Millions of people suffer from chronic back pain and finding relief can be challenging. Although spine surgery is often presented in the media as a quick and simple way for patients to address their back pain, some surgeons believe there is frequently a mismanagement of patient expectations and an overreliance on these types of procedures. On this Patient Power program, host Andrew Schorr is joined by two leading surgeons, Dr. Jens Chapman, Professor of Orthopedics in Sports Medicine and Director of Spine Service Medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center, and Dr. Stanley Herring, Medical Director of Spine Care for the University of Washington Medical Center.
Both doctors, who are primarily based at Harborview Medical Center, stress that although spine surgery has come a long way, it is not a one-stop shop. Rehabilitation for back pain is a comprehensive program, and surgery may be just one step in that process. Learn about situations when spine surgery is beneficial and exciting new techniques, like motion-sparing surgery, which is still controversial but benefiting some patients. Dr. Chapman addresses the difficulty in treating nonspecific back pain, as well as why this is an area of tremendous controversy among surgeons.
During the program, Dr. Herring answers questions about different interventions, such as cortisone shots and alternative therapies, and explains the complexity involved in determining which interventions are appropriate for the right patient. Everyone’s experience is different and addressing the psychological aspect is as important as addressing the physical pain. Learn what you can do to protect your back and why it is important to seek treatment from a multidisciplinary team.
Jens R. Chapman, M.D.
Professor, Department of Orthopedics, UW MedicineDr. Jens R. Chapman is Professor in the Department of Orthopedics and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Chapman is also a spine service faculty member at Puget Sound Veterans Administration Medical Center in Seattle. He has been on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's advisory panel for spinal... more >
Stanley A. Herring, M.D.
Medical Director, Spine Center, Harborview Medical CenterDr. Stanley Herring is Medical Director of the Spine Center at Harborview Medical Center and Clinical Professor at the University of Washington. Dr. Herring specializes in musculoskeletal and sports medicine, with a particular interest in spinal disorders. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and went on to complete his residency at... more >