Blog Archive

Are X-Rays Enough to Diagnose A Spine Injury? Nov 19th, 2019

These days, when someone suffers an injury or experiences pain in their spine, neck, back or joints, the default assumption is, “I’ll just get an X-ray, and that will tell me what’s wrong.” However, an X-ray is just one of several types of medical imaging doctors use to diagnose injuries...

Patient's Guide to Sports-Related Spine Injuries Nov 5th, 2019

For athletes, sports injuries are a fact of life. When you’re depending on your body to push it to the finish line and meet extraordinary physical goals, there’s bound to be some collateral damage along the road. Luckily, many common sports injuries — like strains and sprains — are relatively...

How to Stay Up to Date with Spine Care: 3 Articles, 2 Quotes, and 1 Question Oct 30th, 2019

I subscribe to a newsletter by James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, entitled “3-2-1 Thursday.” Mr. Clear includes 3 ideas, 2 quotes, and 1 question in a regular email newsletter. I also have some Google alerts setup so that I can receive up to date information on back pain, spine...

Demystifying Leg Pain vs. Back Pain Oct 14th, 2019

Because the nerves in the spinal column eventually travel down the legs, pain in one of these regions is often related to a problem in the other. Since many patients are unaware of the close relationship between leg and back pain, they often fail to recognize the true source of...

Bulging VS. Ruptured Disk VS. Herniated Disk Sep 16th, 2019

Bulging disk. Herniated disk. Ruptured disk. All three of these terms tend to strike fear into the heart, especially among patients suffering from back pain. To make matters even more confusing, patients often use these terms interchangeably, when in fact they are three terms that describe two very distinct conditions....

Patient’s Guide to Non-Surgical Spine Rehabilitation Sep 12th, 2019

If you are experiencing significant back pain, perhaps from a back-related sports injury or by some other accident, you don’t need to assume you need surgery to correct the problem. In reality, you have numerous non-surgical options for encouraging spine rehabilitation, and even for fixing severe back injuries. We’ve created...

Patient’s Guide to Robotic Spine Surgery Aug 29th, 2019

While minimally invasive surgical techniques have made spine surgery more accurate, less painful and less traumatic in recent years, robotics are now changing spine surgery for the better in ways we could only imagine just a few years ago. Robotic spine surgery offers many advantages to the patient, including greater...

3 Common Myths About Sciatica Aug 20th, 2019

“Sciatica” is a term that many people use loosely without truly understanding what it is or what its ramifications might be. Some people immediately assume their back/leg pain means surgery is in their future; others simply try to diagnose and treat it on their own. Shane Mangrum, M.D. of Polaris...

Patient’s Guide to Spinal Pain Management Aug 15th, 2019

As many as 80 percent of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. However, the fact that back pain is common doesn’t lessen its impact on our quality of life. Spinal pain has the ability to disrupt our routines, steal our mobility, sap our energy and...

Patient’s Guide to Spinal Curvature Disorders Jul 25th, 2019

Spine curvature disorders affect millions of Americans, but many people still don’t understand what curvature is, what causes it or how it can be treated. If you’ve been recently diagnosed with some sort of curvature, such as scoliosis, the fear about what comes next can be gripping. We’ve created the...

3 Polaris Spine Specialists Named Atlanta Top Docs 2019 Jul 15th, 2019

Congratulations to three of our spine specialists, Dr. Max Steuer, Dr. Chris Tomaras, and Dr. Shane Mangrum, for being named “Top Doctors” in Atlanta Magazine’s annual guide of Atlanta physicians! Physicians are selected through an independent survey of their colleagues. Atlanta magazine’s July 2019 Top Doctors issue features the annual...

Patient’s Guide to Regenerative Injection Therapy Jul 11th, 2019

Regenerative injection therapy is a powerful modern medical technique that helps enhance the body’s own natural healing processes. It can help repair injured tissues to provide lasting pain relief and accelerate recovery times after an injury. It’s frequently used to treat a variety of sports-related injuries, but may also be...

Patient’s Guide to Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Jun 24th, 2019

For patients suffering from neck or back pain, the idea of surgery can be quite intimidating. Indeed, in earlier days, spine surgery could be quite involved and complicated, and the rates of success were inconsistent at best. However, nowadays, spine surgery is not nearly as fearsome a prospect as it...

15 Questions to Ask Your Neurosurgeon Before Surgery Jun 12th, 2019

Neurosurgery is not to be taken lightly. While some procedures are riskier than others, even the most “routine” of surgeries are not going to feel routine to you. Even if you’re in the capable hands of one of Atlanta’s top neurosurgeons, the prospect of going under the knife can be...

How Robotics Are Changing Spine Surgery May 22nd, 2019

Every so often, a technological advance or discovery will revolutionize an industry, radically changing the way things are done, as well as changing expectations for success. The emergence of robotic-assisted surgery is having this kind of effect on the field of spine surgery, giving physicians a powerful tool to reduce...

