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.

Spine Doctor and Police Officer Treated at Spine Institute Northwest

Spine Expert Treated by Dr. Kamson at Spine Institute NW

Dr. Steven Levine, who has his own practice in Indiana, recently visited Spine Institute Northwest (SINW) in Washington to undergo minimally invasive surgery under the care of Dr. Solomon Kamson.

Dr. Levine, is no stranger to back pain and the complications that may arise from leaving it untreated or worse, treating it the wrong way.  Dr. Kamson performed a decompression on Dr. Levine’s spine which was less invasive and less risky than a spinal fusion. While Dr. Levine respects the work that traditional neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons do, he knew from experience that minimally invasive was the way to go.

“Dr. Kamson is one of the few physicians I know in the United States that can do what needs to be done less invasively, cares about his patients, and has taken the time to travel around the world to educate himself.”

Asked why he opted for treatment at SINW from Dr. Kamson, Dr. Levine says that to find the level of care he needed would mean going overseas in countries such as China, Germany, England, or France. Dr. Levine recognizes the fact that Dr. Kamson is one of the select physicians in the United States that does the minimally invasive procedure he was looking for.

Surgery Saved My Job Says Police Officer

Washington police officer Garrett Baxter had been suffering through back pain while performing his job as a deputy sheriff. Officer Baxter had been trying to deal with the pain through more traditional methods such as physical therapy, upon the recommendation of other physicians, to no avail. His back pain would subside only to return again.  His condition was at its worst on February of 2016, when he could not walk at all no matter what he did.

“I would have lost my job if I didn’t have this surgery,” Garrett says.

Deciding that he needed to look for an alternative treatment for his back, he found Spine Institute Northwest and consulted with Dr. Solomon Kamson, who specializes in minimally invasive surgery.

Officer Baxter felt immediate relief after his procedure, a lumbar decompression. He credits the surgery with “saving his job” and calls his experience at Spine Institute NW as “one of the best experiences of his life.”


Treatment Options for Chronic Pain

When you live everyday with chronic back pain, throughout the day the pain gradually gets worse as the day drags on and causes a person to be miserable and unhappy. If this sounds like your life then you know that you can’t wait months to find relief. The goal of the Spine Institute Northwest has always been to quickly diagnose the problem and get it treated so you can have back a pain free life within a few days.

The Spine Institute Northwest offers a full range of effective treatments that are minimally invasive, and don’t require being stuck in a room for days. The benefits you get with these procedures are faster recovery time with much less post-operative pain, same day outpatient procedures, and the use of smaller incisions that causes less bleeding. Several of the main procedures that are offered include Endoscopically Assisted Spinal Decompression, Facet Fixation and Lumbar Interbody Fusion, and Endoscopic Assisted Nerve Excision.

Endoscopically Assisted Spinal Decompression is used to treat stenosis in the lumbar spine area, cervical regions, and thoracic area of the body. This procedure treats the region where the pain is generating, as well as weakness or numbness with the arms or legs, which is generally associated with back conditions. Targeted portions of the bulging disc, bone, or other fragments are selected and removed, which takes pressure of the spinal cord and spinal nerves. Operating time is generally 90 minutes for each level, with only an hour of recovery time after the procedure.

The Facet Fixation and Lumbar Interbody Fusion procedure is used when the facet joints in the intervertebral disc become worn and generates pain in the lower back. It can also cause numbness or weakness to the affected area. In this minimally invasive procedure the facet joints are fused together, which will prevent irritation to that area of the spine. Another possible option with this procedure is an Interbody implant, which allows more space so the spinal cord and nerves aren’t compressed.

An Endoscopic Assisted Nerve Excision is another common procedure due to severely worn or damaged facet joints, and the pain you experience can be in the; cervical, thoracic, sacral, or lumbar region of the spine. This technique is used to interrupt the pain signals from the nerve without having an impact on motor functioning. The nerves that are generating the pain are targeted and removed with special instruments like a radiofrequency probe or a laser. This interrupts the pain signals so it is no longer felt in that area. Each nerve generally takes about 30 minutes, and typically two to three nerves are removed at a time.

There are many other procedures offered at the Spine Institute Northwest to treat neck and back pain. If you live in constant pain and are tired of waiting to see a doctor only to receive temporary relief, then request a free MRI or CT scan review to begin taking the steps to a pain free life. Our dedicated staff is just a call or click away and is happy to help with any questions and arrangements.

