All posts by MISI

The Dallas Cowboys are BACK in the Playoffs!

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DFW Spine Institute The Dallas Cowboys are BACK in the NFL playoffs after winning the NFC East for the first time since 2009!  The team’s success hinges on the pro-bowl play of quarterback Tony Romo, who has battled back injuries over the past two seasons. DFW Spine Institute specialists tell you how Romo overcame his injuries and why he is poised to lead Dallas into the playoffs.

What happened to Romo?

During an October 27th matchup against the Washington Redskins, blitzing linebacker Keenan Robinson struck Romo in the lower back with his knee. Romo was later diagnosed with two transverse process fractures in his lumbar spine (lower back).

The transverse process is a small bone that projects outward from the side of each spinal bone (vertebrae). Transverse process fractures are generally the result of direct trauma to the area or violent twisting and side bending.

How was he able to get back on the field so fast?Transverse Process Factor

The injury caused Romo to miss the Cowboys’ next game against the Cardinals, but he was back on the field the following week, leading the team to victory against the Jaguars in London. Although transverse process fractures can be painful, treatment is rarely surgical. This is because the transverse process provides relatively little structural support to the spine, compared to more critical vertebral bones and joints.

How will Romo’s injury affect the Cowboys in the playoffs?

Another shot to the back could re-aggravate Romo’s injury while the bones are still healing. Although this would certainly be painful, transverse process fractures rarely lead to compression of the spine or nerve roots, so there is no risk of permanent damage by playing. Romo’s quick return is a real testament to his toughness – this is only the fourth time in the last seven seasons Romo has missed a game because of an injury.

Was the fracture related to his spine surgery last year?

Romo missed the Cowboys’ final game last season when he decided to have minimally invasive spine surgery to remove a herniated disk in his back. It is important to realize that this season’s transverse process fractures are NOT related to last year’s surgery.  In fact, Romo made an excellent recovery from his spine surgery and is playing at an MVP level!

Are similar surgeries performed at Minimally Invasive Surgical Institute?

Yes! ACGME fellowship-trained surgeons at Minimally Invasive Surgical Institute specialize in the type of procedure Romo had last year. Using a series of small tubes and miniature cameras, minimally invasive spine surgeons are able correct spine problems without the bleeding and muscle damage that prolongs recovery of traditional spine surgery. In Romo’s case, a microdiscectomy was performed to remove a small portion of an intervertebral disc that was exerting painful pressure on his spinal nerve.

How does Romo’s injury compare to spine injuries sustained by other NFL quarterbacks, like Cam Newton and Peyton Manning?

Coincidentally, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton recently suffered a transverse process fracture in a motor vehicle accident – the same spine injury as Tony Romo. Baylor Bears quarterback Bryce Petty also fractured two transverse processes earlier this season.

Peyton Manning’s spine injury involved his neck and is completely different.  Manning required several operations to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves that power the muscles in his arm. Manning ultimately required a spinal fusion, but that didn’t stop him from breaking multiple NFL records upon his return.

Will Romo eventually need a spinal fusion like Peyton Manning?

There is no reason to believe that Romo will require a fusion surgery at this point. Most patients who have a microdiscectomy never require a fusion. In our next post, we will discuss the indications for spinal fusion and cover Peyton Manning’s surgeries in more detail.

Go Cowboys! – @MISInstitute

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery | What Does ACGME Fellowship-Trained Mean?

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minimally-invasive-spine-surgery (2)


When severe pain and chronic back problems force you to seek spine surgery, it can be easy to overlook aspects of your surgeon’s training and experience for quick relief. While we know it can be tempting to find any doctor experienced in minimally invasive spine surgery to entrust your back problems to, the truth is something as serious as spine surgery requires someone with the training and expertise to treat those issues safely and effectively. An ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) fellowship-trained spine surgeon is the ideal professional to treat your symptoms.


Why does ACGME fellowship training matter?

Some doctors choose to pursue fellowship training past their residency in order to become more specialized in their area of choice. While it means an additional year of school, that year prepares dedicated surgeons for the challenges of performing potentially life-altering procedures.

As a patient, you may not know that, while any qualified doctor can attempt to treat back pain, a spine surgeon with ACGME fellowship training has the knowledge necessary to not only locate the source of pain, but to treat it with greater accuracy and effectiveness. In fact, once fellowship training is over, in order to ensure their expertise in their chosen specialty, additional board exams are required.

