Dr. James Allen Guess is a renowned spine specialist practising in Carrollton, TX. He has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating a wide range of spine conditions, such as Sciatica, Spinal Inability, Scoliosis, Herniated Disc, Osteoarthritis etc.

Spinal Instability

Spinal Instability is characterized by an aberration in the movement between two or more vertebrae in the spine. The condition occurs as a result of gradual degeneration of the discs, allowing the vertebrae to dislocate. It puts stress on the nerves and nerve roots, leading to pain as well as an inability of the spine to maintain normal alignment. An unstable spine cannot properly support the ligaments, muscles, discs, bones etc. in the back. Depending upon the severity, the condition can be classified as:

  • Micro/Mild Instability: The patient may or may not experience any symptoms and the condition usually corrects itself over time.
  • Macro/Severe Instability: It involves damage to the nerves, nerve roots, ligaments and other structures within the spinal column.  

Causes Of Spinal Instability

  • Injury or trauma to the spine
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)
  • Fracture
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Scoliosis

Symptoms Of Spinal Instability

  • Severe back pain which may radiate to the legs
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain increases while standing upright or getting up from a chair
  • Weakness in legs or feet
  • Limited range of motion of the spine
  • Numbness
  • Loss of sensation

Diagnosis Of Spinal Instability

The spine specialist may perform a physical examination and inquire about the medical history of the patient. An X-ray, CT scan or MRI may be conducted to rule out a Herniated Disc or misaligned vertebra which may be causing the pain.

Treatment For Spinal Instability

  • Rest: The patient may be advised to take proper rest and avoid nay movements that may aggravate the pain.
  • Brace: Wearing a back brace may help to prevent jerky movements and maintain the stability of the spine.
  • Medications: The spine specialist may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to provide relief from pain.
  • Physical Therapy: Certain exercises may be recommended by the physical therapist to strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine to prevent pain and abnormal movement of the vertebrae.

Severe cases of Spinal Instability may require surgical intervention. The doctor may recommend any of the following procedures:

  • Spinal Fusion: The surgery involves fusing the vertebrae together to cease any movement between them. Metal screws and rods may be used to hold the vertebrae in place till they join completely.
  • Microdiscectomy: In this, the surgeon removes the disc that is putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

For diagnosis and treatment of Spinal Instability, visit Dr. Guess. To schedule an appointment with the spine specialist in Carrollton, TX, you can call at (972) 492 – 1334.