My Blog
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.

March 20, 2017
Category: Surgery
Tags: Neurosurgeon  

Most people experience some form of temporary back and neck pain from time to time. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and neurosurgeonMusculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health, everything from getting older, to lifestyle factors and genetics can contribute to the likelihood of developing back pain. In many cases, the pain resolves after a short time with rest and conservative treatment if necessary. If back pain persists or becomes recurrent, it may be a sign of a spine condition or injury. Dr. James Kaufman, a neurosurgeon specializing in minimally invasive spine surgery in Ft. Worth, TX, recommends seeking treatment for persistent pain and other symptoms that do not respond to rest and conservative treatment within a few weeks.

Why Should You See a Neurosurgeon for Chronic Back Pain?

In addition to neurological disorders, neurosurgeons also treat spine and peripheral nerve problems, including:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Myelopathy
  • Degenerative spinal conditions
  • Lumbar spine disorder
  • Muscle strain and injuries
  • Trauma
  • Tumors

Treatment for common spine problems has evolved in recent decades, and many conditions that may have once required open back surgery can be treated with minimally invasive procedures with less side effects and faster healing and recovery periods. Dr. Kaufman offers discectomy, microdiscectomy and microdecompression, and spinal fusion to patients in the Fort Worth area.

The first step in treating chronic back and neck pain is to identify the source of the problem. A comprehensive physical exam and medical history, along with diagnostic imaging test like Xrays, CT scans, and MRI may be performed. Depending on the type of injury or and severity of pain and other symptoms, conservative treatments like medication and physical therapy are usually the first method of treatment. If the condition does not improve or worsens, minimally invasive spine surgery may be an option.

Find a Neurosurgeon in Fort Worth, TX

Don't let back pain slow you down or disrupt your quality of life. If you are suffering from pain and mobility problems, contact Dr. Kaufman by calling (817) 377-0143 to schedule a consultation today.

January 26, 2017
Category: Surgery

Find out how you can manage pain and other symptoms of this condition and get back to life.

Degenerative disc disease, as you may already be able to guess from the name, is a disorder in which one of more discs of the neck or degenerative disc diseaseback begins to deteriorate. This is sometimes just a normal part of the aging process; however, injury can also lead to this condition. Find out more about the symptoms surrounding degenerative disc disease and how our Fort Worth neurosurgeon, Dr. J. Kevin Kaufman, recommends treating this condition.

What are the symptoms of degenerative disc disease?

There are some symptoms that are common for those with this condition. Depending on where in the spinal area the degeneration is occurring, people may experience lower back pain or neck pain.

The pain often flares up with certain activities but goes away or lessens after the activity is stopped. This chronic pain can manifest in many forms, and while some people may only experience a nagging pain that they can often just ignore, there are some people who deal with serious, debilitating discomforts on a daily basis.

You may also find that pain gets worse when you bend down or lift something. As a result, certain positions may cause more discomfort for you. Surprisingly enough, you may find some relief just by walking around rather than sitting or standing for long periods of time.

Along with pain, you may also notice a tingling or numbing sensation in the hands and feet.

What are some of the best ways to treat my condition?

How our Forth Worth degenerative disc surgeon decides to treat your disorder will depend on the severity of your symptoms. A lot of patients can find relief through exercising regularly. Exercise helps promote blood flow, which provides the back muscles with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to remain strong and function properly. By increasing blood flow to these areas we can also reduce inflammation.

We may also recommend physical therapy to improve your pain. These exercises can help to retrain and strengthen muscles in the back to promote better flexibility and range of motion while also reducing pain and stiffness. Medications may also be prescribed for those with severe discomfort.

Of course, if symptoms aren’t managed or improved by these treatments or if pain continues to be debilitating and affects a person’s quality of life, then it’s time to sit down with us and determine if surgery is right for you.

Don’t let neck or back pain associated with degenerative disc disease affect your quality of life. Get the answers and relief you need by turning to our Forth Worth neurosurgical center to find out more about degenerative disc disease treatment options.

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