Region's First Spine Center Opens at Clinton Crossings
Strong Health Spine Center Offers Comprehensive Care for Spine Ailments
Tuesday, April 8, 2003
Strong Health today announced the opening of the region's first Spine Center, an all-inclusive clinic where consumers can find treatment for all types of back problems-from surgery to scoliosis to pain management-under one roof. The Spine Center, which joins an elite cadre of five other centers set-up in a similar model around the country, is located within Strong Health's new Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation facility at Clinton Crossings in Brighton. This facility houses all of Strong Health's other orthopaedic-related services.
The multi-disciplinary approach includes a team of specialists from orthopaedics, neurology, pain management, physical therapy, rheumatology, orthotics and radiology. Most patients will initially be seen by one of three non-surgical spine physicians, who will work to determine the source of the back pain and coordinate all care for the patient, whether it is physical therapy, image-guided spinal injections, pain management or surgery.
According to Dr. Paul Rubery, associate professor of orthopaedics and director of the new Spine Center, this approach ensures that most patients are seen by the right type of care provider at the outset, and in a timely manner.
"Back pain is a frustrating ailment. Often times patients seek the services of a surgeon, wait weeks for an appointment, only to discover that surgery is not the solution to their problem. And then they are back to square one," Rubery said. "Our goal is to use our non-surgical physician team so that patients can get in as quickly as possible with the correct type of physician right at the start. Then we will be able to immediately diagnose and treat their problem."
Most Americans Experience Back Pain
Rubery said that back pain is a common problem among adults. Four out of five adults will experience significant low back pain sometime during their life, and after the common cold, problems caused by the lower back are the most frequent cause of lost work days in adults under the age of 45.
Most cases of low back pain are not serious and respond to simple treatments. In fact, approximately 95 percent of all patients who see a physician for back pain do not require surgery.
For those patients who don't respond to conservative non-invasive treatment such as pain/anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy, the next step would be to evaluate them for a minimally invasive procedure, such as Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET) or Image-guided Injections. These therapies involve the insertion of a needle guided by sophisticated computer technology into the problem area to deliver either heat or anti-inflammatory medications (see fact sheet for more detailed information). State-of-the-art equipment-the only type of its kind in the area-was recently purchased for these procedures.
"It's our goal to quickly diagnose the source of the pain, so we can then get the patient started on an appropriate treatment plan," said Dr. Clifford Everett, a non-surgical physician who performs the minimally invasive procedures weekly. "We are hopeful that our approach will get more people well more quickly."
Consumers can call 585/275-BACK for more information on the Spine Center, or visit www.urmc.rochester.edu.
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