Fix Your Pain

As so many Canadian patients have to spend much of their life in constant pain from back and neck issues, they are finding the relief they have desperately been seeking just across the U.S. border. As more and more of our Canadian patients make the trip to the Spine Institute Northwest, they are amazed at how quickly and effective the treatments are that are provided. Their only regret is not making it to the facilities sooner to be treated.

Take for instance one of our Canadian patients who suffered from lumbar disc herniation for over ten years. Over several years while being in pain she went through many tests, scans, and x-rays to find herniated discs at all the lumbar vertebrae, as well as the thoracic-lumbar, and the lumbar-sacral. Then she was also diagnosed with spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spine canal. On top of her back pain, she now had severe pain that would radiate down her left leg. This had a big effect on her quality of life since she was limited in performing easy, everyday tasks.

For several years, she went through treatments, therapies, and medication, but they only offered temporary relief, and the medication made her sick. She would also visit the chiropractor several times a week for adjustments, which only provided temporary relief, and didn’t address the problem. She was told that she would have either to live with the pain, or undergo traditional open back surgery, which she was against. Finally, she heard about the successful procedures being performed at the Spine Institute Northwest.

During a consultation her medical history, diagnostic report, x-rays, and scans were all reviewed, and her concerns and complaints were addressed. After a complete investigation of her condition, the exact cause of her pain had been located. She then received two minimally invasive procedures that consisted of a laminectomy and spinal decompression, as well as a laminectomy and facet fusion to relieve pain and help stabilize the spine. Bone cells were also extracted from the hip to help aid in regeneration of the fused area. After an inch-long incision and a couple hours at the Institute, her back pain of over ten years had been relieved and she walked out of the facilities and now has her pain free life back again.

The main goal of the Spine Institute Northwest has always been to provide the best care and medical services as possible. It begins with an accurate diagnosis and initiating the proper treatment to relieve pain. The main focus is always on preventing chronic disability so you can live the pain free life you deserve. If this sounds like you or somebody you know, relief can begin with a simple phone call, or by visiting You are able to review the different procedures that are performed, and can request a free review of your MRI or CT scan. Throughout the year, there are also many free seminars all across Canada to have any questions answered, as well as a review of your scans.

Wait Times for Medical Treatment Increasing in Canada

As waiting times get longer and longer for healthcare in Canada, many patients cannot, and will not wait long to receive tests and treatments. In a research study done by Health Affairs, the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia found that wait times of up to six months or more for tests, treatments, and elective surgeries were very common. Around 26% to 57% of the non-U.S. hospitals report that this is a frequently occurring problem. Only 1% of U.S. hospitals reported this kind of wait and admit that this is unusual. Other hospital administrators report this wait to be too long and unacceptable. In fact, the average wait time in Canada for a routine hip replacement is over six months. This is not an isolated incident and is a growing concern in the country that needs to be addressed.

A resident from Ontario needed to see an endocrinologist and neurologist but was told she would have to wait four months to see one specialist, and six months for the other one. Her decision wasn’t too hard as she crossed the border to the U.S., so she could immediately receive treatment. Another Canadian resident was told there was a shortage of neonatal beds, so she traveled to Montana and gave birth to identical quadruplets, with the health system in Calgary taking care of the bill. Examples like these can go on and on, but it’s pretty clear to see that when you need proper and immediate healthcare, it’s just a border away.

If you’re like many other Canadians, you want increased access to quality care that’s quick and convenient, without having to wait for six months. Those living with chronic neck and back pain know that during these long wait times, the pain can often worsen, which can contribute to more problems that can lead to depression and a negative outlook on life. The Spine Institute Northwest offers a Concierge Service for all Canadian patients to make your visit trouble free and as convenient as possible. The exceptionally helpful and courteous staff is always available to answer any questions. With patients from all over the world, they are more than happy to help with hotel accommodations, air travel, transportation, places to eat, and local attractions and activities. For more information on services offered and testimonials from other Canadian patients visit:

With chronic neck and back pain, every day can be frustrating with aches and pains, as well as missed work, and quality time with family and friends. The Spine Institute Northwest has many different same-day outpatient procedures, which allow for a much quicker recovery time and have less post-operative pain. This allows for a much quicker recovery time that has less post-operative pain. The convenient facilities are located just 160 km south of the U.S/Canada border, and give you direct access to the staff and physicians. With the minimally invasive procedures, you’ll be back in your hotel room within hours, and several days later be back home and pain free.