2014 Survivor Summit

I’m participating in Survivor Summit where I will be hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro from February 8-21, 2014 as part of the fight against cancer. The money I raise will support LIVESTRONG’s programs and services, which inspire and empower people affected by cancer.

Becker's Spine Review 51 Spine Surgeons on Top Leadership Strategies

Chicago — Becker’s Spine Review released a list of “51 Spine Surgeons on Top Leadership Strategies.” Surgeons featured on this list discuss the core concepts for becoming a leader in the field today and the key qualities of spine surgeon leaders in the future.

The spine surgeons on this list include founders and presidents of large private practices; division heads at highly regarded medical centers and academic institutions; board members of national spine surgeon organizations; researchers; clinical and business innovators; and surgeons who consistently engage in healthcare thought leadership.

Spine surgeons do not pay and cannot pay to appear on this list. Direct questions and comments about this list and Becker’s Spine Review to Assistant Editor Heather Linder at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Becker’s Spine Review is a Chicago-based online and print publication focused on news and analysis of the business and legal issues related to spine surgeons and practices. The publication includes electronic newsletters, additional web content, and a quarterly print publication sent to spine surgeons and practice decision-makers across the country.

California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Appoints Dr. Robert Masson to Work Group

Founder of Masson Spine Institute Robert L. Masson, MD, was named to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine scientific and medical research funding workgroup.

 The Scientific and Medical Research Funding Work Group makes recommendations to the Institute’s 29-member governing body with respect to research grants funded by the Institute.

Throughout his career, Dr. Masson performed more than 11,000 microsurgical spine procedures and now devotes his entire practice to minimally invasive procedures. He developed the interpedicular minimal access surgery used in lumbosacral spinal reconstruction and is responsible for the education, product development, and research for DePuy Synthes Spine products and techniques.

He’s treated professional athletes and is an expert consultant at Spine Health.

Carl Paulson: The Road Back to the Tour (Part II)

There is not one lead-in, in which can give one the true sense of the amount of work and determination Carl Paulson, PGA Tour professional, has been doing since we first introduced you to his situation in our Spring 2007 issue. Carl, for the most part has not only continued to work daily on recovering from his back injury suffered in a 2006 tournament, he is more determined than ever to return to the tour, golf fit and mind strong.

In Part I of our story, we introduced you to Paulson, his world-renowned Neurosurgeon, Dr. Robert Masson, of Masson Spine Institute in Central Florida, and his physical trainer Charles Goodnough. With the decision to forego spine surgery because of his athletic career and his livelihood depending on him playing golf again, Carl and the team at Masson Spine Institute put together a sport specific program that would focus returning Carl to the course and protecting the injured area “ I knew that if I could challenge myself to try to correct my injury through physical strength training, that my golf game would benefit from it immensely, I just had to challenge myself, my patience and my mental attitude to not give up and know that this would be the best solution,” stated Paulson.

As we sat down one afternoon after his daily workout with his trainer Charles Goodnough one of the many team members from the Masson Spine Institute, we had the privilege of discussing where Carl is at this point in his recovery since our last conversation, his plans of returning to the tour, and most importantly the basis of his daily work-out routine.

Golf Fitness Magazine: So how are you doing this month Carl?

Carl Paulson: “I am feeling stronger than I ever have, my body is definitely transforming.”

GFM: Charlie, tell us a little bit about your background.

Charlie Goodnough: As a physical trainer for over 28 years, a former football player, wrestler, and owner of several gyms, I am now at a point in my career as a Physician’s Assistant specializing in Neurospine, in which I have seen all aspects of how proper strength training and fitness can prevent and rehabilitate injury, and I have seen how the wrong type of training can cause injury. In Carl’s case, we have integrated a system in which we concentrate on certain muscle groups, specifically the core, which is the area from the collar bone to the pelvic bone. However, overall conditioning is key, so we are not overlooking the rest of the body, just placing emphasis on his core.

GFM: Charlie, what do you feel should be any physical trainer’s purpose when you train or rehabilitate someone?

