Spine and Brain Center

Our Physicians

 

Our specialists are here to serve you.  You are welcome to browse through our medical staff where you will be informed of their training and experience.  You will also be able to read testimonials from patients whose lives have been changed by Spine & Brain Neurosurgery Center.

Neurosurgeons:
Nizam Razack, MD, JD, FAANS, FACS

Nizam Razack, MD, JD, FAANS, FACS

Nizam Razack, MD, JD, FAANS, FACS is founder and president of Spine & Brain Neurosurgery Center. He is board certified in Neurological Surgery.

Dr. Razack completed three post-doctoral fellowships: Reconstructive & Complex Spine Surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota,  Neurosurgical Oncology at the M.D. Anderson Cancer in Houston, Texas, and Orthopedic Spine Deformities at the Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Razack completed his residency at the University of Miami and earned his medical degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1990.

Dr. Razack is a former Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery for Orlando Health where he also serves as a member of the Joint Sections Tumor. Dr. Razack also serves as an assistant clinical professor in the department of neurosurgery for the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Razack is a former Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation from the University of Miami.  He has also served as an educator in Neurosurgery for Barry University.

Dr. Razack is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, a Diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, and a member of the Florida Medical Association.

"I reached a point that even walking caused excruciating pain...My bike just sat in a spare bedroom. Three weeks after surgery, my friends came and got me for a recovery bike ride... Six months later, one buddy and I biked 100 miles a day for five days straight."

Testimonial

My buddies who taught me how to ride a bike in a paceline, all knew me when I was vertical.  I had injured a disc overdoing it at the gym, I began walking tilted slightly sideways and forward. My friends called me Crooked. 

I could still get on a bike but I found myself getting slower. Pain was balled up in my buttocks and my sciatic nerve sent jolts down my leg. It became painful to walk.  After eating at restaurants,   I'd try to stand next to the chair and act like I was bent over looking in my purse to give myself a chance to straighten up. I started to wonder why my 50-year- old body looked more twisted than that of a 70-year-old.

Everyone had warned me to avoid surgery but I became so debilitated that I met with an orthopedist and a neurosurgeon. Neither made me feel comfortable so I tried physical therapy, hot/cold compressions, epidural cortisone injections, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, and decompression.  I lived on Ibuprofen.

I reached a point that even walking caused excruciating pain.  At Easter church service, I could barely stand and sing with the rest of the congregation. At work, I dreaded getting up from my desk. I couldn't hide the pain and I hated being pitied. My bike just sat in a spare bedroom.  I like to think of myself as a pretty strong person emotionally but one night I just locked myself in the bathroom and cried and cried.

One of my friends really understood the four walls of pain that surrounded me.  She had a friend who was an operating room nurse and got to see surgeons perform.   She said I should see Dr. Razack. When I finally got in to see him, he was so calm and studied that I felt hopeful. He didn't just glance at the notes of the technician who had written a report about my MRI - as the orthopedic surgeon had done.  He carefully reviewed the MRI films and he explained exactly what was going on with my back. Unconvinced I needed surgery, he ordered a new set of MRIs. Within a day of getting them, he reviewed the new films and told me he could help me.

I checked into Sand Lake Hospital about 7 a.m. for tests and the surgery was about 10:45. When I awoke after my surgery, my husband helped me get up and - for the first time in two years _ there was no bolt of electricity charging down my leg.

Within four days of surgery I was, somewhat gingerly, walking two miles a day.  A week afterward, I felt so good I actually wanted to go back to work, even though my medical leave gave me three weeks off. 

Three weeks after surgery, my friends came and got me for a recovery bike ride.  Six months later, one buddy and I biked 100 miles a day for five days straight. 

No pain. No doctors. And no one calls me crooked.

 

Neurologists:
M. Alexander Gonzalez, MD

M. Alexander Gonzalez, MD

M. Alexander Gonzalez, MD joined Spine & Brain Neurosurgery Center in December 2007. Dr. Gonzalez is fellowship trained in Movement Disorders. He is board eligible with the American Board of Neurology.

Dr. Gonzalez completed 3 years of fellowship training in Movement Disorders. This fellowship training is above the norm for Movement Disorder Fellowships which are generally 1 year in length. This additional training places Dr. Gonzalez at a higher expertise level than most in his field.

