"It’s critical to build a trusting relationship with our patients. As my patient, you have to be confident I’m doing everything in my power to help. As your doctor, I have to be ready to help at all times — even when it means jumping out of bed at 2 a.m."
Your health and safety is still our top priority. Appointments are available as video visits, phone calls or in-person visits as needed, with the same safe, world-class care you expect.
If you’re one of the 80% of Americans who suffer from back pain, we’re here to help. As orthopaedic spine specialists, we’re experts in diagnosing, managing and treating back pain.
Your care always starts with a conversation: we’ll listen closely to understand how your condition has impacted your life. When possible, your treatment plan will start with nonsurgical options, like physical therapy. If you do need surgery, our team can safely complete even the most complex procedures.
Why Choose Us
- Your health first: Spine surgery can have a serious impact on the body, so we make sure it’s the right choice for you. We’ll fully assess your needs, make sure you understand what to expect and may even recommend you seek a second opinion.
- Known for complex care: No matter how complex your condition, you can rest assured our team is ready. We’re known by other teams in the area for taking referrals for the toughest cases.
- Personalized approach: Because spine care is a long-term process, visiting an orthopaedic spine specialist means developing a relationship of trust. You need an expert who understands and cares for your unique needs — which is precisely the commitment our highly-rated experts make.
- Full breadth of services: We have the expertise and resources needed to provide almost any type of care. With decades of experience and access to the most advanced technologies, our team is ready for anything.
- Highest level of trauma care: As part of a Level I trauma center, our team provides the highest level of emergency care for spinal injuries. You can rest assured your care comes from some of the best orthopaedic spine surgeons in the region.
- Research and innovation: With the resources of our academic medical center, our teams can perform research that leads to innovations in your spine care.
Conditions We Treat
As orthopaedic spine specialists, we diagnose, manage and treat a wide variety of back problems. We partner with you to address your unique needs, both immediate and long-term.
- Back pain originating from the cervical (neck), thoracic (upper and middle back) and lumbar (lower back) spine. Back pain can be caused by a number of different conditions.
- Herniated disk: bulging of the disks that separate the vertebrae.
- Sciatica: lower back and leg pain caused by a herniated disk.
- Degenerative spine conditions: gradual loss of normal spine structure and function.
- Osteoarthritis: gradual breakdown of the cartilage and disks between vertebrae.
- Spinal stenosis: narrowing of the spinal canal surrounding the nerves of the spinal cord.
- Spinal tumors: both cancerous and benign tumors on the spinal cord and spinal column.
- Spinal deformities: irregular spine curvature or features, like scoliosis.
- Spinal trauma and injury: damage to the spine, including spinal fractures.
- Conditions requiring revision spine surgery: a second surgery may be required for any spine surgery if a symptom or condition persists.
When to See a Doctor
While back pain affects most people, it isn’t something you have to suffer through. You should see your primary care physician if:
- Your pain doesn’t go away, gets worse or isn’t relieved by other remedies
- You notice an unusual lump
- You can’t move around as easily (known as decreased mobility)
- You’ve had to limit certain activities
Do I need a referral?
You may need a referral depending on the type of care you require. Because back pain has so many causes with varying levels of severity, it’s best to see your primary care physician first. Your doctor will help you decide if you need specialized care from our orthopaedic team.
Services We Offer
- Diagnosis: Orthopaedic spine specialists are experts in finding the exact cause of your back pain. We’ll consider your condition, daily activities and medical history, then use one or more tests to make a diagnosis.
- Management and nonsurgical treatment: Not every spinal condition requires surgery. We take a measured approach to first determine if pain management, rest, changes in activity or physical therapy can help.
- Surgery: After careful consideration of options, risks and potential benefits, surgery may be the best option for you. If you need surgery, you can feel confident in the expertise of our orthopaedic spine surgeons. Our team is highly experienced in advanced surgeries for even the most complex conditions.
Every patient’s journey is unique — and so is the care we provide. No matter how severe your back condition is, we’re here to provide relief through personalized care. We’ll listen to your specific needs and goals and tailor your care for the best results. Our team also helps you understand your condition, treatment options and what kind of results are possible.
Whenever possible, our team uses nonsurgical options to help reduce pain and increase mobility. Only after learning more about you and your condition can we make an informed recommendation for surgery. Unless you have a serious and immediate need for surgery, your first visit with us will explore other options.
Your First Visit
Getting to know you is one of the most important steps in making sure you get the best possible care. At your first visit, we’ll speak with you about how your back pain is impacting your life. We might ask about:
- Where you’re experiencing pain
- How severe the pain is
- What your daily activities include
- Which activities you do less because of the pain
We’ll also discuss your medical history and any family history of conditions that may be related to your back pain. We may then perform physical exams and tests to better understand your unique case.
