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Back Pain and Back Surgery

SpineandBackSurgeryIf you have back pain, you sometimes don’t know where to turn. Perhaps you’ve had a traumatic back injury, have been experiencing back pain for years, or a primary care physician has suggested you see a spine surgeon. Perhaps you have tried conservative therapies such as physical therapy and they don’t seem to be working. There is almost nothing more frustrating than the limits back pain puts on your life.

Is back surgery right for you?

Sometimes, back surgery is clearly the best option. However, in many cases, we assume a conservative approach when it comes to recommending back surgery. We seek to determine whether surgery will provide the best outcome for your health, or whether alternative therapies should be attempted first or instead of surgery. It’s very important to us that you know the range of back pain treatment options, understand your particular spine problem and can make the best healthcare decision for treating your back pain.

When surgery is the best choice, we are fortunate that our medical staff includes a neurosurgeon who completed a neurosurgery and orthopedic spine fellowship, and other neurosurgeons with extensive experience in spine disorders, nerve problems and back surgery.

What do our doctors treat?

Our doctors treat the full spectrum of spine conditions, including:

  • Spine and spinal cord tumors
  • Degenerative diseases and deformities, such as cervical, thoracic and lumbar herniated discs
  • Stenosis, spondylolisthesis and scoliosis
  • Lower-back pain
  • Radiculopathy
  • Infections
  • Disorders of the occipitocervical junction

Many qualified health professionals believe that seeing a neurosurgeon for back surgery is the best choice, since neurosurgeons are specialists in the nervous system, including the spinal cord and how other nerves are affected by spinal problems.

If you do require back surgery, you will be glad to know that the neurosurgical operating suites at Providence St. Peter Hospital are some of the best available for spine surgery. Real-time neuromonitoring by a neurophysiologist for complex spine cases ensures we protect critical nerves. O-arm® surgical imaging with StealthStation® S7® navigation and AxiEM™ electromagnetic tracking system afford us integrated, high-resolution visibility of patient imaging and data. Top-of-the-line surgical microscopes provide the illumination and magnification required for the delicate spine surgery procedures we perform.

Do I need a referral for back surgery?

Active communication is the foundation of the relationships our doctors develop with our spine patients. It is our goal to help you fully understand your condition, and the various treatment options and anticipated results. We believe effective communication with you and your caregivers is vital in ensuring your best health outcome. If you have a primary care provider, we recommend you consult with him or her about whether you need a referral to a spine surgeon. If you would rather contact us directly, we can speak with you about finding a primary care provider, and, if it seems appropriate, about seeing us without a referral.