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Dr. Greg Khounganian

Orthopedic Surgery
TARZANA, CA
19 years experience male

Locations

Office

Tarzana, CA

Address

5525 Etiwanda Ave, #311, Tarzana, CA
Directions

Practice website

Insurances accepted

BCBS Blue Card PPO

Blue Cross of California

UnitedHealthcare

Aetna Life Insurance Company

Blue Shield of California

Cigna

Health Net Of California

About

Bio

Dr. Greg Khounganian is board certified in spine surgery that emphasizes minimally invasive techniques. After earning his medical degree from the University of Southern California, he completed his orthopedics surgery residency in New York City. As he grew adept at treating a variety of orthopedic problems, ranging from sports injuries to broken bones to arthritic joint conditions, Dr. Khounganian developed an interest in spine and spine-related disorders. He returned to his home in the San Fernando Valley to expand on his spine surgery training with a fellowship at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute. Here Dr. Khounganian learned some of the most innovative orthopedic techniques available to patients, including treating spine conditions with non-operative techniques and utilizing microscopic and other minimally invasive procedures. His use of these state-of-the-art practices means patients can return to their regular activities as quickly as possible. Customizing his approach to match each patient’s specific needs, Dr. Khounganian performs procedures involving the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. His extensive list of procedures includes: cervical discectomy and fusion, cervical arthroplasty, lumbar microdiscectomy, lumbar decompression, and fusion procedures. Dr. Khounganian has participated in a number of orthopedic research projects and been published in a range of academic journals. His research has been accepted for presentation at both national and international spine surgery meetings. During his medical education, he was awarded recognition for his outstanding scholastic achievements. In his free time, he enjoys music, movies, personal fitness, and outdoor activities with friends and family.

Specialties
Doctors may have more than one area of specialty interest. Board certification in a specialty area means the doctor has completed formal training and has practice experience in that specialty, and has passed the certification examination from the corresponding accredited medical specialty board.

Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic Spine Surgery

Languages spoken

Armenian

Doctor Q&A

70 Answers
37 Agrees
The number of answers this doctor has agreed with.
A member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
No: Ankylosing spondylitis is a disorder that is not common. Osteoarthritis, which is the arthritis most adults develop, is much more common. If for some ... Read More
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
The approach: Anterior lumbar fusions utilize an approach through the abdomen called a retro peritoneal approach. This approach actually never enters the cavity co... Read More
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Yes: There are musculoskeletal conditions that cause scoliosis at birth. In addition there is 'infantile scoliosis'. Scoliosis as an infant newborn can b... Read More
A 29-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
You can't: Scoliosis is a structural problem of the spinal column causing a rotational abnormality and a curve of the spine. No amount of chiropractic care can ... Read More
A 30-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Need a spinal tap: For evaluating spinal fluid a spinal tap is necessary. This is the only way to evaluate the fluid for any problems. An MRI would only be able to eval... Read More
A 33-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
No: Lumbar disc herniations do not cause hand numbness.
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Depends: It depends on the age of the patient, how many levels are involved, if instability is present, and how much degeneration is present in the spine. It ... Read More
A member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
A disc replacement: Certain individuals with lumbar or cervical disc disease can qualify for a disc replacement. Somewhat similar to hip and knee replacements done today.... Read More
A 39-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Reproduce symptoms: Provocative exam relative to a discogram means they are trying to recreate your pain symptoms to determine which disc is causing your pain.
A 41-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Spine surgeon: A spine surgeon (orthopedic or neurosurgeon) trained in the implantation of disc replacements can perform this procedure.
A 37-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
We don't know: We do not know why adolescent (idiopathic) scoliosis occurs. This form of scoliosis develops as adolescents as has the highest chance of progressing ... Read More
A 42-year-old male asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Most likely: Check with your surgeon for follow-up xrays and an exam. They need to determine how well you are healed after the procedure and if you have any residu... Read More
A 41-year-old female asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
See specialist: You may be having continued pain due to recurrent stenosis or epidural fibrosis/scar after the procedure. You may benefit from some injections to hel... Read More
A 33-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Muscle relaxer: Soma (carisoprodol) is a muscle relaxer that can help with the back and/or leg muscle cramps you get when you have sciatica. Be careful when taking m... Read More
A 42-year-old female asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Get checked: Bulging discs can be painful and debilitating. However, you should be examined thoroughly for any other causes. If you are significantly disabled by... Read More
A 61-year-old female asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Adjacent level: It is very possible that you are having one of the adjacent non-fused levels degenerating. Especially after 30 years. This can cause pinching of ner... Read More
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
No: That is a structural problem that chiropractic manipulation can't change. However, some local treatments can help if you have back pain.
A 32-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Depends on severity: The procedure can take anywhere from 3 or 4 hours, to much longer. It depends on the severity of the curve, how many segments need to be fused, and i... Read More
A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Minimally invasive: Xlif (extreme lateral interbody fusion) is a technique to fuse one or more segments of the lumbar spine. It is done from the side to access the disc ... Read More
A 48-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Common: It is common to have back problems as we age. Having surgery in your 70's is not uncommon. If your symptoms are severe and limit your daily life than... Read More
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Core strengthening: After a time of rest and rehabilitation from surgery a program of core strengthening and stretching can be introduced gradually. But wait for directi... Read More
A 31-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Loss of lordosis: Commonly cervical spine straightening is called loss of lordotic curve. This is most commonly caused by a neck spasm. But can also be due to degener... Read More
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Meds and exercise: The easiest way to alleviate mild to moderate back pain is a short course of anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen. As well as exercise, especially c... Read More
A 45-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Yes: As long as the procedure is done for the right reasons and all other modalities have been unsuccessful (meds, injections, physical therapy) spine has ... Read More
A 30-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Remove fragment: A microdiscectomy is a surgical procedure done by a trained spine surgeon which involves an incision (approx. 3cm) over the level where the disc is he... Read More
A 42-year-old female asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
See a doctor: You need xrays, MRI and an exam by a surgeon. This will determine the next treatment strategy. Either medications, physical therapy or epidural inje... Read More
A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Forward bend test: A forward bend adam's test is a easy screening tool we use to evaluate scoliosis without x-rays. You must have someone observe while you do it. First... Read More
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Rare: In the hands of someone experienced epidural injections are very safe. They are done often under light sedation and utilize x-ray for proper placement... Read More
A 30-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Progression: Usually the treatment for sciatica is a series of conservative modalities. Start with medications (ant-inflammatories), physical therapy, epidural in... Read More
A 27-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Arthritic jonts: It is referring to the facet joints of the spine. Each level of the spine is connected by a disc in between the vertebrae and two facet joints. Just ... Read More
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Straight leg raise: An easy test to perform to see if the pain may be related to a slipped disc causing sciatica is called the straight leg raise test. If you lay flat an... Read More
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Both are good: Yoga and Pilates both employ a lot of core strengthening exercises without high impact or heavy lifting. I recommend them both to my patients frequen... Read More
A 24-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Non-surgical?: If you are referring to non-surgical spinal decompression employed mostly by chiropractors, there is very little evidence showing its efficacy. It is... Read More
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Surgery: Cauda equina is a syndrome that causes numbness and weakness to the lower extremities from a severe compression of the nerve roots in the lumbar spine... Read More
A 43-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Like a fusion: A cervical disc arthroplasty (disc replacement) is approached the same way a cervical fusion is done. Which is through a small incision in the front ... Read More
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Not sure: A discectomy is just that, removal of the entire disc. So residual disc herniation should not occur, unless a complete discectomy was not performed f... Read More
A 23-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Wound: Initially after surgery you want to avoid submersion in a pool or tub due to wound healing. You want to avoid it due to the possibility you may infec... Read More
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
No: Spina bifida occulta is a mild defect of the spine where some of the bones don't completely fuse together to close the spinal canal. Usually occurrin... Read More
A member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Not quickly : A herniated disc may shrink with time. But it's the inflammation that it causes which produces the leg pain. Once that inflammation subsides usually t... Read More
A member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Meds: Anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen and naprosyn (naproxen) can help a lot. If not, a lumbar epidural injection with cortisone can be very... Read More
A 23-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
A few weeks: The initial pain should start to improve over the next week or two. However, there may be continued residual pain that slowly diminishes over the nex... Read More
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Vomit: It is a fancy medical term for vomiting. Peristalsis is the normal slow motion of the gastrointestinal tract that moves food along to be absorbed. W... Read More
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
See a doctor: I assume you have had an MRI to know this. A herniated disc may cause leg pain and numbness, but with medications, physical therapy, injections, the s... Read More
A 30-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Need a new MRI: It could be that you are have a recurrence of the symptoms due to return in stenosis at the same level or an adjacent level. You need a new MRI to ev... Read More
A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Scoliosis: Sounds like you are referring to scoliosis. It is a condition that causes the spine to curve like an 's' shape. A simple xray and exam can determine... Read More
A 46-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
No: A chiropractor can offer relief for back pain. But the curve is a structural deformity that can only be corrected surgically. However, everyone does... Read More
A 50-year-old male asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Piriformis syndrome: Its the george costanza problem. If you have a large wallet in your back pocket it can cause pressure on the sciatic nerve, also called piriformis sy... Read More
A 38-year-old female asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Yes: Cervical stenosis means that the canal where the nerves and spinal cord travels in the neck is narrow. This can cause pinching in nerves that radiate... Read More
A 48-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Location: A central disc herniation is when the herniation bulges equally down the center of the canal. A paracentral herniation is when the disc is more towar... Read More
A 47-year-old member asked:
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Yes: Depending on the magnitude of the curve. Small curve are treated with physical therapy, possible bracing. Large curve are treated with surgery which... Read More

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Testimonials
Recommendations and Thank you notes are endorsements given from patients or other doctors.

2
Recommendations
277
Thank you notes
HealthTap member
Mar 30, 2015
Dr. Khounganian is an amazing doctor! #nationaldoctorsday2015 #virtualflower1
HealthTap member
Mar 31, 2015
Dr. Khounganian is an amazing doctor! #nationaldoctorsday2015 #virtualflower1
HealthTap member
Thank you, your answer was very helpful! Very helpful! About to have lower back spinal fusion , confident!
HealthTap member
Thank you so much for sharing your time & knowledge. I really appreciate it, it's very helpful .
HealthTap member
This saved my life. Thank you. now I know what it might be

Education & Training

Medical/Graduate school

Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California, CA
Graduated 2003MD

Medical/Graduate school

University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine
Graduated 2003MD
90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions, provide medical advice, write prescriptions, and more.
Answer emailed
in 24 hours or less