Lumbar degenerative disorders

Norton Leatherman Spine is respected around the world as a leading provider of spine care. We also are the premier destination for patients in Louisville, Southern Indiana and beyond with lumbar degenerative disease.

Pain and difficulty walking don’t need to limit your activities. Our skilled physicians have the knowledge and experience to correctly diagnose your condition and to identify the right treatment for a broad range of spinal conditions. These include the most complicated problems and more common problems such as lumbar degenerative disease, that affects adults of all ages.

Our specialists know surgery isn’t right for everyone. If simpler treatments don’t work and relief will come only from an operation, you’ll want surgeons with the most experience and expertise. We’ll evaluate your case and give you a treatment plan customized for you.

International reputation for excellence

Kenton D. Leatherman, M.D., pioneered new approaches to spine care after World War II. His commitment to bring the best and most innovative care to his patients provides the foundation for today’s practice. Our orthopedic and neurosurgical spine physicians combine proven treatments that have built our reputation for over 25 years with new developments at the leading edge of innovative care.

Norton Leatherman Spine surgeons are recognized experts in the evaluation and treatment of lumbar degenerative spinal conditions, having published extensively on this important topic:

  • Steven D. Glassman, M.D., has published extensively on the impact of diagnosis on patient-based outcomes following lumbar surgery.
  • Mladen Djurasovic, M.D., has published on predictive factors that help determine who will benefit most from surgery among patients with lumbar degenerative disc disease.
  • Charles H. Crawford III, M.D., has published on the factors which predict optimal outcomes with lumbar fusion surgery.
  • R. Kirk Owens II, M.D., has performed research and published on how low back pain improves following treatment of a lumbar herniated disc.

Spine care that covers the spectrum of lumbar degeneration

Lumbar degeneration affects the intervertebral discs, facet joints and supporting ligaments of the spine. These degenerative changes can lead to instability developing in the lumbar spine, such as spondylolisthesis or scoliosis. In addition, these degenerative changes can begin to secondarily compress nerves contained within the spine, leading to pain, numbness and tingling in the legs, known as spinal stenosis.

Lumbar discectomy

In the case of a herniated or bulging lumbar disc, nerves can become compressed, leading to pain and numbness in the legs. Our surgeons can surgically remove pressure from these compressed nerves, improving pain and function. This can often be done through a minimally invasive approach, which leads to accelerated rehabilitation and return to full function.

Lumbar laminectomy

In cases where the entire spinal canal is narrowed due to degenerative changes, nerve compression can lead to pain, numbness and tingling in the legs, as well as difficulty walking. Our surgeons can perform a laminectomy procedure, which removes the pressure from nerves, leading to significant improvement in pain and function.

Lumbar fusion

In some cases, in addition to nerve decompression, a fusion operation is necessary to restore stability to the spine. Traditionally, this was a major surgery with a prolonged recovery period. Our surgeons now offer a variety of minimally invasive procedures to get you back to full function as soon as possible. They are actively helping to pioneer the next generation of minimally invasive spinal fusion procedures.

About Norton Leatherman Spine

Norton Leatherman Spine in Louisville and Southern Indiana offers world-class care from surgeons who are recognized nationally and internationally for their innovation, expertise and skill. Norton Leatherman Spine is one of the premier research and education programs in the United States for spinal surgeons.

Our rich history traces back to Kenton D. Leatherman, M.D., who more than 50 years ago became the first orthopedic surgeon in Kentucky to specialize in spine care. A University of Louisville School of Medicine graduate, he developed leading-edge approaches to treating scoliosis after World War II.

  • The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Norton Leatherman Spine are among the most experienced in the country, treating conditions like yours for an average of 20 years.
  • We have orthopedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons providing care from our offices in downtown Louisville and surrounding counties.
  • Our physicians pinpoint your diagnosis to come up with the right treatment plan, including surgical and nonsurgical options as appropriate.
  • We offer minimally invasive and robotic-assisted procedures that carry less risk and can speed your recovery. Norton Leatherman Spine surgeons are actively involved in the development of next-generation minimally invasive technologies.
  • The physicians at Norton Leatherman Spine are leaders in their field and train the next generation of specialists. Norton Leatherman Spine’s physicians trained more than 100 of the leading spine surgeons practicing throughout the U.S. today.
  • Techniques developed at Norton Leatherman Spine have produced better outcomes for patients with fewer side effects and are routinely performed around the world today.
  • Our team performs more than 4,000 surgeries a year, and patients come to our providers more than 30,000 times a year.

Research cited above

Glassman SD, Carreon LY, Djurasovic M, et al. Lumbar fusion outcomes stratified by specific diagnostic indication. Spine J 2009;9(1): 13-21.

Djurasovic M, Carreon LY, Crawford CH III, et al. The influence of preoperative MRI findings on lumbar fusion clinical outcomes. Eur Spine J 2012;21(8):1616-23.

Crawford CH III, Glassman SD, Djurasovic M, et al. Prognostic factors associated with the best outcomes (minimal symptoms states) following fusion for lumbar degenerative conditions. Spine J 2018; [epub ahead of print]

Owens RK, II, Djurasovic M, Crawford CH III, et al. Back pain improves significantly following lumbar discectomy for lumbar disc herniation. Spine J 2018; 18(9):1632-36

Leatherman – 7525

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