Pediatric Spinal Deformities: Congenital Kyphosis

Springfield-based medical professional RaKerry (Ra’Kerry) Rahman, MD, serves the Springfield Clinic as a cervical spine and scoliosis surgeon and a clinical assistant professor. Dr. RaKerry Rahman has a special interest in spinal deformities, such as idiopathic scoliosis in adults and adolescents and congenital kyphosis.

Congenital kyphosis occurs in the embryonic phase of life, within the first six to eight weeks. It affects the frontal section of one or more vertebral discs and bodies, causing failure of formation (a Type 1 deformity) or failure of segmentation (a Type 2 deformity). The condition results in a shift that causes the spine to bend forwards sharply. It is not yet understood what causes congenital kyphosis, and there is no known genetic link. In more severe cases of congenital kyphosis, the sharp forward spinal bending puts pressure on the spinal cord, which may in turn cause leg paralysis.

Failure of formation is usually detected following childbirth, identified as a small bump or lump on the child’s spine. Failure of segmentation occurs when two or more vertebrae do not separate to form regular discs. This type of spinal deformity may remain undetected until the child begins to walk.

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A Brief Overview of Cervical Radiculopathy

A board-certified spine surgeon, Ra’Kerry Rahman, MD, has a distinguished educational background and is recognized as one of the Midwest’s premier spine surgeons. Currently practicing at Springfield Clinic, LLP, in Illinois, Dr. RaKerry Rahman specializes in treating various cervical spine problems, such as radiculopathy, and was voted Best Faculty at the Cervical Spine Decompression and Stabilization Course in 2012.

Although radiculopathy can occur in any part of the spine, cervical radiculopathy is localized to the cervical nerves in the neck. It is a condition that causes neurological symptoms and pain due to a damaged or compressed nerve. Depending on the location of the damaged cervical nerves, symptoms may also be seen in the body’s upper extremities, like in the arm and hand. The main symptom associated with cervical radiculopathy is pain in the shoulders, neck, chest, and arm. Pain can be either dull and localized or more severe and sharp, and it can be made worse by certain movements of the neck. Patients may also experience numbness in the fingers or hands.

Any problems that irritate the cervical nerve can cause cervical radiculopathy, whether it’s arthritis or a ruptured disc. Most commonly, the problem results from cervical degenerative disc disease, cervical herniated disc, or cervical spinal stenosis. Disc degeneration is most often the cause of cervical radiculopathy in middle-aged people, while a ruptured disc is typically the cause in younger individuals. Treatment for cervical radiculopathy largely depends on what ultimately caused the problem, along with how severe the symptoms are. Common treatment includes physical therapy, pain medication, or surgery.

The Benefits of SRS Membership

A spine surgeon at Springfield Clinic, LLP, Ra’Kerry Rahman, MD, has more than a decade of education and training in complex spinal deformity, spine surgery, and scoliosis. Dedicated to providing high-quality, advanced surgical options to patients, Dr. RaKerry Rahman belongs to several professional organizations that are dedicated to the advancement of the field, including the prestigious Scoliosis Research Society (SRS).

Since its founding in 1966, the SRS has grown into one of the world’s premier societies dedicated to education, research, and medical advancement in the field of spinal deformities. Currently made up of more than 1,000 members, the SRS maintains strict membership criteria, welcoming only the leading spine surgeons, researchers, orthotists, and physician assistants in the world.

Being a member of the SRS comes with a wide range of benefits. Members have reduced registration fees for the society’s Annual Meeting and International Meeting of Advanced Spine Techniques. Both events feature a host of important information about changes in the field, and provide attendees with opportunities to network with spine professionals from around the world. Members are also recognized on the SRS online Physician Locator and are eligible for various scholarships and traveling fellowships.

Members are given access to the SRS exclusive Members Only information on the Society’s website. This information includes such things as newsletter archives, historical documents, and video archives of past meeting presentations. Additionally, members will be able to access the Global Outreach lecture depository. Further, the SRS maintains a program through which new members can learn about the society’s various leadership opportunities and connect with professionals online.

A Brief Overview of Radiculopathy Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Radiculopathy pic RaKerry Rahman, MD, serves as a clinical assistant professor of spinal surgery at Southern Illinois University and treats patients as a cervical spine and scoliosis specialist at the Springfield Clinic, LLP. A skilled medical professional, Dr. Ra’Kerry Rahman has extensive experience treating a range of conditions, including radiculopathy.

Radiculopathy is a spinal condition caused by compressed or irritated nerve roots that produces mild to severe pain and numbness in the legs and arms. Although the condition can affect any part of the spine, it most commonly occurs in the neck and lower back. Some patients also experience radiculopathy in the middle of the spine, but that is fairly uncommon.

There are a number of conditions that can compress spinal nerves and cause radiculopathy, including herniated discs and scoliosis. Obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and pregnancy can also increase one’s risk for radiculopathy, especially in individuals 30 to 50 years old.

The good news for patients with radiculopathy is that they can typically improve their symptoms within six weeks to three months through conservative treatments, such as rest, medication, and physical therapy. In rare cases, however, these conservative treatments are ineffective and surgery may be needed to fully relieve pressure from the affected nerve.

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