Robot-Guided Surgery: What Patients Must Know May 8th, 2019

When some people hear the term “robotics” in the context of surgery, their minds jump into the realm of science fiction, perhaps picturing an artificially intelligent machine performing a delicate procedure on them. The real-world scenario actually looks nothing like this picture. (Robots are not taking over the operating room.)...

Spinal Screw Placements with ExcelsiusGPS Apr 24th, 2019

When performing back and spine surgery — particularly with spinal screw placements — precision is key to a successful operation with minimal risk to the patient. That’s why the emergence of robotic-assisted surgery is hailed as such a remarkable medical advance within the spinal surgery community. It’s also why Polaris...

The Future of Robotic Spine Surgery Apr 10th, 2019

The use of robotics in surgery isn’t exactly a new concept, but with the technological advances of recent years, it is just now making its first inroads into the mainstream. Thanks to advantages like greater accuracy, smaller incisions and quicker recovery times, the few clinics that offer robotic-assisted surgery are...

What Sets ExcelsiusGPS Apart from Other Spine Surgery Robots? Mar 27th, 2019

If you have been paying attention lately to the buzz coming from our office, you’ve already heard us talk about how proud we are to be one of the first clinics in our region to offer robotic-assisted surgery with ExcelsiusGPS. Robotics give our surgeons a powerful tool for improving accuracy...

Lasers: For Star Wars Only Mar 15th, 2019

After the sudden closure of the Laser Spine Institute, based in Tampa, Florida, many people are now asking, “Was laser spine surgery just a fad? Just a bunch of hype?” The answer, unfortunately, appears to be yes. While the idea of lasers, with its sci-fi trappings and once-futuristic associations, has...

Globus Medical's ExcelsiusGPS Innovates Spine Surgery Mar 13th, 2019

No matter the specific procedure, any surgical operation on the spine is a delicate procedure requiring the highest levels of precision. Even with the emergence of minimally invasive spine surgery, surgeons place a high value on any advancement or technology that can improve accuracy rates. The introduction of robotics has...

Can Robotic Spine Surgery Fix Herniated Discs? Feb 27th, 2019

As modern medicine continues to improve on the way we perform spinal procedures, robotic spine surgery represents a huge leap forward. Many minimally invasive procedures can now be performed with remarkable levels of accuracy, minimizing tissue damage and risk of infection as well as improving recovery times. But what conditions...

How Are Stem Cells Used in Regenerative Medicine Feb 20th, 2019

The human body has a remarkable ability to heal itself — sometimes better than any treatment could. Regenerative medicine is an exciting area of practice in which the body’s own self-healing characteristics can be accelerated and targeted to specific areas of pain and injury. Perhaps one of the most misunderstood...

5 Tips For Speeding Up Spinal Surgery Recovery Time Feb 13th, 2019

Not that long ago, spine surgery typically meant time in a hospital and long recovery times afterward. Nowadays, thanks to modern technology and advances in surgical techniques, many spinal procedures are now minimally invasive and performed on an outpatient basis, making recovery times much shorter. Even so, there are things...

Finding an Outpatient Spinal Care Clinic in Atlanta Feb 6th, 2019

Thanks to modern medical advances, many spine surgeries, and other procedures can be performed with minimal invasiveness and on an outpatient basis. Outpatient surgery allows you to go home the same day as your procedure, resulting in lower costs and faster recovery times. That said, not every outpatient facility is...

Can Robotic Spine Surgery Fix Slipped Discs? Jan 30th, 2019

Robotic technology is changing the way many neurosurgeons approach minimally invasive spinal procedures. Thanks to robotic-assisted surgery, we can now make incisions and place implants with higher degrees of accuracy, causing less tissue damage, reducing the risk of infection and hastening recovery times. But what conditions can this technology treat?...

How Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Used in Regenerative Medicine? Jan 23rd, 2019

The human body is designed to heal itself — but sometimes the process is slower than expected. Sometimes health conditions, poor habits or other circumstances can stunt the natural healing process, and sometimes the pain of injury just demands a quicker solution. As an alternative to invasive procedures or powerful...

Regenerative Medicine Options for Spine Pain Jan 9th, 2019

It wasn’t that long ago that patients suffering from spine pain and injury had a limited number of treatment options, none of which was optimal. They could live with the pain and try to manage it; they could take powerful pain medications with the risk of addiction; they could take...

Robotic Spine Surgery Arrives in Atlanta, GA Jan 3rd, 2019

As modern medical advances in recent years have made spine surgery much less invasive and more precise, the latest technology takes this trend to a whole new level. Robotic-assisted surgery now enables spine surgeons to conduct procedures with accuracy rates that were once thought impossible. We’re pleased to announce that...

