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‘Take Back Control’ book released (available on Amazon or at www.takebackcontrol.com)
Posted on Sept. 10, 2016

Before considering elective spine surgery, you need to read this book!!

In most instances, spine surgery should be considered only after non-operative treatment has failed. Yes, in most instances, you can heal your back without surgery or addictive drugs. Now finally there is a book that outlines all the factors that you need to consider and address before surgery, all from an active spine surgeon with over 15 years of experience with advanced non-operative treatment methods.

Back pain sufferers know better than anyone: Our healthcare system is broken. Family physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, pain management doctors, and surgeons offer conflicting advice. Surgery and injections have risks, are costly, and often don’t have the desired effect. Health insurance limits treatment options.

The good news is that our system is shifting toward prevention and more natural healing methods for spinal conditions—and spine surgeon Kamshad Raiszadeh, MD, is leading the way. In his book, Take Back Control, he outlines the science-based principles you can use to overcome your back or neck pain without surgery or medications.

Dr. Raiszadeh exhorts the patient to take control of his health through lifestyle changes... And in regard to the healthcare system, he shows how the transition of spine care from “surgery first” to “surgery when needed” can save money for society and improve well-being for patients. —James Robinson, PhD, Professor of Health Economics, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley

We are in the midst of a devastating opioid addiction crisis, an epidemic fueled by our collective societal delusion that our lifestyle choices don’t matter, that there’s a quick surgical or pharmaceutical fix for everything, and that our minds have nothing to do with our physical bodies or overall health. I would have thought that the last person to help light the way out would be a spine surgeon…Which is why Dr. Raiszadeh’s book is so amazing. With a deep humility, he uses personal stories drawn from his career and life to show us that we can heal when we focus on the root causes of our suffering... A must-read for anyone suffering with or treating chronic pain. —Zubin Damania, MD, Founder, Turntable Health, ZDoggMD

Knowing what I know now, I wish I had taken Dr. Raiszadeh’s advice and exhausted all options with rehab rather than going through with back surgery. There’s too much that can go wrong when you expose your spinal canal to surgery. Rehab may take time, but in the long run it’s a much better choice. —Steve Kerr, Coach, Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association

As a spine surgeon, Kamshad Raiszadeh, MD, has seen that for most chronic back and neck pain patients, surgery is rarely the best solution. He and his team set about designing, developing, and perfecting a program to prevent unnecessary procedures and medications. Infused with an emphasis on strengthening, education, and self-empowerment, the SpineZone program has helped close to 7,000 patients enjoy full and lasting recoveries.

Alvarado Hospital Named One Of America's 100 Best Hospitals For Orthopedic And Spine Surgery, Critical Care
Posted on Oct 20, 2015 By Laura Gilbert

Healthgrades has recognized Alvarado Hospital as one of America’s 100 Best™ hospitals for 2016. The San Diego hospital has been selected for its excellence in orthopedic surgery, critical care and spine surgery. For the second year in a row, Alvarado has been ranked in the top 5% in the entire nation for both orthopedic services and spine care. This is also the third consecutive year Alvarado has been selected for recognition of its critical care services, including an additional five stars for critical care treatment of sepsis (2014-2016).

In addition, Healthgrades awarded Alvarado Hospital five stars in the areas of hip fracture treatment, back surgery and spinal fusion. It has received five stars in these areas for three consecutive years now. Alvarado was also recognized for excellence in gastrointestinal treatment. The hospital earned five stars for esophageal/stomach surgeries for 2015-2016 and for gallbladder removal surgery for 2014-2016.

For full article please visit:

Posted on Oct 16, 2015 By Laura Gilbert

choll kim, minimally invasive spine surgery, mis

Choll Kim, MD, PhD, was named 2015 San Diego Physician Champion of the Year (medium-sized company) by the San Diego Business Journal. He was honored at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park in Oct. 15, 2015.

Dr. Kim, who is co-medical director of Alvarado Hospital’s Advanced Spine Institute, was selected for his pioneering efforts in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery. He co-founded and was executive director of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and continues to be national leader in this field—traveling around the county to lecture and teaching other spine surgeons how to perform spine surgery minimally invasively.

Dr. Kim was instrumental in establishing Alvarado Hospital's Advanced Spine & Joint Institute, which opened in July 2015. In his role as co-medical director, he has overall responsibility for the new spine program treating all aspects of complex spinal disorders, including spinal stenosis, spinal deformities, traumatic injuries, tumors and infections of the spine, from neck to low back.

Dr. Kim also was instrumental in bringing O-Arm capabilities to the operating room. The O-Arm provides a real-time 2-D and 3-D image of a patient’s internal anatomy. These images guide surgeons when performing minimally invasive spine procedures with great precision. He also has been a leader in emphasizing the importance of outcomes transparency. Under his leadership, the program utilizes customized Patient Reported Outcomes iPad application to gather patient satisfaction data, keep a pulse on the patient’s pre- and post-surgical experience and clinical outcomes.

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NSAIDs can help manage spine pain postoperatively without opioids
October 15, 2015

choll kim

CHICAGO — The need for a multimodal pain management strategy that avoids opioids and includes NSAIDs may be complicated and challenging to manage but, according to a presenter here, such a protocol can be beneficial to patients long-term and lead to less use of habit-forming narcotics.

NSAIDs have pros and cons depending on the dosage and when they are used in relation to spine fusion surgery, Choll W. Kim, MD, said during a symposium at the North American Spine Society Annual Meeting.

