Precise spine care in Central Denver
The board-certified surgeons, specially trained nursing team and skilled occupational and physical therapists at the Rose Orthopedic & Spine Center are setting new standards for spine surgery in Denver. If you are suffering from neck, back or spinal pain, it is important to know that there are a wide variety of treatment options available. The Orthopedic & Spine Center at Rose also offers a physical therapy program for back, neck and spine problems, so our care plans are comprehensive from diagnosis through treatment to recovery.
For a referral to a spine expert at Rose, please call (303) 374-0755.Find a Rose spine surgeon
Why choose Rose for your spine surgery?
Rose Orthopedic & Spine Center goes above and beyond for orthopedic patients. We offer:
- Individualized treatment plans created especially with your needs and health history in consideration.
- A pre-operative spine surgery video class to watch in the comfort of your home.
- A patient guidebook about spine surgery to educate you about before, during and after surgery and to help keep your records organized.
- Local travel accommodations with a special rate for Rose patients.
- Lower complication rates as compared to the national average.
- Lower infection rates as compared to the national average.
- Spine-specific surgical and rehabilitation protocols.
- High-quality, new technology spinal implants.
- Convenient online pre-registration through MyHealthOne patient portal to document your information and health history, saving you time on the day of surgery.
Renee McWee, Orthopedic & Spine Center Patient Navigator
Renee McWee has worked in surgical services at Rose Medical Center for 30 years. She shifted her role to become Rose’s Orthopedic & Spine Center Navigator in 2016 to coincide with the opening of our newly renovated Orthopedic & Spine Center. Renee enjoys the opportunity to work with all Rose orthopedic and spine patients to ensure they receive the education and information they need prior to surgery and after surgery, so their focus can be on achieving their breakthroughs.
What to expect during spine surgery at Rose
Common conditions affecting the spine
The following are some of the most common conditions our spine specialists treat:
- Abnormal curvature. Your spine’s natural curves help balance your body, however, if the curves become too pronounced, or if your spine develops a twist or an extra curve, it puts extra pressure on the vertebra and discs. Conditions involving abnormal curvature of the spine include:
- Scoliosis. A side-to-side curve in your back.
- Kyphosis. An increased curve, or “hump,” in your upper back.
- Lordosis. An increased curve in your lower back (“swayback”).
- Degenerated disc. Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is used to describe changes of the spinal discs—most commonly thinning, hardening and drying out. Degenerated discs can irritate the spinal nerves and cause instability.
- Bulging disc. If the outer wall of a spinal disc weakens, it may push out, or bulge, toward the nerves. This can cause painful nerve irritation.
- Herniated disc. If the outer wall of a spinal disc tears (ruptures), the soft material inside the disc can squeeze out and press on nearby nerves. This can cause pain, numbness or weakness in your legs or back.
- Fractures. Vertebrae that crack or break can be caused by an injury, repeated stress or a condition like osteoporosis, which can make bones weak and brittle.
- Instability. Spinal instability is when adjoining vertebrae slip back and forth, or have permanently shifted out of position. This instability can be caused by a damaged spinal disc, a bone injury, arthritis in the facet joint or a congenital disorder. The slippage can irritate the bone, disc, spinal cord and nerves.
- Stenosis. Stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal. Stenosis can press on the spinal cord and nerves and cause pain and other symptoms.
- Nerve problems. All of the conditions described above can irritate or press on (pinch) the spinal cord or nerves. This can cause pain, numbness, weakness and other problems throughout your body. Common examples include leg or arm pain when problems are related to the lower spine or neck.
Additionally, we treat the following spinal conditions:
- Arthritis of the neck
- Back pain
- Back sprain
- Back strain
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated disc
- Osteoarthritis of the spine
- Spinal fracture
- Spinal fusion
- Spinal stenosis
- Spinal tumor
Back pain is a very serious and common problem that affects almost 80 percent of adults in the U.S. at some point in their lives. Back pain can range in severity and may be acute, coming on suddenly and lasting a few days to a few weeks, or chronic, lasting for more than three months. There are many reasons that someone may experience back pain, including:
- Poor posture. The spine has three natural curves, which enable it to absorb shock, provide flexibility and allow for normal movements. If you change the natural curves of the spine, stress can be put on the spine.
- Poor body mechanics. Unwanted stress can be added to the spine when standing, sitting, lifting, sleeping incorrectly or lying down.
- Poor physical conditions. Conditions, such as being overweight or having weakness in the muscles, can affect the spine.
- Accidents. Injuries from sports, falls or vehicle accidents can impact the spine.
- Normal wear and tear. Caused by aging, this normal wear and tear can cause the discs to wear out, bulge or rupture. Bone spurs may form or cartilage between the vertebrae may wear away leaving the joints without the normal cushion.
