Tag Archives: Spine

Lunch & More with Matthew Barber, MD Total Joint Specialist & Kevin Donahoe, MD Spine Specialist

Lunch & More with Total Joint Specialist Matthew Barber, MD & Spine Specialist Kevin Donahoe, MD

Lunch & More with Matthew Barber, MD Total Joint Specialist & Kevin Donahoe, MD Spine SpecialistAOC cordially invites you to join us for Lunch & More with Matthew Barber, MD Total Joint Specialist  & Kevin Donahoe, MD Spine Specialist.

  • WHEN: Thursday, August 29th, 2019 at 11:30
  • WHERE: Grove Hill Senior Center, 113 Clark St., Grove Hill, Al 36451

Please RSVP to Shauna Dean by  August 22nd, 2019:


Dr. Donahoe explains why Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) is one of the most successful procedures performed in spine surgery.

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)

Dr. Donahoe explains Anterior cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) is one of the most successful procedures performed in spine surgery.

Have you been diagnosed with a pinched nerve in your neck? This condition can cause pain that radiates to the shoulder or arm. Patients who have not improved with conservative treatment including medication and physical therapy may be candidates for surgery. Patients typically spend one night in the hospital, and almost immediately after surgery are relieved from the arm pain, numbness, and tingling.  Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) is one of the most successful procedures performed in spine surgery.



Microdisectomy: Relief for Herniated Discs

Microdiscectomy: Relief for Herniated Discs

Microdisectomy: Relief for Herniated Discs

Do you or someone you know have a herniated or bulging disc? A minimally invasive procedure called Microdiscectomy could provide relief for pain caused by a lumbar herniated disc.

Herniated discs occur when the soft center of a spinal disc pushes through the tougher exterior casing. The herniated disc can press on the nerves near the spinal disc, resulting in pain. Herniated discs can affect any part of the spine, but are most frequently associated with the lower part (lumbar) of the spine.

Symptoms of herniated discs in the lower back are:
• Pain that radiates to the legs and feet – called Sciatica
• Tingling or numbness in the feet
• Muscle weakness

Herniated discs are one of the most common causes of back, neck, or leg pain (Sciatica). There are a variety of treatment options, both non-surgical and surgical. However, when non-surgical treatment no longer offers the desired results, Microdiscectomy could be an option.

Microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure used by AOC’s Spine Team. The procedure removes the herniated or protruding portion of the disc, often using an operating microscope. Microdiscectomy spine surgery can relieve neural impingement by creating more room for the nerves to heal. This minimally invasive approach, with small incision site, offers the benefit of pain relief and faster recovery time.

Our skilled specialists understand lower back pain can limit mobility and the ability to perform life’s simplest activities. AOC has helped hundreds of patients find relief from back pain. Make an appointment today to consult with our fellowship, board certified AOC Spine Team of Dr. Donahoe and Dr. Revels for non-surgical and surgical treatment options. Call the Spine Line at 251-410-3604 or visit alortho.com to schedule your appointment.

Spinal Stenosis: Diagnosis and Treatment

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis: Diagnosis and Treatment

Our spine is made up of 33 bones. These bones and the discs between them are the passage for the spinal cord and nerves. The spinal cord connects the nerves of the body to the brain. But when the passageway starts to narrow, a condition called Spinal Stenosis can occur.

Stenosis can affect any part of the spine, thus narrowed area in the bones of the neck is called cervical stenosis and in the lower back is called lumbar stenosis.

When there is pressure on nerves inside the narrowed spinal canal, pain in the legs and low back can occur especially when walking. Pain may improve when leaning forward and bent at the waist like leaning over a shopping cart or a cane.

Due to the fact that stenosis may pinch the nerves that control muscle power and sensation in the legs, symptoms need to be observed as:
– Frequent falling, clumsiness
– Pain and difficulty when walking
– Numbness, tingling, hot or cold feelings in the legs

When non-surgical treatment is no longer an option, the fellowship trained, board-certified AOC Spine Team of Dr. Donahoe and Dr. Revels are skilled specialists who understand the dynamics of the spine and the importance of giving their patients an excellent quality of life.

Laminectomy, one procedure that is used by the Spine Team, actually creates space by removing the back part of the vertebra that covers your spinal canal. Also known to some as decompression surgery, laminectomy enlarges your spinal canal to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.

Practicing good spinal and joint health is key to reducing back problems. However, due to genetics, poor posture, degenerative disc disease, age and diseases like arthritis, sometimes problems just can’t be avoided.

The Spine Team at AOC is here for your questions and health care needs. Just call 251-410-3600 or visit our website at www.alortho.com

Texting: A pain in the neck

Texting: A Real Pain in the Neck

Texting: A pain in the neck

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re hunched over your mobile phone or tablet. Did you know, bending your neck forward to look down at a mobile device can apply up to 60 lbs of pressure on your cervical spine?

A recent study suggested tilting the neck down, at varying degrees, to use a mobile device, can cause unnecessary strain on the cervical spine. To put this in perspective, take into account the average human head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds. If an individual tilts their head down to a 15-degree angle, the weight of the head increases to about 27 pounds.

Many Americans spend two to four hours per day looking down at a mobile device. Over time, the posture of bending the neck forward can cause a syndrome called “text neck.” Text neck syndrome is a group of symptoms developed specifically from the way people hold a mobile device. Text neck can also lead to early wear and tear or degenerative musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis.