Charlie Goodnough: A good trainer has two purposes, to motivate and to educate. As in Carl’s case, I expect him to be able to walk away and in time do things on his own and know what muscles to work on, and what to muscles to protect.

GFM: Can you be a little specific in describing Carl’s program to our readers.

Charlie Goodnough: In the system that we designed for Carl, we are making sure that his body progresses, but at the same time we are keeping him in a safe comfort zone, but not allowing his body to get to adjusted to a specific way. If we allow his body to get too used to one specific routine, it would prohibit growth in a positive direction. This could then affect him directly on the course. By continually changing things around, this allows him to utilize his full swing capacity on the course in whatever the situation might be—this utilization of full muscles strength, control and capacity on the course is of course called Pro Golf—and that is what we strive for daily.

On the technical side of things, we have put Carl on a 3 muscle group type rotation, this rotation consists of the primary, secondary and then primary muscles again. We begin with warm-up, then go into our comprehensive program and then do a sport specific activity for Carl after the workout. Like singing the golf club 20-30 times.

GFM: Carl, what is your confidence level like now?

Carl Paulson: Since I first started my road to recovery, my confidence level has gone up immensely. Knowing your body and being in control of your body and your muscles allows you to ultimately be in control of your swing. When I first began working out, I could barely do 17 push-ups, now I am doing anywhere from 200-500 each time we work out.

Charlie Goodnough: Carl’s work ethic is very good and he is very easy to work with.

GFM: Carl, what is next, I mean what do you hope that our third part to this series will reveal to our readers about your recovery?

Carl Paulson: I would hope it would be about how I am spending the majority of my time on the course and not in the gym and that my body has made a complete transformation. Also, most importantly would be that in my on course practicing, I have learned to apply my training to my swing. Last but not least would of course be my plans to return to the tour!

Stay tuned for the fall issue of Golf Fitness Magazine, in which we see how Carl is progressing and we follow him on the course and talk about his plans to return to the tour.

Conquering Kili With Love

I tagged along with a group of 15 remarkable men and women who were part of Survivor Summit, a unique organization that leads cancer survivors and their supporters on “life-altering journeys” and raises money for cancer research via the nonprofit LIVESTRONG Foundation.

FDA Approves First Dual Level Implant Mobi-C Artificial Cervical Disc

LDR Spine, based in Austin, TX announced August 23, 2013, the receipt of a much-anticipated approval letter from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the surgical disc replacement of two levels of symptomatic disc disruption. The Masson Spine Institute of Orlando is pleased to offer an FDA approved two-level artificial disc solution for traumatic and degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine. Dr. Masson is one of the first surgeons in North America to offer this inspired solution, post-FDA approval.

Previously, the major insurance carriers have only offered single level disc replacement to its insured, citing that surgery for multiple levels was investigational. The release of the FDA approval level, based on a superiority study of two-level Mobi-C arthroplasty over spinal fusion, now provides that this is the new standard of care for certain types of disc disease of the cervical spine. MSI is committed, as we were in single-level cervical arthroplasty, to lead the charge in supporting the safe, judicious, and efficacious use of the Mobi-C arthroplasty solution to our patients in need of disc repair surgery.

We pledge to offer education, support, and service to our patients and to surgeons throughout the world, in need of this next-generation disc repair treatment. We will work diligently to help the payers understand the benefits to their insured of this new and important medical treatment.

Robert L. Masson MD
President, NeuroSpine Institute of Orlando

Link to Press Release

Learn more about Mobi-C from the patient education site.


Flyin' High

A self-described “busy bee,” Robert Masson, M.D., fully lives to the “work hard, play hard” motto. One of the nation’s leading spine surgeons, an international lecturer and teacher, product developer and president of Masson Spine Institute, Dr. Masson is also an avid scuba diver, pilot, and coach of a top-ranked traveling baseball team.

How To Handle A Spine Problem In The COVID-19 World

How to Handle a Spine Problem in the COVID-19 World

Living with back pain isn’t an option for most because it can limit your activities and movement. The need for proper pain management and back treatment doesn’t change even as we change the way we approach things in our lives.

