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Your Incredible Spine: Its Purpose and how We Help You Care for It

The spine is remarkable. Also known as the backbone or vertebral column, its 33 bones and ligaments hold you upright and protect your spinal cord, which is an important part of the central nervous system. If your spine is injured, diseased or in pain, your entire life can be affected. The Spine Center at Azalea Orthopedics in Tyler, TX offers one of several musculoskeletal specialties practiced by our skilled doctors, who can help you walk tall again and move freely. Whether you are in Athens, TX; Tyler, TX; Longview, TX; Palestine,TX; Mount Pleasant; or neighboring areas in East Texas, our spine orthopedists can help you take back your life with a healthy spine.

What Your Spine Does for You

If your spine is unhealthy, your spinal cord may be at risk. In essence, your spinal cord runs from the base of your neck down to your pelvis. The spine serves several primary functions. It acts as a pillar to support your body’s weight and provide balance. It also protects your spinal cord, nerve roots and several internal organs. Finally, it enables flexible motion, connects your brain and body, making it possible for your limbs to move. If you have pain or spinal problems, you may need to see a specialist, since problems with your spine can adversely affect your entire life.

Learn About The Spine

How Specialists Help Your Spine

Our spine doctors are board-certified surgeons who specialize in musculoskeletal pain associated with the vertebral column. Azalea Orthopedics has three spine specialists — Drs. Merrick, Raabe, and Russell — who can help relieve your pain or alleviate other problems through various means, including spine surgery. Our spine clinic in Tyler, TX also has several non-surgical specialists, who focus on conservative care options. Whatever treatment plan best suits your needs, you can rest assured that we will be with you through your entire healing process, offering support and encouragement as well as care.

Our Orthopedic Spine Surgeons

Meet our industry leading Orthopedic Spine Surgeons.

Todd M. Raabe, M.D. Todd M. Raabe, M.D. specializes in adult and pediatric spinal surgery. Board Certified, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.

Michael E. Russell, II M.D.russell-sm specializes in all types of spine surgery. Board Certified, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.

Michael T. Merrick, M.D.Michael T. Merrick, M.D. specializes in spine surgery. Board Eligible, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.

Our Non-Surgical Pain Management Team

Meet our industry leading Non-Surgical Pain Management Team.

Spinal Injuries and Problems

Two broad categories define all spinal cord injuries: incomplete and complete. Partial types of injuries include triplegia, which involves one arm and both legs, and various syndromes that can affect movement and organ functions. Complete injuries include conditions such as quadriplegia, also known as tetraplegia and paraplegia. In addition to traumatic injuries, other conditions can also cause problems with the vertebral column.

  • Tumors
  • Infections
  • Scoliosis and Ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis in the spine
  • Age-related bone changes such as stenosis and herniated disks

Spine teamAt Azalea Orthopedics, our goal is to help you live pain-free with a high quality of life. Our specialists are on call 24 hours every day. If you have an emergency, you can always reach us. We are just a phone call away, any time.

Contact Us Today

Your road to pain-free, easy movement starts by reaching out to one of our locations in Tyler, TX; Longview, TX; or throughout East Texas. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you or request an appointment online. We work with each patient to create a customized plan for their needs, and our goal is to provide unparalleled customer service throughout the healing process.

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Robotics & Your Spine
New advancements in treating your spine extend to robotics-assisted spine surgery. Azalea Orthopedics is among the few in Texas offering this high-tech surgical option for our patients. The Mazor Renaissance Guidance System allows your surgeon to create a highly-customized surgical plan before entering the operating room. Once the procedure begins, the robot assists your surgeon throughout surgery to increase your surgeon’s accuracy. Thus providing consistent results and optimal outcomes for patients.

Minimally Invasive Procedures
Azalea Orthopedics goal is to get you feeling and moving around better. Sometimes a spine injury or condition will need to be addressed surgically, but there are minimally invasive procedures our specialists also consider in a patient’s treatment plan. What is the difference between surgery and minimally invasive surgery or MI surgery? MI procedures use a small, more targeted incisions while traditional surgery requires a larger incision.

Minimally invasive surgeries are made possible by using an arthroscope. This is a device with a small, lighted camera on the end of a tube that allows your physician to perform the surgery via instruments inserted through pinpoint incisions.

So what are the benefits? MI surgery allows your surgeon to cut less muscle which ultimately results in less scar tissue, less damage to soft tissue and recovery tends to be more comfortable for patients. It is important to keep in mind not all patients are candidates for surgical procedures.

You will also find a team of first-class, caring non-surgical spine specialists at Azalea Orthopedics. We treat painful conditions of the back, neck, nerves, joints, sports injuries and more. Some of these procedures include injections, spinal cord stimulation and nerve blocks. What sets these procedures apart, many do not require general anesthesia or hospitalization.
Accuracy matters in treating your pain which is why our physicians often use ultrasound and x-ray guided injections for precise pain relief.

Don’t Wait, Schedule an Appointment Today
We don’t want you to live in pain. Call Azalea Orthopedics today to schedule an appointment with one of our spine specialists. We look forward to hearing from you and more importantly, helping you get on the road to recovery.