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Spine Health Center

Consult a spine program expert at (949) 452-3339

Carry your groceries. Swing a golf club. Lift a child.

We created the Spine Health Center with three goals in mind- Relieve your pain, restore your independence and get you back to work and daily activities as quickly as possible.

We’re focused on your entire journey, not just your surgery. Led by your spine program navigator, our care team of physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists are there for you every step of the way from consultation to rehabilitation.

Here’s a few highlights:

  • Mobilization as early as day of surgery
  • A spine program navigator to guide you through to recovery
  • Dedicated nurses and therapists who specialize in spine surgery care
  • Care pathways to guide your recovery process during your hospital stay
  • Multimodal approach to managing your pain
  • Friends and family coaching program assist in your recovery
  • Pre-operation education class and guidebook to prepare you for the process

We’re focused on you. Patients play a key role in their recovery and you’ll be involved every step of the way.

Your Team

We have an entire specially trained care team dedicated to getting you back to life as quickly as possible. Your Spine Health Center team consists of

Spine Program Navigator – The spine program navigator is responsible for guiding you through the spine program. The Spine program coordinator will:

  • Act as your advocate throughout the course of treatment from the physician’s office to surgery and discharge.
  • Answer questions and coordinate your hospital care.

Surgeon – The physician who performs the procedure.

Registered Nurse (RN) – Much of your care will be provided by a registered nurse. Your nurse ensures orders given by your physician are completed including medications and monitoring your vital signs.

Physical Therapist (PT) – The physical therapist will work on your mobility skills, educate you on precautions and teach exercises designed to improve strength and range of motion.

Occupational Therapist (OT) – The occupational therapist will guide you in performing daily tasks such as dressing and bathing. They may demonstrate special equipment that may be used in home after your surgery such as shower/tub benches, grab bars and raised toilet seats.

RN Care Manager – They will meet with you during your hospital stay to discuss your discharge plan. The RN care manager assists you with your post-hospital care, equipment needs and acts as a liaison with your insurance company.

Other Physicians (if applicable) – Other physicians may work in conjunction with your surgeon to manage any medical issues that may arise during your hospital stay. These physicians may include internists, pain management specialists, anesthesiologists and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists.

Your Coach - Your coach is a family member or friend who will be with you to help you before, during and after your hospital stay. Your coach should be physically capable, available and actively involved in all steps of your spine surgery journey.

Types of Spine Surgery

The Spine

The spine is made up of 33 vertebrae bones that protect the spinal cord. The bones are divided into five segments: seven cervical, twelve thoracic, five lumbar, the sacrum (five bones fused together) and the coccyx (four bones fused together). Together they provide structure to support your body. The vertebrae are linked by facet joints to allow movement and separated by the intervertebral discs which act as shock absorbers.

As people age, the discs between the vertebrae lose water, resulting in decreased space and height. This can reduce the space through which nerves exit. Discs and vertebral bones can also be damaged through trauma or arthritis causing misalignment and pain.

Examples of Spine Surgery

Discectomy - Discectomy is the removal of part of a ruptured disc. The surgeon removes the part of the disc that is pressing, pinching, or irritating the nerve root.

Laminectomy - Similar to laminotomy, laminectomy is surgery to take out the bony arches (lamina) of one or more of the vertebrae in your spine. This surgery can help to relieve pressure on your spinal cord or nerves. Laminotomy is the partial removal of the lamina.

Lumbar Fusion - Two or more vertebrae are joined together using bone grafts or implants, screws and rods to stabilize your back and help reduce pain. Posterior fusion is when the surgeon will perform the surgery through the back. The surgeon may decide to go through the abdominal area in addition to performing a posterior fusion. This is referred to as anterior lumbar fusion. The surgeon may also decide to do both an anterior and posterior fusion if needed.

Cervical Discectomy and Fusion - Surgical procedure performed on the cervical (neck) region of the spine to help relieve pressure on nerves and spinal cord.

Spine Health Center at Saddleback Medical Center

The care we provide isn’t just about your surgery. It’s about your entire journey, from consultation through rehabilitation. Our highly-skilled, deeply caring team of physicians, nurses and physical and occupational therapists are with you every step of the way, making sure you that the treatment we provide is exactly what you need, both physically and emotionally. You need support at a time like this. That’s why we’re here.


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