COVID-19 has us rethinking how we communicate, how we socialize, and even how our kids learn. So, what can you do to handle a spine problem in the COVID-19 world?

The Importance of Good Spinal Health

Your spine provides your body with its primary system of support. It allows you to move freely and maintain your balance, whether you're on the field or working in the yard. When there is a spinal disc disorder, resulting in severe pain, weakness or numbness, not only is the risk of permanent nerve damage a concern, but overall movement and performance is severely affected. Spine disc conditions of the neck and low back can completely ‘take you out of the game.’

At Masson Spine Institute, we think medical care is not something you can afford to put off, when it gets to this level of severity and our exceptional focus in these simple severe conditions helps you maximize your return to your life and goals. All of our surgical remedies are minimally invasive.

Don’t Put Off Medical Care

People throughout the country are avoiding the medical treatment they need out of fear of getting and spreading this virus. At Masson Spine Institue, we are doing our part to ensure both our staff and our patients are safe during the pandemic including

  • Offering you a private clinical team of specialists
  • Providing you with a private operating room

It's all part of the concierge system we offer at Masson Spine Institute. Through our concierge medical program, you get the individualized care necessary to limit your exposure to the virus and give you access to the medical treatment necessary for your spine problem.

There is something you can control during this pandemic — your health. Masson Spine Institute is concierge care dedicated to you, the patient.

Don’t let the pain in your neck or spine get in your way. Schedule an appointment today by calling Masson Spine Institute at (407) 649-8585 for our office at 2706 REW CIR, Orlando, FL 34761, and (435) 649-3317 for the 1820 Sidewinder Dr. Park City, UT 84098 location. You can also email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How To Prepare Your Body For Winter Sports To Prevent Injuries

How To Prepare Your Body For Winter Sports To Prevent Injuries

As the temperature starts to drop outside, there are lots of people who are thinking about engaging and winter sports. Some of the most popular winter sports include snowboarding, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and ice skating. With individuals getting ready to try these sports again for the first time in several months, it is important to make sure the body is ready to handle this type of stress. Therefore, it is important to strengthen, stretch, and target specific muscles that might not have been used in a while. Individuals who put regular stress on the body without proper preparation run the risk of serious injuries. The good news is there are a few ways to reduce this risk. 

Build Muscle Strength

First, it is important to build muscle strength by targeting muscle groups that are commonly used in winter sports. These include:

  • The Quads: Leg presses, wall sits, and squats are all ideal workouts for rebuilding strength in quadriceps muscles that might have atrophied during the summer.
  • The Calves: Calf muscles are used in almost all winter sports. Calf raises and box jumps are ideal for strengthening the calves.
  • The Groin: The groin is also a major muscle group in winter sports. Performing hip closures with weights is a great way to target the groin. 

Diversify these workouts to target all muscle groups used in winter sports. 

Stretch Prior to Workouts

It is critical to stretch all of these muscle groups to avoid injuries. Some of the most important stretches include: 

  • The Hamstrings: Toe touches are a great start to hamstring stretches. Then, try extended leg swings for dynamic stretching prior to workouts.
  • Ankle Stretches: To prevent from rolling the ankles, make sure to stretch them out before workouts. Grab the toes with the opposite hand and gradually roll the ankle to loosen it.
  • Hip Flexors: Always stretch the hip flexors by bending one leg, placing it over the opposite leg, and pulling it to the side to avoid hip injuries.

These stretches are critical for making sure the muscles are ready before every workout and competition. 

yoga blog

Focus on Flexibility

In order to make sure the body is ready for winter sports, it is important to focus on flexibility. There are a wide variety of workouts that can help people improve their flexibility. Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi are all ideal for helping people improve their flexibility as the winter sports season approaches. Consider incorporating these workouts along with traditional practices and stretches to make sure you are ready for the winter sports season.

Prepare for the Winter Sports Season Appropriately

With winter sports seasons rapidly approaching, it is important for everyone to implement these tips to make sure that they protect their bodies against future injuries. At Masson Spine Institute, we focus on injury prevention, wellness, and fitness. Our goal is to help our patients not only recover but also stay healthy. Contact us today to learn more about how we can keep you safe during the winter sports season! 

