Training, research, experience, and trust are the hallmarks of The Spine Center at The Orthopedaedic Center. For more than 30 years, The Spine Center at TOC has been recognized as the Tennessee Valley’s leader in orthopaedics, spine surgery, and sports medicine. Thousands of area residents have received world-class care from the Valley’s most trusted, and experienced group of orthopaedic surgeons, and medical specialists. Whether you have a work-related injury, or got sidelined playing the sport you love, you need the best care, the best physicians, and the best facility to get you back in the game. We think you’ll agree that The Spine Center at TOC is right for you.
Dr. Parker is a specialist in spine surgery, treating disorders of the spine including cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. He also performs minimally invasive surgery both laproscopically and endoscopically, and is involved in the development of artificial disc technology.
Dr. Parker is typically found at our main office, located at 927 Franklin Street Huntsville, Alabama. You can contact Dr. Parker’s office by calling the TOC general office number at 256-327-7463, or 256-32 SPINE. Dr. Parker also practices at the Madison center located at 8415 Wann Drive, Madison, Alabama.
Normal business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, excluding holidays.
Dr. Parker operates at Crestwood Medical Center on Mondays and Fridays, and at Huntsville Hospital on Wednesdays.
Dr. Parker has been practicing since 1997.
If you need more information than what is provided here at Dr. Parker’s website, you may contact Dr. Parker’s office by calling The Spine Center office number at 256-32-SPINE (256-327-7463).
We make every effort to see our patients in a timely manner. We ask that you arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment time to allow for completion of paperwork and registration. We ask that you allow at least one hour for your first visit.
You will be seen first by our physician assistant who will take your history and do the initial examination. Depending on whether or not you brought any films of your spine, we will take x-rays. You will then see Dr. Parker who will review your x-rays with you and any tests you may have brought and make recommendations of treatment based on your history, physical exam, and radiographic findings.
Length of stay at the hospital varies, depending on the type of surgery you are having. Most cervical spine surgeries are 23 hour observation surgeries. Your hospital stay is generally one night. Lumbar spine surgeries that do not include a fusion are also generally 23 hour observation surgeries, and again your hospital stay is generally one night. For larger lumbar fusions, and for some more complication cervical surgeries the length of hospital stay is generally two nights. For an Epidural Steroid Injection, you will be released on the same day. Your stay will also depend on a patient’s medical history, and if another MD is consulted for additional care.
This depends on the type of test. MRI, CT, Myelograms usually take 24 to 48 hours. Dexa, EMC, Non-invasive Arterial Studies take anywhere from 48 to 72 hours depending on the turnaround time from the physician who is reading or performing the study.
You can get more information about spine care and/or injuries by going to www.spine-health.com. This web site contains a plethora of information concerning spine health, injuries, treatment and care.
Herniated discs occur in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions of the spine. Arm pain is a typical symptom for a cervical herniated disc. The pain may seem to radiate down the arm accompanied by numbness and tingling in the arm into the fingertips. Muscle weakness in the arm may also be experienced. Symptoms of a thoracic herniated disc are exhibited by a radiating pain in the chest or belly. Identifying pain associated with a thoracic herniated disc should also include an assessment for heart, lung, gastrointestinal and non-spine musculoskeletal disorders. A disc herniation in the lumbar portion of the spine, will typically occur at the bottom of the spine. Symptoms will consist of pain radiating down the leg and buttocks. Symptoms can also include weakness in extending the big toe and/or ankle, with numbness, and pain felt at the top of the foot. One may also experience loss of ankle reflex, and/or ankle weakness, along with numbness, and pain radiating down the sole or outside of the foot.
If a patient is post surgical, Dr. Parker will review symptoms and records then make the determination to release prescription refills early. If the patient is non-surgical, Dr. Parker does NOT allow early refills under ANY circumstances.
You will be released to drive at your post-operation visit 7 to 10 days after surgery.
Length of stay at the hospital varies, depending on the type of surgery you are having. Most cervical spine surgeries are 23 hour observation surgeries. Your hospital stay is generally one night. Lumbar spine surgeries that do not include a fusion are also generally 23 hour observation surgeries, and again your hospital stay is generally one night. For larger lumbar fusions, and for some more complicated cervical surgeries the length of hospital stay is generally 2 nights. For an Epidural Steroid Injection, you will be released on the same day. Your stay will also depend on a patient’s medical history, and if another MD is consulted for additional care.
For lumbar spine surgeries that do not require fusion, a brace will not be needed. For lumbar fusion surgeries you will be fitted with a back brace prior to your surgery. After your lumbar fusion surgery, you will wear a brace whenever you are active for about 6 to 8 weeks for support. For most cervical spine surgeries you will be fitted with a soft cervical collar, and in some cases a hard cervical collar after surgery. Do not wear your brace while at rest, or when sitting.
This varies with the type of surgery. For lumbar surgeries that do not require a fusion you will be able to return to most activities generally within 2 weeks with the exception of heavy lifting or excessive bending at the waist. For lumbar fusions, post operation recovery time is generally around 6 to 8 weeks. For most cervical surgeries the recovery time is again generally about 2 to 3 weeks with the exception of heavy lifting and continuous overhead activity.
You will be asked to change your dressing on a daily basis after being discharged from the hospital. On the third day, provided you are no longer having any drainage, you may leave the dressing off.
In many cases, physical therapy is not necessary. This will be determined on a patient by patient basis depending on your recovery process. If you need physical therapy you will usually wait 2 to 3 months to begin it.
Yes, we have muscles which may become de-conditioned over the years and when we work them it can create additional symptoms.
There is a $25 fee to complete disability forms. We do not charge to complete family leave paperwork. We do ask for a 5 business day turnaround time for the completion of any forms due to the high volume of forms we receive on a daily basis.
Every patient’s pain threshold is different. But the standard is 3 weeks from surgery unless the patient is doing exceptionally well, then we would taper them off of the medication much sooner.
That depends on several factors, like what type of work you do. If the job is sedentary with no heavy lifting, usually within two to three weeks after surgery you can ease into work starting with half days and moving into full days. But the standard is a wait of six to eight weeks for microdiscectomy, decompressive laminectomy, ACDF, ALIF, and eight to 12 weeks for post cervical lumbar fusions.
The top 2 side effects are sleeplessness and constipation. Other effects may vary, based on the individual.