Depending on your condition, you may have already received a diagnosis from another doctor. Whether you have a diagnosis or not, one or more of the following tests may be needed:
- Imaging tests like X-ray, MRI, PET scan and CT scan allow us to see your spine and the area around it.
- State-of-the-art radiography, imaging tests similar to X-ray which deliver results faster and using less radiation.
- Bone scan, an imaging test that checks for damage caused by osteoporosis or a bone tumor.
- Blood tests, which help determine if your pain is caused by an infection or another condition.
- Nerve studies (electromyography or EMG): surface or needle electrodes help determine if spinal nerves are being affected by herniated disks or spinal stenosis.
Treatment and Management
Depending on your diagnosis and the overall impact of your condition, your treatment and management options may be surgical or nonsurgical. We may recommend regular monitoring before certain treatments to see how your condition progresses over time.
While our orthopaedic spine specialists treat most back and neck problems, your care may require additional specialists. No matter what kind of care you need, we’ll connect you with the right team of specialists, which may include:
- Rheumatologists (specialists in rheumatic diseases, like arthritis)
- Physical therapists
- Oncologists (cancer specialists)
- Neurologists (brain and nervous system specialists)
- Short-term rest: Sometimes, all that’s needed to allow the body to heal is rest. While short-term rest is effective for certain types of conditions, ongoing or recurring back pain may require further treatment.
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation: Many patients benefit from physical therapy, which can help exercise and strengthen the back. Stronger back muscles better support the spine and can help prevent or reduce the effect of certain conditions.
- Pain management: There are many options to help you find relief from painful back problems. Pain management options include medications, injections, nerve blocks, electrical stimulation, acupuncture, counseling and more.
- Lifestyle changes: Lack of exercise, excess weight, improper movement or lifting, poor posture and muscle strain are common causes of back pain. We help you address these issues to reduce pain and keep your spine healthy.
Like all surgeries, spine surgery has risks. Because the surgery is performed on and around the spine, there is a chance the complications can be serious. We help you understand all the potential risks and benefits before you decide if spine surgery is right for you.
If spine surgery is the right option for you, you’re in good hands. Our team is known in the region for great results for complex conditions that cannot be treated elsewhere. We combine tried-and-true approaches with the latest advancements to create the safest possible surgical environment.
We’ll start by discussing your surgical options, going over recommended procedures and illustrating what surgery will do. We’ll also discuss what to expect on the day of your procedure, during your hospital stay and what happens after you go home. Depending on the surgery you need, you may be able to go home the same day.
Minimally invasive spine surgery uses fewer incisions, causes less damage to the body and allows for faster recovery. Minimally invasive spine surgeries include:
- Kyphoplasty, which strengthens vertebrae affected by compression fractures to reduce pain.
- Microdiskectomy, to address herniated disks and their symptoms.
- Spinal cord stimulator implantation, which sends electrical signals to the spine to reduce pain.
- Spinal fusion, which joins two vertebrae to reduce pain caused by movement in the joint between them.
- Lumbar and cervical motion preservation surgery, an alternative to fusion that can provide greater range of motion.
- Dynamic spinal stabilization, which implants devices that make the spine more stable.
Open spine surgery is required when your surgeon needs more access to the spine. Open surgeries usually require more incisions and therefore more recovery time. These surgeries include:
- Total disk replacement: If a disk between two vertebrae in your spine is damaged, total disk replacement can offer long-term relief.
- Open spine deformity surgery: Some spine deformities require open surgery, instead of correction with minimally invasive techniques. Our orthopaedic surgeons are experts in both areas and will help you understand which is right for you.
To help ensure the best possible outcomes, our team uses advanced technology to enhance surgical operations, including:
- EOS Imaging System, which provides detailed 3D scans of the body in a natural standing position. When a patient’s unique posture influences how surgery should be performed, EOS is an important part of providing the best orthopaedic care.
- Preoperative radiography, where your surgical team uses imaging to plan the exact approach to use for your surgery. Doing so can improve outcomes, reduce damage to the body and improve recovery time.
Spine care is a long-term process unique to each patient. You may need ongoing management, physical therapy or regular monitoring to ensure the best results. No matter what kind of follow-up you need, we’ll be there to check in on your progress and provide support. Our team is happy to help if you have any questions or concerns about your care.
Your recovery time and follow-up appointments will depend on many factors, including your condition, the surgery and your overall health. For simpler procedures, recovery may take about six weeks. More complex procedures may require up to six months of recovery time.