Flatback Syndrome in Hollywood & Miami FL

Flatback Syndrome

Serving the South Florida area with locations in Hollywood and Miami, FL

Dr. Andreas C. Tomac, MD, PhD, FAANS is a distinguished neurosurgeon specializing in diagnosing and treating Flatback Syndrome.

What is Flatback Syndrome?

Flatback Syndrome is a condition that affects the curvature of the spine, leading to a loss of normal spinal balance. Typically observed in individuals who have undergone spinal surgery, especially for conditions like scoliosis, Flatback Syndrome is characterized by a reduction in the natural lumbar lordosis, resulting in a flattened or straightened lower back. This alteration in spinal alignment can lead to various symptoms, including lower back pain, difficulty maintaining an upright posture, and challenges in performing daily activities. Treatment options for Flatback Syndrome may involve surgical interventions aimed at restoring the proper spinal alignment and addressing associated symptoms, with the goal of improving the patient’s overall quality of life.

Who can Flatback Syndrome affect?

Flatback Syndrome primarily affects individuals who have undergone spinal surgery, particularly procedures aimed at addressing conditions like scoliosis. The condition is often observed in those who have had corrective spinal surgeries where the natural curvature of the spine is altered. Patients who have undergone procedures such as spinal fusion, which involve the fusion of vertebrae to correct spinal deformities, are at a higher risk of developing Flatback Syndrome. While it is more commonly associated with surgical interventions, it can also affect individuals who experience degenerative changes in the spine over time. The symptoms of Flatback Syndrome can impact people of various ages who have undergone spinal surgeries or those experiencing spinal degeneration that leads to altered spinal curvature.

What are the symptoms?

Flatback Syndrome is characterized by specific symptoms related to the altered curvature of the spine. Some common symptoms include:

  1. Lower Back Pain: Patients often experience persistent lower back pain, which can range from mild to severe. The discomfort may be chronic and affect daily activities.
  2. Difficulty Standing Upright: Maintaining an upright posture becomes challenging for individuals with Flatback Syndrome. They may find it difficult to stand or walk for extended periods.
  3. Forward Stooping Posture: One of the hallmark signs is a forward stooping or bent-forward posture. This is a result of the loss of the normal lumbar lordosis, leading to a flattened or straightened lower back.
  4. Gait Abnormalities: Walking may be affected, and individuals might exhibit changes in their gait due to the altered spinal alignment.
  5. Fatigue: The effort required to compensate for the lack of natural spinal curvature can lead to fatigue, especially during activities that involve standing or walking.
  6. Difficulty with Activities of Daily Living: Simple tasks like lifting objects or bending down can become challenging due to the altered spine alignment.

Treating Flatback Syndrome

Flatback Syndrome in Hollywood & Miami FL

How is Flatback Syndrome diagnosed?

Diagnosing Flatback Syndrome involves a comprehensive assessment by healthcare professionals, including a detailed medical history review and physical examination. Imaging studies such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs are crucial for evaluating spinal alignment and identifying abnormalities. X-rays measure spinal curvature, while CT scans and MRIs provide detailed insights. Dynamic imaging studies may assess spine flexibility. The combination of clinical evaluation and diagnostic imaging enables accurate diagnosis, leading to a tailored treatment plan for individuals with Flatback Syndrome.

Flatback Syndrome in Hollywood & Miami FL
Flatback Syndrome in Hollywood & Miami FL

What treatments are available?

Treatment options for Flatback Syndrome may vary based on the severity of symptoms and the individual’s overall health. A neurosurgeon like Dr. Tomac can provide expertise in both non-surgical and surgical interventions. Common treatment approaches include:

Conservative Treatments:

  • Physical Therapy: Targeted exercises to improve posture, strengthen muscles, and enhance flexibility.
  • Pain Management: Medications for pain relief, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Recommendations for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including avoiding prolonged standing or walking.

Interventional Procedures:

  • Epidural Steroid Injections: Injections into the epidural space to deliver anti-inflammatory medication and reduce pain and inflammation.

Surgical Options:

  • Spinal Fusion: Surgical procedure to stabilize the spine and restore proper alignment. This may involve fusion of specific vertebrae to maintain curvature.
  • Osteotomy: Surgical procedure to correct the alignment of the spine by removing or repositioning bone segments.