Expert Blog


Should My Teen Get Surgery for Scoliosis?

Adolescent scoliosis can be alarming to parents because curves progress quickly during growth spurts. Many parents feel guilty that they didn’t notice the curve sooner, and worry that the curve may continue to progress at a rapid rate. However, the ultimate level of curvature depends on how much more growing your child has to do. Once your child reaches their adult size, the curve will most likely stop growing, unless it was greater than 40-50 degrees during adolescence.

Small to medium curves, which we define as 10-25 degrees and 25-40 degrees respectively, generally don’t advance in severity beyond the teen years. We can’t reverse the curves, but we do monitor them and may recommend treatment with a TLSO brace to stop curve progression. These nonsurgical options reduce the risk of the curve growing large enough to warrant surgery.

If someone tells you that physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, exercises or other remedies besides research-supported braces can reverse or stop curve progression, be skeptical. It’s best not to take your chances with therapies that haven’t been clinically proven. Time is an important factor to consider: the sooner a medium-sized curve is properly braced, the less time it has to potentially develop into a large curve.

Surgery has some drawbacks, so we prefer to avoid it if possible. Active teens have to consider how recovery time might affect extracurricular activities. As with any surgery, complications are possible. When we discuss surgery, we help you and your teen weigh the benefits versus the drawbacks and make our recommendation based on the individual patient.

Here are some reasons to consider surgical treatment on large curves:

  • Unlike most small to medium curves, large curves often continue to advance even after your child stops growing.
  • Recovery time for adolescents is typically shorter than that for adults.
  • Adolescents are typically more flexible than adults, making curves easier to correct.
  • Thoracic curves can lead to breathing and cardiac issues.
  • Lumbar curves can lead to painful conditions and premature arthritis.

You can read more about adolescent myscoliosis on our patient education page. Please feel free to reach out to us or the Scoliosis Research Society if you have questions.

Posted in Expert Blog


Dr. Datta Presented with Certificate of Appreciation from St. Joseph's Foundation

Dr. Datta was proud to receive a Certificate of Appreciation from a grateful patiented who honored him with a philanthropic Contribution for National Doctor's Day.  

Datta Certificate Appreciation 4 17

Posted in Expert Blog, Jason Datta MD


Ranking Arizona

Ranking Arizona is at it again. Please take a moment to vote for Sonoran Spine and Total Body Physical Therapy…let’s make it two years in a row! Voting ends July 31, 2017.

You can find us in the following categories under healthcare:

  • Orthopedic Practice
  • Pain Management
  • Physical Therapy
  • Spine Specialists

Posted in Expert Blog


5 of The Worst Injuries to Pro Athletes

Professional athletes train hard to stay in peak physical condition because it helps prevent injuries. Unfortunately, they can still happen no matter how much you train. The following are five of the worst injuries that professional athletes can experience:

  1. Vertebrae Fracture - Vertebrae fractures occur most often in football due to tackling. It's a potentially career-ending injury that can also cause paralysis depending on the severity.
  2. ACL Tear - The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is responsible for 90% of the leg's stability, which means that tearing it basically leaves you immobile. The injury occurs more often in football players as a result of quick changes in direction while on the run. It generally takes eight to 12 months to recover.
  3. UCL Tear - The UCL (Ulnar Collateral Ligament) is a part of the body more prone to injury for baseball pitchers. At one point, experiencing a UCL tear signified the end of your career. Now, players can receive surgery, but won't return to the field for at least 12 to 18 months.
  4. Severe Concussion - Concussions in general are considered much more serious than they once were. Severe concussions can cause a loss of vision, memory problems, motor function problems plus long-term effects, such as CTE. Severe concussions have been known to force players into early retirement.
  5. Broken Leg - Broken legs happen in almost all sports, from soccer to basketball. Wherever the leg breaks, it usually takes at least a year to recover.

These are five of the worst injuries that pro athletes can experience. Although they can be career-ending, many athletes do return following an intensive recovery period.

Posted in Expert Blog


Join Michael S. Chang, MD, for an Educational Seminar and earn CME credit

Are you a healthcare provider interested in the evaluation and treatment of the growing spine? Join Michael S. Chang, MD, a pediatric and adult complex spine surgeon, for an educational seminar and earn CME credit.

Posted in Expert Blog, Michael Chang MD


Spinal Cord Injuries Should Not Be Ignored

The spinal cord is one of the most important organs. Without it, there would be no information from the brain to other parts of the body and vice-versa. In fact, the spinal cord and our brain make up the central nervous system. So it stands to reason that you shouldn't ignore a spinal cord injury or myelopathy.

