Spinal AVM (arteriovenous malformation) | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

Spinal Arteriovenous Malformation

The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Norton Leatherman Spine in Louisville and Southern Indiana are skilled at treating spinal AVM (arteriovenous malformation).

Spinal AVM refers to a group of conditions where there is a tangle of blood vessels in, on or around the spinal cord.

Usually, oxygen-rich blood goes into the spinal cord through arteries and tiny vessels called capillaries. Once the oxygen is deposited in the spinal cord, the blood passes into veins that take it back to the lungs to get more oxygen. If a spinal vascular malformation is present, the blood skips the capillaries and goes straight from the artery to the vein.

If the blood flow is interrupted in this way, the cells do not get oxygen and will break down and die. Sometimes the arteries and veins in a spinal vascular malformation can break (hemorrhage) and cause bleeding in the spinal cord, or press on the spinal cord, leading to disability, pain or other issues.

Spinal AVM Symptoms

Symptoms are different from person to person and can depend on the severity and location of the tangle. Sometimes symptoms appear when the patient is in their 20s, although occasionally symptoms can appear in younger people.

Symptoms can appear suddenly or gradually. As the condition progresses, symptoms tend to get worse. They include:

  • Difficulty walking and climbing stairs
  • Numbness, tingling or pain in the legs
  • Sudden severe back pain
  • Weakness on one or both sides of the body
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control

Treatment

Your Norton Leatherman Spine specialist may perform a spinal angiogram, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) or other scan to show what the blood vessels look like and where the spinal vascular malformation is.

At Norton Leatherman Spine, you’ll get a personalized course of action for your condition.

Making It Easy to Get Back to Your Life

  • With six Norton Leatherman Spine locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana, we have specialists near you.
  • We use minimally invasive procedures that can reduce recovery time and the risk of complications.
  • Sophisticated pain management aims to keep you comfortable and safe.
  • Communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more anytime from a computer or mobile device with a free MyNortonChart account.

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 providing care from our offices in downtown and suburban Louisville and in 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. More than 100 of the leading spine surgeons practicing throughout the U.S. today were trained at Norton Leatherman Spine.
  • 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.
Leatherman – 7525

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