June 16, 2020
We’ve written a few times about how well our patients do after spine surgery and particularly about how good our patient outcomes are compared to the average on a national neurosurgical registry for spine cases. While this registry is currently being expanded and enhanced to form a more comprehensive American Spine Registry, we thought this might be a good time to talk a bit about why one would choose a neurosurgeon for surgery on the spine—and why, in our view, there’s really no such thing as simple spine surgery.
Dr. Eric Potts is a board-certified neurosurgeon specializing in spine here at Goodman Campbell. He says that while well-selected patients for spine surgery do very well, the full picture of what’s at stake for a patient isn’t always obvious before surgery. “For example, with spine tumors, if you come to the right place at the right time and do the operation correctly, it gives you a much better chance to do well.”
When so-called simple surgeries reveal their complications, neurosurgical training comes into play. “A neurosurgical residency is six or seven years long,” said Dr. Potts. “Seventy percent of the operative cases that neurosurgeons do during those years are spinal surgeries.” Because Goodman Campbell’s spine specialists have seen so many cases in their years of training and practice, they understand better than most how to diagnose and treat disorders and deformities of the spine. Not only the obviously complex ones, but also the ones that seem simpler.
“We do it all,” Dr. Potts said. “Cervical, thoracic, lumbar, from top to bottom, every space of the spine, every disease process, we take care of that. Spinal stenosis, disc herniation, scoliosis? We do that. You have a spine tumor? We do that. You fell off the roof and broke your back? We do that, too.”
Patients with back pain, leg pain, or other nerve pain will be glad to know that Goodman Campbell is at the forefront of techniques to improve patient outcomes and experiences. The minimally invasive surgical techniques we use require much smaller incisions, thanks to new instruments and advanced techniques. And when implants to the spine are called for, our spine specialists can often use a computer-assisted technology called image guidance to make the surgery safer, faster, and more accurate.
The case for having your spine surgery done at Goodman Campbell comes down to tangible factors—safety and efficacy especially—and the notion that choosing an expert is always the best practice.
“We take care of everything from very simple conditions to very complex conditions,” Dr. Potts explained. “We’re actively involved in outcomes research, we are actively involved in education and in national groups, and in educating our fellow surgeons. We’re the experts’ experts in many disease processes. That’s the distinction.”