||Phone 360-514-BACK (2225)
PO Box 1600
Vancouver, WA 98668
Read Pioneering Medicine articles from our spine physicians:
More common than you may think with Robert S. Djergaian, MD
Quicker recovery with microsurgery with Hoang Le, MD
Fixing the fractures caused by osteoporosis with Robert Bloch, MD
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Exceptional medicine for back pain. Our comprehensive services:
• Pain interventions, including spinal injections
• Advanced spinal radiology (MRI, CT, PET scan)
• Physical therapy
• Rehabilitation medicine
• Minimally invasive surgical techniques
• CyberKnife for spinal tumor treatment
• Trauma care after an accident
Common spine diseases and conditions.
If you are interested in learning more about a specific health topic not listed below, go to PeaceHealth Southwest's Health Information Resource Center. From that page you can search for specific health topic information. Or use our summary of spine resources on this page.
Study options and diagnostic testing.
- Digital Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) provides clear imaging of the brain, internal organs, and structures without using ionizing radiation.
- Digital Computed Tomography (CT) Scan is an x-ray technique that gathers images of internal portions of the body. Instead of getting one image like an x-ray, a CT scan produces a series of "slices" that allow a much more precise and detailed view. This imaging technique is able to clearly show soft tissue, like the brain, in addition to dense tissue, like bone.
- X-Rays are used to show the alignment of your bones, whether you have degenerative joint disease or possible tumors.
- Myelography is an X-ray test using dye directly injected into your spinal canal to help identify places where your spinal cord may be getting pinched by the vertebrae in your back.
- Bone Scan procedures use a special camera to help detect bone tumors, infection or compression fractures caused by osteoporosis.
- Electrodiagnostic Studies are studies that investigate the signals your nerves produce. The studies can determine if there is a compression caused by herniated disks or spinal stenosis.
Advanced treatment options for spinal disorders.
Lumbar Spinal Surgery
is used to correct problems with the spinal bones (vertebrae), disks, or nerves of the lower back (lumbar spine).
Discectomy involves the removal of a portion of a disc to relieve pressure on a nerve. Discectomies can now be performed arthroscopically, that is through a smaller incision using specialized tools under local anesthesia. In some simpler cases, this type of surgery may be recommended.
Laminectomy or Laminotomy This involves removing a part or all of the lamina, the back part of the bone over the spinal canal. A laminectomy involves removal of the entire lamina. During a laminotomy, only a portion of lamina is removed to relieve pressure on a nerve or to give access to a disc that's putting pressure on a nerve. These procedures are often performed through a small incision, with the aid of a microscope.
is a minimally invasive procedure most often performed for patients with ruptured/herniated discs and spinal stenosis who have multi-level herniated discs and bone spurs.
permanently connect two or more bones in your spine to improve stability, correct a deformity or treat pain.
Skull-base and Cranio-Cervical Junction (CVJ) Surgery treats some injuries to the base of the skull. In addition to surgery, most patients require skeletal traction and immobilization to ensure stability.
Multi-disciplinary Management of Spinal Tumors. Spinal tumors are either benign tumors treated with surgical resection, or malignant tumors that require multi-disciplinary care involving surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.
involves injecting bone cement into fractured and collapsed vertebrae, which seals and stabilizes fractures to relieve pain. Patients with prolonged, severe pain from a compression fracture are often candidates for this procedure. Kyphoplasty
is a minimally invasive form of vertebroplasty used to treat vertebral compressions and fractures. Compression occurs when weakened bone collapses, causing sudden pain and, often, localized tenderness.
Advanced back pain treatment options.
For back pain sufferers, interventional pain management techniques can be particularly useful. In addition to a thorough medical history and physical examination, interventional pain management physicians have a wide array of treatments that can be used including the following:
- Epidural injections are the use of anesthetic and steroid medications injected into the epidural space to relieve pain or diagnose a specific condition.
- Nerve, root, and medial branch blocks are injections done to determine if a specific spinal nerve root is the source of pain. Blocks also can be used to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Facet joint injections are an injection used to determine if the facet joints are the source of pain. These injections can also provide pain relief.
- Discography is an "inside" look into the discs to determine if they are the source of a patient's pain. This procedure involves the use of a dye that is injected into a disc and then examined using x-ray or CT scanner.
- Pulsed Radiofrequency Neurotomy (PRFN) is a minimally invasive procedure that disables spinal nerves and prevents them from transmitting pain signals to the brain.
- Rhizotomy is a procedure in which pain signals are "turned off" through the use of heated electrodes that are applied to specific nerves that carry pain signals to the brain.
- Spinal cord stimulation is the use of electrical impulses that to block pain from being perceived in the brain.
- Intrathecal pumps are a surgically implanted pump that delivers pain medications to the precise location in the spine where the pain is located.
- Percutaneous discectomy/nucleoplasty is a procedure in which tissue is removed from the disc in order to decompress and relieve pressure.
- Epidural Lysis of Adhesions helps decrease chronic low back pain due to adhesions and scar tissue formation. The physician inserts a catheter into the epidural space in the spine. Guided by real-time X-ray imaging, the catheter can be directed precisely to the affected nerve root. Once the tip of the catheter is in place, medication can be injected to relieve pain at the source and dissipate the scar tissue.
- Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) helps patients who feel relief from nerve root injections but still have recurrent pain. During RFA, the painful nerve is identified and is connected to a computerized machine that heats the nerve to eliminate the nerve's function.
- Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET) is a procedure where a hollow needle is inserted into the painful disc. A thin heating wire (electrothermal catheter) is passed through the needle into the disc. The needle is heated, and destroys the pain receptors, eliminating the pain in the disc. This procedure can help patients with chronic disc pain who wish to avoid surgery, or for patients whose previous surgery has been unsuccessful.
At PeaceHealth Southwest your care doesn't end when you go home from the hospital. We also offer full rehabilitative care services through our Orthopedic Rehabilitation program, a part of our Rebound Rehabilitation center. Rehabilitation may begin while you are a patient at the hospital and continue after you go home. Click here for more information about our rehabilitation services.
Other spine information resources.
For more resources on spinal conditions and information about the spine, visit the following websites: