SpineNevada Minimally Invasive Spine Institute is a multi-disciplinary spine center of excellence located in northern Nevada with locations in Reno, Sparks and Carson City. SpineNevada's Reno and Sparks locations are integrated spine care centers that combines non-surgical physical medicine physicians, fellowship-trained specialists in radiology, fellowship-trained spine neurosurgeons, and internal physical therapy gyms.
SpineNevada takes a team approach to spine care. It includes the expertise of board-certified specialists in the nonsurgical management of back pain, many of the physicians are fellowship-trained. SpineNevada also includes spine-specialized physical therapists and fellowship-trained spine neurosurgeons. The physicians at SpineNevada have over 25 years of experience in the field of spine.
Across the United States, the national trend in spine care is to provide a multidisciplinary approach. Our total spine care approach puts all the key multi-disciplinary spine treatment components under one roof, for one stop spine care. Click here for a map to our offices in Reno, Sparks and Carson City.
Statistics reveal that back pain will strike four out of five Americans in their lifetime. And, once a back attack hits, you are four times more likely to have a recurrence. No wonder so many people chronically wander in and out of doctors' offices and have enough pain pills in their medicine cabinets to rival the supply of a pharmacy. If you have a back or neck pain problem, no matter how complex, we are in a position to help you.
SpineNevada is a regional center specializing in back and neck problems. What makes SpineNevada different from other treatment centers is its nonsurgical approach to back and neck problems.
SpineNevada takes a multidisciplinary team approach to spine care, involving nonsurgical spine physicians, spine surgeons and spine-specialized therapists. This means our health care team of professionals will pool together their expertise to develop the best treatment for each patient.
As a multidisciplinary spine center, SpineNevada includes fellowship-trained physical medicine and rehabilitation and fellowship-trained spine neurosurgeons. It has physical therapy, injection suite and X-ray capabilities under one roof. We provide all the necessary diagnostic testing and treatment in one place, eliminating the need for multiple referrals, delayed care and confusion.
Sometimes surgery is the best treatment, especially for those suffering from herniated discs, spinal fractures, spinal deformity, spinal tumor and scoliosis.However, it is estimated that over half of back surgeries performed are unnecessary, and in some cases, even counterproductive. In most cases at SpineNevada, surgery is used as a treatment option only after nonsurgical treatments have been attempted. Our physicians have advanced training in back and neck pain and are often successful in helping people return to activity – without surgery. SpineNevada is able to take care of any type of back or neck problem from the simple back or neck strain, all the way to the most complex spine surgery.
Dr. James Lynch and Dr. Edward Perry are both fellowship-trained in spine and lead the neurosurgery team at Spine Nevada. Dr. Lynch is a board-certified neurosurgeon and performs over 500 spine surgeries per year, including nearly 250 cervical surgeries. He specializes in complex spine surgery, cervical disorders, degenerative spine, spinal deformities, trauma, tumor infection and minimally invasive spine surgery. Dr. Edward Perry specializes in Minimally Invasive Spine (MIS) techniques and performs over 300 surgeries per year. Furthermore, less than 40 percent of Dr. Perry's patients require fusions due to his careful patient selection and understanding of spinal biomechanics. He has completed additional training in major deformity and spinal reconstruction techniques. Due to Dr. Perry's investment in supplemental surgical training, he possesses a unique ability to perform larger complex spinal fusions and revision surgeries on patients that have failed previous surgical interventions.
Treatment - Non-surgical and Spine Surgery
Non-surgical Spine Treatment - For damaged structures to heal, good blood supply is essential for repair and to remove waste products. The bones, ligaments and muscles in the back have a good blood supply, so the back can heal reasonably well. The problem is that they usually heal with a special type of tissue called scar tissue, which is strong but not as flexible as normal muscles, ligaments, etc. However, discs have a poor blood supply and this often results in slower healing. Discs, therefore may be more easily damaged if care is not taken to prevent this. The most common type of injury to the back is to the soft tissue – the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Most of these soft tissue injuries heal well, and this is why most people with back injuries recover. Read more....
Spine Surgery - The overall goal of spine surgery is to get to the root of the problem, while at the same time causing the least amount of disruption to the patient’s lifestyle. Spine surgery is typically a choice of last resort, after all nonsurgical methods have been exhausted, or when problems like severely herniated discs or damaged vertebrae simply will not respond to nonsurgical treatments. While studies show that more than half of back surgeries are unnecessary, there are times when surgery is the answer. Read more....
