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Dr. Thomas A. McNally

Orthopedic Spine Surgery
Chicago, IL
27 years experience male

Locations

Chicago Center for Orthopaedic and Robotic Surgery

Chicago, IL

Address

4700 N. Marine Drive, Chicago, IL, US
Directions

Fax

7735647745

About

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 Spine Surgery

Languages spoken

English

Doctor Q&A

51 Answers
16 Agrees
The number of answers this doctor has agreed with.
A 29-year-old male asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Spine Surgeon: She should ask her primary care doctor about osteoporosis medications to help prevent future fractues and a referral to a spine specialist for standin... Read More
A 25-year-old female asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Check with your md: Back pain that persists for more than four weeks should be investigated with your doctor taking a history, performing a physical exam and ordering tes... Read More
A male asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Wear and tear: Depending on your symptoms and what your medical imaging shows (x-rays, mri's, ct scans), medications and physical therapy are the usual treatment. If... Read More
A male asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
See your doctor: Back pain that persists for more than four weeks should be investigated with your doctor taking a history, performing a physical exam and ordering tes... Read More
A 25-year-old female asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Check with doctor: Whenever there are neurological issues, such as numbness, it is a good idea to check in with a doctor or an emergency room for evaluation to attempt t... Read More
A 31-year-old female asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Maybe: Depending on what area of your thigh gets numb, the two areas could be related. The L5 nerve root passes the l4-5 disc level and leaves the spine thro... Read More
A 20-year-old male asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Urinalysis: You should be checked for a possible urinary tract infection. Urinalysis is a test to look for possible infection.
A 41-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
No: Tarlov cysts are usually asymptomatic. This means they do not typically cause symptpms/problems. They are often just benign occasional findings on mri... Read More
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Postural exercise: It depends on the cause of the bad posture and the age of the patient. Younger patients with flexible spines can often be taught postural exercises by... Read More
A 53-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Instrumentation: Harrington rods were some of the first spinal instrumentation utilized for reducing and stabilizing spine curves. The instrumentation acts like an int... Read More
A 37-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Pinch leads to knots: Muscle spasms can occur on their own without a pinched nerve, but commonly occur with pinched nerves.
A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Yes: Good hygiene can slow or prevent disease transmission.
A 37-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Weeks: Usually outpatient or less than 23 hours in hospital. Return to light work within a few weeks and return to heavy labor in 6 to 8 weeks, sometimes lon... Read More
A 21-year-old male asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Usually no: Idiopathic scoliotic curves of less than 30 degrees after skeletal maturity have very little chance of progressing (getting bigger).
A 29-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Orthopaedic Surgeons: I admit my answer is (as all answers are) biased. Orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, rheumatologists, neurologists, physiatrists (rehabilitation doc... Read More
A 47-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Yes: Your surgeon will help you decide when it is needed. In most instances, after non-operative care has been tried and failed, discectomy is very effecti... Read More
A 38-year-old female asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Often: After a person has failed non-operative care for a pinched nerve, surgical decompression has a high success rate for improving radicular (nerve) pain.
A 54-year-old female asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Ulnar nerve issues: Typically the symptoms you describe are caused by compression of the ulnar nerve at the elbow. The ulnar nerve travels from the elbow to the ring and ... Read More
A member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Usually none: In most instances, scoliosis in the mother will not effect the pregancy or the baby or mother's health. There is a genetic link in scoliosis. Your dau... Read More
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Rods are malleable: Harrington rods were straight, stainless steel rods that acted like a car jack to straighten the spine in one direction. Which was and advancement at ... Read More
A 31-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Curve size predicts: The goal of treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is to have the curves measure less than 30 degrees at skeletal maturity. The reason for this ... Read More
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
No: The recurrenct disc herniation rate is about the same for patients treated operatively (mircrodiscectomy) or non-operatively.
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Sometimes: Any activity that increases intra-abdominal pressure (tightening of the stomach muscles) will increase the pressure on the disc and thus pinch a nerve... Read More
A 56-year-old female asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Small left curve: Mild levoscoliosis means that it is a small curve that should have no consequensces for someone who is skeletally mature (any adult). For children, sm... Read More
A 31-year-old male asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Yes: Pinched nerves in the low back are often associated with numbness and tingling in the legs and feet.
A 26-year-old female asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Most often nothing: Whiplash injuries strain the neck tissues including the disc. These strains most often improve with time. Unfortunately, the time for improvement can ... Read More
