Effective Treatment Requires An Accurate Diagnosis.
Let Dr. Carmody uncover why you are having pain, what the source of your pain is, how to treat it, and whether or not it is likely to resolve, return or worsen over time.
Top-Rated Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, Dr. Cameron Noble Carmody
Expertise You Can Trust
Board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon
Experience You Can Count On
Over twenty years of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions affecting the spine from disc surgery to scoliosis.
Patients choose Dr. Carmody for not only his expertise but his honesty and dedication.
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Meet Cameron Noble Carmody, MD
Dr. Cameron Noble Carmody performs all types of spinal surgery including many outpatient procedures with minimal incisions, as well as major revision surgeries, spinal deformity corrections, and even tumor surgery. He applies the right treatment for the right job to get the best result for his patients.
A native of Fresno, California, Dr. Carmody graduated from the University of California Irvine and was awarded the Regent’s Scholarship at “UC-Irvine Medical School and graduated in the top 5% of his class and was selected into the AOA Honor Society. After medical school, he completed his fellowship training in spinal reconstruction surgery before starting clinical practice in 1996.
Dr. Carmody is actively involved in clinical research and the Scoliosis Research Society, the North American Spine Society and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He is a primary investigator for the FDA study evaluating the safety and efficacy of the Simplify Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement which uses MRI compatible materials.
Dr. Carmody is a thoughtful and caring physician who takes time with his patients to explain in plain terms their diagnosis and treatment options. He is one of the most highly rated spine surgeons on Vitals and RateMD and has been awarded with being one of the Top 10 Doctors and “Best Doctors in Dallas” for 2016 and “Best Doctors in Collin County” for 2017.
Graduated in the top
From Dr. Carmody’s Blog
Dr. Carmody On Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
The goal of all surgery is to provide the maximum amount of clinical improvement in pain relief and function with the minimal amount of risk and collateral tissue injury. Surgical techniques all trend toward these goals.
Dr. Carmody on Disc Replacement Surgery
Dr. Carmody on Spinal Fusions
Spinal fusions can be highly effective at relief of painful symptoms of the back and the neck. Reliably attaining a solid spinal fusion has increased in the past 2 decades…
One of the main reasons physicians choose to go into the medical profession is to fulfill their desire to improve the health and well-being of others. Dr. Carmody has taken time throughout the years to volunteer his expertise. His passion to help people has brought him to new places across the globe.
WARNING: These videos contain graphic content; which includes surgical procedures conducted while Dr. Carmody was on various mission trips. Viewer discretion is advised.
In medicine, the natural history of a medical condition is what happens if a diagnosis goes untreated. For example, if one got pneumonia prior to the advent of antibiotics, the natural history is that some people would get sick, fight off the infection and recover and others would succumb to the illness and die. Treatment options are meant to change the natural history of your diagnosis and improve your outcome when compared to the natural history of the condition. So with a correct diagnosis, you can start to understand your chances of getting better and your chances of getting worse with and without treatment. Many pains that occur in the neck and back have a very benign natural history and require only the passage of time to resolve. Other diagnoses are known to progress more often than not and some can be very disabling. Understanding the natural history of your condition is helpful when analyzing the cost and risks of the treatment options available.
A correct diagnosis is a key to providing the best and safest treatment available. In my opinion, the wrong diagnosis creates more problems in spine surgery than any other single issue. Like anything else, diagnosis can be simple or it can be complex. The patient frequently tries to diagnose themselves. They are frequently correct but often wrong as well. Doctors have lots of technologically advanced imaging tools that tell them what things patient’s anatomy looks like inside. This gives them radiologic diagnoses which may or may not be symptomatic.
Dr. Carmody likes to say, “If you listen to your patient’s long enough they’ll tell you what’s wrong.” What he means by this is that 80% of making a correct diagnosis involves making sense of the symptoms the patient is having. Pain, numbness, weakness, gait analysis, balance, the when, where, what makes it better, what makes it worse.
The Physical examination adds perhaps 10% to the diagnosis most of the time. It is important to find physical exam findings that are confirmatory to the possible diagnoses suggested by your symptoms. Some diagnoses have no abnormal exam findings and are made on symptoms alone. Many times a good physical examination finds other possible causes of pain not considered when discussing the symptoms.
