group getting their fantasy football draftFor anyone who is an avid sports fan, this is a great time of year. The baseball pennant races are full-bore, the college football season has kicked off and the 94th season of the National Football League (NFL) begins on Thursday night, September 5, 2013. Six months later, on February 2, 2014, the NFL season will end with the crowning of a champion team of Super Bowl XLVIII.

Between now and February, a curious addiction will befall many otherwise sane men and women who enjoy following professional football. They will be consumed with the stats of players who most likely don’t even play for their favorite teams. They will spend many hours studying obscure facts such as how well a given running back performs on artificial turf versus real grass. They will struggle to juggle all-star lineups to best take advantage of a scoring system that approaches the complexity of the U.S. Tax Code.

Unlike the treatment delivered by the specialists at Texas Back Institute to patients with back pain, herniated discs or other back problems, there is really no cure for this football sickness. These lost souls are smitten by the phenomenon of playing fantasy football!

Consuming Football Facts

It may not surprise you to learn fantasy football is a very big business. It is estimated by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association that 32 million people, aged twelve and older in the U.S. and Canada, play fantasy sports. The trade group notes that fantasy football players make up 90% of the fantasy sports “industry.” This participation has grown by over 60% the last four years with 19% of males in the U.S. playing fantasy sports.

Because of this high level of participation many consumer products companies such as Sprint, Yahoo, ESPN, Fox and others have invested millions of dollars in fantasy football services and promotions. The two groups who usually disagree about almost everything associated with professional football – NFL properties (composed of the team owners) and NFL Players (the players’ union) – have both created products and services that encourage fans to play fantasy football.

The Texas Back Institute Dream Team 

Most of the fun of playing fantasy football involves choosing a “dream team” from a group of outstanding players. There are no bad football players in the NFL. They’re all good. Therefore, getting to choose the best of the best for one’s own team can be great fun.

In a similar fashion, the spine specialists at Texas Back Institute are the best in their class and as such, there are only great choices. In celebration of the hundreds of thousands of fantasy drafts in full-swing at this moment, we thought we’d introduce you to our dream team.

History of the Team:

Texas Back Institute was formed in 1977 by Stephen Hochschuler, M.D., Ralph Rashbaum, M.D. and Richard Guyer, M.D. The organization is internationally recognized for excellence for spine injuries. In football terms, this team plays offense and defense equally well and the patients are the big winners.

The Texas Back Institute Fantasy Team:

As with NFL teams, the Texas Back Institute team is composed of the best of the best of spine surgery, research and therapy. The game plan for our team has been consistent for more than 35 years. Each patient injury or condition is unique and is best treated with the most minimally invasive approach.

Here’s a brief “draft” report on each of the Texas Back Institute physicians.

arakal0Rajesh G. Arakal, M.D.

Specialties: Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Add Dr. Arakal and other TBI surgeons to your team if you need thorough evaluation and treatment of cervical, thoracic and lumbar pathology.

Belanger_MD_small

Theodore Belanger, M.D.

Specialties: Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Add Dr. Belanger and other TBI back experts to your team if you want a spine specialist who evaluates each patient and their situation carefully and makes treatment recommendations based on their goals.

Block_PhD_Small

Andrew R. Block, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.

Specialties: Psychologist

Add Dr. Block to your team if you need to overcome emotional difficulties of surgery, deal with stress and control medications to achieve the best surgical outcomes.

blumenthal

Scott L. Blumenthal, M.D.

Specialties: Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Add Dr. Blumenthal and other TBI back specialists to your team if you believe the goal of a spine surgeon is to get his patients back to life using the most advanced motion-preserving technologies, including lumbar and cervical artificial discs as well as posterior dynamic stabilization.

bosita

Rey Bosita, M.D., M.B.A.

