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PIONEERING SAFER WAYS TO SAVE SPINES

As young as a 15 year old teenager. As old as a 98, or older. And everywhere in between.

More than 400 spinal and 200 scoliosis surgeries are performed here every year.

Our fellowship trained spine surgeons specialize in thoracolumbar surgeries for adult spinal deformities and degenerative conditions, as well as disorders of the cervical spine.

While many of our patients were born with or developed their conditions over time, for some it's single event that brings them to us.

A MINIMALLY-INVASIVE PROCEDURE TO HELP HER MAXIMIZE HER RETIREMENT YEARS

A MINIMALLY-INVASIVE PROCEDURE TO HELP HER MAXIMIZE HER RETIREMENT YEARS

Christeen Brown is a 77-year-old retired nurse who experienced years of increasing back pain and difficulty walking.

Images of her spine including an MRI revealed severe multilevel spinal stenosis in the lumbar spine (lower back), a condition in which the spinal nerve roots in the lower back become compressed. She also had severe stenosis and spinal cord compression in the thoracic spine (upper and middle back.)

Her surgeon, Dr. Louis Amorosa, addressed both the stenosis and spinal cord compression with a minimally-invasive operation.  The procedure avoided the need for a long fusion while preserving her motion levels and minimizing blood loss.

Christeen went home from the hospital in just four days. The pain in her back and legs is gone and her walking has improved tremendously. She is able to travel and enjoy her retirement years.

A MINIMALLY-INVASIVE PROCEDURE TO HELP HER MAXIMIZE HER RETIREMENT YEARS

DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW CONTRIBUTE TO BIGGER RESEARCH GAINS

One big advantage of having experts in different fields working collaboratively at the Spine Center is that researchers have almost instant access to different points of view. This leads to a more thorough and efficient approach to the research than would result from a surgeon or pain management doctor working alone.

Here are some of the more than 50 research projects currently in progress:

  • Comparing surgery outcomes in patients who have and haven't undergone prehabilitation, a form of therapy aimed to prepare the body for surgery or prevent injuries before the actual occurrence. The results of this research may lead to changes in surgical protocols with the hope of minimizing the extent of the surgeries performed and improving patient outcomes.
  • A preliminary study on the use of a surface topography machine, similar in the technology used in Google Maps. We're looking for ways to use this technology check for spinal deformities, without exposure to radiation though X-rays. The machine provides a 3-dimensional that can help patients better understand their conditions
  • Researching the impact of a patient's ethnicity on some of the physiological reactions to surgery. For example, differences in blood clotting between members of different races can impact surgical outcomes. We are currently collaborating with Korean doctors to look at physiological difference between Asians and Caucasians to develop new treatment protocols based on physiology

CONDITIONS WE TREAT

Our surgeons diagnose and treat all types of spinal disorders of the neck and back. For most patients we recommend nonsurgical solutions, such as injections, physical therapy and braces. And when surgery is necessary, we use minimally-invasive surgical techniques whenever possible.

CERVICAL RADICULOPATHY

Pain travelling down into the arm with or without weakness. As long as there is no profound weakness this can almost always be treated effectively non-operatively with medications, physical therapy, and an injection if needed. Surgical treatment is not needed in 90 to 95% of patients with this condition. When surgery is needed, the outcomes are excellent, and the recovery period is fast. Patients most often spend only one night in the hospital.

CERVICAL MYELOPATHY

Symptoms of spinal cord compression which causes balance difficulty, fine finger dexterity problems, weakness, and bowel or bladder problems. This is a condition that typically requires surgical intervention to halt or reverse the progression of the disease. When possible, surgery is performed through a motion preserving technique called laminoplasty. When not possible based on the patient’s anatomical findings, an anterior cervical decompression and fusion or a posterior cervical laminectomy and fusion are performed. As few levels as possible are fused in order to preserve as much motion as possible.

THORACIC DISC HERNIATION

Causes pain in upper back with pain radiating around to the front and may also cause balance difficulty, weakness, and bowel or bladder problems. Most thoracic disc herniations are small and are effectively treated non-operatively with physical therapy and possibly an injection. In rare instances when surgery is needed, it can usually be performed in a minimally invasive manner.

SCOLIOSIS AND/OR KYPHOSIS

A common condition resulting from multiple causes including congenital, idiopathic, and degenerative that results in deformity of the spinal canal, which may be associated with pain, weakness, and cosmetic deformity. Most of the time, this condition can be effectively managed with medications, physical therapy, and an injection. When surgery is performed, it is performed by fusing as few levels as needed to preserve motion and via minimally invasive methods whenever possible.

SPINAL STENOSIS

A narrowing of the spinal canal causing back pain, leg pain and tiredness, and walking difficulty. Sometimes in older adults this condition requires surgical intervention if symptoms and MRI findings are severe. When indicated, we perform the surgery in as minimally invasive and effective manner as is possible.

SCIATICA

A pain down the leg from the back caused by a disc herniation pressing on a nerve root. In most cases, this is effectively managed by non-operative treatments including medication, physical therapy, and injections. However, in the small percentage of cases where surgery is indicated, we perform it with a microdiscectomy using minimally invasive surgery through a very small incision using microscopes.

SPONDYLOLISTHESIS

Instability of the vertebra resulting from a congenital condition or of a degenerative nature, which may be associated with severe back and leg pain. This is a condition that often responds to non-operative treatments. When non-operative treatments fail, we perform the surgery through minimally invasive and motion sparing techniques.

VERTEBRAL FRACTURES

We evaluate patients with spinal fractures and depending on the fracture, no treatment, bracing, or more invasive methods may be indicated such as kyphoplasty, vertebroplasty or a fusion operation. Surgery is always performed in as minimally invasive manner as possible.

FAILED BACK AND NECK SURGERY

Unfortunately continued pain and continued disability after back and neck surgery can occur. We often see patients for a second opinion regarding their prognosis and further treatments to aid recovery. When revision spine surgery is indicated, we do it in a minimally invasive and motion sparing manner whenever possible.

SACRO-ILIAC (SI) PAIN

The sacro-iliac joint is a common pain generator in the lower back. The vast majority of the time people with SI pain respond to non-operative treatment including medications, physical therapy and injections. In the rare instances where people continue to have pain after injections, we perform a minimally invasive sacro-iliac fusion, which has shown excellent results in the literature.


THE SPINE TEAM