Finally, there are diagnostic tests to consider, i.e., X-rays, CT scans and MRI’s. These studies in total contribute the last 10% of the diagnostic information needed to confirm your diagnoses. This statement is not meant to undervalue their contribution. They are frequently necessary to confirm the diagnosis made after considering the symptoms and physical findings. The point is that when the symptoms, exam findings and the imaging studies all point to the same diagnosis then the chances of your diagnosis being correct are very high. Once you have a confirmed diagnosis, you can start to work on treatment options that make sense. If you only have an unconfirmed “working” diagnosis and that diagnosis has history of improving with non-operative treatments then it is perfectly acceptable to try those treatments. A good rule of thumb is to never have a treatment that is more risky to undergo than the risk of living with the condition. Some conditions are more risky that others and some treatments are more risky than others. Many times, a clear diagnosis cannot be determined at a single time point and the passage of time is needed to see progressive changes that confirm the diagnosis definitively.
The Spine Simplified
The spine has three jobs that it performs. It protects the spinal cord. This is job number one, the CEO function. Neglect of this job function and paralysis ensues.
The spine protects the nerves. Nerves provide the connection between your brain and spinal cord to your muscles, providing coordination, motion, and sensation. They also transmit the sensation of pain to your brain. If the spine does not maintain a healthy environment for the nerves that run through the spinal canal they may be injured and that injury can produce pain, weakness, numbness and a loss of function. This is job number two, the CFO position. Very important also.
The third job of the spine is to provide pain-free motion at all the 74 joints that connect the 25 bones that make up the spine. Although this remains an important job, it is more of a janitorial position in the company. If enough trash builds up then running the business can be difficult but you can remain open for business as long as the spinal cord and nerve are working and providing function.
The reason this stratification is important is that the natural history of these three functions of the spine vary considerably depending upon whether or not the spinal cord or the nerves are being injured. When the risks of the diagnosis include paralysis or permanent loss of function then even the risk of high-risk surgery is small in comparison. Sometimes surgery is the most conservative treatment available to the diagnosis. At other times, the risks of surgery outweigh the possible benefits and surgery should not be offered as a treatment option even if the patient wishes it. Understanding the risk vs. benefit of surgery or any other treatment option allows one to estimate the value proposition to the patient.
Spine Surgery Simplified
As complex and exacting as spinal surgery can be, it is useful to understand the basics of what spine surgery can do and what it cannot do. Basically, spine surgery can include taking material away to increase room for nerves, fusing or replacing painful joints and re-aligning and fusion the spine after trauma or deformity. Terms that are used to describe the process for taking away material to make more room for nerves include discectomy, laminotomy, laminectomy, facetectomy, vertebrectomy, laminoplasty. Many of these procedures can be performed effectively alone. However, if, in order to make adequate room for the nerves too much of the supportive structure of the spine is removed then additional support is needed to maintain the structural stability of the spine. This involves spinal fusions with instrumentation. Spinal fusion surgery is basically removing the joints that separate the bones of the spine and creating an environment that will aid your body to fuse or grow separate bones together as one, usually with supportive metal implants that add strength and stability to the construct long enough for the bones to grow together.
Improving the environment for nerves that are being injured and protecting them from additional injury usually improves clinical symptoms dramatically. However, if the nerve itself has been damaged then improving the environment for the nerve only stops the on-going damage and creates an environment conducive to healing and recovery. Damaged nerves take time to recover and sometimes never heal completely.
Learning curves for minimally invasive spine surgeries: Are they worth it? (Download PDF)
Minimally invasive versus open transforaminal lumbar fusion: a systematic review of complications. (Download PDF)
Perioperative outcomes and adverse events of minimally invasive versus open posterior lumbar fusion: the meta-analysis and systematic review (Download PDF)
Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction (Download PDF)
The efficacy of minimally invasive discectomy compared with open discectomy: a meta-analysis of prospective randomized controlled trials.
Patients Sue Back Surgery Company Laser Spine (Download PDF)
“Dr. Carmody is a very confident and reassuring surgeon who did explain exactly what he was going to do. Top Notch. Would highly recommend him for anything neck, spine, or lumbar. A++++ rating from this satisfied patient.”AVFLYGUY
“His confidence will put you at ease. This guy saved my life. Absolutely incredible doctor!”KYLE H.
“Dr. Carmody has always been professional, kind and answered any questions I’ve had. He also has a way of helping you get past the fear of having surgery with his helpful explanations in layman’s terms. The surgery went great and I actually have more range of motion now than I did before the surgery, which isn’t always the case. I highly recommend him and his staff.”LAURIE C.
Dr. Carmody - Texas Spine Consultants
17051 Dallas Pkwy #400
Addison, TX 75001, USA
Legacy Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
Texas Spine Consultants
17051 Dallas Parkway #400
Addison, TX 75001
Mon. 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Wed. 8:00pm – 5:00pm
Fri. 1:00pm – 5:00pm
6501 Preston Road
Plano, TX 75024
Mon. 8:00am- 12:00pm
Fri. 8:00am- 12:00pm