Specialties: Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Add Dr. Bosita and other TBI physicians to your team if you want to be treated with respect and have your fears about neck and back pain removed.

bradley

W. Daniel Bradley, M.D.

Specialties: Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Dr. Bradley along with every other TBI specialist should be on your team if you feel treatment should use the latest in motion preservation and minimally invasive surgical techniques.

cable

James D. Cable, M.D.

Specialties: Occupational & Sports Medicine

Add Dr. Cable to your team for occupational and sports medicine issues. He knows wear and tear eventually affect all of us but most back pain is manageable with proper care.

duff_small

Michael F. Duffy, M.D.

Specialties: Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Add Dr. Duffy to your team if you agree that we should get busy living! His goal and that of the other spine specialists at TBI is to deliver effective spinal care to patients in order for them to return to doing what it is that makes them happy.

gibbs

Sharon J. Gibbs, M.D.

Specialties: Physiatrist

Add Dr. Gibbs to your team if being in pain affects many aspects of your life. As a physiatrist she works hard to provide patients with the best comprehensive non-surgical care.

guyer

Richard D. Guyer, M.D.

Specialties: Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

As one of the founding physicians of Texas Back Institute, Dr. Guyer is both a player and a coach for new team members. Add him to your team if you agree with his “family test” philosophy – treating patients the way he would want his family members to be treated.

Henry_MD_web_1

Shawn M. Henry, D.O.

Specialties: Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Dr. Henry and the other spine specialists at TBI should be on your team if you want to be treated with the most advanced technology and treatment available for your condition; holding surgery as a last resort.

hisey

Michael S. Hisey, M.D.

Specialties: Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Add Dr. Hisey to your team if you feel the goal of neck and back treatment is to return patients to productive and pain-free activity using the most advanced minimally invasive and motion-preserving techniques.

hochschuler

Stephen H. Hochschuler, M.D.

Specialties: Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Add Dr. Hochschuler and the other spine surgeons at Texas Back Institute to your team if you have lumbar spinal problems or have had a failed spinal procedure.

Jehan_85x85_1

Effat Jehan, M.D.

Specialties: Spine Triage Specialist

Add Dr. Jehan and the other specialists at TBI to your team if you feel the goal should be to help treat not only back and neck issues but also to provide effective coordinated support to help patients get through every day of life without any stresses related to their condition.

lankford

Craig Lankford, M.D.

Specialties: Physiatrist

If you want to be treated with respect, compassion, add Dr. Lankford and every other physician at TBI to your team. He can help you understand how pain affects your everyday life in order to help you get back to life.

lieberman

Isador Lieberman, M.D., M.B.A., FRCSC

Specialties: Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Add Dr. Lieberman and the other spine surgery experts at TBI to you team if you want to be treated as if you were the only patient we have.

marchetti

Jason Marchetti, M.D.

Specialties: Physiatrist

If you believe in ethical treatment and the importance of educating patients regarding all available treatment options, you should consider adding Dr. Marchetti and the other spine specialists at TBI to your team.

patel

Nayan R. Patel, M.D.

Specialties: Physiatrists

Add Dr. Patel to you team if you think patients should be treated in the same way a physician treats his own family.

rashbaum

Ralph F. Rashbaum, M.D.

Specialties: Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, Pain Management

Add Dr. Rashbaum and the other spine surgery specialists at TBI to your team if you want a timely response to back conditions which leads to predictable outcomes.

shellock

Jessica Shellock, M.D.

Specialties: Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Add Dr. Shellock to you team if you think it’s time to take your life back, with minimally invasive treatment. Along with the other experts on the TBI team, she is highly trained in the latest procedures.

Tolhurst_MD_web

Stephen R. Tolhurst, M.D.

Specialties: Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

If you want a doctor who sees surgery as a last resort and is dedicated to returning you to the lifestyle you had before the back pain, you want Dr. Tolhurst on your team.

zigler

Jack E. Zigler, M.D.

Specialties: Orthopedic Spine Surgeons

Add Dr. Zigler and the other spine surgeons at TBI to your team if think surgery should be the last resort. However, if it’s required, he’s one of the best spine surgeons in the U.S.

