People with back or neck pain sometimes have to navigate a maze of specialists before finding the solution to their problem. The experience is more frustrating when the doctors aren’t communicating with each other or collaborating on a treatment plan.
In 2015, MU Health Care began its Comprehensive Spine Center to offer patients coordinated care from experts in multiple specialties. The Comprehensive Spine Center includes orthopaedic and neuro surgeons, plus nonoperative doctors who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain management, radiology, anesthesiology and behavioral health. Chiropractors and physical therapists complete the team.
“Some places call themselves comprehensive spine centers, but they really just mean you call one number for an appointment. The doctors don’t actually work together or communicate very much,” said MU Health Care orthopaedic spine surgeon Ted Choma, MD. “We are all dedicated to the idea that we’re interactive and we’re better together than by ourselves. We meet at 6:15 on Friday mornings so we can share information and ask each other advice about cases. I think that’s a measure of how dedicated we are to being interactive and collegial.”
When patients call for an appointment and explain their symptoms, they are matched with the specialist most likely to solve their problem. Most patients are helped without surgery. In a recent study of 8,000 people who called the Comprehensive Spine Center to schedule an appointment, 7,630 were treated without an operation.
If you suffer from back or neck pain, call the Comprehensive Spine Center at 573-884-2225 for an appointment.