A 51-year-old female asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Many other things: Surgery is not the first treatment option for bulging discs. In fact, it is usually the last option if it is appropriate at all. Usually, treatment in... Read More
A 45-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Examination: The doctor will take a health history and ask you about the injury, perform a physical exam, and order tests such as x-rays or mri's if indicated. Dep... Read More
A 46-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Stretching: Pain over the greater trochanter (part of the hip on the side of the body) is usually due to greater trochanteric bursitis or inflammation of the burs... Read More
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Often: Methylprednisolone is a steroid. Steroids are powerful anti-inflammatories. They decrease inflammation.
A 56-year-old male asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Leg pain: Pinched nerves in the lumbar spine (low back) usually present with leg pain, numbness, tingling, decreased ability to walk distances, limited standing... Read More
A 47-year-old male asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Aging: Deterioration of the spine is usually demonstrated by a decrease in the disc height or spaces between the vertebra (bones). This can be accompanied by... Read More
A 39-year-old female asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Advanced imaging: If you have not had advanced imaging recently (mri or ct myelogram), and you have already had interventional pain management (injections) and physica... Read More
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Many: Medications, physical therapy, injections and if all of that fails, microsurgical decompression.
A 19-year-old male asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
See your doctor: Back pain that persists for more than four weeks should be investigated with your doctor taking a history, performing a physical exam and ordering tes... Read More
A 44-year-old female asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Decompression: When someone has symptoms from nerve compression due to stenosis and the spine is stable, decompressive procedures such as discectomy (laminotomy) or ... Read More
A 53-year-old male asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
They are different: Tietze is a an inflammation of the cartilage of the ribs as they attach to the sternum (breast plate). Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammator... Read More
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Check with doctor: Medications (oral steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories), physical therapy, interventional pain management (injections), if these options do n... Read More
A 39-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Physical therapy: Active physical therapy and nsaid's (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications) are the mainstains of treatment for routine back injuries.
A 37-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Not usually: Pinched nerves follow a specific pathway of pain in what is called a dermatome. These are isolated and well mapped in human anatomy. A pinched nerve u... Read More
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Visit a doctor: As with all injuries, a health history, circumstances of injury, physical examination and results of imaging studies (x-rays, mri's, etc) are the keys... Read More
A 41-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Nerve pain: There are a few common causes of lumbar radiculopathy. It is pain coming from a pinched nerve. The nerves are most often pinched by discs, bony spurs,... Read More
A 47-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Spinal Arthritis: Spondylosis is a general term for arthritis of the spine.
A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
No: In most instances, herniated disc are resorbed by the body. They do not go back into place. Often what are described as disc bulging on lumbar mri's a... Read More
A member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
EMG/NCV: The ones in my office usually take about 25 minutes. Remember to schedule enough time for registration and preparation though.
A 34-year-old male asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
No: There has been no scientific evidence that there is a risk of long term damage from knuckle cracking.
A 20-year-old female asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
No: It is like cracking your knuckles. Sounds bad but there has been no scientific evidence that it is harmful.
A 77-year-old female asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Could be stenosis: When standing, spinal stenosis in the lumbar spine usually becomes more symptomatic. In other words, the pain or numbness in the legs gets worse. I re... Read More
A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Lordosis is normal: Lumbar lordosis is normal. There are fusion surgeries that can turn kyphosis (abnormal forward tilt of low back) into physiologic (normal) lumbar lord... Read More
A 23-year-old female asked:
Dr. Thomas A. McNally
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 27 years experience
Unsure of question: Most surgeons exhaust non-operative care before recommending surgery. Non-operative care can include medications (anti-infammatory arthritis type medi... Read More

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

2
Recommendations
159
Thank you notes
HealthTap member
Mar 30, 2015
Dr. McNally is an amazing doctor! #nationaldoctorsday2015 #virtualflower1
HealthTap member
Mar 31, 2015
Dr. McNally is an amazing doctor! #nationaldoctorsday2015 #virtualflower1
HealthTap member
Thank you, Just what I need more inflammation in another spot. I thought it was AS in my ribs. Just what I needed more inflammation ) :
HealthTap member
It's the top half part of my thigh that is numb. It's almost an exact split in my leg as the back is normal. Thanks for replying! :)
HealthTap member
Thank you, your answer was very helpful! Im in extremely pain and pt helps, ice helps, but can't function.

Education & Training

Medical/Graduate school

University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, IL
Graduated 1995MD

Awards

Top Orthopedic Spine Surgeon , First Place, Illinois - Summer
2013
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