Choosing Your Team

There are literally hundreds of ways to set up your league and arrange for a draft of NFL players. The best advice for those new to this pastime is to understand how the players’ performance will be scored each week. This will help determine the number of running backs, wide receivers, tight ends to choose. For example, in some leagues, the yardage gained by running backs is weighted higher than the passing yardage of quarterbacks.

One should also be aware of the “bye” weeks each team has (when they are not playing) because this will mean a player on the team with the bye, will not play that week and should not be in the lineup.  Here’s a good primer  on choosing your fantasy team.

Fortunately, choosing a spine specialist is much easier than choosing a fantasy football team! With more than 35 years of excellence in spine treatments, management of many FDA trials and a foundation of minimally invasive treatment, the dream team of physicians at Texas Back Institute is championship caliber.

Graduation

With the sound of “Pomp and Circumstance” ringing in their ears, the graduates of 2013 will be marching up to the stage and on to their future. There is a sense of accomplishment, pride and even relief at graduations because the participants feel they have completed something important. Texas Back Institute congratulates every graduate!

With graduations, it seems as if something has concluded, when in fact the term “commencement” suggests a beginning. This idea of “conclusion vs. commencement” has of course been employed by more than one valedictorian in their one, final address to their esteemed classmates.

Traditions of Graduation

This is the time of year when seniors in high school and college who have completed their courses successfully are awarded diplomas. This tradition goes back to the 11th Century when medieval colleges in Paris and Bologna reportedly began this practice.

Over the centuries, the traditions have evolved and changed, but many have remained remarkably similar to the original ceremonies. The students, who were known as apprentices in these early graduations, learned skills from the masters of the crafts and to note this accomplishment, they were give a “testimonial of skill,” now known as a degree.

The song that most of us associate with graduation ceremonies – “Pomp and Circumstance” – is a relatively new wrinkle on this ancient celebration. It was written by Sir Edward Elgar and first performed in Liverpool, England in 1901. Its melody, a combination of solemnity and dogged determination, is the perfect accompaniment to purposeful marching of the soon-to-be graduates.

Another interesting graduation ceremony tradition involves the attire of the honored matriculates. The cap and gown, which is worn by students and (in some cases) faculty, was once called a “hood” and this is believed to be dated back to ancient Celtic Groups. Capes and hoods were worn by the Druid priests to symbolize their higher intelligence.

What’s Next?   

After the music finally stops, the mortar boards are tossed and the diplomas are filed away, what happens then? The graduate – of high school or college – must commence the next stage of his or her life. For many, this means getting more education and beginning the process of deciphering how to spend the rest of one’s life.

Texas Back Institute is internationally known for its state of the art treatment of neck and back injuries, back pain, scoliosis, artificial disc replacement, occupational and sports medicine and its exemplary physical therapy practice. However, for the past 27 years, Texas Back Institute, led by one of the organization’s founding partners, Dr. Richard Guyer, has offered a select group of medical school residents a remarkable opportunity – a one-year fellowship to focus on spine surgery.

To anyone talking with Dr. Guyer about the Texas Back Institute fellowship program, it is immediately obvious that he is just as enthusiastic as the young doctors who are chosen for the program. Much like the master craftsmen who trained the apprentices in earliest institutions of learning, there is a commitment to teaching these future surgeons that goes beyond cursory. The doctors who emerge from this program are changed forever.

With his interest in teaching, we thought Dr. Guyer might be a good source of advice for graduates of any level – high school, college or graduate school. Here is that conversation.

guyer

What areas of medicine will be in high-demand in the coming years?

There are so many opportunities in medicine, especially if a young man or woman is interested in computers, science or engineering. We’ve all read that more and more kids are interested in business, finance or high technology, but the opportunities in medicine are exploding. For example, the latest high tech robotic surgery equipment is still directed by a human who is a trained physician and many of the best practitioners of this specialty were video gamers when they were kids. Genetic engineering is going to be a very hot area of medicine in the coming years and this specialty requires a very analytical mind which many youngsters who are good at math and science possess.

