Mark J. Downey, MD & Alex Cotter, MD
10 Old Montgomery Hwy #200. Homewood, AL 35209
Appointments & Referrals: (205) 271-6511
Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF) is typically used to remove a degenerative disc and relieve pressure on nerve roots in the lumbar spine.
Using the minimally invasive procedure involves a small incision in the back. Using a portable X-ray machine, the surgeon locates the diseased vertebral levels. Making the smallest incision possible, the surgeon uses a combination of dilators and tubular retractors to access the vertebra and remove the degenerative disc. An implant with bone graft is placed in the empty space, this realigns the vertebral bones and relieves pressure on the nerve roots.
Advantages of the minimally invasive TLIF procedure over traditional spine surgery include smaller incision and less disruption to muscle tissue. This procedure is generally performed in an outpatient setting or 23 hour stay. Most patients can return to normal activity within 2-3 weeks following surgery.
As a physiatrist, Dr. Downey specializes in diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of pain-related spinal disorders. He is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) since 2007 and uses his comprehensive spine and musculoskeletal training to determine the appropriate line of treatment for a variety of spinal conditions.
Dr. Alex Cotter uses his background in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as Pain Medicine to provide comprehensive non-surgical treatment for a variety of spinal conditions. Specializing in interventional spine, he offers fluoroscopic spinal injection procedures to relieve spine-related pain and restore patients’ normal activities and function.
"Dr. Downey is a Godsend. He’s caring and compassionate. If you have back problems this is the doctor for you."
"Dr. Cotter was great! Very intelligent and actually gave me great information on nerves and bones in the pelvis. Thank you Dr. Cotter!"
"Dr. Downey is a very compassionate, kind, nice doctor. He has a great bedside manner and listens to you as long as it takes for what you have to say."
"Dr. Cotter and his staff took their time, answered all my questions, and I never felt rushed. This is a top shelf group with a stellar staff. I can't recommend them highly enough!"
As a community service, Spine Group Alabama mails out a free 36-page Home Remedy Book with customized stretches that can relieve some back and neck pain symptoms. Enter your name and address and we will mail you a copy.
Some symptoms can become permanent if you don’t see the physician with in 24 hours. Find out when you can use “watchful waiting” and when you have an emergency symptom.
Spine Group Alabama specializes in the treatment of back pain, neck pain, herniated discs, and all types of ligament strain related to the neck and low back. Spine Group Alabama is referred back and neck pain patients from across Alabama, including Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Huntsville and Montgomery.
Monday - Thursday: 8am - 4:30pm
Friday: 8am - 2:30pm