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Joseph Cheng, M.D., left, and Rick Davis, M.D., at the newly opened Vanderbilt Comprehensive Spine Center at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks. (photo by Joe Howell)

Comprehensive Spine Center makes debut

BY: LESLIE HAST

4/09/2010 - The Comprehensive Spine Center, a new facility incorporating all aspects of diagnosis and treatment for spinal conditions, opened this week at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks.

Services associated with a comprehensive approach include operative and non-operative spine care, neurological monitoring, radiology, physiatry, anesthesiology, pain management, and physical and occupational therapy.

“Any patient with a spine problem is welcome,” said Joseph Cheng, M.D., associate professor of Neurological Surgery and director of the Neurosurgery Spine Program.

Cheng says many patients with spine problems have had unnecessary procedures or treatments that could have been avoided with focused, non-operative options and lifestyle changes. The Comprehensive Spine Center will have resources for both surgical and non-surgical treatments, including lifestyle modifications such as developing a standard exercise routine or better posture.

Forming a Comprehensive Spine Center that includes all physicians who care for patients with spinal disorders allows them to collaborate easily and formulate the best treatment plan.

“We can all take care of spine problems on our own but that is not nearly as effective as coming together in the Spine Center. There will be more synergies, and our efforts will be more uniform and consistent,” said Rick Davis, M.D., assistant professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation and chief of the Division of Orthopaedic Spine Surgery.

Cheng and Davis estimate that 80 percent of people will have back pain at some point in their life, and $80 billion is spent each year on treatment for low back pain alone.

“Back pain is just a symptom, and it is important to get a correct diagnosis prior to starting any treatment,” Cheng said. “Back pain could indicate everything from an osteoporotic fracture to metastatic cancer to severe arthritis. The Comprehensive Spine Center, with so many doctors working together, can help identify the problem and a proper solution, not jump right into an invasive procedure or a course of medications.

"We will bring evidence and knowledge from many disciplines and come at the problem with a wider mindset.”

The Comprehensive Spine Center is located in Suite 23108 at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks.

To schedule an appointment or get more information, call 875-5100 or visit www.vanderbiltspine.com.

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