If I Have Surgery on My Spine Will I Ever Be Able to Play Sports Again?

Contrary to many beliefs, having surgery on your spine does not mean you will not be able to participate in physical activities like sports. In fact, there have been multiple studies and testimonials that have shown that athletes who have had spine surgery were able to return to playing sports at the same level of competition they were used to prior to surgery.

How long will it take to return to sports after surgery?

Spine surgery is usually a last resort treatment option for people who experience chronic back pain. If surgery is necessary, the type of surgery you get is one factor that contributes to how long the recovery process is. Other factors that can contribute to recovery after spine surgery include a patient’s outlook and dedication to the recovery process. Having a positive outlook and dedicating yourself to the recovering from your surgery can be the reason why you get back to sports 3 months after surgery or 3 years after surgery.

RunnerTake spine surgery patient, Joe LaMotta, as an example. With a very active lifestyle, often enjoying running, hiking, wrestling, and basketball, there was no surprise that Joe’s neck pain would have such a major impact on his life. Unable to bear the pain, Joe underwent a total disc replacement procedure with Centinel Spine’s prodisc C. On top of a successful procedure, Joe’s perseverance and dedication to his recovery was the reason why he was 95% back to his usual exercise routine in just three months post-surgery.

Mountain ClimberMasson Spine Institutes resident neurosurgeon Dr. Robert L. Masson, M.D. is an internationally recognized neurosurgeon and also has personal experience with dealing with recovery after spinal reconstruction surgery. An avid athlete and adventurer, physical activity is an important part of his life and he dedicated himself to his recovery so that he could return to his active lifestyle. In doing so, he was able to return to his normal lifestyle and even reached a major milestone in his life and successfully climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro six months after surgery.

The surgeons not only play an important role in your ability to get back to playing sports after spine surgery, it is also you who must take the steps to help your body recover and get back to enjoying the things you love.

It is also important to remember that the time it takes to return to sports may depend on the activity itself. So, returning to a sport like golf may be quicker than returning to a sport that requires more physical contact or more physical movement.

What can I do to help get back to playing sports after surgery?

Dedication, positivity, and a successful spine procedure are all important in helping you get back to enjoying physical activities but some other items that can contribute can include:

First Row ActivitesSecond Row Activites

At Masson Spine Institute, when more conservative approaches fail to deliver the desired result, additional intervention in the form of surgery becomes a viable option. Surgery, however, is never the end all.

Properly performed, it can take you from a dead end, a road to nowhere, to a road to somewhere positive. But it’s just the beginning of the new road; it’s not the ultimate destination. There’s a new journey that begins post-surgery and that journey requires commitment to fitness, commitment to movement, commitment to nutrition and commitment to positive energy. The more fully a patient understands and realizes the importance of these personal commitments, the more likely his or her surgery will be a success.

Masson Spine Institute Listed in The Top 105 Spine Surgery Practices.

Chicago — Becker’s Spine Review released a list of “105 Spine Surgery Practices to Know.” Many practices featured in this list include multiple specialists spanning the spectrum of spine care, ancillary services and forward-thinking practice models to deliver innovative patient care. These independent physician practices are often driven by surgeons and specialists who are thought leaders in the field and focus specifically on spine-related care.

Several of the practices reach beyond clinical care to incorporate research and development into their group. Others look past their conventional clinic walls to provide charity care and services to those in need.

Members of this list were selected based on editorial research after soliciting public recommendations. Practices do not pay and cannot pay to appear on this list. Direct questions and comments about this list and Becker’s Spine Review to Editor-in-Chief Laura Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Becker’s Spine Review is a Chicago-based online and print publication focused on news and analysis of the business and legal issues related to spine surgeons and practices. The publication includes electronic newsletters, additional web content, and a quarterly print publication sent to spine surgeons and practice decision-makers across the country.

Source: http://beckersspine.com/104-spine-surgery-practices-sponsored

Masson Spine Institute Park City Named as an Investigational Site for Centinel Spine’s SMART™ Clinical Study

The SMART Study is a nationwide clinical trial investigating the treatment of Two-Level Symptomatic Cervical Disc Disease (SCDD).

