Blog Archive

Augmented Reality Spine Surgery Feb 18th, 2021

Augmented Reality Spine Surgery CarePoint Neurosurgery and Spine now offers augmented reality (AR) surgical guidance with Augmedics’ xvision Spine System.  Dr. Kimball and his assistant Shawn McGee performed the 1st AR surgery at Sky Ridge Hospital in Colorado at the beginning of February.    Augmented Reality Guided Spine Surgery To provide...

Cerebral Aneurysm with Dr. Arias Jul 30th, 2020

An aneurysm is a small balloon that forms on a weakening wall of a blood vessel. It is estimated that about 2 to 4% of the world’s population have cerebral aneurysms. Cerebral aneurysm diagnoses are becoming more common as they are found when the patient is imaged for other reasons...

Brain Tumor Surgery with Dr. Arias Jul 30th, 2020

Surgery for brain tumors involves general anesthesia which means the patient is completely asleep for the entire procedure. In some cases, the patient will be woken up during the surgery for monitoring the area of the brain that is being operated on. If the surgeon gets close to the part...

Brain Imaging with Dr. Arias Jul 30th, 2020

Being diagnosed with a brain tumor can be scary and life-altering. Part of the initial evaluation after a brain tumor is diagnosed is imaging. This can include a CT scan or an MRI. A CT scan can give a low detailed picture of what's going on within the skull or...

Fusion vs Non Fusion Surgery with Dr. Robinson Jul 30th, 2020

Spine surgery is a complex decision-making process. There are decompression surgeries and there are surgeries that involve both decompression and fusion and it is important to understand the difference between the two. Fusion: If a patient has mechanical back pain or instability, the two bones would get fused together so...

Pre and Post Op Tips for Spine Surgery with Dr. Robinson Jul 30th, 2020

It is important to be prepared before surgery to make sure that there is a clear understanding of which medicines can be continued and which should be stopped and how far in advance some medicines need to be stopped prior to surgery. As a former surgical patient, I can attest...

Spine Tumors with Dr. Kimball Jul 30th, 2020

Patients that have spine tumors are often faced with a devastating diagnosis. It can be challenging for them to find out that there is something compressing their spinal cord while also learning that they have a cancer that has spread from one area of the body to another. There is...

Microdiscectomy Surgery with Dr. Kimball Jul 30th, 2020

You would only consider surgery if you're NOT getting better with the other therapies that are mentioned in my blog. If you are having persistent intractable pain, weakness, numbness and dysfunction then you and your surgeon might consider doing this surgery. Microdiscectomy in my experience is best entertained when your...

How to “Fix” Your Bulging Disk Without Surgery with Dr. Kimball Jul 30th, 2020

This seems to be a widely-researched topic by patients and while there is a lot of information out there about this topic from various non-physician sources, I wanted to give you a neurosurgeon's opinion as well as one that is based in scientific literature. There is a well known multi-part...

Disk Herniation with Dr. Kimball Jul 30th, 2020

Overview: Herniation and disk bulges are common in people. Not everybody that has a disk bulge has a nerve that is being pinched by it and not everybody that has a disk bulge or herniation needs surgery for it. The disk has two different pieces to it; the outer thick,...

Cervical Fusion Surgery (ACDF) with Dr. Kimball Jul 30th, 2020

The traditional approach to fixing neck or arm pain that is not responding to medications or to physical therapy is to consider a procedure that I have actually moved away from and that is cervical (or neck) fusion surgery. Another term for this is ACDF or anterior cervical discectomy and...

Do You Need a Spinal Fusion with Dr. Kimball Jul 30th, 2020

If you are reading this, it's probably unlikely that you have a fracture that is unstable since most people that have that condition usually present to an emergency room and are not going to be spending time searching around for whether or not they need a fusion. In my experience,...

Cervical Disk Replacement with Dr. Kimball Jul 30th, 2020

Disk replacement in the neck has been around for quite some time and the technology available is phenomenal. In the United States, we have FDA approval to perform up to two consecutive levels of disk replacement. Dr Kimball is involved in FDA clinical studies on pushing and exploring the limits...

Lumbar Disk Replacement with Dr. Kimball Jul 30th, 2020

Treating patients with neck and back problems without the use of fusion involves replacing or fixing a disk that has been damaged rather than fusing it to another segment. Disk replacement can be done in the neck and in the lumbar spine. Patients that have degenerative conditions of the spine,...

Minimally Invasive Surgery with Dr. Kimball Jul 30th, 2020

Open back surgery can be avoided altogether when accessing the spine through the stomach. With this procedure, the disk is removed and replaced with artificial disks made of two titanium implants and a mobile core that allows the patient to keep moving at that level. Approaching the spine through the...

