About a month ago, Dr. Richter made his debut on WGNO news talking about movement disorders and the current neurosurgical treatments. Parkinson's disease (PD) remains the most commonly mentioned of the movement disorders, affecting about 1.5 million Americans. Deep brain stimulation, a current treatment option for PD, is one of the main procedures that may be discussed on this blog site in the near future.
No physician will be able to diagnose or provide specific treatment advise through this site.
See your physician with specific questions about what is best for you!
Monday, December 22, 2008
In case you missed it, last Thursday, December 18th, Dr. Erich Richter made an appearance on WDSU to talk about this blog site! It is truly exciting to have this sort of involvement from local neurosurgeons and LSU faculty members. I expect there to be a lot of Q&A over this holiday season!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
It has been crucial in restoring quality of life for people with such hard-to-treat disorders as Failed Back Syndrome and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. While the concept has been around for years, recent advances in technology have made the devices much more successful and convenient. Still, there aren't that many doctors who are familiar with the therapy.
One of the companies that makes an FDA approved spinal cord stimulation system (ANS) has partnered with several experienced physicians including an LSU faculty member, to teach area physicians about this technique. The course participants are primarily from the surrounding region, but some come from as far as Canada!
This is an important service to the area, and we hope that LSU continues to partner with outside organizations and industry to provide continuing education for our area physicians.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
The phrase “Timing is everything” is never more true than when stroke strikes. From the moment symptoms begin the clock is ticking, and the more quickly a stroke victim receives the proper treatment, the more likely he or she is to recover.
Recognizing the signs of stroke is step one. You should suspect stroke whenever any of the following symptoms appear:
• sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side
• sudden dizziness, confusion, loss of balance
• sudden blurred vision or loss of vision
• sudden, severe headache
The presence of any of these symptoms should prompt an immediate call to 911. If possible, request transport to West Jefferson Medical Center, where the West Jefferson Neurovascular and Acute Stroke Unit is dedicated to the treatment of stroke. Physicians and staff are trained in diagnosing stroke.
The Stroke Team
The West Jefferson “Stroke Team” includes all medical personnel involved in treating stroke patients. Their work starts as soon as they are called for help. EMTs are immediately dispatched. They are trained to recognize the symptoms of stroke and can let hospital personnel know a potential stroke victim is on the way. Once a patient is brought into the Emergency Room, nurses can assess the patient and notify the appropriate physicians.
Doctors must then examine the patient to confirm the diagnosis of stroke and identify which type of stroke it is, the location, and the extent of brain damage. Common tests to diagnose stroke include an examination of the blood vessels in the eye and the carotid arteries in the neck, as well as CT or MRI scans.
It is essential for physicians to decide whether a patient has had an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke. People who are suffering a ischemic strokes – which occur when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain – must be given a “clot-busting” drug such as tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) within the first three hours of the onset of symptoms.
Patients whose strokes are hemorrhagic, in which bleeding occurs in the brain, must not receive clot-busters. Their treatment may include emergency surgery to drain blood and clip a ruptured artery or aneurysm. The Neurosurgeons of the LSU Department of Neurosurgery, who work with the West Jefferson Stroke Unit, are skilled at evaluating patients to make sure the correct treatment is carried out. And because they are constantly taking part in research studies, they know the latest and most effective treatments to help their patients.
Some people will need surgery, such as a carotid endarterectomy to remove plaque from the large carotid arteries, emergency brain surgery to remove a blood clot in the brain, or to stop the bleeding from a ruptured aneurysm.
A big part of the recovery process is occupational and physical rehabilitation. Specialists at the Stroke Unit work with patients as they recover, helping them cope with problems they may have speaking or walking. They also work with a patient’s family. Education also comes into the picture. Patients and their families are taught how to prevent future strokes through diet, exercise and other lifestyle modifications.
Each year about 750,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke. From the moment the first symptom appears to the time a stroke patient walks out of the hospital, a myriad of specialists are busy treating the physical, emotional and social repercussions of the stroke. When they all work together, the chances of a successful outcome are greatly increased. The hope is that stroke patients can recapture the life they had before stroke entered the picture, temporarily robbing them of the health and mobility we all value.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
If you have heard about minimally invasive spine surgery, and have questions that you would like to ask Dr. Tender, please, send them in!