The Weekly Check-Up Atlanta

Dr. Marion McMillan of Synergy Spine Center

Listen to a recording of the first hour of the show.

Listen to a recording of the second hour of the show.

Dr. Marion McMillan discussed back issues this week on The Weekly Check-Up.

Dr. Marion McMillan of Synergy Spine Center


  • "If you can live with it, leave it alone" advice from Dr. Marion McMillan of Synergy Spine Center
  • Marion R. McMillan specializes in minimally invasive surgery for spinal stenosis and herniated disc repair
  • Osteoporosis is the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time.
  • Disk herniation occurs more frequently in middle-aged and older men, especially those involved in strenuous physical activity
  • A herniated/slipped disk occurs when all or part of a spinal disk is forced through a weakened part of the disk. There is a genetic link.
  • More than 100 types have been identified, each with its own characteristic set of symptoms, pattern of development, and prognosis
  • Peripheral neuropathy describes damage to the peripheral nervous system
  • PPQRST-Palliative, Provocative, Quality, Radiation, Severity, and Timing; these are the questions your physician should ask you about.
  • If you feel abnormal sensation in your arms/legs, see your doctor immediately
  • Back pain of some sort affects 80% of the adult population at some point in their lives
  • #1 complaint from patients is back pain.

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. McMillan of the Synergy Spine Center attended Southwest High School and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Yale University. He attended Tufts Medical School and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology, and completed fellowship training in Interventional Pain Management at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. McMillan has extensive postgraduate training and experience in spinal medicine and minimally invasive spinal surgery including endoscopic spinal surgery and laser assisted methods of percutaneous disc surgery.

He pioneered percutaneous laser discectomy at Synergy Spine Center in Upstate South Carolina in 2005 and introduced outpatient full endoscopic spinal surgery for the treatment of herniated disc and spinal stenosis in 2007. At this writing, Synergy Spine Center is the only spine care facility in the United States to offer outpatient full endoscopic spinal surgery for correction of spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis affects up to 40% of patients over the age of 60 causing progressive back pain and disability which interferes with standing, walking, and normal activities.

Full endoscopic spinal surgery for spinal stenosis is routinely performed on outpatients under local anesthesia and avoids hospitalization and the complications associated with traditional open spinal surgery or spinal fusion operations. Full endoscopic spinal surgery has been proven in randomized controlled clinical trials to be a safe and effective alternative to traditional open spinal surgery for spinal stenosis and herniated disc.

Dr. McMillan serves as Director of Spinal Medicine and Endoscopic Spinal Surgery at Synergy Spine Center and is a member of the American Medical Association, North American Spine Society, and associate member of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons. He has authored several recent clinical papers and research investigations in minimally invasive spinal surgery and chapter submissions to an upcoming textbook of endoscopic spinal surgery. More information including current medical references about spinal stenosis, full endoscopic spinal surgery, and modern management of spinal pain may be found at