Safe Pain Management for Chronic Spinal Pain Dec 27th, 2018

When you’re experiencing chronic spinal pain, the first thing on your mind is how to find relief. Some patients prefer to bypass pain management, assuming that the only way to find permanent relief is through some type of surgery. However, surgical procedures — even minimally invasive ones — do carry...

What Conditions Can Robotic Spine Surgery Correct? Dec 18th, 2018

The emergence of robotic-assisted spine surgery is an exciting development that promises higher levels of accuracy and success with spinal procedures, as well as reduced risks and decreased recovery times for patients. But how is this new technology best used? What conditions can robotic spine surgery help correct? The short...

Can Robotic Spine Surgery Fix Leg Pain? Dec 16th, 2018

Robotic-assisted spine surgery is an advanced technology that makes minimally invasive spinal procedures even less invasive, safer and less painful. As patients become more aware of this technology, they are naturally curious as to whether it can help their specific condition. One of the more common questions asked is “Can...

What Causes Spine Curvature Disorders? Dec 11th, 2018

The spinal column is designed to protect the spinal cord while providing skeletal support and balance to the body, allowing humans to stand upright. Seen from the back, a healthy spinal column appears straight; from the side, it maintains a gentle curve. But when the spinal curves become exaggerated or...

What is Recovery Like After Robotic Spine Surgery? Dec 3rd, 2018

Robotic-assisted surgery is a revolutionary medical/technological advance that may transform the way many back and spine procedures are performed. Incisions and implants can be performed with much higher degrees of accuracy and much less disruption to the body, resulting in less pain and faster recovery times for the patient. But...

The History of Robotic Spine Surgery Nov 21st, 2018

The use of robotics in spinal surgery is getting a lot of attention these days as a revolutionary medical advance — but the beginnings of robotic spine surgery actually go back almost 20 years, and the roots of robotic surgery in general date back decades. To give some perspective, let’s...

How Effective is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy for Injuries? Nov 6th, 2018

An injury of any kind can be highly painful and very life-disruptive. However, in some cases, the recommended treatment (surgery) can be just as disruptive and painful, and it may only be partially effective. This is perhaps one reason why platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) has gained a lot of attention...

Spinal Pain Management Without Surgery or Narcotics Oct 30th, 2018

If you’re experiencing spinal pain to the point that you’re seeking out medical help, chances are your quality of life is being affected. After all, spinal pain is distracting, it can restrict mobility, it can affect your performance at work — the list goes on. You want relief. For patients...

Polaris Spine Earns Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission Oct 29th, 2018

Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its nationally recognized standards. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care....

Most Common Questions About Robot-Assisted Surgery Oct 24th, 2018

The idea of robot-assisted surgery certainly raises a number of questions, most notably by people who may be considering such a procedure. Below are answers to a few of the most common questions we receive about robot-assisted surgery, particularly as it relates to spinal procedures. Is it safe? While all...

How Soon Can Athletes Return to Sports After a Back Injury? Oct 17th, 2018

“Doctor, how long before I can get back in the game?” When treating athletes for back injuries, this is one of the most common questions we hear. They’re often not as concerned about the extent of the damage to their back as to how soon they can return to sports...

Is Robotic Spine Surgery Right For Me? Oct 10th, 2018

Robotic spine surgery is one of those significant medical advancements with the potential to completely revolutionize the way spine and neurosurgeons approach surgical treatment for their patients. Of course, with every new technology comes a slew of questions. “How does it work?” “Is it safe?” A common question among spine...

6 Surgical Options For Fixing Severe Back Injuries Oct 3rd, 2018

Many types of back injuries can be healed over time without the need for surgery. However, if the injury is particularly severe and debilitating, or if non-surgical treatments aren’t doing enough to promote healing, a surgical procedure may still be your best option for returning to a normal life. Back...

9 Things Patients Need to Know About Robotic Spine Surgery Sep 26th, 2018

There’s a lot of chatter and excitement in the medical community these days about robotic spine surgery. Touted as a major medical advance in our field, robotics has the potential to significantly change the way many spinal surgeons perform procedures. However, given that this technology is relatively new, many patients...

Does Stem Cell Therapy Really Work For Back Injuries? Sep 19th, 2018

There’s an increasing amount of chatter, excitement (and yes, sometimes hype) these days about stem cell therapy as a method of accelerating the healing process for injuries. This regenerative injection therapy has already shown promise in treating conditions like osteoarthritis in the knee and chronic wounds, as well as some...

How Epidural Steroid Injections Relieve Spinal Nerve Pain Sep 12th, 2018

If you’re experiencing spinal nerve pain emanating from your lower back, especially pain associated with sciatica due to a ruptured disk or spinal stenosis, your spinal specialist may recommend epidural steroid injections to relieve the pain during the healing process. What, exactly, is this type of injection, and how does...

What Kind of Surgeries Can Be Performed by Robots Sep 5th, 2018

Ever since the first robotic surgical system was approved in 2000 by the FDA, robotic surgery has seen a rapid adoption rate in hospitals and outpatient clinics throughout the country. Robotic surgical systems are typically designed as an assistive “arm” and used as a tool by an already trained surgeon....

Holistic Pain Management for Spinal Injuries Aug 29th, 2018

It’s tempting to treat illnesses and injuries in a compartmentalized, almost quick-fix fashion. In pain? Infected? Out comes the prescription pad for pain medication or antibiotics. Injured? Surgery. At Polaris, we try to take a different approach with holistic pain management for spinal injuries. Rather than instantly prescribing narcotics or...

6 Non-Surgical Options for Fixing Severe Back Injuries Aug 22nd, 2018

There are few physical conditions that can be more disruptive to your life than a significant back injury. Mobility can be severely limited, and the pain can be excruciating. Surgery may often provide relief and enable recovery, but invasive procedures always come with some level of risk — plus, surgery...

5 Advantages of Robotic Spine Surgery Aug 16th, 2018

Robotic technology is changing the way surgeons perform surgical spine operations, and Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center is excited to be at the head of this new technology with the adoption of Excelsius GPSTM. Why are we so excited about robotic spine surgery? Because it offers many great benefits to...

Opioids: Health Hazards and Alternative Treatments Aug 9th, 2018

The opioid crisis is one of the biggest problems our society is facing. Stories of celebrity overdoses, high-profile drug busts, and lethal new compounds of fentanyl are constantly in the media. While illicit opioid abuse is a huge problem, the majority of drug abuse does not begin with legitimately prescribed...

Treating Back Pain With Regenerative Injection Therapy Aug 2nd, 2018

Modern medicine has given us many positive options for treating back pain, but perhaps one of the most innovative and promising among them is regenerative injection therapy. While this approach was developed and came into use decades ago, it only recently began enjoying a wider acceptance in the medical community...

First Aid For Back-Related Sports Injuries Jul 24th, 2018

When you get involved in sports, whether seriously or for fun, back strains and injuries are a common potential pitfall. Many such injuries are minor and will heal naturally, while others require medical attention. How you respond in the minutes and hours after hurting your back can have an impact...

8 Most Common Sports Injuries Jul 12th, 2018

Participating in one or more sports is a vital part of a healthy, active lifestyle — good for the heart, good for the respiration, good for building and maintaining muscular strength, etc. In a perfect world, only good would come of playing sports — but of course, this is not...

Is Robotic Spine Surgery Safe? Jul 6th, 2018

Recent advances in medical technology tend to excite healthcare professionals — but at the same time, they can intimidate patients who don’t fully understand it. One example is the emergence of robots that perform surgical procedures. The idea of a machine performing or assisting in surgical procedures normally performed by...

How Soon Can I Get Back to Sports After Back Surgery? Jul 2nd, 2018

When it comes to sports-related injuries and recovery times, athletes can be naturally impatient. When a spine or back surgery becomes necessary, we often hear the question, “How soon can I get back to sports after back surgery?” Many people ask this question rather nervously because they fear the answer...

3 Polaris Spine Surgeons Named Atlanta's Top Doctors Jul 2nd, 2018

3 Polaris Spine Surgeons Named Top Doctors of Atlanta Congratulations to Drs. Christopher Tomaras, Max Steuer, and Thomas J. Morrison, III for being named “Top Doctors” in Atlanta Magazine’s annual guide of Atlanta physicians.                   In order to determine the list, physicians are...

How Excelsius GPSTM Optimizes Patient Outcomes Jun 28th, 2018

Recently, Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center became the first outpatient surgery center in the southeastern U.S. — and the second nationwide — to utilize Excelsius GPSTM, a state-of-the-art robotic system that uses real-time image-guided technology to help surgeons perform procedures with unprecedented rates of accuracy. Far from being simply the...

How Stem Cell Therapy Can Promote Healing in a Back Injury Jun 21st, 2018

In recent years, stem cell therapy has come into wider use as a viable treatment option for healing injuries and regenerating damaged tissues. Stem cells have been used to treat arthritic joints, knee and joint injuries, chronic wounds and similar injuries — but recently this regenerative injection therapy has also...

Healing Your Back with Robotic Surgery Jun 14th, 2018

Patients needing back surgeries now have a safer, more accurate alternative to traditional surgery in their quest for healing and long-term relief. Robotic surgery has enabled spine surgeons to perform a variety of minimally invasive back procedures with stunning rates of accuracy, reducing the risks of complications while enabling quicker...

6 Treatments for Sports-Related Back Injuries Jun 12th, 2018

Maintaining an active lifestyle is always important to good health, but it can also come with the occasional risk. Most athletes, for example, can be susceptible to injury, including injuries to the back. Common sports-related back injuries may include: Muscle strains and sprains Stingers (pinched nerves in the neck or...