If someone is graduating from college and accepted to medical school, what types of specialization might they consider for spine surgery or other specialties offered by Texas Back Institute?

When I first started in medicine, young physicians would spend a couple of years in medical school before they decided which specialty interested them. Things have changed a lot since then and now that decision is often made when they are in college. The types of procedures we do at Texas Back Institute involve a wide range of medicine. We handle spine surgery for both children and adults. Our doctors deal with trauma surgery which would be required for automobile accidents and other accidents. We treat injuries that are the result of aging – wear and tear damage. We also have quite a few sports injuries that our physicians treat. So you can see there is a wide range of opportunities just in the spine area.

How did the Texas Back Institute Fellowship program come about?

I’ve found that when you teach students, you learn as much as they do and I loved teaching. In the mid 80s, I approached my colleagues here and shared my passion about teaching. I mentioned that I’d really like to build a fellowship program here for residents who wanted to specialize in spine surgery. Since our beginning in 1986, we have trained more than 100 fellows and I have been the chairman of this program for 27 years. This keeps me young and sharp! We work hard at sharing the latest research and techniques about spine surgery for these young doctors and for everyone on the Texas Back Institute staff it is very gratifying when that light bulb comes on over the head of these talented young people.

How does the TBI fellowship program work?

These doctors have been through medical school and have completed their residency program. They find us through the network of former TBI fellows and through the American Academy of Orthopedic Medicine. Once they are accepted to the fellowship program, they work with all of the surgeons on our staff. They get hands-on training in deformative and degenerative medical issues, trauma, tumors and disc replacement surgery.

What are the criteria that Texas Back Institute uses to recruit new physicians to the practice? Does completing your fellowship help in gaining a position?

The last 4 or 5 physicians that we have hired have gone through the Texas Back Institute Fellowship program, so that suggests that there is an advantage of going through this training. When we recruit new doctors for our team, we look for a young woman or man with a high degree of intelligence, an excellent bedside manner, his or her ability to synthesize a large amount of information and apply it to treatment and most importantly we look for integrity.

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From Left to Right: Dr. Rey Bosita, Dr. Rajesh Arakal, Dr. Jack Zigler, Dr. Jason Sparks (Fellow), Dr. Richard Guyer, Dr. Ralph Rashbaum, Dr. Troy Morrison (Fellow), Dr. Kirill Ilalov (Fellow), Dr. Michael Duffy, Dr. Kenny Edwards (Fellow), Dr. Andrew Block, and Dr. Dan Bradley.

Successfully completing a course of study and celebrating this accomplishment with friends and family is one of life’s great pleasures. As speakers who are chosen to impart wisdom to a group of graduates are fond of noting, this ceremony is not the conclusion, it is the beginning. Congratulations to every graduate and their families. Now, let’s get busy!

Professional bass fisherman, Ryan Lovelace gets back to fishing

As a professional bass fisherman, Ryan’s pain was exacerbated by his participation in several fishing tournaments every year. In order to win or place in these professional bass fishing tournaments, the angler must catch as many bass as possible with the idea being that the final fish weight of his top 5 fish are compared to the other participants.

The fishing tournament typically lasts for two days and the more fish that are caught, the higher probability of getting 5 huge ones. This requires lots of casts. How many? “I typically cast 3,000 to 3,500 casts each day of a tournament,” Lovelace said.
Standing on his feet for about 8 hours and casting 3,000 times a day during a tournament took its toll on Ryan’s injured back. Over time, it wore down his L5 vertebra and Dr. Richard Guyer at Texas Back Institute recommended a microdiscectomy.
After this procedure was completed, Ryan spent less than 24 hours in the hospital for recovery and was sent home for rest and further rehabilitation. A short while after his operation, Ryan is getting back to his top fishing form. He hopes to be completely recovered and able to compete in the 2013 pro bass fishing season.

