Navigating new technology at Bone and Joint Institute

Originally published in the Williamson Herald

Casey Davidson, M.D., introduces new spinal navigation system at Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee

Whether you have experienced it firsthand or simply know someone who has, back pain of any kind can be debilitating, and treating the symptoms can often be just as grueling. However, Bone Joint Institute of Tennessee and Williamson Health are committed to providing high-quality orthopaedic spinal care using state-of-the-art technology. 

Most recently, Dr. Casey Davidson, orthopaedic surgeon at Bone and Joint Institute, introduced new spinal navigation technology that makes spinal procedures safer and more efficient.

“The system allows us to more accurately see screw placement in real time,” said Dr. Davidson. 

He explained that many of his patients experience pinched nerves which lead to back and neck pain, numbness or tingling in the limbs, and overall discomfort. These pinched nerves are often the result of degenerative processes such as arthritis or disk degeneration. However, disk herniation or acute spinal injuries are also common in younger patients. 

Whether you’re currently experiencing back pain or want to avoid it altogether, what are some ways you can help prevent spinal degeneration? Dr. Davidson offered a few ideas.

Be intentional

Being intentional in your daily life can help to prevent some spinal degeneration. Dr. Davidson advises patients to try to maintain an overall healthy body weight and active lifestyle. Adding in stretching and mobility movements to your routine can also help to increase flexibility in the spine, hips and hamstrings. 

“Core strength is also very important to support the spine,” said Dr. Davidson. “Try to be consistently active in a way that engages those muscles and strengthens them over time.”

He also encourages people to avoid smoking as it has been linked to increased back pain. 

Seek treatment 

Although some back pain is ultimately unavoidable, the knowledgeable surgeons at Bone and Joint Institute have treatment methods that meet each patient’s needs. 

“Most of these symptoms can usually be treated using non-surgical methods such as anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxers, physical therapy or chiropractic work.,” said Dr. Davidson. “We always attempt to treat the issue using noninvasive techniques first.”

Explore state-of-the-srt surgical options

When other treatment methods fail, some patients may require surgery to alleviate back pain from pinched nerves. 

“If multiple levels of nerves are pinched, we may perform surgery to place hardware like screws, rods or cages in the spine to take pressure off the affected area,” said Dr. Davidson. 

With the new spinal navigation technology at Williamson Health, surgeons can more accurately place hardware during surgery based on the patient’s unique anatomy. In the past, these types of surgeries could be difficult to perform with accuracy because of the complexity of the area and inability to x-ray the spine effectively. 

The new system gives surgeons the ability to view the hardware placement from multiple angles adding a level of safety to procedures like lumbar and thoracic fusions. 

“Our goal with the spinal navigation technology is to perform intricate surgeries more accurately and more efficiently,” said Dr. Davidson. 

By integrating this technology, Dr. Davidson performs minimally invasive surgery that reduces recovery time. 

“Because we can make small incisions, patients experience less disruption to muscles and tissues which leads to a faster recovery,” said Dr. Davidson. 

Full recovery from lumbar fusions can be expected in 10-12 weeks with limited heavy lifting and routine physical therapy. However, Dr. Davidson reported some patients walking the same day as surgery due to the new spinal navigation technology. As a result, many patients may only require one night stay at the hospital post-surgery. 

Whether you think your back pain is minor or not, Dr. Davidson urges anyone experiencing spinal issues to get it checked out. 

“Please come in and get evaluated if you suffer from spine issues of any kind,” said Dr. Davidson. “You are always in good hands with our expert providers, cutting-edge technology and high-quality care right here in Franklin.”

To learn more or make an appointment, visit