suggesting noninvasive treatments like physical therapy or bracing. These methods are focused on preventing further damage and managing pain and discomfort. Surgical options are common and effective, decompressing the spine and taking the pressure off the spinal cord. Your doctor can help you determine if surgery is your best option.

For more information on myelopathy or its treatments, please contact Dr. Kaufman in Fort Worth, TX. Call (817) 377-0143 to schedule your appointment for a consultation with Dr. Kaufman today!

September 26, 2017
Category: Surgery
Tags: Spinal Tumors  

What your neurosurgeon in Fort Worth wants you to knowspinal tumors

Tumors are growths that can appear in any area of your body, including in or around your spinal column. Spinal tumors can cause pain, numbness, difficulty moving and a number of other potentially serious complications. They can be either noncancerous, or cancerous, and can dramatically affect your life. Dr. James Kevin Kaufman, a neurosurgeon in Fort Worth, TX, wants to share the facts about tumors and treatment.

Tumors are diagnosed using state-of-the-art medical imaging including magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, and computerized tomography, CT. Once a tumor is seen, it will be biopsied to determine whether the tumor is benign or cancerous.

There are several types of spinal tumors, depending on where they occur:

  • Vertebral tumors occur around the vertebrae of the spine
  • Intramedullary tumors occur in the cells of the spinal cord
  • Extramedullary tumors occur in the cells surrounding the spinal cord

Spinal tumors can cause many serious complications and can be life-threatening. Some of the signs and symptoms include:

  • Back pain, which can radiate to your legs
  • Numbness in your arms or legs
  • Muscle weakness
  • Walking problems and frequent falling
  • Loss of sensation to pain, hot and cold
  • Incontinence

You should visit Dr. Kaufman if you have a family history of cancer or have back pain that is:

  • Chronic and is getting worse
  • Occurring without activity
  • Worsening at night

Seek immediate medical attention if your back pain is accompanied by:

  • Increasing numbness or muscle weakness
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

Tumors of the spine are most often removed with surgery. Modern surgical methods including microsurgery have made tumor removal possible in areas with difficult access. If a tumor can’t be completely removed, targeted radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy are frequently used to reduce or eliminate the tumor.

If you have signs or symptoms of a spinal tumor, don’t delay getting a diagnosis. For more information about spinal tumors, call Dr. Kaufman in Fort Worth, TX. Call today!

July 17, 2017
Category: Surgery
Tags: Spine Surgery  

Discover the many health problems that could benefit from spinal surgery.spine surgery

You’ve been dealing with back problems for a while now and nothing seems to be helping. In fact, your pain and discomfort have greatly impacted your quality of life. You wish you could do a lot of the same things you used to but your back problems have made it impossible for you to enjoy those same activities that once made you happy. Is it time to consider spinal surgery? Our Fort Worth, TX, neurosurgeon, Dr. James Kaufman, weighs in on why spinal surgery happens and when to consider it.

Why might I need spinal surgery?

Spinal surgery is a serious undertaking and one that patients think long and hard about before getting. It’s important to understand that spinal surgery is never used for exploratory purposes, meaning that surgery will never be recommended as a way to determine what problems might be happening in the spine. Imaging tests and physical exams will be the best way for our Forth Worth neurosurgical doctor to understand what’s going on with your spine.

Spinal surgery may be used for nerve decompression, to perform spinal fusion on an unstable portion of the spine or to improve a severe spinal deformity.

Who is a good candidate for spine surgery?

Those who could benefit from this type of surgery are those who are in consistent and debilitating back pain and discomfort. You may also experience numbness or tingling and find weakness and pain in other areas of the body as a result of problems originating within the spine.

It may be difficult for you to move around and your mobility may be greatly limited and impacted by your spinal issues. An ideal candidate will have tried all the non-surgical options available to them but they just wouldn't have experienced the relief they need to improve their quality of life. If this sounds like you, then it’s time to talk to our neurosurgeon about whether you could benefit from surgery.

If you want to talk to us about whether getting spinal surgery in Fort Worth, TX, is the treatment option that will finally relieve your serious symptoms, then give us a call today and schedule your surgical consultation today.

May 15, 2017
Category: Surgery
Tags: Spinal Tumors  

Find out how spinal tumors are caught and what we can do to treat them.spinal tumor

Spinal tumors aren’t very common, so it’s easy to ignore symptoms or for doctors to overlook your issues. Since symptoms of a tumor are also the same as a host of other spinal conditions, it’s important that you have a Fort Worth, TX, neurosurgeon like Dr. J. Kevin Kaufman that you can turn to if you are dealing with back pain, weakness, loss of feeling or issues walking.

How are spinal tumors diagnosed?

Since the symptoms you are experiencing could be caused by other more common conditions, it’s easy for symptoms of spinal tumors to go unnoticed unless you turn to a Forth Worth neurological specialist like Dr. Kaufman, who can determine whether or not you are dealing with a spinal tumor. Through different neurological exams, diagnostic testing (e.g. MRI; CT scan), a physical examination and discussing your detailed medical history, we will be able to detect whether or not your symptoms are due to a spinal tumor.

What are my treatment options if I have a spinal tumor?

In most cases, spinal tumors are the result of cancer. If possible, our neurosurgeon in Fort Worth will perform surgery to remove the tumor. Of course, it’s often not possible to cure cancer through surgery alone; however, surgery does allow us the ability to remove as much of the tumor as we can.

If some of the tumor remains after surgery, then radiation therapy will be recommended. Radiation therapy may be the best approach for someone who is at an increased risk of developing another spinal tumor or in patients who are older. We may also choose to offer you chemotherapy instead of radiation therapy post-surgery.

What are symptoms of a spinal tumor?

If you are experiencing some of the symptoms below, it’s time to give us a call:

  • Back or neck pain
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
  • Problems walking
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Problems with bowel retention
  • Pain when standing

If you are noticing any issues that are affecting your back health or your ability to walk then it’s time to call our Forth Worth, TX, neurosurgical office to schedule a diagnostic evaluation.

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