Best Doctors in Dallas 2012

September 26, 2012

D Magazine Announces It’s Best Doctors in Dallas 2012 List

D Magazine just published their newest issue and it included the 2012 Best Doctors in Dallas list.  Texas Back Institute is excited to announce several of our physicians made the list.  This year, Drs. Scott Blumenthal, Renato Bosita, Jr., Richard Guyer, Michael Hisey and Jack Zigler were all listed as “Best Doctors in Dallas”, by D Magazine.

At Texas Back Institute, we know we have fantastic physicians, but it is always nice to have a magazine as prestigious as D Magazine say this as well! Check out our profile below.

Photo by: Lisa Means

(Not pictured: Dr. Hisey)

The write up is a little hard to read above, so see below for a close up.

Written by: Jennifer Hayes

TEXAS BACK INSTITUTE

Orthopedic Spine Surgery, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

What’s New in Spine Care

Celebrating 35 years of excellence in spine care, Texas Back Institute is known worldwide for providing the latest, state-of-the art treatments and technology for neck and back pain. One example is a new FDA-approved neuro-stimulation system which can help provide instantaneous pain relief for patients with chronic pain. This new spinal implant uses the same “human controller” technology which is found in interactive games, such as Wii and smartphones, and can understand whether a patient is sitting, standing, running, or walking and can adjust the level of stimulation accordingly.

Texas Back is on the leading edge of robotic spine surgery and helped develop the first surgical robot in the world designed specifically to operate on the spine. Accurate to less than half a millimeter, it enables surgeons to plan the optimal surgery using a computed tomography (CT)-based 3D simulation of the patient’s spine. Surgeons can map out the patient’s spinal anatomy and plan the entire procedure before the patient even arrives for surgery. This allows the surgeon to be more efficient and precise and anticipate potential complications before they occur. This technology can be used in biopsies, to treat thoracic-lumbar fusion and vertebral compression fractures, and to correct scoliosis.

The goal for any spine surgery patient is to be able to get back to living an active lifestyle while retaining as much motion as possible. Both of these goals can be achieved through artificial disc replacement. This surgery allows patients to continue their dynamic lifestyle by combining a motion-preserving technology with a minimally invasive approach. Surgeons at the Texas Back Institute were the first in the U.S. to use this technology in a clinical trial in 2000 and have continued to be on the forefront of artificial disc replacement surgical techniques. As we get older, the discs in our spine begin to dehydrate and degenerate which can cause pain and numbness in the arms, legs, shoulders, neck, and sometimes hands. The artificial disc is designed to restore proper spacing between the vertebrae and also preserve the motion of a healthy disc. Texas Back participates in numerous clinical trials involving artificial disc replacement. Many of these trials have an immediate positive impact on patients. Our experience shows faster patient recovery while preserving motion in the spine. Minimally invasive spine surgery has been a philosophy of Texas Back Institute since its inception and continues to be the goal with every patient.

The physicians at Texas Back Institute are leaders in surgical and non-surgical treatment options for back and neck pain, from the most common outpatient procedures to the most complex cases. Thanks to advanced diagnostic testing and an unparalleled commitment to patient care and satisfaction, physicians can identify potential causes of your back and neck pain and create a treatment plan for your specific needs.

Texas Back Institute has locations in Plano, Frisco, Arlington, Dallas, Denton, Flower Mound, Fort Worth, Mansfield, McKinney, Rockwall, Trophy Club, Midland, and Wichita Falls.

Questions to ask your spine surgeons about neck or back pain

Many people assume that if they are going to see a spine surgeon that they are going to need surgery.  This couldn’t be further than the truth.  Actually, 90% of the people with back pain and/or neck pain will recover without surgical intervention.  Therapy, medication management and injections are all conservative treatment options which are explored.

