• Treating Thoracic Pain with Fusion Surgery

    Pain and injury of the upper back, also called the thoracic spine, is uncommon but can cause you significant pain and discomfort when it does occur. If you’re suffering from upper back pain in Los Angeles, then you may benefit from fusion surgery. The purpose of this type of spine surgery is to alleviate back pain by providing stability and decreasing movement in joints of the spine that are causing nerve irritation. Thoracic fusion surgery is typically recommended for spine deformities, treating a fractured vertebra, and treating vertebral instability.

    If your spine specialist advises fusion surgery to treat your back pain, there are a variety of approaches that she may use to complete the procedure. However, all fusion surgeries involve the use of a bone graft that is placed between the vertebrae. The purpose of the bone graft is to create a solid bonding of the two vertebrae located at the site which is the source of your symptoms. In some cases, hardware may also be used to promote the union or provide additional stability. A recovery time will follow the surgery, and your surgeon may advise a break from your normal activities and participation in a rehabilitation program.

    upper - back - pain

  • Why Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Means Maximum Health

    The decision to have any sort of spine surgery should not be taken lightly. All spinal surgeries at clinics in Los Angeles carry inherent risks, such as the risk of adverse reactions to the anesthesia. However, minimally invasive spine surgery is definitely a superior choice. With this approach, the spine doctor creates a few very small incisions instead of one very large incision. Specialized surgical tools are used to complete the procedure through these tiny incisions. Minimally invasive spine surgery is generally preferable for patients because the body can heal smaller incisions much more easily and quickly than a large incision.

    This translates to a shorter stay in the hospital or clinic and an accelerated overall recovery time. Patients can get back to their normal daily routines more quickly. Additionally, spinal surgery performed with minimally invasive techniques typically results in less blood loss and a reduced risk of complications. There is usually less damage inflicted on the surrounding muscles and other tissues, which provides for better long-term functioning. Patients who undergo minimally invasive spine surgery often find that they need less pain medication, thereby reducing the risk of adverse reactions from these powerful drugs. If you’ve been told that you may need spinal surgery, consider asking your spine surgeon if you’re a good candidate for minimally invasive surgery.


  • What to Expect Before, During, and After Spinal Injections

    For minor spinal injuries such as back strain, oral pain relievers and a brief period of rest may be all that is needed to address symptoms. In more serious cases, patients might consider undergoing spinal injections at a spine and pain center in Los Angeles. A spinal injection will deliver anti-inflammatory and numbing medications directly to the site of the injury to promote healing and bring rapid relief of your back pain. If your spine specialist determines that you could be a good candidate for spinal injections, he or she will let you know what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure.



    It’s important to provide your spine specialist with the full details of your medical history. Let him or her know if you’re taking any medications or supplements, particularly those that can thin the blood such as aspirin and St. John’s wort. Bring any imaging studies you’ve already had, such as X-rays or CT scans. If you haven’t yet had imaging scans performed, you may be asked to undergo some testing. You might be asked to refrain from eating or drinking anything for a period of time prior to the injection. This is for your own safety. Arrange to have someone else drive you to the spine center and back home afterwards. If your health suddenly changes before your appointment, such as if you develop a cold or other illness, inform the spine specialist. He or she may need to reschedule your injection.


    When you arrive at the clinic, the doctor may place an intravenous line and monitoring equipment to keep track of your vital signs. You’ll be asked to lie on a table in a certain position. Your skin will be sterilized and numbed. Under live X-ray guidance, the doctor will place a needle in the epidural space before injecting the medicines.


    If you received a sedative, you’ll be asked not to drive for at least eight hours. It’s also a good idea to have someone stay with you for the rest of the day. You should plan on taking it easy for the remainder of the day, although you can generally expect to return to work the following day. If you experience pain at the injection site, you can apply a cold pack wrapped in a towel. It can take a few days or perhaps a week to experience the full benefits of the anti-inflammatory medications.

  • Non-Surgical Treatments for Back Pain and Injuries

    Back pain can be an extreme burden and detract from many aspects of your day to day life. Often, people considering back injury treatment in Los Angeles don’t realize that there are treatment options available to them that don’t involve surgery. Non operative spine care provides patients suffering from back pain with a less invasive approach for treatment.

    back injury

    Physical Therapy

    When pain or health problems make it difficult for a patient to perform everyday tasks, doctors often prescribe physical therapy. This type of treatment is designed to make these tasks easier and is often used for patients who have suffered injuries. Physical therapy can help patients with back pain manage their discomfort. Employing exercises that help relieve pressure on your spinal nerves, train your body to maintain better posture, and build your flexibility and strength, physical therapy provides patients with a non-surgical treatment option for back pain.

    Spinal Decompression

    Non-surgical spinal decompression is a back pain treatment that gently stretches the spine to relieve pressure. By taking some of the pressure off of the spinal disks, which are the soft tissues in between the vertebrae, back pain can be reduced. Spinal decompression is a common treatment for conditions such as herniated discs, which are sometimes able to retract back into position as the spine is stretched.

    Spinal Injections

    By inserting medications directly into the spine, spinal injections can offer relief for people suffering from back pain or injury. Steroidal injections are often used to reduce inflammation in the spinal tissues, and numbing medications can be injected to address the pain directly. Spinal injections take effect quickly and are helpful for patients that are also being treated with physical therapy, allowing them to perform their exercises with less pain. Prescription pain medications can provide temporary relief for back pain sufferers, but these alone aren’t a recommended treatment option. Pain medications can be habit-forming and don’t address the underlying issue that is causing the pain.

