Medical Care Tips You Should Know: Part III

foam-roller-blogDr. Sol Kamson wants you to know how you can be a more informed patient when it comes to back and spine surgery or treatments. This last set of medical care tips that your doctor will not always have the time to convey to you will provide you with insights into getting the relief you deserve from back pain.

Tip #21: Be Frank With Your Doctor

Tell the truth about your medical history, including prior surgeries of all types. If your surgeon is not aware of past procedures, even those of a cosmetic type, he may be facing a challenge for which he is not completely prepared. You and your doctor want the best possible outcome, and being honest is always the best policy.

Tip #22: Ask About Recovery Expectations

Not every spinal surgery has the same recovery period or post-surgical discomfort level. Ask your doctor what to expect after surgery and what kind of care will be needed so you can be more prepared both physically and psychologically.

Tip #23: Find Out About Post-Surgical Care

You will often need post-op appointments for follow-up care. Ask your doctor who will be seeing you at these appointments. Will it be the doctor who completed the surgery or another physician? Ask if a nurse or assistant will do the follow-up care so you will be more informed and not surprised if the doctor isn’t at your appointment.

Tip #24: Find Out About Banking Your Blood

When you are opting for elective surgery, you may have the option to bank your own blood should you need a transfusion. In this way, you will not have to rely on getting blood from an unknown source.

Tip #25: Avoid Unnecessary Procedures

Be sure to ask about and weigh all of your options when it comes to spine surgery. Dr. Kamson will inform you of your options prior to any procedure he recommends and works with you to make the right choice for your needs.

Tip #26: Avoid Scarring with the Right Creams

Ask your physician about which creams you can use to avoid any ugly scar post-surgery.

Tip #27: The Right Choice for Back Pain

It’s a good idea to first consider minimally invasive spine surgery as a first alternative to more invasive procedures when it comes to your back or cervical areas. Healing after undergoing minimally invasive surgery on your spine is always easier than after more traditional surgeries, especially if the end results will be similar.

Tip #28: Do What You’re Told

When given pre-op and post-op instructions, follow directions carefully for the best results. Question anything you don’t fully understand.

Tip #29: Consider Getting Help Afterwards

As with any procedure, you might be sore for a little while afterwards. Have someone help you with housework and other needs so you can concentrate on your recovery.

Tip #30: Work On Preventing Future Back Issues

Your surgeon may ask you to undergo a particular procedure so as to avoid future problems. Ask what will occur if you do not agree to treatment and then weigh your options carefully. Another good question to ask is what the outcome will be if you wait to get this particular surgery.

We hope you found this three-part series of medical care tips from Dr. Sol Kamson very helpful in your quest to find relief from back pain and other spinal issues. Contact us at the Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA, to discover your options for taking back your life.

Medical Care Tips You Should Know: Part II

emergency-roomThis is a second set of eye-opening tips that can help you take control of your own care and steer you in finding the relief you need when it comes to back pain and sciatica. Dr. Sol Kamson has assisted us in putting together these important pieces of advice that doctors know about, but patients often are not aware of when it comes to choosing the right surgeon in your area.

Tip # 11: Take Your Time to Decide About Surgery

There’s usually no reason to rush into making a decision when it comes to back surgery. This is an important health choice, so weigh all of your options before committing to a surgeon or a specific procedure.

Tip #12: Communicate Any Leg Pain Post-Surgery

Although Sol Kamson will inform you about possible post-surgical complications, it’s important to understand that leg pain after surgery can be a signal of a blood clot. Do not hesitate to inform Dr. Kamson or your physician about leg pain after any back surgery.

Tip #13: Your Surgeon Loves to Be Thanked

After you’ve had a successful surgical procedure to relieve back pain, your life will likely improve to a tremendous degree. Surgeons work very hard to better the quality of life for their patients. Convey your gratitude for this life-changing help with a heartfelt ‘thank you’ in words or, better yet, in a handwritten note.

Tip #14: Physicians Are Very Busy People

Though it may sometimes seem as though doctors do not care about their patients because they rush in and out of examining rooms, this could not be further from the truth. Schedules become hectic, with many patients to see, yet you are just as important as anyone else. Keep in mind that your doctor really does care about you, though the rapid pace in the office may not always convey that impression.

