This past winter’s snow and ice made just walking to get the mail a full body contact sport. Many suffered from falls that injured elbows, hips, or knees. But imagine the worst where feet go flying and you land smack on your tail bone. We forget that our coccyx, vestigial tail that it is, is still a bone that can break as easily as an arm. It is not an uncommon injury in many sports.

Besides being painful, these breaks often do not heal well. The area around the coccyx does not have the vigorous blood flow that stimulates healing. Add to that the obvious fact that tailbones cannot be set into a cast. This often leads to misalignment and a lifetime of pain. Simply walking is difficult, and the injury becomes life altering. Conventional wisdom says these painful breaks can only be handled by letting nature take its course. Time and rest, along with injections for pain, are the traditional treatment.

Where most practices give in to only conventional methods, Dr. Scott Katzman at NJ Spine and Orthopedic has moved forward to a more robust treatment using microsurgery to remove the bone. Because those who have never, or rarely, performed this surgery focus on the risks, it is avoided for fears of infection and proximity to the colon.

Dr. Katzman perfected this leading edge surgery to address the debilitating injury, refusing to believe pain was a life sentence. He performs these operations nearly once a week and is one of a small handful of doctors in the United States who are experts. Patients come to him from around the country, attesting to the extremely high success rate.

The practice has seen a 99 percent success rate. The surgery is simple, effective, and the recovery time is usually less than a month. Most of patients report improvement in just a few days. Best of all, it is an outpatient procedure.

Coccygectomy is only one of the dramatically improved procedures that NJ Spine and Orthopedic specializes in. The practice is dedicated to mastering the most innovative techniques that cutting-edge science allows.

Another example is artificial disc replacement (ADR). It is one of the most advanced and successful treatments for neck pain caused by herniated discs and replaces the old process of neck fusion. That technique requires continual updating as adjacent segments become diseased and worn out from overwork.

ADR, while new, shows tremendous potential for longer lasting results, quicker recovery, fewer surgeries, and less stiffness and revision. One of the most welcome aspects of this procedure is that it is also performed on an outpatient basis.

The dedication of the surgeons and staff at NJ Spine and Othopedic to the safest, most minimally invasive treatments available is a hallmark of the practice. Providing patients with relief from pain, when hope of living a more normal life has faded, is the goal of all the skilled professionals there. They maintain seven offices throughout New Jersey, including the local Princeton facility. In addition there are six locations in Florida and one in New York City.

Compassion and empathy are important qualities when selecting the spine surgeon who is best for you. NJ Spine and Orthopedics is proud to provide a patient-focused “concierge style” orthopedic practice. Its staff and spine surgeons are always accessible to their patients. They care about you and it shows.

NJ Spine & Orthopedic, 601 Ewing Street, Ct 3, Princeton Professional Park, Princeton. 855-586-2615. Other New Jersey offices in Millburn, Saddle Brook, Manalapan, Mine Hill, Paterson, and Oradell. www.njspineandortho.com.

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