At the Texas Back Institute we want you to get the most out of your appointment with one of our spine surgeons.  Dr. Richard Guyer, orthopedic spine surgeon and founding partner of Texas Back Institute in Dallas, TX tells us what questions you should ask your surgeon and what you should know before making the decision to have spine surgery.  

  • Ask your surgeon to clearly explain your diagnosis.
    • Make sure you understand your diagnosis, exactly what your diagnosis means, and what your treatment options are. 
  • Ask your surgeon what conservative treatment options are available.
    • Exhaust all conservative treatment options before considering surgery, including medication management, physical therapy and injections.
  • Ask your surgeon if you really need surgery.
    • Know what the progression of your condition may be. 
    • Make sure you know what makes a patient a good candidate for the surgery you are considering, and if you fit the criteria.
  • Find out if there is a minimally invasive option for your surgery. 
    • Minimally invasive spine surgery is about doing as little damage as possible to the tissues of the body but still getting optimal results.  It’s not necessarily about the use of lasers which are just one of many tools used for this surgery
  • Ask the basic complications of any surgery. 
    • This includes the expected infection rate, the expected chance of injury to the nerve, the expected relief of  pain and recovery of nerve function.
  •  Ask what your recovery will be like.
    • What will your activities immediately after surgery and in the weeks after surgery be like?

Overall, we want to make sure that all our patients have their questions answered and are comfortable with their decision to have spine surgery.  If you have specific questions that you would like answered please visit http://www.texasback.com/ask_the_doctor and submit your questions.  We look forward to hearing from you!

For Vickie Money of Venus, Texas, mopping the floor was a simple, routine task she was doing on another ordinary day. But something unusual happened, and suddenly she found herself suffering from severe pain in her lower back that would impact her life for several years to come.

At the time, Vickie was only 46 years old, and she first treated the problem with physical therapy, pain injections and pain medication for several years. But nothing helped relieve her of a pain so severe that her activity had become limited to nothing more than sitting or lying down most of the time. Finally, several years later, she went to Texas Back Institute and was examined by Dr. Richard Guyer.

 “Without a doubt, the best thing about my experience with Texas Back Institute was Dr. Guyer and the staff,” said Vickie. “Dr. Guyer and all of the staff treat you as if you are the only patient they have for the day. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life on the sidelines and taking pain pills, and it wasn’t fair that I could have ruined my life because I mopped my kitchen floor one morning.” 

Now at the age of 53, Vickie learned she needed surgery to help alleviate the pain. She was understandably concerned as to whether or not the surgery would help or make the problem worse and, if she did gain some relief, she worried how long it would last. Under Dr. Guyer’s care, Vickie underwent a 360 fusion surgery on her L4 and L5 vertebrae to correct the problem and get her life moving forward again. Hoping for even the slightest pain relief, she was more than pleased to gain relief of about 80%. 

Looking back, Vickie repeats what many Texas Back Institute patients advise others: don’t wait to do something about your back pain.

 “Texas Back Institute and Dr. Guyer gave me back my life. I now enjoy retirement, family and friends. I can ride a horse again. But every time I pick up a mop, I can’t help but remember what happened several years ago – and I’m so much more mindful because, after all, I don’t want to ruin Dr. Guyer’s handiwork!”

Texas Back Institute was built on the foundation of patient care, research and education, so of course when one of the local high schools asked us if we would let a couple of students shadow one of our surgeons, we were all for it!

Dr. Guyer, one of the founders of TBI and one of the co-directors for our fellowship program, jumped at the opportunity to share his passion with two young students.  They spent the day by Dr. Guyer’s side, learning what it takes to diagnose and treat back and neck pain and what it takes to be a compassionate doctor.   Here are a couple of photos from the day!

Dr. Guyer with his two students.

A couple of action shots!

We had such a great time and are so happy we were able to do this!

Did you ever think you wanted to be a doctor?  What either got you there or changed your mind?

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