If you need spine surgery, our spine clinical coordinator becomes your personal nurse concierge to help you schedule appointments and tests, communicate with your spine surgery team, answer questions, and relieve any concerns you might have. Our spine surgery program ranks as a top program for quality, patient outcomes, and patient satisfaction.
Contact our clinical coordinator: 970-764-9349
Services at Mercy Spine Institute in Durango
From your first appointment for back or neck pain through recovery from your surgery, our Spine Institute is here for you. The Mercy spine specialists take a thoughtful approach to selecting the proper treatment for the spine condition that is causing pain in your neck, lower back, arms or legs. Unless you have an emergency condition, such as a traumatic injury to your spine from an accident, we will always begin with the most conservative treatment, such as physical therapy or spinal injections. If that does not relieve your pain, we will consider pain management procedures or surgery, depending on your diagnosis. Services we offer include:
- Initial consultation
- Imaging (X-ray, MRI, CT scan)
- Physical Therapy
- Spinal Injections (steroid, epidural, facet)
- Pain Management Procedures
- Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
- Motion Preserving Spine Surgery
Conditions Treated at Mercy Spine Institute in Durango
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Herniated Disc
- Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
- Spinal Stenosis
- Scoliosis and other spine deformities
- Spine Tumors
- Spine deformity
- Traumatic Injury
About the Mercy Spine Center
At the Spine Institute at Mercy Regional Medical Center, we combine exceptional medical care with personalized service. A nurse concierge and spine team help arrange everything you need to have the best experience possible. Spine surgery patients at Mercy benefit not just from excellent care but also from a warm and welcoming environment. Our clinical coordinator (think of her as your nurse concierge) assists you in scheduling appointments, communicating with your surgical team, and answering any questions you might have. Staff from our Touch, Love & Compassion program (TLC) offer free music therapy, gentle massage, aromatherapy, acupuncture, and prayer or meditation before or after surgery to reduce your anxiety and perception of pain. And if you recover in the hospital after surgery, you’ll have a private room in our dedicated spine unit.
Our expert spine surgeons use the latest technology and techniques, including minimally invasive spinal surgery, to help you achieve the best outcome possible.
There’s no need for patients in southwest Colorado to travel far to get the most advanced spine treatments. Through our spine team’s commitment to advancing care, Mercy stays at the forefront of spine surgery technology. The Mercy Spine Institute is one of only two hospitals in Colorado to utilize 7D spine surgery navigation. This system – used by Mayo Clinic and Stanford Hospital -- helps provide more precise accuracy of spine implants while reducing the use of radiation.
Experienced Spine Surgeons
At the Mercy Spine Institute, you’ll be cared for by a team of spine specialists that includes a clinical coordinator, physician assistants, nurses, and physical therapists all with specialized spine training. Our spine surgeons are fellowship trained, which means they have received extra training in complex spine surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery. Our surgeons are involved in education and research, including helping to make advancements in spinal implants.
FAQs About the Mercy Spine Institute
When should I get spine surgery?
More than 80 percent of spine problems can be treated without surgery, so unless your physician has told you that your condition is an emergency, you should always consider nonsurgical treatment first. At Mercy, our team of spine specialists assess your condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment, starting with nonsurgical care such as physical therapy and spinal injections. If you have tried nonsurgical treatments for six months and have not found relief, you may be a candidate for spine surgery. Our experienced spinal surgeons review your diagnosis and condition with you to determine if you can benefit from surgery and the best type of surgery. Mercy spine surgeons are experienced in performing minimally invasive spine surgery and offer this technique whenever possible.
How do I choose the best hospital for my spine surgery?
If you are considering spine surgery, you are taking an important step by doing research on hospitals. Getting the best results after spine surgery depends on many factors, including the expertise of your spine surgeon, the support of a skilled spine surgery team, and a hospital that specializes in spine surgery.
The Mercy Spine Institute was specially designed to encompass the entire patient journey from presurgical testing and patient education to post-surgery rehabilitation. Our spine surgeons and surgical teams are specially trained and highly experienced in performing spine surgeries. Our spine surgery recovery unit is housed on the same floor as our operating suites and staffed by spine nurses, therapists and other team members who understand your needs and help you achieve a fast and successful recovery.
How do I prepare for spine surgery?
You play an important role in achieving a successful outcome to your spine surgery. From eating a special protein-rich diet to performing prescribed exercises, you can take specific actions to reduce risk of infection, speed your recovery, help reduce the impact of pain, and improve your overall outcome. You are so important to your own success that we have designed a special patient education program to teach you everything you can and should do before and after surgery.
You and your spine coach—a family member or friend to support you at home after surgery—attend this course on the same day as your pre-surgical testing. In this class, you’ll learn how to prepare for your surgery and what to expect during recovery. You’ll get the chance to ask questions or discuss concerns you may have. We provide you with a Guide to Spine Surgery to take home that provides the information you need to know before, during and after surgery. And you’ll also take home a special cozy robe you can use during your hospital stay that is yours to keep.
Does Mercy Hospital in Durango have a designated spine unit?
The experienced spinal surgeons at Mercy Spine Institute perform many spine surgeries using minimally invasive techniques that allow you to go home on the day of your surgery. However, some types of surgeries require that you stay a few days in the hospital. Patients who require hospital stays after surgery are cared for in private rooms in our specially designed spine unit. This unit is staffed by nurses and rehabilitation specialists who are trained in helping spine surgery patients. We try to make your stay in the hospital as comfortable as possible by providing:
- A private patient room with flat-panel television and a sleeper chair if a family member or guest wants to remain with you.
- A low patient to nurse ratio.
- A robe for use in the hospital and to take home (which you receive during your pre-surgery testing visit).
- A water bottle and a tote bag, including special infection prevention soap and a spirometer to encourage optimal lung health during recovery.
What can I expect during recovery from spine surgery?
Recovery from spine surgery can differ significantly from one person to the next, depending on the type of surgery and personal factors of the patient. Whether you are having minimally invasive surgery or a more complex procedure that requires you to stay in the hospital, you can expect to be out of bed and moving the same day as your surgery. Getting up and walking helps speed recovery and reduce pain, so we want you up and walking as frequently—but safely—as possible. Your goal is 18 laps around the Mercy spine center unit, which is equal to one mile!
Does Mercy take spine patients from outside of Durango?
Yes, we provide spine surgery to patients from throughout the Four Corners region, northern Arizona and New Mexico, and Colorado’s western slope. To help make your experience easier, our clinical coordinator helps arrange all of your pre-surgical testing and patient education on the same day so that you only have to travel to Durango once prior to your surgery. As part of our concierge service, our clinical coordinator can assist with hotel accommodations, transportation and your follow up and therapy appointments. We provide our patients with multiple outreach clinics in the Four Corners region. Our outreach clinics provide our patients convenience to have their postoperative appointments scheduled in their community and reducing the need to travel back to Durango.