Park City, Utah – December 4,2020 - We are pleased to announce that our outpatient surgery center at Masson Spine Institute Park City has been named as an investigational site for Centinel Spine’s SMART study, an FDA clinical trial for two level Prodisc C artificial disc.

masson blogTHE SMART™ CLINICAL STUDY, sponsored by Centinel Spine will evaluate the safety and efficacy for two level Prodisc C in cervical disc injury. The primary purpose of the study is to show that the prodisc C SK and prodisc C Vivo are at least as safe and effective as a similar, currently marketed cervical disc prosthesis (Mobi-C) to treat symptomatic cervical disc disease (SCDD) in patients at two contiguous levels from C3 to C7.

“This is big news for the Masson Spine Institute Park City, and we are proud to bring the first of many national spine surgical investigational studies to the community of Park City.” – Dr. Robert L. Masson, Spine Surgeon and Founder of the Masson Spine Institute.

MSI Park City is currently enrolling patients interested in a two-level arthroplasty solution who are willing to be included in a landmark investigational trial in the United States.

Visit the SMART™ Clinical Study information page to learn more about the study and patient eligibility.

About Masson Spine Institute

The Masson Spine Institute is a passionate advocate for prevention, wellness, fitness, and ultimately extreme recovery in the face of spinal injury and encourages patients to become experts in their injury and to continue to ask questions about their injury and their treatment until the strategy makes sense to them. MSI patients are the most prepared for the pathway of recovery because they understand the sacrifices and commitment that they need to make in order to succeed and to become healthy and functionally active.

About Centinel Spine

Centinel Spine, LLC is a privately-held spinal device company leading the development and commercialization of the Stand-Alone, No-Profile, Integrated Interbody fusion technologies. The company began operations in August 2008, through the merger-acquisition of two pioneering medical device companies: Raymedica LLC and Surgicraft LTD. Today, Centinel Spine still embraces the pioneering culture developed at both originating companies and continues its corporate mission of becoming the leading anterior column support spine franchise, providing elegantly simple implants and instruments that are tissue-sparing and generating superior clinical outcomes.

Masson Spine Institute™ of Orlando celebrates its 15th year

Masson Spine Institute ™ of Orlando celebrates its 15th year of dedicated spine health delivery in Orlando Florida.  Its surgeons have over 25000 microsurgical spine cases behind them and they continue their rich tradition of setting the standard in modern spine treatment.

2014 is a special year for Masson Spine Institute™.  It has launched its Ambulatory Surgical Center, its physical therapy and rehab center, and extended its relationship with HealthCentral Hospital in West Orlando, FL.

MSI has expanded its care at Florida Hospital Orlando and will continue to provide elective microsurgical spine care at that location in Downtown Orlando.

Dr. Masson continues to be one of the busiest surgeon trainers in the World, bringing surgeons from throughout the world for advanced training in microsurgery of the spine, micro reconstruction of the neck and back, for artificial disc surgery training and certification and for iMAS training.

Depuy Synthes Spine, a Johnson and Johnson Company, is launching Dr. Masson’s lumbar procedural solution as a complete lumbosacral reconstruction system, iMERGENCE.

The MSI Orlando location continues to lead the charge in Stem Cell application in spinal reconstruction and is committed to increasing the prehabilitation and rehabilitation protocols available for Total Human Recovery after a spinal injury.

At MSI, our goal is not simply to fix the spinal injury but to restore the Human experience that the spine injury hindered.

Dr. Mark Giovanini will be expanding his MSI location to Destin, Florida, and is looking to provide destination outpatient spine surgery capabilities there by 2015.

MSI Park City will be opening next Fall, 2014, and will continue the rich tradition of fast recovery spine surgery solutions for the mountain sport enthusiast out of that location.

Message from Dr. Robert Masson

As founder of Masson Spine Institute, I firmly believe that having a spinal injury doesn’t have to change your life, and it doesn’t have to mean you’re ‘disabled.’ At MSI, we believe every patient should be given the best chance to make a full, healthy recovery and get back to living their life.