Tip #15: Lawsuits Are Real Concerns for Doctors

In this litigious society, physicians do worry about being sued by patients. They sometimes refuse to perform certain procedures or recommend other avenues in order to protect themselves from legal action.

Tip #16: Complete Recovery Means Getting Enough Rest

You may feel much better and more fit after surgery, yet your spine surgeon informs you that you need to rest and recover for a certain period of time. Heed the advice of surgeons like Dr. Kamson and take the time you need to heal by not doing more than you should too soon.

Tip #17: Ask The Right Questions Before Surgery

Prior to saying ‘yes’ to a recommended procedure, be sure to question your doctor as to what is damaged in your body and why you need a certain repair. Perhaps you’ll discover that there are other options and surgery is not the only treatment available.

Tip #18: Being Overweight Can Be Challenging

Your doctor may find it difficult to find veins for IVs in obese patients. If you’re severely overweight, other complications can present themselves, such as slower healing and infections. Speak with Dr. Kamson at the Spine Institute Northwest about the complications that may exist should your weight present a problem.

Tip #19: Nurses Are a Great Resource

Come to your medical appointments with a list of questions, but save the most important ones for the doctor. Ask the nurse about your more minor concerns and let your physician focus on the essential answers you need.

Tip #20: Listen Carefully

Doctors will tell you how to manage your post-surgical care or ways to prepare for a procedure. It’s important to listen carefully and perhaps take notes so that all goes well for you. Dr. Kamson is concerned that patients listen and follow instructions for the best possible outcome before, during, and after spinal procedures or treatments.

These ten additional tips for your medical care should give you an insight into what doctors really want patients to know. Stay tuned for the third in this series of medical secrets from Solomon Kamson MD, PhD and the Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA.

Medical Care Tips You Should Know: Part I


If you suffer from any type of back or neck pain, it’s important that you choose a physician you know you can trust to help you get the best care you available. Often, however, orthopedic surgeons may not be free to discuss every single aspect of what a patient should do to ensure they find the best doctor for their needs. In other instances, time constraints may be tight and your surgeon will not have the extra minutes it takes to keep you as informed as possible about your options and things you can do proactively to be sure you’re making the best decisions possible.

Here are some important tips that Dr. Sol Kamson at the Spine Institute Northwest has decided to share with you, so you will be assured that your spine surgeon and the medical care you receive have been completely vetted and cleared by the most important person who needs this knowledge: you, the patient.

Tip #1: Consult With a Second Physician

When seeking out relief from back pain or sciatica, Dr. Sol Kamson understands that there are always multiple options to explore. He will never be annoyed or concerned if you decide to seek out a second opinion.  Perhaps Dr. Kamson will even be the second opinion you reach out to. What’s important is that you find the right treatment plan for you, with a doctor you can trust to manage or eliminate your pain.

Tip #2: Don’t Simply Rely upon Your Primary Care Physician’s Referral

Your PCP may have a professional relationship with a spine surgeon, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that this specialist is the ideal doctor for your needs. Perform you own additional research and seek out a doctor who specializes in spinal pain relief. Dr. Kamson is an interventional pain management and minimally invasive spine surgeon who has helps scores of patients return to living a normal life once again.

Tip#3: Contact Former Patients

Don’t simply rely upon what you read on-line. It’s a good idea to speak with patients who have used the surgeon you are considering. Dr. Kamson has videotaped patient testimonials on his web site that you can listen to, for example. Call the Spine Institute Northwest offices if you’d like information about contacting a patient directly.

Tip #4: Bring Someone to Your Appointments

When you go to your appointment with a spinal surgeon, it’s a great idea to always bring a family member along. In this way, your doctor will view you as a real person. Not only will the surgeon meet your loved one(s), but your companion will be able to recall and understand everything that’s being said in the event that you become nervous or forget to ask questions.

Tip #5: Ask Who Will Be in the O.R.

Dr. Solomon Kamson performs minimally invasive and other surgical procedures. But as an informed patient, it’s important to always ask a doctor who will actually be in the operating room during the procedure. Ask to meet them beforehand.

Tip #6: Ask About the Risks Involved

Though someone like Dr. Kamson will always inform you of any risks involved with your surgery, it’s good to ask what, specifically, are his concerns for you as an individual.