ACGME fellowship-trained doctors are more informed about the latest technology and treatment options for your specific needs. A general practitioner may be able to give you a treatment plan for your pain or injury, but may not know enough about the specific area to identify newer and more effective treatments to implement.


What should you look for in fellowship-trained back doctors?

  • Find a doctor who is board eligible or board certified with ACGME fellowship training in

    spine surgery.

  • Find a doctor you are comfortable with. It doesn’t matter how highly recommended they are, if you do not feel comfortable with a doctor, it will not work. Being uncomfortable may prevent you from asking important questions regarding your condition and treatment.
  • Find a specialist with access to the latest technology and treatments available for your condition.

    Whether you suffer from chronic back pain or herniated discs, it’s important to err on the side of caution and find someone with access to all of the best possible equipment, medication and surgical treatments in the industry. That will give you the greatest chance for a fast recovery.

  • Look for a doctor working in a specialty practice.

    Chances are, if your doctor is fellowship trained in the spinal column and working in a practice specializing in that area, they treat patients with spinal problems exclusively. This means they will have a greater understanding of specific problem areas that you may need help with.

MISI specialists: Your minimally invasive spine surgery awaits

Every spine surgeon at MISI is fellowship-trained with specialties in orthopedic and spine care. They have been handpicked by MISI’s director, whose priority is to give patients access to the most highly qualified, highly educated and highly experienced medical professionals in their field. When you go to MISI in search of an ACGME fellowship-trained spine surgeon, you can rest easy knowing that you will receive only the best and most experienced in minimally invasive spine surgery.

A surgeon with the right level of expertise should treat your debilitating pain. Call MISI today at (855) 339-4481 to set up your appointment with an ACGME fellowship-trained specialist and get yourself on the road to recovery.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery vs. Open Spine Surgery

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Open spine surgery sounds scary, doesn’t it? Chances are you are in a lot of pain if you need spine surgery; you’re looking for any solution that will bring you relief, whether it’s open spine or minimally invasive spine surgery. While it’s understandable for patients to proceed with whatever form of pain relief they are presented with by their physician, the thought of someone opening up your back and performing risky spine surgery should be enough to make you think twice about your options.


Traditional open spine surgery incurs additional risks for patients, from the possibility of nerve damage and damaged muscles and tissue to excessive bruising and scarring. Recovery time for open spine surgery can be long and difficult, and complications from the above-mentioned risks can arise during the road to recovery.


Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery


The risks associated with open spine surgery are, in part, why many people choose minimally invasive. With significantly shorter recovery times, faster healing and fewer complications, those suffering from certain back and neck conditions would do well to consider minimally invasive laser spine surgery over the more traditional procedures.


  1. A quicker return to daily activities.Unlike open back surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery usually means a shorter healing time, outpatient surgery or a very short hospital stay, and a faster return to your daily activities.
  2. Minimal risk for complications.Much smaller incisions mean minimal risk for complications stemming from tissue damage or wound care. Incisions as small as 3mm minimizes bruising, stitching and potential damage from surgery, so you can feel comfortable going back to the things and the people you love.
  3. Greater chance for lasting pain relief.Thanks to minimally invasive spine surgery, there’s a greater chance that doctors can get to the real source of the pain and let you finally say goodbye to all that’s been ailing your back. State-of-the-art technologies as well as today’s innovative pain mapping enable surgeons to accurately identify the source of your pain so they can take care of it once and for all.

You don’t have to suffer from back or neck pain for the rest of your life because you don’t want spine surgery. The fact is, there are less invasive options. Call MISI today at 855-466-6741 to set up your appointment and find out how you can get back to enjoying life without back and neck pain.

Back Pain Relief for Runners

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Back Pain Relief for Runners

By nature, running involves a lot of repetitive stress on the supporting joints in the lower part of your body. From your plantar fascia to your lumbar spine, every joint, cartilage and tissue is working together to help your body exercise. While running is a great way to take care of your body, the repeated stress on these joints can lead to worn or torn ligaments, tissue, or cartilage, which means bones and joints are rubbing together, causing pain. In other cases, discs can become damaged over time, causing people to seek back pain relief as soon as possible.

If you’re a runner, chances are you understand the pain of being on your feet for prolonged periods of time. All of the continuous stress on your feet, knees, hips and lower back can lead to some very serious complications if ignored.

