Spine Fusions with Dr. Fahim

June 9th, 2023

Dr. Daniel Fahim, neurosurgeon in Royal Oak, took time to speak to our staff and some friends at our Lathrup Village location on May 11th. Dr. Fahim attended Harvard, Princeton, University of Michigan Medical School, then completed his neurosurgery training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and MD Anderson Cancer Center. He specializes in brain and spine tumors; minimally invasive spine surgery, performs spinal fusions, and performs more cervical disk replacements than anyone in the state of Michigan. Not only does he perform brain and spine surgeries, but he also teaches his minimally invasive techniques to students as an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery for Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. Dr. Fahim is a strong believer in the minimally invasive spine surgery he performs and teaches because this technique spares the surrounding muscles and ligaments and avoids destroying the tissues and supporting structures.

He spoke with us at US Rehab about some of the misconceptions about spine fusions. Dr. Fahim explained how many people believe a spine fusion is a bad thing but if you need one, if you have instability of the spine, you should have one and that isn’t a bad thing. The approach people have should be if you need the surgery, you should want one and if you don’t need one, you shouldn’t want one. He explained that he looks for every reason to perform a disk replacement instead of a fusion so the patient can maintain movement. His philosophy when evaluating a patient is “less is more” but he will not perform a surgery if it isn’t the right one for that patient. After looking at the MRI and examining them he decides on the exact surgery that is best for them; not more or less surgery than they need. The patient’s job is to decide who their doctor is, but then they should trust their doctor and their doctor’s recommendation. If a patient shops around until they find a doctor who just tells them what they want to hear, then they are not necessarily getting the care they need.  Everyone is different and he wants each person who needs an operation to get the correct surgery for them.

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