Dr. Stewart Kerr is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in the treatment of various neck and spine conditions. He graduated medical college from the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland. Following residency training, Dr. Kerr went on to complete a combined fellowship in Neurosurgery / Orthopedic Spine Surgery at the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia. He has extensive experience in both surgical and non-surgical spine treatments which allow him to carefully decide which options may be best for each of his patients.
Back Arthritis & Disc Herniations
Thoracic (middle back) arthritis and lumbar (lower back) disc herniations are some of the most common conditions or injuries treated by Dr. Kerr. Simply put, the spinal column consists of the vertebrae (bones), discs, and soft tissue ligaments structures that house the spinal cord and exiting nerves. The nerves segmentally exit from the spinal cord and travel to specific parts of the arms, trunk, organs and legs to deliver muscle and organ signal function.
The nerves also act to return sensation signals back to the spinal cord and brain. When the discs in the back are healthy, the nerves normally will have sufficient space to exit from and to re-enter the spinal column. This results in a normal, pain free muscle function with good endurance and power. When the discs are injured or degenerate, (i.e. a large / compressing disc bulge or disc herniation), they often constrict the nerves which results in pain, numbness, a tingling sensation, or even specific muscle weakness or clumsiness in the arms or legs.
Treatments for Disc Herniations
Fortunately, there are many treatments available for disc herniations or degeneration. Typically, non-surgical treatments will be recommended first. This management includes physical therapy, multi-modal, opioid-sparing pain medications, and sometimes injections. For some patients these treatments provide enough significant relief to resolve the problem. For some, surgical options must be considered. Surgical options include spinal decompression and for some even stabilization procedures such as disc replacements to fill the gap after disk removal. Contemporary management options are a safe and effective means for returning patients to active pain-free lifestyles.
Dr. Kerr is dedicated to helping people who are experiencing severe nerve pain and dysfunction. He will evaluate your specific condition, and if appropriate will next order any additional diagnostic testing needed (i.e. MRI’s or extremity nerve conduction testing). Dr. Kerr then will review your imaging and correlate this with your specific clinical findings in order to thoroughly explain all available management options – both surgical and non-surgical. Dr. Kerr’s main goal is to work with each patient to create a personalized treatment pathway that will quickly and efficiently improve your quality of life and overall health. This begins with you scheduling an appointment today…