The traditional care path for those with back or neck pain can sometimes be a long and winding road. Because specialists in orthopedics, neurology, and spine surgery are often focused solely on their own area of expertise and are not traditionally co-located with related providers, someone with back or neck pain may be forced to visit different specialist at multiple locations.
And since these disparate providers may not communicate with each other about a patient’s status and progress, they need to start over each time by resubmitting medical information and creating a new medical record every time they visit a new provider.
In an effort to improve patient experience and provide a broad spectrum of spine-related diagnoses, treatment and care, we’ve created the Spine Care Center…a much more efficient and productive option for those suffering from back or neck pain.
Grace’s Spine Care Center combines the expertise of all medical disciplines that care for people with spine-related conditions. Medical expertise of the Spine Care Center specialists include spine surgery, orthopedic surgery, interventional pain management, outpatient physical therapy and rehabilitation, chiropractic care, emergency room access, outpatient surgery center, compounding pharmacy, imaging and neurology.
Here you’ll find specialists in both surgical and non-surgical spine care all located under one roof, backed by a regional referral center to help patients from all across the West Texas region with all the capabilities to deliver a personalized treatment plan designed for each person’s individual circumstance and lifestyle. Then we’ll follow up with post- procedure education and recommendations to help ensure optimal recovery and improved outcomes.
At the Spine Care Center we’ll coordinate your spine care and help you navigate the system and guide you through the entire process.
Which Spine Specialist is Right for me?
Most adults will have neck or back pain at some point in their lives. With several different spine specialists, how does a person decide who they should see?
Several specialties deal with spine problems: family doctors, sports medicine practitioners, chiropractors, physical therapists, neurologists, rheumatologists, pain management and spine surgeons (neurological and orthopaedic).
So, how do you decide whom you should go see? Here are several general rules to guide you.
Most spine-related problems will not require surgical treatment. There are few worrisome signs, however, that should prompt you to seek help from a surgeon:
- High-energy trauma in a young healthy person or any trauma in an older person with brittle bones
- Family history of cancer
- Signs of infection: fever above 101.5, chills, night sweats
- Weakness in the arms or legs
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
Since most surgeons require an appointment to be seen in their office, it is usually quicker to visit an emergency department if you are having any of the above symptoms.
Most cases of back pain, neck pain, or even a pinched nerve, will resolve themselves within 8-10 weeks. To speed up recovery, short-term rest (no longer than 1-2 days), anti-inflammatory medications (like Advil or Aleve) and muscle relaxants may be helpful. A family doctor or an emergency medicine practitioner can prescribe these treatments.
Chiropractic manipulation and physical therapy are both effective options for relieving both muscle spasm and arthritic pain.
If the symptoms do not resolve after several weeks, it may be time to see a spine specialist like a pain management doctor or a surgeon. Sometimes a clinical picture may require a referral to a neurologist or a rheumatologist. The best bet is to discuss your symptoms with a family doctor. He or she will recommend which specialist to see based on your unique situation.
One of the issues that come about with dealing with older individuals is the concern about vertebral compression fractures or fractures in their spine, it can happen just lifting up an extra heavy set of laundry out of the washer or it can happen from slipping on some ice on a January morning, a variety of things can occur, but then the pain is significantly limiting and it does not go away very quickly.
One of the great things that Grace does that not many orthopedic surgeons do, is a kyphoplasty procedure which is basically through a small incision, just a quarter inch in size on your back, we insert a needle into your broken back bone and inject some bone cement. It is kind of like putting a cast on the inside of the bone, you stabilize it with the cement that is injected into there. It interdigitates and goes between all the broken fragments and within 15 minutes it is stabilized and solid. So when those patients wake up from that surgery, they feel the difference, their pain is almost gone, in fact for most of them it is just the pain of the needle stick and the small cut we make in their back. It is an outpatient day surgery and that is good example of what we have been able to do with technology advancement, with new applications of old technology using cement like we used for knee replacements for many years, that is a good thing that has come about for people today.