Due to a Pinched Nerve Dodgers May Not Exercise Option on Infielder
Saturday, 08 October 2011 13:42

Casey Blake's future with the Los Angeles Dodgers is in question after the team decided not to exercise his 2012 option, according to MLB.com. His 2011 season was blemished by a series of injuries, including a pinched nerve.

Nerve compression can happen several ways. A bulging disc, disc tear or herniated disc can put pressure on the surrounding nerves. Such disc degeneration can be the result of injury or age-related wear and tear. A pinched nerve can also be caused by spinal stenosis, a condition in which the spinal canal narrows and puts pressure on the spinal cord. Bone spurs that grow in response to arthritis can cause spinal stenosis, as can thickening of the spine's ligaments.

A pinched nerve in the lower back may lead to sciatica back pain. In the neck, nerve compression could cause local pain or stiffness, as well as tingling or numbing sensations that run down the arms.

The most effective treatments are also some of the most conservative, including anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, rest and muscle relaxants. Severe cases may require back surgery.

Blake ended his 2011 season with laser back surgery to open his spinal passage, which had been affected by arthritis in the neck. This latest medical mishap capped a year that included an oblique strain during spring training and a staph infection in his elbow mid-season. He had been expected to be the everyday third baseman. Ultimately, he only played 63 games and batted a .252 average, according to MLB.com.

If the Dodgers exercised Blake's option, he would have been paid $6 million for 2012, in addition to the $17.5 million he made for the past three seasons. Instead, the team is buying him out at $1.25 million. This deal will not preclude Blake, who says he wishes to continue his professional baseball career, from re-signing with the team for lower pay, MLB.com said.

For patients who require laser back surgery to treat a pinched nerve, minimally invasive spine surgery is available. Lumbar Endoscopic Foraminotomy is an outpatient procedure that uses a small tube and tiny tools to remove bone in order to open up the nerve canal. Laser back surgery may also be used to remove, resize or reshape other offending structures, such as bone spurs or damaged intervertebral discs.

These minimally invasive procedures use small incisions that limit the size of the working area, allowing patients to recover more quickly with less pain.

If you suffer from chronic back pain, talk to one of our spine specialist today at 877-722-6008 and find out which spine treatment option is best for you.