Tip #7: Mistakes Can Happen

Surgical errors can and do occur from time to time. Ensure that you choose a spine surgeon who specializes in this field.

Tip #8: Don’t Expect Miracles

Some spine issues can’t be completely fixed, even with surgery. Ask Dr. Kamson about his expectations for your recovery.

Tip #9: Non-Surgical Options

Ask if surgery is the only option, as other initial treatments may be fine for your particular condition.

Tip #10: There Are No Cookie-Cutter Doctors

Each spine surgeon is different. The ideal surgeon in this field is one like Solomon Kamson MD, who is constantly educating himself on the latest techniques and options for spine and sciatica relief.

For more information, please contact the Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA, directly at 888-530-4621.

Patient Reviews for Doctor Kamson

Minimally Invasive Surgery Patients of Dr. Solomon Kamson

“I was out and about in like a month,” Jaselyn says, and back to work not long afterward. Today, “I can pick up my students, I can go and do sports that I haven’t been able to do. Even just walks with my dogs.”

-Jaselyn Lee, on being able to do normal activities after being treated by Dr. Solomon Kamson at SINW

“I received the same thorough diagnosis, the same leading edge knowledge, and the same thoughtful concern and the same successful outcome.”

-Author and Spine Institute Northwest patient Dwayne Burnell, on Dr. Solomon Kamson’s analytical and logical approach to treating back pain

“Dr. Kamson got right on top of it…you come in [to Spine Institute NW] and you know that they want to help you, and they make you feel glad that you came. And you just have a sense of peace of knowing that you’re going to get help that you need.”

-Margo Witters, on her very positive experience at Spine Institute Northwest and meeting Dr. Solomon Kamson

“I would just say get it taken care of so you can get back to normal living again.”

-Stephanie Proulx, advising people on having their back pain looked at after her own successful treatment at SINW

“As soon as I saw Dr. Kamson I really liked him, right off the bat. I could tell he was a man of integrity. I felt really at ease and comfortable.”

-Jim Perri, on his impression of Dr. Solomon Kamson after meeting with him

“I got to know Dr. Kamson. I knew he was going to do the right thing for me. He wanted to fix my problem.”

-Dave Patten, on his impressions of Dr.Solomon Kamson after doing some research and after meeting him in person at Spine Institute Northwest

“Don’t guess at a diagnosis, get it checked out if you’re feeling pain!”

-Mary Halabi, on her advice to patients second-guessing their pains

“I felt very comfortable with what he had to say…I just kind of felt like this was the place I needed to go.”

-Tim Watts, on the confidence he felt about entrusting his care to Dr. Solomon Kamson after meeting him and commiting to minimally invasive surgery

“I was skeptical but once I talked to Dr. Kamson and he explained what was gonna take place, I had no second thoughts about it. I was ready to go that day.”

-Daniel Schmalzried on how he felt after meeting with Dr. Solomon Kamson and listening to the explanation of how his medical procedure would help his back pain

“Even last night, four or five hours after surgery, I did not have leg or ankle pain.”

-John Wieler, on the day and night difference on how his leg felt atfer Dr. Solomon Kamson operated on his back

“The staff were just phenomenal, and actually took time to, to visit with me, to care, to explain everything”

-Sissy Falcon Johnson, remembering her exprience with the staff at Spine Institute Northwest and Dr. Solomon Kamson

“I came in on a Wednesday night, I had the surgery on Friday.”

-David Hurlbut, on the quick turnaround time for his surgery at Spine Institute Northwest

“I now have no pain in my legs at all. It is a world of difference there.”

-Glenn Steig, on the difference before and after his procedure performed by Dr. Kamson at SINW

“I was just astonished to come in for the surgery and to leave that night.”

-Lori Kuzior, Dr. Kamson’s spine sugery patient, on her surprise at being able to move right after having her procedure

“Definitely get hold of Dr. Kamson.”

-Michael Reitz, Spine Institute NW patient, on his advice to other people contemplating minimally invasive surgery for back pain

“As the weeks progressed, the pain just worked its way completely out of my body. It is pretty incredible.”

-Darrel Lewis, on the gradual lifting of his back pain as he recovered from his surgery at SINW

“I can guarantee that it is worth it, no matter what your situation is.”