Physical Medicine - A physiatrist, or physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor, specializes in the nonsurgical management of back and neck pain. While many doctors provide drugs to mask symptoms of pain, these drugs leave a patient debilitated and dependent upon them for pain relief. A physiatrist, on the other hand, provides techniques and treatments that enable back and neck pain sufferers to return to activity without surgery. Read more....
Home Remedies - When you go to the dentist to get a cavity filled, the dentist will remind you to floss and brush your teeth daily to prevent future cavities. Similarly, we strongly emphasize a daily back or neck exercise program to prevent a future recurrence of back strain. Once you have a back pain attack, you’re four times more likely to have a recurrence. Being a previous victim of back pain requires you to work extra hard to prevent future back attacks. Read more....
Injection Therapy - Injection therapy is intended to be a means to an end. The goal is to provide the patient with enough pain relief to bridge from inactivity to physical therapy, where back problems can be better treated with special exercises. For years, spine physicians have used cortisone injections, epidural steroid injections, trigger point injections and nerve blocks to relieve pain in the spine. Read more....
Physical Therapy - The only way to permanently relieve pain involves changing the physiology of the back by using exercise to make it stronger, more flexible and resistant to injury. While a general physical therapist may spend weeks attempting to mask pain using heat, ice or ultrasound, research has shown that using these passive treatments is not the best way to return someone to activity efficiently. This general physical therapist often sees a wide variety of patients each day who suffer problems related to sore elbows, knees or shoulders. General physical therapists typically have a very limited understanding of the best ways to treat specific types of back problems. At best, they may have taken a couple courses on therapy for a back or neck injury. Read more....
Diagnostics - Evaluation of back and neck pain requires a physician experienced in diagnosing spinal conditions. The work-up begins with a detailed history and physical examination. Your medical history helps the doctor understand your back and neck pain and the influence of your lifestyle on your pain. Read more....
1. What is the best way to Quit Smoking? For most people, the best way to quit will be some combination of medication, and a personalized plan to handle the physical and emotional hardships of quitting smoking. Medication may include nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), as well as medicines and other methods to deal with the physical part of withdrawal.
2. Why do so many people suffer from back pain? With age, our bones and muscles lose tone and elasticity. They become less able to properly cushion the vertebrae and more likely to spasm or break. When a spinal disc ruptures or bulges, it places pressure on the surrounding nerves and results in pain signals traveling to the brain. Other factors such as smoking, obesity, poor posture and lack of sleep can also contribute to back pain.
3. How can I avoid back pain? Prevention is the best strategy for coping with back pain and can save a great deal of time and agony. Become an educated health care consumer by learning about effective prevention methods.
4. How can I incorporate ergonomics into my everyday lifestyle? Applying ergonomics can help prevent repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, particularly if you are constantly working at a computer.
5. What’s the difference between a slipped disc, a bulging disc, a ruptured disc and a herniated disc? All four cases occur when discs become weakened over time and part of a disc is sticking out between the bony parts of the vertebra.
6. Why is a multidisciplinary approach to spine care so important? By receiving care from spine specialists within multiple fields, the diagnosis and treatment process is less likely to become biased or limited. Multidisciplinary care involves a team of specialists that pools together its expertise for the greatest benefit of the patient. Surgery is reserved as the last card to be played. As a patient, instead of being limited to one medical specialty, you can benefit from the combined expertise of many physicians.
7. What is physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R)? A spine-specialized physiatrist, or physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor, specializes in the nonsurgical management of back and neck pain. PM&R treatment is characterized by comprehensive care that considers the whole person rather than addressing one or two symptoms.
Many doctors provide drugs to mask pain symptom, but this can leave a patient debilitated and dependent upon the drugs. A physiatrist, on the other hand, provides techniques and treatments such as spinal injections that enable back and neck pain sufferers to return to activity without surgery.
8. How often is surgery needed to treat back pain? Although more and more chronic back pain sufferers are becoming aware of all the nonsurgical treatment options available, too many still believe that surgery is the only truly effective cure. A survey conducted by the AAPM&R found that about one in two people believe this to be true. However, experts estimate that just 5% of back pain cases will be effectively helped by surgery. The good news is that most episodes of low back pain improve within six weeks of onset.
9. When should someone consider surgery for back pain? After nonsurgical treatments such as ice and heat therapy, bed rest (1-2 days at most), exercise, injections and medications have not proven effective, your physician may consider recommending surgery. A back pain sufferer may also want to explore alternative treatments such as acupuncture.
10. What is fellowship training? A fellowship is the highest level of training available to a specialized physician in the U.S. It involves a financial grant for advanced study or training or to allow payment for work on a special project. It provides a stipend, and, in some cases, the miscellaneous expenses involved in the study, training or project (Source: Mosby’s Medical Dictionary).