What happens after a spinal cord injury?

A spinal injury can lead to the loss of physical sensation, which can affect mobility. Loss of feeling or sensation and movement below the injury can be complete or incomplete.

Some causes of spinal cord injuries:

Traumatic injury to back, face, neck, head or chest

Forceful twisting of the middle part of the body


Spinal cord diseases such as polio

Symptoms of Spinal Injuries or Complications

Tingling feelings


Loss of consciousness or shock

Unusual placement or positioning of the head

Spine Injury Emergencies

Never move anyone you suspect of suffering a spinal injury. Keep the person still and calm until help arrives. You should leave the person’s head and neck in the position where you found them, because unnecessary movement may cause more complications and may dislocate a vertebrae.

Posted in Expert Blog


The 2017 Industrial Fee Schedule

The state of Arizona's Industrial Fee Schedule is released around midyear with the schedule covering October through the end of September the following year. The current fee schedules are available through September 2017.

Code Breakdowns

All medical services are given individual codes. This makes it easier for those in the billing department to type in short codes for longer procedures. Most branches within the medical community have individual codes and guidelines. Sections that fall under the physician's fee schedule include:

  • Pharmaceutical
  • Anesthesia
  • Surgery
  • Radiology
  • Pathology and Laboratory
  • Medicine
  • Physical medicine
  • Special services
  • Evaluation and Management
  • Category III

Interested in Individual Codes?

When patients receive bills, they are almost always itemized. It is very important for patients to look over this information carefully to verify they received the services and are not being charged incorrectly. If your bill is difficult to understand, you can look up individual codes from a billing sheet in order to see where it appears in the billing schedule.

When working within the medical industry or making payments on current medical expenses, it is important to understand the industrial fee schedule. The schedule is based on the fiscal year and not the standard January through December calendar. This is why the effective fee dates run October through September. Additional dates for October, 2017 through September, 2018, will be released in the upcoming months.

Posted in Expert Blog


Are you living with back pain?

Join Michael Chang, MD for a free seminar to get the facts and understand your options.

Tuesday, January 24th
5:30 – 7:00 pm
Scottsdale Shea Medical Center
9003 E. Shea Blvd., Brady Conference Center, Scottadale

Posted in Expert Blog, Michael Chang MD


The Graston Technique

The Graston Technique is an effective chiropractic treatment method designed to relieve pain and increase range of motion. The treatment is especially helpful in releasing scar tissue, which can make tissues within your body adhere to one another, often painfully. For patients who prefer alternatives to side-effect laden prescription medication, chiropractic care using the Graston Technique is an excellent option.

What Occurs During Graston Technique Sessions?

The Graston Technique is a form of manual chiropractic therapy known as instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization (IASTM). The method can be compared to massage, using specialized stainless steel instruments to better reach and target soft tissue problems. You may be asked to warm up before treatment and stretch afterward.

After a careful examination, discussion of your medical history, and x-rays or imaging as needed, your chiropractor may recommend the Graston Technique. As part of a holistic treatment plan, created around your specific health needs and goals, Graston works with other natural chiropractic methods to achieve overall wellness.

Graston Technique: Treatment Goals

The goals of Graston therapy include:

  • Decrease pain and reduce/eliminate need for medication.
  • Break down scar tissue, easing movement restrictions that come with soft tissue injury (strained muscles or pulled tendons near the lower back, spine or other areas).
  • Stretch connective tissues and reposition soft tissue structure to restore proper function.
  • Speed the body’s natural healing process to repair injury.

If adhesions from past sports injuries, surgeries or workplace stress or mishaps are affecting your quality of life, Graston typically offers quick improvement in your symptoms and gradual progress toward a pain-free lifestyle. Our expert chiropractors and pain management providers have years of experience in the Graston Technique. At all our eight locations, we're dedicated to helping you achieve natural, holistic health and wellness. Contact Sonoran Spine at 480-962-0071 today.

Posted in Expert Blog


Types of Spine Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are divided into two types: incomplete and complete. An incomplete spinal cord injury is one in which the injured party still has functioning body parts located below the affected body part. A complete spinal cord injury is one in which the injured cannot move anything below the body part that was affected.

