Spine care services in Austin, Texas
Our goal is to improve the quality of life for patients who have spine conditions, allowing them to more actively participate in their daily lives. To do this, spine doctors at Austin Spine offer a full range of comprehensive treatment options for back and neck pain. Our specialists — Dr. Craig Kuhns and Dr. Rick Wupperman — have more than 30 years of combined experience with spinal care and complex surgery. They are also board certified and fellowship trained.
Spine treatments we offer
Our philosophy is to treat spine conditions with conservative methods whenever possible, only recommending surgery when the patient truly needs it. When surgery is necessary, we use the most advanced and least invasive options possible to get patients the result they need.
Cervical disc replacement
Cervical disc replacement may be an option for some patients with damaged or diseased discs in the cervical spine (neck). In patients who qualify, cervical disc replacement can help to retain motion at that level of the spine by avoiding a fusion, which is a traditional, but often more complex, surgical treatment of herniated discs. We offer this advanced procedure because cervical disc replacement implants have continued to improve over the years, offering our patients improved functionality. Additionally, our surgeons are experienced with a variety of implant options, so they can select the device that best fits each patient’s unique needs.
Herniated disc treatments
Herniated discs, also known as “slipped discs,” are among the most common issues affecting the spine. They most often occur in the lower back. When a disc is herniated, the gel-like center of the disc protrudes out, which can irritate the spinal nerves and lead to issues like back pain, weakness or numbness. It may also cause tingling in the legs or feet or even sciatica. Initial treatments for herniated discs are typically nonsurgical, but surgical options are also available if these more conservative methods do not alleviate symptoms.
Spinal deformity (spondylolisthesis and scoliosis) care
Spinal deformity, including spondylolisthesis and scoliosis, can be present in both adults and children. These issues and related conditions can be very complex and require ongoing care, so it is very important to choose a care team that has specialized training in the treatment and surgery of spinal deformity. That’s exactly what we offer, including comprehensive treatment options for adolescent or adults with spinal deformities.
Spinal stenosis treatment
Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal cord or nerve roots are constricted or compressed due to degeneration in the spine. Stenosis can occur in both the cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back). Symptoms may vary based on the location of the stenosis.
If stenosis is in the neck, symptoms may include arm pain, shoulder pain, tingling in the arms, hand weakness, clumsiness or even balance problems. Symptoms are usually worse with the neck in extension (the head tilted back).
If stenosis is in the lower back, then patients will often have symptoms in the legs, such as pain, numbness or weakness. Early symptoms may just be pain in the area of the buttocks. Most stenosis symptoms in the low back are often worse while standing in place and made better by sitting.
Treatment is initially conservative and may include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and epidural steroid injections. If needed, surgical options are recommended based on the patient’s needs and anatomy.