How Does Robotic Spine Surgery Work? Jun 6th, 2018

The use of robots in surgery might be one of the most exciting medical innovations of our time — and yet many patients are unaware of the benefits or are concerned about the outcomes. Let’s alleviate some of these concerns by discussing how robotic spine surgery works, as well as...

How Long Does Back Pain Recovery Take? May 30th, 2018

When patients experiencing back pain or injury come in for treatment, one of the most common questions asked is, “How long does back pain recovery take?” Back pain affects about 80 percent of us at some point in our lives, and when it happens, it can disrupt our routine and...

3 Low Back Pain Rehabilitation Exercises May 22nd, 2018

The vast majority of us will suffer some sort of lower back pain at some time in our lives. In many cases, back pain occurs due to overuse, strain and injury due to sports activities. When the pain is mild, chances are your back will heal naturally — but one...

Exercise is Medicine For Back Pain – As Told By Dr. Shane Mangrum, MD Apr 11th, 2018

Eighty percent of adults experience back pain at some point. Worldwide, it is the most common reason to see a doctor or miss work. Pain is a difficult issues, and according to Vinay Prasad, MD (as quoted by Teresa Carr’s Consumer Reports post): “Many Americans — and their physicians —...

Returning to Sports After Regenerative Injection Therapy Mar 21st, 2018

When considering regenerative injection therapy to treat a sports-related injury, the top priority initially is to alleviate the pain and heal the injury itself. After the healing begins, however, the nagging question for most athletes is when they will be able to start playing or competing again. It’s important to...

How to Rehab a Back Injury Caused by Exercise Mar 14th, 2018

While regular exercise is a critical element of a healthy, active lifestyle, it’s still possible to overdo it on occasion. Perhaps you didn’t warm up properly beforehand, or you lost your balance, or maybe you’ve just been doing too much of the same exercise. Whatever the case, you’ve managed to...

The Body’s Repair Kit at Work – Stem Cell Therapy Mar 12th, 2018

Our patient Debi Neisess, is a hands-on woman. She has been in the real estate business for 32 years and fixes up most of the properties she sells. She enjoys tennis and power walking. “I’m a very active person,” she says. Debi’s lower back pain had been keeping her from...

The Benefits of Aquatic Therapy After a Spinal Injury Mar 7th, 2018

Patients who are recovering from a spinal injury must typically walk a fine line between restoring flexibility and strengthening muscles without aggravating their injury. Aquatic therapy (which is essentially physical therapy in a warm pool) has proven to be a highly effective tool to assist in spinal recovery. Here are...

How Athletes Can Prevent Back Injuries Feb 27th, 2018

It’s the bane of the athlete’s existence: The ongoing threat of injury. When a season-ending back injury pulls you out of the game, the frustration can be just as torturous as the pain itself. Fortunately, a lot of these injuries can be prevented simply by being proactive and taking a...

What Injuries Can PRP Therapy Treat? Feb 20th, 2018

Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP therapy, for short) has become immensely popular as a treatment for various injuries, especially athletic-related injuries. An innovative technique that effectively speeds up the body’s self-healing capabilities, PRP therapy involves drawing blood from the patient, running it through a centrifuge to separate out and concentrate the...

8 Exercise Mistakes That Exacerbate Back Pain Feb 13th, 2018

When you’re experiencing back pain, there’s nothing wrong with continuing some sort of exercise routine. In fact, exercise in general is encouraged because it helps increase strength and flexibility to support the back and promote healing. However, exercising in the wrong way can actually exacerbate your back pain and prolong...

What to Look For in an Atlanta PRP Specialist Feb 6th, 2018

Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) has gained a lot of attention in recent years as a way to accelerate the healing of various injuries by injecting a patient’s own platelet cells into the injury site, enabling the body to heal itself more quickly. As this treatment has become more popular, it...

4 Myths About Regenerative Injection Therapy Feb 1st, 2018

In recent years, regenerative injection therapies (like stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma, or PRP) have become very popular as treatment options for back, spine and sports injuries. Unfortunately, the rapid growth in this practice also means there’s a lot of misunderstanding, misperception and even suspicion surrounding these types of...

Laser Spine Surgery: Why Our Spine Surgeons Say No Dec 20th, 2017

There’s something about the term “laser surgery” that automatically suggests “cutting edge,” the apex of technology. We automatically assume that the use of lasers suggests unmatched surgical precision. However, despite Polaris’ commitment to employing the latest medical advancements to treat our patients, when it comes to laser spine surgery, our...

What Causes Back Pain? Dec 14th, 2017

If you’re experiencing back pain, you’re in good company. Experts at the Mayo Clinic estimate that as many as 80 percent of Americans will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. The Global Burden of Disease 2010 indicates low back pain is the single most common cause...