Signs you might be experiencing text neck:
– Neck pain
– Shoulder pain
– Headaches
– Tension
– Difficulty moving the neck

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, AOC’s team of fellowship trained, board-certified, spine specialists, Dr. Kevin Donahoe, and Dr. Tim Revels are dedicated to alleviating pain and providing an improved range of motion for each patient. For more information, call – 251-410-3600 or visit our website – alortho.com


Cervical Spine: Getting to Know Your Neck

Cervical Spine: Get to know your neck

Cervical Spine: Getting to Know Your Neck

Do you know where your cervical spine is? If you guessed your neck, you were correct. The cervical spine plays an instrumental role in the spinal column’s flexibility and range of motion. Your neck consists of seven bones (C1-C7), which are separated by intervertebral discs. These intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers during daily activity and allow the neck to move freely.

Our necks have a hefty job to perform: the cervical spine supports the weight of the head (the average human head weighs between 10-12 lbs). Supporting the weight of the head can leave the neck vulnerable to injuries and conditions that cause pain and restrict motion. For example, sometimes a disc can become diseased or the space between the vertebrae can narrow, causing the disc to press on the spinal cord. This creates pain, numbness or weakness. When these symptoms do not respond to nonsurgical types of treatment, then cervical disc surgery may be recommended.

Surgery for cervical disc disease is called discectomy. This surgical procedure involves removing a disc that is pinching a nerve or pressing on the spinal cord. Once the diseased disc is removed, spine specialists such as AOC’s fellowship trained, Dr. Kevin Donahoe and Dr. Tim Revels, will either use cervical fusion or replace the disc with an artificial implant.

Signs it might be time to see a spine specialist:
– Neck pain or stiffness
– Recurring headaches
– Pain that travels down into the shoulder or arms
– Weakness in shoulders, arms, hands, or legs
– Numbness in your arms – feeling of pins and needles

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, know that AOC’s team of fellowship trained spine specialists, Dr. Kevin Donahoe, and Dr. Tim Revels, are dedicated to alleviating pain and providing an improved range of motion for each patient. For more information, call the Spine Line at AOC – 251-410-3600 or visit our website – alortho.com

Avoid Holiday - Back Pain

4 Ways to Avoid Holiday Back Pain

Avoid Holiday - Back Pain

The holidays are here, and for many of us that means traveling to see friends and family. Whether you’re flying, driving or catching a train, you are going to be sitting for a prolonged period of time. Keep your travels comfortable and you back pain-free with these four tips:

Pack it light
Over-packing is easy to do, but it comes with a price – strain on muscles and joints. Avoid unnecessary pain during your travels by planning out what to pack and using luggage equipped with wheels. Depending on your trip, smaller bags may be a better option.

Lumbar support
Seats in planes, cars and trains don’t provide ample support for the lower back or neck. Make your seat more comfortable by using a lumbar support pillow. If you don’t have one, you can roll up a blanket, sweater or jacket.

Get your blood flowing
Light movement and stretching are the best ways to avoid spine stiffness. If you can, get up and move around every 30, or so minutes. Stretching and moving is also beneficial to circulation as blood brings important nutrients and oxygen to the structures of the back.

Check your posture
This can not be said enough, sit up straight! Slouching, slumping and hunching can all place unnecessary stress on your spine. Proper sitting posture: align your back with your seat, rest your head on the headrest and place your feet flat on the floor.

If traveling does a number on your back, make an appointment to visit one of AOC’s spine specialists.

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Texting Can Be a Real Pain in the Neck

We wake up, text. Go to work, text. Eat lunch, text. Walk, text. Go to bed, text.

What we don’t realize is our texting posture is becoming a real pain in the neck. Every day we all take part in this same epidemic called “texting posture.” We walk around in our hunchback position trying to stay connected through communicating, updating, and browsing. By constantly looking down at our phones, we are applying unnecessary stress on our cervical spine, which in turn can be the cause of our nagging neck pain.

On average, a human head, in a neutral position, weighs between ten and twelve pounds. Now tilt the head forward and you are exerting a pressure of up to sixty pounds. According to Dr. Ken Hansraj, a spinal and orthopedic surgeon in Poughkeepsie, New York, our texting posture can lead to early wear and tear of the neck muscles and cervical spine, which can ultimately end in surgery.

This is not to say that technology is bad, but lets try and use our smartphones smarter. Here are some helpful tips to avoid texting posture and that nagging neck pain.

1. Our eyes have a range of motion:

You don’t have to bring your device up to eye level to avoid texting posture. Our eyes have a range of motion, which means you can look down at your phone without tilting your head.

2. Stretch and stay limber:

Keep the joints in your neck limber. If you feel your neck getting stiff, try these easy exercises: turn your head left to right several times, then try lifting your shoulder to your ears.

3. Posture matters:

Maintain a proper posture. Try standing in a doorway and extend your arms while pushing your chest forward. This will help strengthen your spine.

4. Stay hydrated:

The discs in your neck are primarily made up of water. So sip on water throughout the day to keep the discs in your spine pliable and healthy.

5. Sleep on your back:

This sleep position is the best because it lets your entire spine rest comfortably.

6. Get plenty of rest:

Your neck works hard to support your heavy head, so give it a break. Napping during the day or taking a break can truly help your neck health.

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