-Neck Surgery patient Jesus Omar Belloso Soza, on having his back pain looked at and treated by Dr. Solomon Kamson at SINW

“My pain is literally 100% gone.” 

-Eric Minier, on his pain level after Doctor Kamson performed a microdiscectomy on his L4 vertebrae

“I just want the least invasive, the quickest way to heal, the best way to heal.”

Michael Shaffer, on his decision to go with Dr. Kamson to treat his slipped disc

Restoring the ‘Quality of Life’ for Our Veterans

What kind of a life do our Veterans lead once they’ve come home? Unfortunately, life isn’t easy for our troops. After they are forced to tolerate long-term pain on the battle field, they experience complications and physical discomfort, which can diminish their quality of life once they have come home. Surprisingly, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, as many as half of all returning veterans experience chronic pain lasting as long as six months.

Civilians have a lot of control when it comes to managing back pain. They can change the way they sit, change their posture — but back pain for the Veteran is a different story. Though there are certainly troops who have desk jobs, those whose assignments involve carrying lots of equipment or wearing heavy protective gear for long periods of time are prone to wear-and-tear injuries. Veterans may also experience back pain as a result of injury, which can complicate the treatment process.

Life is difficult enough for members of the military because they are more likely to experience chronic back pain due to battle. For anyone experiencing chronic pain, there is the risk of developing feelings of frustration, despair, and depression. This risk can be even greater for veterans, even those returning from non-combat missions. Back pain and back injuries can limit your ability to work. For those who have made serving their country their career, back pain can seriously inhibit successfully performing their duties.

Obtaining immediate medical attention for our troops who suffer chronic back pain doesn’t come easy. Beginning in 1998, the Veterans’ Administration has used a protocol for handling veterans’ pain issues known as the National Pain Management Strategy. However, the lengthy wait times and inefficiencies of the VA system have been well documented. Returning troops are faced with bureaucratic hurdles and frustrating lags, especially for seeing specialists. Though efforts are being made to overhaul the VA, chronic pain can make each day feel like an eternity.

If you would like to restore your quality of life by eliminating chronic back pain, don’t wait for a referral from the VA. Solomon Kamson, MD at the Spine Institute Northwest offers a comprehensive array of treatment options, and we make every effort to make sure you don’t need to wait to come see us.

What are Bone Spurs?

A technical term for bone spurs is osteophytes. Bone spurs are also known as “parrot beaks” due to the shape formations they make when developing. They are bony protuberances that form next to joint borders. Bone spurs should not be confused with enthesophytes. Enthesophytes are bony protuberances that form at the attachment of ligaments and tendons. An expert physician like Dr. Solomon Kamson will be able to identify which is bothering you with x-ray results.

Due to increased damage to the surface of joints, osteophytes will form. It causes joint movement to be limited because of the paint that the spur causes. Bone spurs normally form on the spine, and they are located on the back side. They being to form as the individual ages. It is also a sign of degeneration of the spinal column. If this is the case, Dr. Solomon Kamson will educate you on the cause of the pain. The spurs are a side effect of the spinal degeneration. Spurs that are located on the spinal column may intrude into the spinal nerves and the nerves that lead to other parts of the body. The impingement will cause excruciating pain in all of the limbs. It can cause numbness and tingling in the feet and even in the hands.

Other common places that individuals may develop bone spurs are in their toes and in the heels of their feet. They can also form in the hands. In severe cases, spurs can develop along the entire skeletal formation. Some individuals that turn to Dr. Kamson for help come from different corners of the nation as well as Canadian patients to receive help with spurs that have developed along their knees, in their hips, on their shoulders, in their ribs, on their arms, and in their ankles. Most of these individuals have become victims of multiple exostoses.

A disease may also cause osteophytes. Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone and will leave the adjacent bone with a formation, which is a bone spur. Ultimately, osteophytes or bone spurs are reported as being connected to any sequential and significant changes within the individual’s bone structure. These changes are due to degeneration, the aging process, instability related to mechanical movement, and diseases. Arthritis is a common factor in developing these painful growths.

In most cases, the doctor will perform a surgery in order to remove the points of the spur. This will rid the individual of the pain of having a spur. If this is the option for you, you will be provided will full details of what is to be expected. If you have any questions or concerns about what options are better for your personal situation, speak with Dr. Kamson, and he will educate you on the options and procedures available.