Spine Surgery for the Active Patient

And the other is the diagnosis.  People can have a back pain for a variety of reasons, anywhere from muscular problems, and Mr. Valencia has a structural problem, to a congenital condition, and these are wide-ranging diagnoses.  And there are certain diagnoses that do very well from surgery, and there are others that don’t.  And we have very good evidence-based literature to now guide us in terms of surgeons to recommend certain kinds of treatment. 

At our institution we work very hard in tracking clinical outcomes from all of our patients who undergo spine surgery, and the reason we do that is because we want to get better at what we’re doing.  And for the most part our patients do quite well, but in the rare occurrence that the expected outcome is not reached we want to know why, and at Northwestern we are very tuned in to giving the best options to patients in the long term. 

Yeah, it’s changed quite a bit. 

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