Treatment of Back and Neck Pain

There are five main types of spinal diseases and conditions, including:

  • Degenerative (due to wear and tear)
  • Oncologic (involving tumors)
  • Congenital (forming before birth)
  • Infectious (caused by a bacterial illness)
  • Traumatic (an accident or injury to the spine)

Treatments range from sophisticated diagnostic testing to the most complex surgeries:

  • CT scans, MRI testing, PET scans and other tests
  • Radiation treatments
  • Deep injections
  • Surgical procedures, including
    • Instrumentation placement (screws, rods, plates, artificial discs, etc.)
    • Tumor removal
    • Blood clot removal
    • Fracture repair
    • Eradication of infections
    • Removal of foreign bodies (bullets, bone fragments, etc.)
    • Spinal cord repair

At Carilion Clinic, we believe in a “multi-disciplinary” approach to spinal diseases and disorders. Spinal problems are therefore managed not only by a single neurosurgeon but by a team of neurosurgeons with assistance and input from physical medicine and rehab physicians, orthopedic surgeons, physical and occupational therapists, physician assistants, pain management specialists, interventional radiologists, neuroradiologists, neurologists, and others.

The principle goal of the team is to get patients through their diseases without surgery whenever feasible, and to offer the best surgery when it is not. Each case will be evaluated thoroughly and objectively. Optimal treatment strategies will be developed and extensively discussed, and alternative treatment options used whenever possible. Most patients’ cases will be reviewed by several team members, in effect providing patients with multiple second opinions. Particularly complicated or critical cases will be reviewed by the whole team in multi-disciplinary conferences. In the end, patients will benefit from the expertise and special team-oriented care.