Pain Management Treatments for Severe Back Injuries Dec 11th, 2017

If you’ve suffered a moderate to severe back injury, you already know that the pain can be at times overwhelming and unbearable. Many people assume the default solution for this type of injury is major invasive surgery, which they assume is costly, disruptive and sometimes risky. The good news is...

Finding Back Pain Relief with Spinal Surgery Dec 7th, 2017

When other, non-invasive treatments have not sufficiently lessened the pain, many patients ultimately find back pain relief with spinal surgery. An experienced neurosurgeon can target the cause of your pain and perform one of several types of surgical procedures that are typically effective and carry relatively low risk. Advantages of...

What Are Treatment Options for Spondylolisthesis? Dec 4th, 2017

Spondylolisthesis — it’s a mouthful to say, but it is nothing to smirk at. It can be a source of significant pain, causing restricted mobility, numbness and in rare cases even incontinence. Fortunately, if you’ve been diagnosed recently with this condition, relief is in sight. Modern medicine offers a number...

Manage Back Pain with Regenerative Injection Therapy Nov 30th, 2017

As an alternative to invasive surgical procedures, many patients suffering from back pain are able to manage the pain with regenerative injection therapy. This innovative yet natural form of medicine serves to activate the body’s own self-healing mechanisms to restore damaged tissue and provide lasting pain relief. What is regenerative...

How to Keep Low Back Pain from Getting Worse Nov 27th, 2017

Anyone who has suffered from low back pain knows how disruptive and demoralizing it can be, especially if left unchecked. Even modest bouts can restrict your activities, distract you at work, add to your stress and even cause depression — even more so when the pain seems to go unabated...

How to Choose an Atlanta PRP Specialist Nov 20th, 2017

Platelet-rich Plasma Injection Therapy is growing in popularity as an effective treatment for various types of injuries, including ailments of the back and spine. Accordingly, a growing number of medical facilities are offering PRP therapy as an option. That said, this therapy is a precise procedure requiring training and skill,...

Patient Testimonial – Phillip S. Nov 20th, 2017

"I was having a lot of trouble with my left knee after playing golf or snow skiing. I would have to put ice on it to reduce the swelling. I was told about Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center. I made a appointment with Doctor Thomas Morrison. After the X-rays and...

How Stem Cell Therapy Heals Your Body Nov 16th, 2017

Thanks to modern medical advances and research, regenerative medicine is currently revolutionizing the way we treat injuries in the body. Stem cell therapy, in particular, shows great promise and produces remarkable results by helping the body heal itself. That said, there’s still a lot of misunderstanding and confusion among the...

Does My Back Pain Require Surgery? Nov 14th, 2017

When a person develops significant or acute back pain, it also quite often is accompanied by fear of painful, invasive surgical procedures that may or may not even work. One of the most common questions we hear is “does my back pain require surgery?”The short answer (and the good news)...

How to Get Better Sleep With Chronic Lower Back Pain Oct 4th, 2017

It’s a bit of a paradox: Having chronic lower back pain can make it difficult to sleep, yet sleeping well at night is one of the keys to promoting good back health overall. How do you break the vicious cycle? Let’s look at some general ways people suffering from lower back pain...

What to Expect Before, During, and After Minimally Invasive Surgery Sep 27th, 2017

Thanks to modern medical advances, many spine ailments and injuries can be medically addressed with minimally invasive surgery. In days past, back or neck surgery of any kind always meant days or even weeks in the hospital, followed by long, painful recovery times. These days, minimally invasive procedures can greatly...

Soothe Chronic Back Pain with Massage Therapy Sep 20th, 2017

In the not-too-distant past, the baseline treatment for people suffering from chronic back pain was for doctors to prescribe some form of pain medication. However, with growing concerns about opioid addiction (including legally prescribed pain meds), the American College of Physicians recently modified its treatment guidelines for chronic back pain...

Tips for Preventing Adult Degenerative Scoliosis Sep 13th, 2017

Scoliosis is a condition affecting the curvature of the spine, either to the right or to the left. Left untreated, it can often lead to chronic pain and deformity. Most instances of scoliosis are idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown and therefore we don’t know how to prevent it. (This...

Why You Need a Customized Treatment Plan for Lower Back Pain Sep 5th, 2017

When it comes to treating lower back pain, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all treatment plan. The back may seem like a deceptively simple part of the body, but it’s actually a very complex system of nerves, vertebrae, joints and muscles working together to do several critical jobs....

How Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Can Get You Back in the Game Aug 31st, 2017

One of the most remarkable wonders of nature is the body’s own ability to heal itself. In recent years, modern medical advances have unveiled revolutionary regenerative injection therapies that actually help facilitate the body’s self-healing capabilities rather than disrupting them.If you are experiencing degenerative joint pain, spine pain, osteoarthritis or...

6 Non-Surgical Treatments for Spinal Rehabilitation Aug 24th, 2017

It seems like most people recoil at the very hint that their back pain might point to an injury or deformity of the spine. Due perhaps to the abundance of horror stories in circulation, many folks immediately assume that their back problems automatically point to painful spine surgeries that require...

