Kraus Back and Neck Institute in Houston, TX

Relief from Lower Back and Neck Pain

surgery optionsavoid surgery
      At the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI), we specialize
                 in non-surgical as well as surgical treatments
                                of Back and Neck  Pain
     Conservative to Surgical Options: MINIMALLY INVASIVE SPINE SUGERY 
 "Applying Science to the Art of Medicine"                                                  
                 Dr. Kraus is available for Neurosurgery consultation (surgical and non-surgical) in Houston.
                      Offices:  1) West Houston Medical Center
                                    2) Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital
                                    3) Katy
           FILM REVIEW:  send an e mail                                       
      To arrange  an appointment, call 281-870-9292,  visit
or   send an e mail
              For national and international patients, we can help with  travel arrangements
                                         top doctors houston texas 2007 top docs united states neurosurgery spine   top doctors houston texas 2008 top docs united states neurosurgery spine  top doctors houston texas 2009 top docs united states neurosurgery spine   best doctors in america, united states neurosurgery spine
                                            Dr. Kraus is honored to be listed in
                                            "Best Doctors in America" (2001-2008) and
                                             "Top Doctors of Houston, Texas" (2007, 2008, 2009)     

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Low Back Pain, can be very debilitating.  The effects of Low Back Pain in the USA are staggering!!

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Pedicle Screws and Rods

When an extensive decompression of the lumbar spine is performed, the lumbar nerves are relieved of compression, and lower extremity pain will be hopefully improved.  Back pain, however, is unlikely to be helped.  If some of the pain is coming from degenerated segments, then a fusion may help. 

Pedicle screws are placed from the posterior approach.  They act to stabilize the spine while the bone graft undergoes fusion


Procedure to implant pedicle screws

Typically, after the decompression of bone has been performed, the surgeon will place the pedicle screws under fluoroscopic control.  This is accomplished through the use of a "C arm," which provides real time x-ray imaging of the spine as the screw is being placed.  Alternatively, a computer guidance system may be used.  Typically, the screws are approximately 6.5 mm in diameter, and roughly 50 mm in length.  The diameter of the screws is not much smaller than the diameter of the pedicles, and if the cortex (boy surface) of the pedicle is breached during placement, then nerve root injury may result.  Electrical monitoring of the nerves help to warn the surgeon if there is any contact between the screws and nerve roots. 

Once the screws are placed, rods are attached to each screw on that side of the spine, thus providing a latticework of stability from pedicle to pedicle. 

The majority of screws and rods implanted today are composed of a titanium alloy, which yields less artifact during MRI and CT scans, than its stainless steel counterpart. 

The screws and rods are generally left in place, although they can be removed after the fusion has healed, if they are pushing through the skin or causing other problems. 

Although uncommon, breakage or screws and rods does occasionally occur.  Screws can also pull out of the bone.  It is important to stress that smoking does interfere with the likelihood of a successful fusion. 





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