Doctor shows results to patient x-ray, dealing with spinal tumor.

101 on Spine Tumors

Spine tumors affect about 10,000 people a year in the United States. These masses of tissue grow in the back and neck area, usually becoming very large and have a possibility of expanding beyond control. They can be either benign, which means they are non-cancerous, or they can be cancerous, which is also called malignant.

Unfortunately, it’s not known what causes spinal tumors. Still, there is a lot to learn about this medical issue.

Keep reading below to learn more about spine tumors.

What Types of Spine Tumors are There?

There are multiple types of tumors, all depending on the location of the tumor. The first major type of spine tumors depends on where the tumor is located on the back. Cervical spine tumors occur on the neck area, thoracic spine tumors occur in the middle back area, lumbar spine tumors happen in the lower back area, and sacrum spine tumors appear in the hip area.

The second major type of spine tumor divides the above forms into even more kinds, depending on where in the makeup of the spine the tumor is located.

Intradural-extramedullary tumors happen in the inside covering of the spinal cord, also called the dura. This means they are outside the actual spinal cord. Intramedullary tumors grow inside the spinal cord. Extradural grow outside both the thin covering and the spinal cord.

What are the Symptoms?

Here are the most common symptoms of spine tumors:

  • Back pain
  • Difficulty walking
  • Bowel and bladder issues
  • Paralysis
  • Stiff back and neck
  • Tingling and other pain issues
  • Loss of sensitivity in the area
  • Spinal deformities like scoliosis

What is the Treatment?

There are two major types of treatment options for those with spinal tumors. The first is non-surgical. This type of treatment includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and general observation to see if the tumor continues to grow and does require further treatment.

The second type is surgery, which means that your physician will have to remove the tumor completely from your body. What type of surgery you require will be determined by what kind of tumor you have.

If you have one, your physician will be able to help you develop a treatment plan that will get rid of the mass.

If you’re facing spine tumors and would like to know your treatment options, the experts at Alliance Spine and Pain Centers would be happy to discuss. Give us a call at 770-929-9033 or click here to schedule an appointment.

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The Most Common Reasons to Visit Pain Specialists

For most people, when a major injury occurs, the first thing they think to do is visit their primary care physician or, in worst-case scenarios, go to the emergency room. But for those who deal with chronic pain, meaning their pain is a daily occurrence, then a primary care physician may not cut it.

This is where pain specialists, or pain management doctors, come in. These physicians are experts at managing both chronic pain and recovering processes from major accidents. At Alliance Spine and Pain Centers, our team is full of trusted medical professionals who are experts at helping patients to return to normal function and an active lifestyle. Our providers work to correct the cause of chronic pain, not just mask it.

But why might you need to visit our offices? We’re explaining the most common reasons to visit pain specialists below.

Why Do You Visit a Pain Management Doctor?

Here are the common reasons to visit pain specialists:

  • Diagnose chronic pain issues, such as osteoporosis and scoliosis.
  • Develop treatment plans for chronic pain issues, such as radiofrequency neurotomy or superion.
  • Receive surgeries for injuries or pain, such as proactive discogram or percutaneous vertebroplasty.
  • Require prescriptions for medications of pain management, only if absolutely necessary. However, Alliance Spine and Pain Centers is committed to ending the war against opioids through stringent prescription guidelines and effective non-narcotic solutions.
  • Develop a relationship with a physician to prevent future pain from arising.

If you’re struggling with chronic pain or would like to make your first visit to a pain management physician, the experts at Alliance Spine and Pain Centers are here to help. Give us a call at 770-929-9033 or click here to schedule an appointment.

Photo of Dr. Patterson with logos of the awards.

Dr. Patterson Receives Community Appointments to Improve Healthcare

Congratulations to Dr. Patterson on two recent community accomplishments to help improve healthcare!

Dr. Pickens Patterson III was nominated for the Georgia Physicians Leadership Academy (GPLA) Class XII by the president of GSIPP and accepted into the program. The GPLA is a diverse mix of physicians from across the state. It was established to develop physician leaders and improve health care delivery for their patients, communities, and the medical profession. The year-long curriculum includes classes that address leadership development, conflict resolution, media relations, and advocacy. In addition, all participants design and complete a leadership project.

He was also appointed to Fulton-Dekalb Hospital Authority (FDHA) Board of Directors by Commissioner Marvin Arrington. The FDHA supports local healthcare needs by providing grants to community-based health organizations, hosting or sponsoring health events, and advocating for responsive healthcare policy for indigent citizens. Its board members are appointed by county commissioners in Dekalb and Fulton County. Often referred to as “the Grady board,” it makes important decisions with regard to the Grady Healthcare System and its employees.

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Alliance Assists Sandra Patterson with Back and Knee Pain

Six years ago, 79-year-old Sandra Patterson fell off of a stool. That simple and common accident caused tremendous issues in Sandra’s life. Back issues, horrible pain, inability to walk long distances, and knee problems all became a part of her everyday life. Hoping to make a change, Sandra headed to the doctor’s office. However, she was initially told she was not a good candidate for surgery.

A year later, she met Dr. Eduardo Escorcia.

“I love Dr. Escorcia. I would follow him anywhere,” Sandra said. “He’s a psychic, really. He always knows what I need and when I need it.”

When Sandra met with Dr. Escorcia, he discovered that she had both lumbar spine issues as well as bilateral knee pain. The lumbar spine is in the lower back area, more specifically where the spine curves inward toward the abdomen. Immediately after the fall, Sandra experienced intense pain in that area. With her bilateral knee problems, her ability to move was restricted and she needed assistance.

The first steps Dr. Escorcia took to alleviate her pain was performing left and right genicular radiofrequency ablations, also known as RFA. The procedure made Sandra’s knee pain stop because it burned the nerves that cause the brain to send pain signals.

In addition, Dr. Escorcia gave Sandra two transforaminal epidural steroid injections (TFESI). These are injections of corticosteroids around irritated nerves in the spine. They lowered Sandra’s pain by reducing the inflammation in Sandra’s lumbar spine.

Sandra continues to visit Alliance Spine and Pain because the treatments turned her life around. She is able to walk, have lunch with her friends, and cook with her husband of 60 years. Sandra is ecstatic to have the mobility to keep up with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Sandra said, “Why be in pain? Go see Dr. Escorcia and Alliance Spine and Pain!”