• Which is right for me, spine surgery or conservative treatment?

    Except in rare cases, spine surgery isn’t generally performed on an emergency basis. This means that there is plenty of time for patients to weigh the pros and cons of surgical intervention with the help of their doctors. Here at Riverside Community Hospital, we emphasize personalized treatment plans and extensive patient education. Our physicians and specialists firmly believe in empowering our patients with the knowledge they need to make thoughtful, informed decisions for their healthcare.

    Giving conservative treatments a try
    When you watch the accompanying video, you’ll hear directly from a neurosurgeon at Riverside Community Hospital. He explains that physicians prefer to prescribe conservative treatments to their patients first before considering spine surgery. Sometimes, a little trial and error is required to find the treatment plan that works for you.

    Give your doctor feedback on what works and what doesn’t, and whether you experience any side effects. Your doctor may adjust your treatment plan in response to your feedback. Take the initiative to ask about additional therapies that may help you, such as physical or occupational therapy.

    Considering spine surgery as a last resort
    If you’ve tried conservative treatments for a while and they aren’t doing enough to help you, schedule another visit with your doctor. It might be time to discuss spine surgery.

    You may be referred to a neurosurgeon, who will carefully evaluate your health by studying imaging scans, performing a physical exam and perhaps requesting lab tests. This thorough evaluation is necessary to make sure that surgery really can help you. Spine surgery is generally only recommended if an anatomical cause of your pain can be determined, such as a herniated disc.

    Additionally, you’ll need to fully understand the potential risks of having surgery. Your doctor can explain the most common side effects and the uncommon complications that may occur.

    If you and your doctor decide that spine surgery is the right choice for you, then you can feel confident in the exceptional skills of the neurosurgeons at Riverside Community Hospital . Neuroscience Center at Riverside is the top choice for complex brain and spine surgeries for patients in the Inland Empire. Call a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463 to request a referral to a specialist.

  • What are the chances of your child inheriting Duchenne muscular dystrophy?

    Couples who are planning to conceive may sometimes wish to speak with an Ob/Gyn about their health history beforehand. A preconception health visit evaluates the medical conditions that may affect the pregnancy, the mother or the child. In some cases, an Ob/Gyn at Riverside Community Hospital may refer couples to a genetic counselor. A genetic counselor can explain the likelihood of the child inheriting a genetic disorder, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    The basics of Duchenne muscular dystrophy
    Muscular dystrophy is a group of uncommon diseases. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a progressive genetic disorder. It causes muscle degeneration and weakness that typically starts very early in life, and becomes much worse by adolescence.

    Because adolescent patients begin to experience heart and respiratory difficulties, in past years, they did not usually live long into adulthood. Life expectancy for these patients has been improved with better care, and many of these patients can now live into their 30s. Some of them have lived into their 40s and 50s.

    The likelihood of inheriting the mutation
    Female children inherit two X chromosomes. Male children inherit an X and Y chromosome. Since the genetic mutation that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy occurs on the X chromosome, females are almost never affected by this disease.

    Boys inherit the X chromosome from their mothers, which means the disease is passed down on the maternal line. Each son born to a mother who carries the mutation has a 50% chance of inheriting it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    If a female does inherit the mutation, she isn’t likely to be affected because she has another X chromosome to compensate for the deficiency. However, she will be a carrier of the genetic disease, and her sons will have a 50% chance of inheriting it.

    Riverside Community Hospital is a state-of-the-art medical center that provides a full range of medical services and specialty care. Every day, our team strives for healthcare excellence because our neighbors in Riverside matter to us. If you’d like to speak with a registered nurse or request a referral to an Ob/Gyn, you can call (951) 788-3463.

  • Why everyone should know the risks of glaucoma

    Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of vision loss. Left untreated, it almost always leads to blindness, and some people who get treatment still lose their sight. By knowing the risk factors for glaucoma, you could reduce your risks of developing this serious eye health condition. Here is why understanding the risk of glaucoma is so important.

    Anyone can get glaucoma.
    Glaucoma does not just happen to older people or people with certain health conditions. Anyone can get glaucoma at any age. Some people are even born with a congenital form of the disease.

    Therefore, receiving regular eye exams are incredibly important. Glaucoma responds best to treatments in its early stages, but it seldom causes symptoms until some degree of vision loss as already occurred. Only through regular eye exams can you know if have glaucoma before you begin to lose sight.

    Vision loss is permanent.
    Although there are treatments available to stop the progression of glaucoma that work for many people, any vision loss caused by the condition is permanent. No treatments are available to reverse blindness that results from glaucoma.

    Early diagnosis and treatment are the only tools that can effectively prevent vision loss from glaucoma. Understanding your risk will make you more likely to get screened for glaucoma.

    You won’t know you have it until it’s too late.
    The first symptom of glaucoma is vision loss. Typically, people who develop glaucoma first notice that their peripheral vision is diminished. In some cases, people don’t notice the initial peripheral vision loss and only realize they have a problem when their forward sight is compromised.

    When this happens, the disease is in an advanced stage. It’s important to be proactive about the risk before this happens.

    Good health starts with regular preventive screening tests for a wide range of conditions. Your physician at Riverside Community Hospital can help you understand what tests are right for you, so you can get the personalized care you need. To learn more about our hospital services in Riverside, please dial (951) 788-3463.