Meningioma with Dr. Arias Jul 30th, 2020

The normal anatomy of our head starts with the hair and scalp on the outside, the bony skull below, and then the brain on the inside. Between the skull and the brain there is a thin layer, called the dura. The dura acts like a bag that encases and protects...

Carotid Bifurcation Disease: with Dr. Arias Jul 30th, 2020

As we get age, plaque builds up in our blood vessels. This is caused by smoking and other lifestyle choices like poor diet. One of the most common places for this to develop is at the carotid bifurcation. Normally, our carotid artery comes off of our chest and up on...

Fusion vs Replacement with Dr. Serak Jul 30th, 2020

The spine is made up of a series of joints which are composed primarily of a disk which can degenerate over the course of time due to the fact that it's moving. Arthritis and general wear and tear can occur and eventually, the disk can break down. When this happens,...

Robotics and Endoscopic Surgery with Dr. Serak Jul 30th, 2020

The field of minimally invasive spine surgery is rapidly evolving and Robotics is one technology I utilize. This makes me more efficient in the OR which cuts down on surgery time for the patient and less time under anesthesia. Another advantage is the precision that robotic surgery provides. This is...

Robot Assisted Spine Surgery with Dr. Serak Jul 30th, 2020

Robot assisted spine surgery utilizes the good things about spinal navigation but significantly increases the accuracy of screw placement into the bone. Prior to or during surgery, the surgeon can plan where he wants to place the screws based on CT scans that provide 3D visualization of the bones of...

Spinal Cord Stimulation with Dr. Mian Jul 30th, 2020

One of the common clinical scenarios I encounter as a neurosurgeon is a patient who has persistent and severe pain in the back or the legs after a previous surgery on the spine. This is sometimes referred to as “failed back surgery syndrome,” and it occurs in about 20-40% of...

Essential Tremor with Dr. Mian Jul 30th, 2020

Essential tremor is one of the most common neurologic conditions in the world. It consists of a trembling or shaking that worsens over time, and it can affect patients at almost any age in life. It is usually brought out by holding a posture or making purposeful movements. The most...

Parkinson’s Disease and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) with Dr. Mian Jul 30th, 2020

Parkinson’s disease is a common neurologic disorder that affects around 1% of people over the age of 65. In the United States alone, there are close to a million people with Parkinson’s. We don't know what causes Parkinson's disease but we do know it results in a gradual loss of...

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) with Dr. Mian Jul 30th, 2020

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is therapy that delivers targeted electrical impulses to the brain to treat different neurologic disorders like Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, epilepsy, and dystonia. Some people compare DBS to a pacemaker - but for the brain. And while patients can’t feel the electrical pulses, they often have...

Arteriovenous Malformations with Dr. Arias Jul 30th, 2020

An AVM or an arteriovenous malformation, is a tangle of blood vessels within the brain. Normally, blood travels to the brain by arteries and spreads out once it gets to the brain through small networks called capillaries which provide blood to the brain. It then pools back together into veins...

What is Moyamoya? With Dr. Arias Jul 30th, 2020

Moyamoya disease is a rare disease that translates to “Puff of Smoke” in Japanese. Normally, blood is taken to the brain through the internal carotid artery. Once it gets to the base of the brain, it splits into the anterior cerebral artery which goes to the front of the brain,...

Cervical Disc Replacement vs Fusion with Dr. Kimball Jul 30th, 2020

With disc replacement, patients are usually able to get off of pain medications after surgery sooner than with fusion. They tend to get back to work sooner and they tend to generally get back to their lifestyle faster. Not every patient is going to be a perfect candidate for a...

Back pain: FAQ’s with Dr. Robinson Jul 30th, 2020

Back pain: FAQ’s What is causing my back pain? Back pain is usually caused by arthritis in the spinal joints (called the facet joints) and also if these bones do not line up appropriately. What can I do to prevent my back pain from getting worse? If you have back...

Interspinous Stabilization with Dr. Robinson Jul 30th, 2020

Coflex™ is a non fusion procedure that is sometimes used for indirect decompression. Essentially, decompression surgery is utilized to take pressure off the nerves, sometimes with the addition of an interspinous spacer or Coflex™. This holds the spinous processes apart and provides indirect decompression off the nerve roots which will...

Glioma with Dr. Arias Jul 30th, 2020

A glioma is a type of tumor that begins from inside the brain itself. These tumors can be either benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancerous). They are graded from 1-4, with grade 4 tumors (glioblastoma) being the most aggressive, and unfortunately the most common. We can sometimes have an idea...

Trigeminal Neuralgia with Dr. Mian Jul 30th, 2020

Trigeminal neuralgia is a common neurologic disorder in which there are severe zaps of pain in the face. Patients often describe the pain as aching or stabbing or sometimes like an electric shock. The pain attacks start and stop suddenly, and they are brought on by everyday activities like brushing...