Often, patients do not require medical care for back pain as it usually goes away with or without treatment. However, a trip to the doctor may be needed if you experience any of the following:
- Numbness or tingling
- Severe pain that doesn’t improve with medication and/or rest
- Pain after a fall or an injury
You should also see a doctor if you are experiencing back pain along with any of the following problems:
- Trouble urinating
- Weakness, pain or numbness in your legs
- Unintentional weight loss
If you are living with chronic or acute neck pain, the Orthopedic & Spine Center at Rose is here to help set you free from your pain. We treat the following conditions affecting the neck:
- Arthritis of the neck
- Chronic neck pain
- Herniated disc
- Neck fracture
- Neck sprain
- Pinched nerve
- Stiff neck
Treatment options for back, neck and spine conditions
For those suffering from back, neck and/or spinal pain, it is important to remember that with all the treatment options available today, it is no longer necessary to accept back pain as a part of normal day living. At Rose, we offer the most advanced treatment options utilizing the least invasive, most effective therapies when creating our individualized treatment plans.
Common back, neck and leg pain questions answered
Bracing is a treatment used for spine conditions to mobilize and support the spine, or possibly to correct a spinal deformity. Soft braces are used for muscular support whereas rigid braces are used for immobilization. Depending on the condition being treated, your surgeon will have specific instructions on how long your brace should be worn. Your spine specialist may recommend one of the following types of braces:
- Cervical collar
- Soft lumbar corset
- Thoraco-lumbo-sacral-orthosis (TLSO) brace
Your physician may prescribe medication to help alleviate the pain, tissue inflammation, cramping or muscle spasms you are experiencing. There are five main types of medications that can be used alone or in combination with one another.
- Narcotics. Used for a short period of time to control acute pain.
- Muscle relaxants. Used to help relieve muscle tightness, spasms and cramping.
- Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Used to help reduce inflammation and pain caused by many spinal disorders.
- Sedatives. Used to help people sleep who have a hard time getting to and staying asleep due to back or neck pain.
- Transdermal analgesics. Pain-relieving drugs delivered over time through the skin, which allows some patients to avoid the gastrointestinal consequences of oral medication.
Before the decision is made to receive spine surgery, your surgeon may do a variety of tests and diagnostic imaging procedures to help rule out other conditions that may produce similar symptoms. Your physician may recommend one of the following treatment options for your spinal condition.
Spinal implants and devices
Artificial discs are designed to replace intervertebral discs damaged by spinal disorders, such as degenerative disc disease. Artificial discs replace the entire intervertebral disc and are designed to allow movement by mimicking the properties of a human disc. There are many different artificial disc designs. Implant compositions include hard (metal) and soft (nonmetal) materials or sometimes a combination of both hard and soft.
Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)
Bone morphogenetic protein, a naturally occurring human protein, is used in spinal fusion procedures. BMP stimulates growth of new bone and is a safe and effective alternative to bone graft. By using BMP as an alternative to bone graft, it shortens the amount of surgical time, reduces complication rates and allows for a quicker and less painful recovery time.
Spinal fusion with instrumentation
Spinal fusion permanently fuses or joins two or more vertebrae and is performed in cases where the surgeons need to correct a spinal deformity, treat a fracture or spondylolisthesis or stabilize the spine after discectomy. Instrumentation includes implants, such as rods, plates, screws, interbody devices, cages and hooks. Implanted instrumentation immediately stabilizes the spine after surgery, adding strength and helping maintain proper alignment while fusion occurs.
Common surgical procedures that involve spinal fusion and instrumentation include:
- Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)
- Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)
- Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)
- Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical treatment commonly used to treat compression fractures in the spine. Kyphoplasty involves inflating a balloon at the site of the fracture and then immediately filling the cavity created by this balloon with quick-setting cement. The cement hardens and repairs the fracture and stabilizes and strengthens the vertebral body. Vertebral body height is restored and pain is relieved.
Interspinous Process Decompression System
Interspinous process decompression is a minimally invasive surgical procedure designed to alleviate painful spinal conditions. A specialized device is inserted into the back of the spine to keep the space between the spinous processes open, so that when standing, the nerves in the back will not be pinched or cause pain.
Knowing what to expect when you’re facing surgery is very important for your recovery. That’s why the Rose Orthopedic & Spine Center team offers pre-op classes for our spine patients. Learn more about in-person classes, or watch our on-demand video.
Orthopedic and spine patient navigation
If you are undergoing spine surgery at Rose Medical Center, our orthopedic and spine patient navigator will be your central point of contact for educational resources about your procedure and all the logistical details of pre-operative and post-operative care.