  • Conservative vs. Surgical Spine Care

    Spine specialists in Los Angeles offer numerous treatments to improve back pain and spinal health . Back pain, neck pain, and lower back pain all have many different causes. To have the best possible prognosis, it is essential to visit a spine doctor to discuss your treatment options as soon as you first experience pain or discomfort. While back pain from a pinched nerve or pulled muscle may require little more than rest, some spinal injuries require surgery. Read on to learn the differences between conservative and surgical care. question-of-spine-surgery-or-not

    Identifying Pain

    When a spine specialist considers your options for conservative and surgical care, he or she will first attempt to determine the root cause of your back pain. Of course, if you have suffered a major spinal injury, the cause will be immediately clear. However, in some cases, a spine doctor cannot determine why you are uncomfortable or in pain. Physicians prefer conservative treatments to spine surgery in cases where spine pain has no clear cause.

    Considering Therapy

    If you still have bowel control and your spinal pain is not debilitating, a spine doctor may recommend therapeutic options to ease your symptoms. For example, for those who suffer from lower back pain, physical therapy exercises can strengthen the lower back and abdominal muscles. Spinal injections can also ease pain and inflammation. Spinal injections are highly effective in delivering immediate pain relief and only target the specific areas of the spine that are inflamed.

    Electing Surgery

    Spine surgery may be necessary to provide lifelong pain relief. Fortunately, spine doctors now offer many minimally invasive surgical options. With new developments in surgical techniques, physicians can precisely target only the injured tissues. Without damage to your surrounding healthy tissue, you can expect a shorter recovery and faster pain relief. In some cases, spine surgery can ensure a patient’s long-term spinal function.

  • Meet Dr. Edward Nomoto

    Dr. Edward Nomoto is one of our incredibly talented and experienced spine specialists at our spine and pain center in Los Angeles. At Marina Spine Center , we are committed to hiring only the best and most qualified spine doctors and spine surgeons to treat our patients. Dr. Nomoto is no exception, as he is a board-eligible spine surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive and non-operative spine care to correct spinal deformities and disorders.

    Dr. Nomoto attended medical school at Stanford University, followed by a residency at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. He then completed a fellowship in spine surgery at the San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders. While he was there, he completed clinical research in non-operative spine care.

    In addition to his extensive education and training, Dr. Nomoto is also the co-author of a chapter about minimally invasive spine surgery in a spine surgery textbook. On top of that, he is a member of the North American Spine Society, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and the Society of Lateral Access Surgery. He is also a candidate member of the Scoliosis Research Society.

    Back Specialist in Los Angeles

  • Hear Our Chief of Staff Describe the Benefits of Care at Marina Del Ray Hospital

    At Marina Del Ray Hospital, we provide acute medical services, 24-hour emergency care, and a state of the art spine and pain center in Los Angeles . Our Chief of Staff, Dr. Daniel Marcus, is crucial to our success as a small community hospital.

    Watch this video to hear Dr. Marcus discuss the benefits of receiving care at Marina Del Ray hospital. You will also hear from patients who have received care at the hospital. We pride ourselves on being renowned for our highly focused specialty care and use of advanced technology.

  • Planning for Your Cervical Spine Surgery Recovery

    When your spine doctor recommends cervical spine surgery near Los Angeles , it’s important that you follow his pre-surgery advice. Spine surgery may be necessary if you have suffered from a cervical spine injury or a cervical herniated disc. Your spine specialist should also give you a good idea of what the spine surgery procedure and recovery process will be like.

    If your spine doctor specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, your recovery period will be much shorter and less painful. You may need to remain in the hospital for a few days after your spine surgery to ensure that you’re healing properly. Your spine doctor will prescribe medication that will help you manage any pain and discomfort that you experience. He may also provide you with a brace to reduce mobility and pain.

    You will begin physical therapy a couple of days after your spinal surgery. Your physical therapist will recommend exercises that you can do at home to restore strength and mobility. If you carefully follow the instructions of your spine doctor and physical therapist, you should be able to resume your normal daily activities in a few days or weeks.

    Spine Surgery near Los Angeles

  • A Brief Overview of Microscopic Foraminotomy

    If non-operative spine care proves to be an unsuccessful treatment for neck pain and sciatica caused by foraminal stenosis, your spine doctor may recommend that you undergo microscopic foraminotomy, a minimally invasive spine surgery in Los Angeles . Foraminal stenosis is a condition that occurs when a nerve in the cervical spinal cord is compressed, usually due to a herniated disc or disc degeneration. Microscopic foraminotomy is a successful form of spine surgery that is a more conservative neck pain treatment than a spinal fusion procedure.

    Your spine doctor will perform microscopic foraminotomy using an operating microscope, which he will insert through a very small incision in your neck. He will then relieve the pressure on your nerve root by removing the bone spur, disc, or portion of the facet joint that is affected.

    You will be encouraged to get up and move around a few hours after their spine surgery, and your spine doctor will give you instructions about when you can resume your normal daily activities. After your spine surgery, you should regain spinal cord function, hand function, and relief of neck pain and sciatica.

    Spine Surgery in Los Angeles

  • Causes of Lower Back Pain

    Lower back pain, also called lumbar pain, can be caused by a number of different disorders of the lumbar spine. Pain can be a result of trauma, bone degeneration, a herniated disc, a slipped disc, a bulging disc, a pinched nerve, or spinal stenosis. Visit a spine center in Los Angeles if you suffer from lower back pain or a tingling, numbness, or weakness that radiates from the lower back to the buttocks, thighs, and legs.

    Watch this video to learn more about some common causes of pain in the lower back. Most causes of lower back pain can be treated by visiting a spine center and exploring non-surgical options. With severe symptoms, you may be referred to a spine surgeon for lumbar spine surgery.