Masson Spine Institute specializes in minimally invasive spinal procedures directed toward giving each and every patient the best possible outcome, regardless of past results. Schedule an appointment to learn about the new technology available that offers speedy recovery times and superior, short- and long-term recovery results.

MSI Orlando Starting Regeneration Disc Treatment

Masson Spine Institute of Orlando has been a pioneer in stem cell advocacy over the last decade.  We have used placental mesenchymal stem cells as wound healing adjuvants, supporting our fusions, reconstructions and stabilizations, increasing rate of return, healing rates, and recovery.  The regenerative technology has been shown to improve physical performance postoperatively, in conjunction with our minimally invasive procedures.

 We are pleased to announce our outpatient stem cell disc regeneration treatment.  Our delivery mechanism is proprietary, with a patent-pending method and provides the only stem cell regenerative treatment in the world which is nondestructive to the disc capsule and wall.  Our navigation directed central disc treatment achieves internal disc manipulation and treatment without any external annulus or capsule injury caused by traditional percutaneous needle approaches.

Please call to schedule an appointment at our Orlando location to discuss options for stem cell disc regeneration treatment at our outpatient surgical facility.

Neck Pain: Is It Something You Should Worry About

A beautiful day at your favorite course, ball lying deep, a hard swing that doesn’t quite float through and bam, you feel a twinge in your neck. The next morning your neck is stiff, aching and you can’t turn your head. Now what?

For most of us, this concerning event will get better with the best medicine of all, time. Throw in some anti-inflammatories, rest, passive range of motion, perhaps massage and if slow to recover physical therapy and corticosteroid treatment prescribed by your physician and more than 98% will lead to no further problems.

There are circumstances that require early evaluation and they should not be ignored. You may have suffered from a herniated disc in your neck and it is important not to miss any of the important clues that may lead you to miss out on golf, or many other of life’s joyful activities because of damage to the spinal cord or a nerve.

Wait a minute, don’t panic, most herniated discs are not severe and greater than 90 percent will not even require intervention, but it is important to understand which ones are severe enough to cause permanent injury. There are instances where damage to a nerve or spinal cord can cause lasting damage. What are the signs of a potential problem and what should you do about it?

Signs of Nerve Injury
There are many vague symptoms that can be shared with a musculoskeletal injury or a herniated disc, and the test of time will usually sort these out. These include neck pain, stiffness, soreness, reduced range of motion and headache.

There are very easy to recognize symptoms of spinal cord and nerve involvement, and these should cause you to seek early attention from your physician. Any neck pain associated with numbness of the hands or arms, electrical shocks going down your arms or spine, weakness in push, pull, grasp, your wrists or your walk are major worries and need prompt attention.

Dyscoordination or difficulty picking things up or manipulating them with your fingers may be clues to subtle sometimes confusing nerve damage.

If you have any of these confusing and scary symptoms, you should promptly see your physician who will decide whether or not you require an mri of the cervical spine. This noninvasive, simple test can easily tell whether you are at risk for further spinal cord or nerve injury in the hands of a spine expert.

It is a big mistake in the face of true neurological symptoms to assume anything, and have your condition treated with manipulation or traction, or even to ignore it, without proper evaluation. While most of the time neck problems are self-limited, we play golf to master our management of our skills, and our adversities, our weaknesses and good common sense. Golf is the ultimate game of common sense and we do not want to miss the opportunity to take care of a problem before it can take care of us.

Again, most of the time, our stiff, achy, painful neck will get better in a few days, but play smart and safe and know the difference when it counts.

There is good news for treatment. Recently, artificial discs in the cervical spine have become available in the United States and abroad that can allow surgical repair for a herniated disc, without the need for fusion and with a quick and rapid recovery time, many people back to their normal regimen within several weeks of surgery, even playing golf. Only spine experts can properly evaluate you for this potential treatment, should you be one of the few, who has neurological symptoms or who fails to improve with the best medicine of all, a tincture of time.

Robert L. Masson, M.D.
President, Masson Spine Institute

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