Back and neck problems are often the result of the robust lives that we live. 

We strain our backs with the heavy work that we do and we tax ourselves even more with the sport and leisure activities that we choose.  Many back problems resolve on their own, respond well to physical therapy, bracing or pain management.  Sometimes however, the damage will not correct without surgery.  In this most delicate surgery, you want the best diagnostician and surgeon there is.  The board certified spine specialists at Lakeshore Bone & Joint Institute are fellowship-trained and treat spine conditions exclusively.

The functions of your back are complicated and intricate.  Our spine specialists understand the challenges that you may be facing, such as living with back pain or having trouble managing simple daily activities because of wear and tear on your body, and stand ready to help you start the road to recovery. Our goal is to provide you with comprehensive care and to make your experience as informative and pleasant as possible.

Common Conditions of the Spine

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease happens gradually and is a normal part of aging. Although it is relatively common, its effects usually are not severe enough to need medical attention. However, sometimes degenerative disc disease can cause problems that require treatment.

Degenerative changes in the spine often cause loss of normal structure and/or function. Each movement of the spine can contribute to wear and tear, and, over time, these daily stresses and minor injuries can accumulate without you even being aware or feeling pain. Eventually, the disc begins to degenerate. As the disc space collapses and loses height, stability can be lost and the nerves housed in the spinal canal can become compressed. It is important to remember that disc degeneration is part of the natural process of aging and does not necessarily lead to low back pain.

Bone Spurs

Bone spurs, sometimes called osteophytes, may begin to form around the disc space. This may be the body’s response to try to stop damaging movement. The spurs can become a problem if they start to grow into the spinal canal and press on nerves or the spinal cord. This condition is called spinal stenosis and, many times, accompanies degenerative disc disease.

Other Spine Conditions

  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Bone fracture
  • Nerve injury
  • Spinal cord diseases
  • Slipped disc

Treatments for the Spine

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)

The most common surgery for symptomatic herniated cervical discs, ACDF exposes your cervical spine through a surgical cut in the front of your neck so that your surgeon can remove the disc(s) or bone spurs that are causing your symptoms. The intervertebral disc is removed and replaced with a small plug of bone or other graft substitute, that,  in time, will fuse the vertebrae. ACDF can be done for single or multiple level disc herniations, as indicated.

Cervical Corpectomy

A procedure that removes a portion of the vertebra and adjacent intervertebral discs to allow for decompression of the cervical spinal cord and spinal nerves. A bone graft, and in some cases a metal plate and screws, is used to stabilize the spine.


A procedure that removes the foramina (the area where the nerve roots exit the spinal canal) to increase the size of the nerve pathway.


A procedure that reaches the cervical spine (neck) from the back of the neck, which is then reconstructed to make more room for the spinal canal.


A procedure that removes only a small portion of the lamina (a part of the vertebra) to relieve pressure on the nerve.

Physicians Specializing in Spine

Anton A. Thompkins, M.D.<br />  <em>Spine Surgeon</em>

To make an appointment with Anton A. Thompkins, M.D.
  Spine Surgeon, call at 219-395-2108.

Anton A. Thompkins, M.D.
  Spine Surgeon sees patients at the following locations:

LBJI Chesterton - 601 Gateway Blvd.
LBJI Portage - 3691 Willowcreek Rd., Suite 100
Nick Nenadovich, M.D.<br />  <em>Spine Surgeon</em>

To make an appointment with Nick Nenadovich, M.D.
  Spine Surgeon, call at 219-395-2107.

Nick Nenadovich, M.D.
  Spine Surgeon sees patients at the following locations:

LBJI Chesterton - 601 Gateway Blvd.
LBJI Portage - 3691 Willowcreek Rd., Suite 100
LBJI Crown Point - 12800 Mississippi Parkway, Suite 201A

Keeping You In Motion

You're Invited


WHAT: An educational evening on shoulder and hip ailments presented by Dr. Anthony Levenda and Dr. Eric Szczesniak

WHERE: 601 Gateway Blvd, Chesterton 

WHEN: Tuesday, May 22 at 6:30p




Check out Lakeshore Bone & Joint Institute's Urgent Care located in the Portage Office at 3691 Willowcreek Rd, Portage, IN
Hours: Monday - Friday 11:00am to 7:00pm

Convenient, Quaily, Affordable




Thank you for voting Lakeshore Bone & Joint Institute Best of the Region AGAIN!!!

"Lakeshore Bone & Joint Institute practices advanced orthopedic health care, tailored to each patient's unique needs. A culture has been fostered amongst our medical staff in which our comprehensive care is centered around the patient. This attitude, combined with our providers' skills has led to many successful outcomes for our patients. It is an honor to have earned the trust of our patients and their families, as resulted in being voted #1 as Best of the Region."
Thomas Kay, MD
Lakeshore Bone & Joint Institute