11. It doesn’t make sense to me to treat my back pain with exercise instead of rest. Please explain! Lying in bed causes muscles to weaken, which inhibits recovery. Even though activity may be uncomfortable or hurt a bit, this doesn’t mean that it’s worsening your condition. On the contrary, building strength in the muscles surrounding the vertebrae can help achieve a full return to activity. Also, on the mental side, being bedridden can lead to feelings of frustration and hopelessness, which can slow you down. Regardless, studies have shown again and again that activity leads to a quicker return to work.
12. What is minimally invasive surgery? Minimally invasive surgical techniques provide the opportunity to successfully treat back problems with minimal interruption to the patient’s regular, active lifestyle. Results achieved from these methods have been proven to match that of conventional "open surgery." The surgeon makes smaller incisions, sometimes only a half-inch in length. Through these tiny incisions, the surgeon inserts special surgical instruments and probes in order to access the damaged disc in the spine. By using minimally invasive techniques, access and repair to the damaged disc or vertebrae is achieved without harming nearby muscles and tissues. Other benefits of minimally invasive techniques include shorter surgery duration and recovery time, less visible scars and reduced pain and blood loss.
13. How can osteoporosis impact the spine? Osteoporosis can have extremely serious consequences on the spine. Because osteoporosis often progresses undetected, the first indication could be as disastrous as a bone fracture. These fractures typically strike an area of the body that carries the most stress, such as the spine, wrists or hips. Spinal fractures can occur without notice, as vertebrae simply compress. Compression fractures can be very painful and may lead to stooped posture, loss of height and risk of serious neurological damage to spinal nerves.
14. What is scoliosis? Scoliosis is a disease characterized by an abnormal curvature to the spine, in which the vertebrae twist like a bent corkscrew. In less severe cases, scoliosis may cause the bones to twist slightly, making the hips or ribs appear uneven. Scoliosis can progress into a serious health problem if bones become so severely twisted that they compress vital organs or if the spinal deformity is so severe that spine health and posture is threatened. If this happens, surgery may be necessary. If left untreated, severe cases of scoliosis can shorten a person's life span. The best way to care for scoliosis is to achieve early detection and take measures to minimize its progression.
15. What is degenerative disc disease? A natural byproduct of aging is the loss of resiliency in spinal discs and a greater tendency for them to herniate, especially when placed under a weighty load, like when we lift heavy objects. Additionally, some people have a family history of degenerative disc disease, which increases their own risk of developing it. When a natural disc herniates or becomes badly degenerated, it loses its shock-absorbing ability, which can narrow the space between vertebrae.
16. Why is the artificial disc big news? The artificial disc is the best alternative to date for fusion surgery. More than 200,000 spinal fusion surgeries are performed each year in the U.S. to relieve pain caused by damaged discs in the low back and neck areas. Some experts estimate that over the next 10 years, more than half of patients who would otherwise receive a fusion will receive an artificial disc instead.
17. Who is a candidate for the artificial disc? Patients with a diseased disc between L4 and L5 or between L5 and S1 (all in the lower back) that is worn out or become injured and causes back pain are candidates for the artificial disc. Other candidates include those with degenerative disc disease (DDD) whose bones (vertebrae) have moved less than 3mm. Your physician will help you determine whether or not the artificial disc is a good choice for you. Factors that will be considered include your activity level, weight, occupation and allergies (Source: Charite Artificial Disc).
18. What are the benefits of the artificial disc? Generally speaking, those who receive artificial disc replacements return to activity sooner than traditional fusion patients. Also, because there is no need to harvest bone from the patient’s hip, there is no discomfort or recovery associated with a second incision site. Some of the overall benefits of artificial disc surgery include:
19. Are there any drawbacks associated with the artificial disc? When treating knee and hip replacement patients, orthopedic surgeons try to postpone the implantation of an artificial joint until a patient is at least 50 years old so that they do not outlive their artificial joint, which typically lasts anywhere from 15 to 20 years. Revision surgery, which may be necessary to replace a worn-out artificial joint, can be complex.
This is also a concern with the artificial disc. Unlike knee and hip replacement patients who are typically in their 50s or 60s, many patients can benefit from artificial disc technology at a much younger age — in their 20s or 30s. Therefore, the implantation of an artificial disc in younger patients can raise a surgeon’s concern about the potential life span of the artificial disc in the spine and the need for revision surgery to replace a worn-out artificial disc, which can be complex.