  • Lower back sprains.

    One possible ailment stemming from the constant pressure of running is lower back spraining, when the muscle tissue in the lower back gets sore and painful from the pressure.

  • Herniated discs.

    The discs in your spine act as rubbery cushions between the individual bones that stack up to make your spine.

    Small tears in the disc can cause disc material to push against the spinal canal, causing pain, weakness and numbness. This is called a herniated disc. Another closely related condition is sciatica, which causes radiating pain down the legs and buttocks.

  • Degenerative discs.

    Put simply, degenerative discs are just discs in your spine that become damaged over a long period of time. The stresses of running can become too much on the spine, causing discs to wear down. This can cause pain and discomfort.

  • Plantar fasciitis.

    The plantar fascia is the shock absorber of your foot — it supports the arch of your foot and distributes pressure evenly between your heel and the ball of your foot. This tissue can become torn or damaged from the continuous pressure created by running.


While there are many ways to experience back pain relief from these conditions, there are some steps runners can take to avoid dealing with these issues altogether.


  1. Wear the right shoes

    . The right shoes can support your arch properly and give your body the cushion it needs. Always wear shoes with comfortable soles and, if necessary, with compression socks that can aid circulation.

  2. Always warm up

    . Many back and foot issues stem from not properly warming up and stretching before a run. Always be sure to acclimate your muscles and joints to the workout you’re about to do before you do it.

  3. Run on a softer surface

    . Running on concrete roads can be stressful on your joints and back, which is why it’s helpful to run on a rubber track if possible. This will give your feet a little extra support as they sustain the weight of your body while you run.

  4. Add variety to your workout

    . Work out by cross training, which will give you a little variety and prevent you from putting all the stress in just one group of body muscles and joints.


Sometimes, runners suffer from degenerative damage that requires more than just conventional back pain relief. Minimally invasive surgeries can help relieve pain with minimal down time and little complications. The ACGME fellowship-trained doctors at MISI use innovative pain mapping to pinpoint the source of pain and can come up with solutions leading to back pain relief. Are you a runner in search of an expert that can help you with foot or lower back pain relief? Make your appointment or set up a consultation at MISI today via or (855) 339-4481.

Common Baseball Injuries | Treatment for Herniated Discs and More

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If you’re a baseball player you probably know that America’s pastime, while fun, also carries with it an extremely high risk for injury. Whether you’re tagging from second or sliding into third, baseball can be rough on the body, possibly requiring treatment for herniated discs or other conditions. It’s important to recognize the various types of injuries that can occur in order to know how to prevent them and treat them properly.

Herniated Disc

This happens when there is a tear in the disc’s outer layer.  Discs are the spine’s “shock absorbers” – layers of material between the vertebrae that protect the spine from day-to-day stresses. Yankees pitcher Hiroki Kuroda missed several games in 2009 for a herniated disc. Our Herniated disc treatments can help with the pain, numbness, or weakness in the back, neck, legs or arms.

Torn Meniscus

A torn meniscus is a common but very painful baseball injury. The meniscus is the cartilage in the knee that provides cushion and absorbs the shock of stress to that joint. Alex Rodriguez missed a few games in the Yankee’s 2011 season from a torn meniscus. A minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure in the knee can be a low risk solution for this condition.

Tennis Elbow

This doesn’t just happen to tennis players; it’s actually common among pitchers as well.  In fact, people who have jobs where they have to repeatedly perform the same motion with their arm can suffer from tennis elbow. The tendons joining the forearm muscles on the outer part of the elbow get the brunt of any repetitive motions, resulting in painful damage to the area stemming from overuse. Depending on the injury, we can do a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure in the elbow with little down time.

Treatment for Herniated Discs and Other Injuries

If you’re an avid baseball player, you’re likely to come across one or more of these injuries at least once in your lifetime. The right minimally invasive treatment can not only make you feel better, but also give you back the strength and flexibility necessary to enjoy the game once again.

The key to getting better quickly is finding professionals who understand the full scope of these types of injuries so patients can heal and get back on the field. MISI specialists are ACGME fellowship-trained with the knowledge and expertise to diagnose and treat a wide range of sports-related injuries.

Offering state-of-the-art solutions such innovative pain mapping and minimally invasive procedures with small incisions and faster recovery times, MISI is ahead of the curve when it comes to treating the most common baseball injuries. Our highly qualified doctors can get to the root of the problem so that you can get back on the field. Call MISI today at 855-466-6741 to set up your appointment and get back in the game!