What Sports Are Safest For People With Lower Back Pain? Aug 17th, 2017

People often assume that once they develop lower back pain, their athletic days are pretty much over. Indeed, many of us don’t feel like doing much exercise when we’re in pain, and our first impulse is to restrict movement in order to avoid aggravating the problem. However, certain sports and forms...

Developing An Effective Pain Management Plan After Spinal Surgery Aug 10th, 2017

While some pain is to be expected after spinal surgery, the idea that you just have to “live with the pain” is misguided, especially in today’s world of modern medicine. By developing an effective pain management plan, you can navigate through the pain naturally associated with post-operative spine surgery as you begin...

Choosing an Atlanta Spine Wellness Center to Alleviate Lower Back Pain Aug 3rd, 2017

Whether you’ve experienced a recent injury or have been grappling with chronic low back pain for years, choosing the right Atlanta spine wellness center is a critical decision. There are many things to consider when choosing an Atlanta spine specialist to treat your low back pain, but here are a few reasons...

3 Polaris Neurosurgeons Named Atlanta Top Docs 2017 Jul 6th, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Chris Tomaras, Dr. Max Steuer, and Dr. Thomas J Morrison III for being named “Top Doctors” in Atlanta Magazine’s annual guide of Atlanta physicians. Physicians are selected through an independent survey of their colleagues. Atlanta magazine’s July 2017 Top Doctors issue features the annual listing of Top Doctors in the metro...

4 Tips for Finding the Best Neurosurgeon in Atlanta Jul 3rd, 2017

If you need surgery of the brain or spine, it’s important to work with a clinic that is known for the best neurosurgery in Atlanta, with proven experience and skill, someone you can trust. As with any other profession, some neurosurgeons may be more skilled and experienced than others. Here...

The Post-Operative Guide to Recovering from Spine Surgery Jun 29th, 2017

Regardless of whether you are using surgical or non-surgical treatments, recovering from back pain can be a long road. If you and your doctor determine minimally invasive spine surgery is right for you, the procedure itself is only the beginning. After the surgery comes the recovery. There is likely to...

10 Questions to Ask Your Spine Surgeon Before Surgery Jun 27th, 2017

Spine surgery can be serious business, but if you have chosen an experienced and knowledgeable spine surgeon, you’ll be in good hands. But even surgeries that are considered “routine” for our surgeons, may not be routine for you. One of the cornerstones of our practice is patient education and we...

Tips from Atlanta’s Top Spinal Surgeons for Relieving Back Pain Jun 22nd, 2017

If you’ve ever experienced back pain, you know that even in mild cases it can have a profound impact on your lifestyle. While nearly 80 percent of us will experience some form of back pain as a normal part of life, in many cases, there are things you can do...

3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Spine Specialist in Atlanta Jun 20th, 2017

If you live in Atlanta and are experiencing back pain and/or spine issues, the task of choosing a spine specialist in Atlanta is not necessarily an easy one. You want someone with knowledge and experience, someone who listens with compassion, someone with access to state-of-the-art techniques and equipment — someone...

What to Expect After Regenerative Injection Therapy Jun 15th, 2017

Regenerative injection therapy is a groundbreaking form of medicine that injects natural substances into strategic parts of the body to help it heal itself without drugs or invasive surgeries. At Polaris, we can utilize two different types of regenerative injection therapy (stem cells and platelet rich plasma, or PRP) to treat various...

5 Scoliosis Myths In Honor of Scoliosis Awareness Month Jun 9th, 2017

Scoliosis is a common spinal deformity that usually manifests as a curvature of the spine. It affects approximately 3 percent of the population and usually appears during childhood. Despite how frequently scoliosis occurs and the medical advances that enable us to treat it, this disease is still surrounded by myths and...

Tips For Finding a Top Spine Surgeon in Atlanta Jun 5th, 2017

If you need a spine procedure performed, you don’t want to entrust yourself to just anyone. Spine surgery is a highly specialized field requiring flawless precision, so it is critical to find a surgeon with an excellent track record and years of experience. So how you choose a top Atlanta spine surgeon?...

Finding Neck Pain Relief Through Minimally Invasive Surgery May 29th, 2017

Not that long ago, finding relief from chronic neck pain required open neck surgery, which is an invasive procedure accompanied by hospital stays and long recovery times. Nowadays, thanks to modern medical advances, more and more people are finding neck pain relief from minimally invasive surgery — procedures that were not available...

How to Prepare For Your First Appointment With a Spine Doctor May 20th, 2017

Your initial appointment to see a spine doctor can feel a bit daunting at first. If you’ve never been treated for back and spine issues, you might be unsure of what to expect. Not only are you probably experiencing some back pain now, but there are the additional considerations of paperwork, questionnaires,...