Incomplete Spine Injury

Incomplete spinal cord injuries are more common than complete injuries. Over 60% of all injuries to the spinal cord are incomplete. This is because medical professionals know the proper ways to respond to this type of injury in order to avoid complicating it. There are three common types of incomplete spinal injuries:

  • Anterior Cord Syndrome
  • Central Cord Syndrome
  • Brown-Sequard Syndrome

An anterior injury is found at the spinal cord's front. In this type of injury the sensory pathways and motor are damaged. A central injury is found at the cord's center and involves nerve damage. A Brown-Sequard injury occurs when one side of the spinal cord has been injured.

Complete Spine Injury

Complete spinal cord injuries are less common but more severe. There are three types of complete spinal cord injuries:

  • Tetraplegia
  • Paraplegia
  • Triplegia

The most severe type of complete spinal cord injury is Tetraplegia. This causes paralysis and can affect every limb. Its location on the cervical spine dictates exactly how severe this injury is. Paraplegia involves the injured losing complete movement and sensation of body parts. Triplegia typically results from complications arising in a spinal cord injury classified as incomplete.

Posted in Expert Blog


You Have The Right To Choose Your Doctor For Workmans Compensation

In the event of worker's compensation, insurance companies and employers may not provide all available information regarding your potential avenues of treatment. You should know that in the state of Arizona, an individual who has been injured while on the job has the right to choose his or her own doctor. Here are your rights as an injured employee in Arizona:

Interaction With The Company's Medical Staff

In the event of an accident at work, most companies will try to force its own medical services on you as the injured party. However, state law indicates you only need to submit to one examination performed by the company's doctor. After this, you are free to go with your personal doctor or another doctor altogether. While you do need to comply with the initial examination, you don't need to return for a second exam or check-up, no matter what your company says.

A Doctor On Your Side

One reason it's important to use your own doctor is they will typically be on your side. As an unbiased party, they will at the very least provide you with the most accurate information. A doctor employed by a large company is more likely to provide less than beneficial reports for you simply because the company usually offers incentives to reduce worker's compensation and medical benefits on your behalf.

If your place of work is denying you the right to choose your physician, it may be time to seek out legal representation.

Posted in Expert Blog


Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulation

A new minimally invasive treatment option is available for those who suffer from chronic pain due to complex regional pain syndrome in their groin, hip, knee or foot. This unique FDA approved approach to pain is dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation. Neurostimulation stimulates the DRG – a cluster of nerve cells in the spine – that directly targets the area of the body where the pain occurs. DRG modifies the pain signals being sent to the brain which results in a reduction of pain. Similar to a spinal cord stimulator, the DRG neurostimulator also has a temporary device for a trial period to determine its effectiveness.

Farhad Mosallaie, DO is one of a select few interventional pain management providers in Arizona to be trained on this new procedure. Watch the video below to learn more. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Mosallaie to see if you are a candidate for this procedure. Get back to living your life – you deserve it!

Posted in Expert Blog, Farhad Mosallaie, DO


Sonoran Spine Expands to Phoenix October 2016

Sonoran Spine is expanding to Phoenix to offer a convenient clinic location for the southwest valley. In October 2016, Robert Waldrop, MD and Bridget Barron, PA-C will begin seeing patients at:

9305 W. Thomas Rd., Suite 555
Phoenix, AZ 85037

We will be sharing space Arizona Spine Care. To schedule an appointment call 480-962-0071 or request an appointment.

Click here for a map and directions to our new office.

Posted in Expert Blog


Mountain View grad overcomes scoliosis, wins scholarship

The Groves Report ran an article on one of the Sonoran Spine Research and Education Foundation scholarship recipients in the July issues. Read more about Taylor Hall overcoming scoliosis and find out why she was selected to receive financial support to attend University of Arizona this fall.

Read Article (PDF)

Posted in Expert Blog


Sonoran Spine Congratulates Daniela Pal, PA-C

Congratulations Daniela Pal, PA-C on completing her Fracture Liaison Service Certificate through the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Daniela is our osteoporosis expert at The Bone Health Center at Sonoran Spine. To learn more or schedule an appointment with her visit:

Posted in Expert Blog

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  • Southwest Phoenix 
    9305 W. Thomas Rd, Ste 555, Phoenix, AZ 85037

  • Scottsdale (Shea) 
    9700 N. 91st St, St B108, Scottsdale, AZ 85258

  • Show Low 
    5171 Cub Lake Rd, #C350, Show Low, AZ 85901

  • Tempe 
    1255 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Ste 107, Tempe, AZ 85281