The University of Florida Department
of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at Shands Jacksonville provides
expert medical care for the full spectrum of injuries and disorders of the spine.
UF orthopaedic surgeons provide services for patients with the following conditions:
- Cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy
- Deformities of the spine
- Lumbar radiculopathy, sciatica, stenosis
- Spinal tumors
- Spondylolisthesis, scoliosis
Diagnostic Procedures and Evaluations
Diagnostic evaluation of spine patients involves taking a careful history and gathering
other information regarding their specific problems, previous treatments and social
circumstances, such as occupation and family support. This is followed by a physical
examination and supplemented by a review of images made of the patient's spine or
other body parts. Imaging studies may include radiographs (x-rays), magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scans or other tests.
Treatments for spinal disorders vary from nonsurgical to surgical procedures.
Non-surgical treatments will be recommended by the spine team, but the patient's
primary care physician or physiatrist usually provides ongoing care for the patient.
These recommendations include medications, blocks and physical therapy.
Surgical treatments are specific to the disorder being managed and may involve discectomy,
decompression of neural elements, fusion use of internal traction (metal hardware),
other implanted devices or combination of these.
Each type of surgery has its own expectations. The surgeon will provide an explanation
of the diagnosis, treatment options, the procedure planned and what to expect for
hospitalization and recovery. We will also discuss with you the benefits and risks
of not doing surgery versus having the surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does an x-ray show?
An x-ray is a basic screening test that shows a bone and its relationship to other
bones. It gives spine surgeons an overview of how the spine is aligned, reveals
most fractures and deformities and helps surgeons understand degenerative problems.
Why get a MRI?
A MRI shows the nerves, spinal cord and soft tissues. If the referring doctor suspects
a herniated disc or other problem, such as a pinched nerve, a MRI is usually the
study of choice.
Why get a CT scan?
A CT scan reveals bone detail. It also can help with soft tissues for those patients
who cannot have a MRI. This includes patients with cardiac pacemakers, implanted
cardiac defibrillators, otic/inner ear/cochlear implants and metal fragments in
the eye. Some implants that contain metal must be verified as safe before a MRI
procedure can be done.
Some patients may need to have a myelogram (dye injected into the veins) before
the CT is performed.