What It Takes to Be One of Atlanta’s Top Neurosurgeons May 10th, 2017

Issues with the brain, spine, and neck can have a ripple effect on so many other parts of the body, which is why you should only entrust your care to the most qualified medical professionals when you need a neurosurgical procedure. If you’re living in Atlanta, how do you find...

Regenerative Injection Therapy – An Interview with Shane Mangrum, MD & Thomas J Morrison III, MD May 9th, 2017

Interviewer: What is regenerative injection therapy? Mangrum: It’s a spectrum of tools that we use to try to induce healing and repair. It historically has included things like prolotherapy, but now involves platelet-rich plasma and stem cells. Morrison: The regenerative medicine space is ill-defined, but it has a lot of...

Can Adults Develop Scoliosis? Apr 1st, 2017

Yes, adults develop scoliosis more often than you think. Scoliosis refers to a curvature of the spine, either to the right or left, caused by any of a number of factors. While most scoliosis cases emerge during adolescence, adults may develop scoliosis as well. The exact percentage of adult scoliosis...

How Do I Prevent Kyphosis? Apr 1st, 2017

Kyphosis is a rounded curvature of the upper spine that contributes to a “stooped” or “hunched” look. It may be caused over time by a number of factors, including congenital defects, osteoporosis, bad posture, and even nutritional deficiencies. In many cases, kyphosis can be prevented and even reversed. Here are...

Can Regenerative Injection Therapy (RIT) Repair Injured Tissues? Apr 1st, 2017

Regenerative Injection Therapy (RIT) does not directly repair an injury. Rather, it stimulates the body to begin healing itself. To understand how it works, we must first understand the body’s healing processes. When you sustain a physical injury, the immediate inflammation in the area sends a signal to your body...

What Conditions Can Be Treated With an Epidural Steroid Injection? Apr 1st, 2017

An epidural steroid injection (ESI) is an injection used for the purpose of relieving back, leg or arm pain caused by a number of conditions. The injection consists of a corticosteroid to reduce inflammation and an anesthetic that is used as a numbing agent. It is injected into the epidural area of...

Does Acupuncture Really Work? Mar 24th, 2017

Acupuncture is an ancient practice from traditional Chinese medicine that is used to relieve pain and other symptoms on the premise of restoring the flow of energy (“qi”) along the pathways of the body. While this explanation might seem a bit mystical to some, extensive research suggests that there is...

Is Electromyography (EMG) Painful? Mar 22nd, 2017

Electromyography (EMG) is a test that measures and graphs the electrical activity in your muscles as they move. Muscles contract when nerve cells (called motor neurons) send a small electrical impulse into them. An EMG measures these impulses through a needle, which acts as an electrode, injected into the muscle...

What to Expect After Undergoing a Laminectomy Mar 20th, 2017

A laminectomy is a surgical procedure in which your spinal surgeon removes a portion of one or more of your vertebrae to relieve pressure on the spinal cord. This is performed under general anesthesia.If you are scheduled for this procedure, you may wonder what to expect after undergoing a laminectomy. Here’s a...

How is Spondylolisthesis Treated with Surgery? Feb 17th, 2017

Spondylolisthesis is a condition of the back in which one vertebra slides forward or backward onto an adjacent vertebra, often causing significant pain, weakness or numbness in areas ranging from the lower back and buttocks to running down the legs. In situations where non-invasive treatments do not work, surgery is...

An Interview With Thomas J. Morrison III, MD Feb 17th, 2017

Interviewer: What types of patients do you see on a regular basis?Dr. Thomas J. Morrison, III: I see a lot of patients that have complex spinal problems, which include things from lumbar deformity, kyphosis and scoliosis or herniated discs in their lower back. I’ll see patients with conditions that are straight-forward and...

What Are My Options For Disc Replacement? Dec 12th, 2016

If you have been suffering from lower back pain for an extended period of time and non-surgical treatments have not helped enough, you may be wondering about your options for spinal disc replacement surgery. Artificial disc replacement (ADR) is a relatively new type of surgery that has been in practice...

Top 10 Back Pain Causes Oct 3rd, 2016

Almost everyone experiences back pain at some point in their lives. In fact, recent estimates suggest that a third of the population — as many as 100 million Americans — experience chronic back pain. Sometimes the pain can only be alleviated medically or surgically, but for many others, simple changes...

5 Easy At-Home Back Pain Remedies Jun 22nd, 2015

The back is one of the more complex parts of your body. It is composed of the spine, discs, tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Any or all of these parts of the back can become injured or strained, resulting in back pain. Around 65 million people throughout the United States suffer...

What is Thoracic Spine Surgery? Jun 18th, 2015

The thoracic area of the spine resides within the upper back and abdomen, between the cervical spine in the neck and the lumbar spine in the lower back. It is comprised of the vertebrae T1-T12. You may need thoracic spine surgery, or you may be looking for spine surgery in...