Dr. Gonzalez completed his residency in Neurology at Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami (Miller School of Medicine) and earned his medical degree at the Universidad de Caldas in 1991. Dr. Gonzalez completed his fellowship training in Movement Disorders at Jackson Memorial Hospital University of Miami (Miller School of Medicine).

Dr. Gonzalez is fluent in both Spanish and English.


"I had heard about Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) but thought it was only a last chance effort for patients with Parkinson's that exhausted all other avenues...I cannot say enough about Dr. Gonzalez and the deep concern he has for his patients. I went from looking like a jumping bean to having a normal life again."

It's been a little more than one year since I first met Dr. Gonzalez. I had heard about Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) but thought it was only a last chance effort for patients with Parkinson's that exhausted all other avenues. I had been taking a common Parkinson's drugs but most didn't help much and others made me feel like a zombie.

 

I researched "DBS" and was anxious to talk to someone that specialized in this field. I soon found out there are only a few specialists to choose from.  I considered myself lucky that Dr. Gonzalez was recommended to me.

 

My appointment lasted almost one hour and at no time did I feel like I was being rushed. It was clear to me that Dr. Gonzalez took a personal interest in my case. I was treated more like a friend instead of just another patient. One important item we discussed was the downside possibilities. They range from death to almost 100% satisfaction. At the conclusion of our meeting there was no doubt that I was going to have the operation. But this was only the first step. I had to meet with the neurosurgeon and get his approval, then pass a rigorous physical exam to ensure that I was physically able to have the surgery.

 

Well the day finally came, June 17th my birthday. This was no coincidence; I selected the 17th because this would be the nicest gift ever. I arrived at the hospital at 5:00 a.m. and by 8:00 a.m. I was on my way to the operating room.

 

I understand the operation took a couple of hours and I was awake for 15 minutes during the surgery. I barely remember being awakened. Prior to the start of the operation I heard a phone ring. One of the nurses had forgotten to turn off her cell phone. Knowing that most phones have a camera built in, I requested to have my picture taken. The next thing I remember is waking up in IC. I finally made it to my room around 3:00 p.m. Shortly after my arrival to the room I was greeted by several nurses carrying a chocolate cake, a birthday card signed by the entire staff and singing happy birthday.  The next day I received my pictures over the internet.

 

I forgot to tell you that DBS is a two part operation. The first part is the placing of the wire in the brain and the second part involves implanting the stimulator in the chest and running the wire from the brain to the stimulator. There is more discomfort with the second part.

 

It has been almost one year since I had the DBS procedure. I cannot say enough about Dr. Gonzalez and the deep concern he has for his patients. I went from looking like a jumping bean to having a normal life again. The only downside I encountered was that a friend of mind refuses to walk near me during a lighting storm.

 

Another valuable piece of information is to shave your head before the operation. If you don't, the staff does it for you. Believe me, I forgot and when I looked in the mirror I thought I was a rodeo clown.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Diana Hussain, MD

Diana Hussain, MD

Diana Hussain, MD joined Spine and Brain Neurosurgery Center in March of 2014.  Dr. Hussain is a board certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist.  Dr. Hussain brings additional services to our practice including Electromyography and Nerve Conduction Velocity testing.

Dr. Hussain completed her residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN in 2009.  Her specialties include non-operative management of cervical, thoracic and lumbar pain, trigger point injections for myofascial pain and fibromyalgia, BOTOX injections for headaches, and the evaluation and non-opioid treatments of painful conditions such as peripheral neuropathy and fibromyalgia.

Dr. Hussain is fluent in both Spanish and English.

Physician Assistants:
Michael LaFleur, PA-C

Michael LaFleur, PA-C

Micheal LaFleur, PA-C joined Spine & Brain Neurosurgery Center, Inc. in June of 2009.  Mr. LaFleur assists Dr. Razack in the clinic and in the operating room.

Prior to joining Spine & Brain, Mr. LaFleur worked as a Surgical Technologist at Orlando Health for 5 years.  Prior to his work there, Mr. LaFleur was a Surgical Technologist for the U.S. Army.

Mr. LaFleur has been certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants since September 17, 2009. Mr. LaFleur completed his Masters of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Nova Southeastern University in August of 2009, and his Bachelor of Science at Nova Southeastern University in August of 2008.

Mr. LaFleur is currently ACLS, BLS and PALS certified by the American Heart Association.  He is also a member of the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants and the American Academy of Physician Assistants.