Finding the Root of Back Pain
Back pain is a common condition experienced by many adults at some time in their life. Left untreated, it can be debilitating, leading to absence from work, decreased mobility and affect your quality of life. The cause of back pain can be difficult to diagnose; however, providing patients with relief – regardless of the cause – is our specialty. Whether you’re suffering from back pain or other problems related to a spinal condition, the spine specialists at Longmont United Hospital can help you find the right treatment solution to get you back to the life you love.
Why Choose Longmont for Spine Surgery
Our program offers both comprehensive spine surgery and the latest non-surgical options for back pain. We can surgically treat nearly any condition, from herniated discs and spinal stenosis to osteoarthritis and spondylolisthesis.
- A Leader in Spine Care – Longmont United Hospital’s spine care specialists are at the forefront of spine care and are regarded as world-class physicians. They’ve pioneered new techniques and published research in peer-reviewed journals.
- Advanced Surgical Options – Our surgeons perform all types of spinal surgery procedures from minimally invasive to complex spinal reconstruction and are regarded as leaders in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery and artificial disc replacement procedures.
- Individualized Care – Every patient is different. This is why our spine specialists will work with you to select the best course of treatment to manage and treat your back pain. They will help you choose the best approach for your lifestyle and goals after a thorough consultation. We'll work together to alleviate your pain and get you back to your normal routine as quickly as possible
- Conservative Approach to Care – When possible, our spine specialists will exhaust every appropriate treatment option before considering surgery. This might include medications, pain management, injections, and physical therapy. If conservative treatments are not effective, surgery will then be considered.
- Minimally Invasive Spine Procedures – We use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible, with a goal of getting you back to the activities you enjoy as soon as possible. Minimally invasive spine surgery involves smaller incisions, less muscle damage, decreased blood loss and shorter length of hospital stay following surgery.
- Patient Education – We have created a special Total Spine Class and guide book for patients scheduled for spine surgery. The class prepares patients and their designated coach for the surgical experience and teaches them strategies to maximize their rate of recovery.
Spine Surgery – What to Expect
- Anesthesia – On the day of surgery you will meet your anesthesiologist and your nurse anesthetist prior to surgery. At that time, he/she will answer any additional questions and finalize your anesthesia plan. All anesthesia providers at Longmont United Hospital are board certified and experienced anesthesia providers.
- Multi-Modal Pain Control – Upon arrival to day surgery, an IV will be placed and you will be given a combination of medications to begin a multi-modal pain control protocol that we provide for all spine patients. After an interview with your surgeon, anesthesia provider(s) and operating room nurse, you will be given the option of light sedation. You will then be transported to the operating room where you will be given general anesthesia.
- Operating Room – When you leave the day surgery area for the operating room, your family/friends will be directed to the surgery waiting area. This is where your surgeon will come and speak with them following your surgery. The operating room nurse will provide updates for your family if your procedure is lengthy.
- Sedation and Pain Control – Your general anesthesia will include a combination of medications that are designed to work together to minimize the use of narcotics and sedation and minimize pain postoperatively.
- Surgery – The length of your procedure will be dependent on what type of spine surgery you are having. Ask your spine surgeon about the length of your surgery.
- Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) – When your surgery is finished, you will be taken to the PACU. You will spend as much time here as needed to make sure your vital signs are stable and your anesthesia has worn off. Your anesthesiologist and your surgeon will visit with you in the PACU although you may not remember this. They will assess that you are safe to move to the next level of care, either to your inpatient room or to return to the Day Surgery Area.
- Therapy – A physical therapist will evaluate you and help you progress to walking with assistance. You will be taught to use of equipment you will use. An occupational therapist will review any needs you may have related to personal care.
- Pain Management – Pain is a normal part of spine surgery. Our goal is to work with you to develop a pain management plan that effectively controls your pain while minimizing the potential side effects. In addition to medications, we offer a variety of comfort measures such as heat, ice, pillows, aromatherapy and relaxation techniques.
Hear From Our Experts
Dr. Nanney and Dr. Gerlach answer your questions about back and neck pain and provide an overview of what you need to know about spine and neck surgery.