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and More | How MISI Treats Football Injuries

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minimally-invasive-spine-surgeryDuring football season, you’ll often hear the same thing from your fantasy football-loving friends: “I can’t believe my player is injured!” As the season for this punishing sport rolls on, so does the potential for damage, at every level of play.  We often see patients with injuries similar to those that take your favorite quarterbacks and wide receivers out of the game, some of which we treat with innovative pain management procedures and if needed, minimally invasive spine surgeries, including:

  • Herniated Discs:

    You may remember Tony Romo suffering a herniated disc toward the end of the 2013 season. This type of injury can create serious pain and numbness in the lower back and legs. While the traditional surgical method requires stripping away back muscles and exposing the spine, we perform minimally invasive spine surgery, which is much less traumatic and avoids damaging muscles and surrounding tissues. Instead, the procedure often involves the use of real time X-rays and the insertion of a small tube system through a 3-7mm incision. Through minimally invasive spine surgery, patients can recover faster and get back to living.

  • Finger Fractures:

    Dez Bryant delayed treatment for his pinkie fracture for three games in the 2012-2013 season. Putting off finger fracture treatment is something you should never do. A fractured finger may seem like a small thing, but in reality it can be a complex injury. There are many bones in the hand that work together to perform specialized tasks, so an injury to one of them can cause the entire hand to be misaligned. Usually, fractured fingers can be repaired non-surgically using a splint, but in particularly bad cases surgery is required to promote and allow for proper healing.

  • Torn Meniscus:

    This is one of the most common sports injuries. When he landed awkwardly after a jump during this season opener, Jadeveon Clowney tore a meniscus, taking him out for four to six weeks. When one is torn, a person can experience pain, stiffness, swelling and the knee “giving way.” Similar to our minimally invasive spine surgery, we treat torn menisci using minimally invasive knee arthroscopy by inserting a tiny camera through a small incision to provide a clear view inside of the knee. Once inside, the surgeon repairs or trims the tears using state-of-the-art instruments and techniques.

  • Whiplash:

    This happens when an impact or blow causes the head to jerk forward or backward abruptly. Jay Cutler was forced to take some time out when he suffered this injury in 2012. A person suffering from whiplash has pain and stiffness in the neck and often in the muscles of the head, chest, shoulders and arms. For whiplash pain, we use real-time X-rays to map out pain trigger points, letting the doctors know exactly where to apply medicine.

Football players can benefit from minimally invasive surgery, but so can the rest of us! MISI is the most advanced option for treating spine, hand, foot and general pain. Call the Minimally Invasive Surgical Institute today at 855-466-6741 or visit our website to set up an appointment.

Meet MISI | Your Choice in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and More

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Minimally Invasive Spine SurgeryAt the Minimally Invasive Surgical Institute (MISI), our fellowship-trained doctors offer procedures including minimally invasive spine surgery to help decrease your pain without large incisions or lengthy recovery times. While traditional open neck and spine surgery require large incisions, long hospital stays and painful recoveries, minimally invasive spine surgery involves incisions so small that they can often be covered with a single Band-Aid®. Our team of certified doctors is dedicated to getting you back on your feet and back to your life more quickly.

While MISI is an innovator in spine procedures, we don’t just treat back pain and perform spine surgery. Our team specializes in a variety of areas, including the neck, hand, foot and general pain, to help our patients alleviate their symptoms and get back to living their lives stronger, healthier and happier.

Our doctors are more concerned with patients than procedures and will explore every possible treatment before suggesting surgery, which is always the last option. This might include rehab, physical therapy, outpatient pain management procedures or a variety of other options. If necessary, our team may then suggest an endoscopic procedure, laser spine surgery or minimally invasive spine surgery.

The primary difference between MISI and other clinics is our team of experienced and innovative surgeons.

Our doctors are fellowship-trained, educated to be thought leaders in their field and are on the cutting-edge of minimally invasive procedures.  As field authorities, they’re also advisors to international technology companies, helping design groundbreaking tools for minimally invasive surgery.

Why suffer with pain when you have an alternative? Get back to your life. Call the Minimally Invasive Surgical Institute today at 855-466-6741 to set up an appointment, and learn how you can benefit from minimally invasive spine surgery or our other minimally invasive treatments.