“Spine patients have a lot of pain postoperatively. [It] is pretty striking. In an effort to decrease our reliance on these powerful narcotics, we do not have a single drug that can replace them. So, we are kind of replacing them with multimodality therapy strategies and, hopefully, you will appreciate that it is beneficial,” he said. “One of those components is the use of anti-inflammatories, and they can be used safely. Like all medications, in certain doses and in certain time periods, they are not beneficial. They have certain side effects.”

Kim proposed more surgeons adopt the same rule for NSAID use that he has followed for the past 2 years noting, “You use the normal dose for the first few days. It is reasonable.”

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Sudden Right Foot Drop after Skiing
Choll W. Kim, MD, PhD

The patient, aged 54-years, is an avid skier and mountain biker who presents with a sudden right foot drop after skiing. She had a transient left leg radiculopathy that improved with a bilateral L4-L5, L5-S1 transforaminal epidural steroid injection. However, persistent weakness in right ankle dorsiflexion has prevented her from returning to her activities.

Her history includes degenerative scoliosis, which has been well-managed with nonoperative care. Previously (2012), she underwent right L4-L5 microdisectomy.

For full article please visit:

Dr. Kamshad Raiszadeh was recently recognized as one of the top 28 spine surgeons and spine practices who have developed charitable and research organizations
Written by Laura Miller and Anuja Vaidya | Friday, 21 March 2014 12:56

Dr. Kamshad Raiszadeh was recently recognized as one of the top 28 spine surgeons and spine practices who have developed charitable and research organizations

Kamshad Raiszadeh, MD (Spine Institute of San Diego). Dr. Raiszadeh is the medical director of the Advanced Spine Institute & Minimally Invasive Spine Center at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego. He is also the founder of the Spine Humanitarian and Research Education foundation, which is devoted to providing charitable care and advancing the science of spine care across the world. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Raiszadeh also founded Spine Zone, a medically based spine strengthening program, and is an active member in the Scoliosis Research Society and North American Spine Society. Dr. Raiszadeh earned his medical degree from the University of California in San Francisco and completed his residency at UC Davis. His additional training includes an adult and pediatric spine surgery fellowship at the Hospital for Joint Disease in New York City.

For full article please visit:

Spine Zone puts surgery as its last option
February 09, 2013

This article is from The Coast News website.

Dan Noel (Spine Zone Clinic Director) Demonstrating Back Alignment Exercise Machine Spine Zone Clinic Director Dan Noel demonstrates one of the exercise machines to treat back ailments

COAST CITIES - You've probably felt it - whether it's a dull ache in your low back or a sharp pain across your shoulders, the majority of Americans will experience back pain at some point.

The causes are myriad - on-the-job injury, sedentary lifestyle, aging and stress can all be contributing factors. Sometimes the cause is elusive, though the pain can be excruciating. Treatment options abound - ice, heat, rest, physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, decompression, medications, injections and surgery are just some of the healing methods people turn to seeking relief.

While spinal surgery has become increasingly popular, San Diego County residents seeking back-pain relief have another option - the Spine Zone clinics, co-founded by brothers Kamshad and Ramin Raiszadeh, orthopedic surgeons who specialize in the spine. Their medically supervised Spine Zone clinics offer strengthening and stretching programs designed specifically to alleviate back pain and to prevent its recurrence.

"The joint is only as good as the muscle support around it," said Kamshad Raiszadeh. "We really focus on getting that muscle support."

While some people may shun exercise when their back hurts, according to WebMD, it's "a big myth that exercise is bad for back pain."

"Regular exercise prevents back pain," according to the site. "For people suffering an acute injury resulting in lower back pain, doctors may recommend an exercise program that begins with gentle exercises and gradually increases in intensity. Once the acute pain subsides, an exercise regimen may help prevent future recurrence of back pain."

That's been the experience for the Raiszadehs. Ramin Raiszadeh noted that 90 percent of patients he sees will improve with some sort of physical therapy, and the specific equipment and protocols incorporated at the Spine Zone are "a proven entity to afford excellent improvement in quality of life, without the need for surgery."

Patients who choose Spine Zone enjoy a level of confidence in their treatment protocol, said Kamshad Raiszadeh, because they are receiving "a spinal surgeon's perspective."

While he cautioned that, "there's no quick fix out there," those who choose Spine Zone are "empowered to treat (their) problem."

This concept is important to him, as he would like to change the paradigm of non-operative treatment to one of empowerment, he said.

"I'd like to see this paradigm get added to every spine professional's thought process," he said, "so people really understand and harness the body's own power to heal itself."

Dr. Steven Pratt, a San Diego ophthalmologist and New York Times-bestselling author on health and longevity, is an advocate of the Spine Zone. Pratt was feeling the cumulative effects of a lifetime of physical activity, and the lingering effects of sports injuries, when a tennis-pro friend recommended Dr. Kamshad Raiszadeh.

"I'm a firm believer in exercise, stretching and gaining muscle strength," Pratt said, "which is why I loved the concept (of Spine Zone) ... I'm 100 percent behind what he's doing there."

Pratt said his back "was not an easy fix," and he was "open to any and all suggestions" on healing it, including surgery.

"As a surgeon myself," he said, "I know there are some things you can't fix with rehab." However, Pratt avoided surgery and was able to heal his back through the Spine Zone program.

Dan Noel, Spine Zone clinic director, often sees results like Pratt's.

"That's why I want my parents, my friends, people on the street to know about this," Noel said.