When it comes to spine surgery, choosing the appropriate hospital to achieve the most favorable results for patients is crucial. The United States, renowned for its advanced healthcare system, has exceptional hospitals specializing in spine surgery. These hospitals combine the expertise of highly skilled surgeons, cutting-edge technology, and a commitment to delivering top-quality care. Whether treating complex spinal conditions, performing minimally invasive procedures, or offering comprehensive rehabilitation programs, the best spine surgery hospitals in the USA are at the forefront of medical advancements and patient care.
In the USA, spine surgeons perform more spine surgeries, especially fusions, compared to the combined total of spine surgeons in other developed nations. They provide exceptional medical services that prioritize patient well-being and optimal outcomes.
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The Burden of Spine Issues on US Residents
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 65 million Americans suffer from lower back problems per year. With the region's evolving lifestyles and food consumption methods, such figures are expected to increase further. The degenerative spinal disorders are likely to increase, along with a potential increase in spinal problems in obese populations.
Approximately 900,000 American adults undergo spine surgery annually, with the cost per procedure ranging from USD 4,500 to 30,000 depending upon the procedure and country.
What Are Some Common Types of Spinal Surgeries?
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty repair compression fractures of the vertebrae caused by osteoporosis. Both procedures include the injection of glue-like bone cement that hardens and strengthens the bone.
Spinal laminectomy/spinal decompression is performed when spinal stenosis causes spinal canal narrowing, resulting in numbness, pain, or weakness.
A discectomy is a procedure that involves removing a herniated disk that is causing pressure on a nerve root or spinal cord. It is common for a laminectomy and discectomy to be performed simultaneously.
Foraminotomy is a surgical procedure where the surgeon widens the bony opening through which a nerve root exits the spinal canal. This helps prevent bulging disks or joints from thickening with age from placing pressure on the nerve.
Plasma disk decompression, or nucleoplasty, is a type of laser surgery that uses radiofrequency energy to help those with low back pain caused by a mildly herniated disk.
During a spinal fusion procedure, a surgeon removes the spinal disk between two or more vertebrae. Afterward, the adjacent vertebrae will be fused using bone grafts or metal devices secured with screws.
Artificial disk replacement is considered an alternative to spinal fusion for treating people with severely damaged disks. The process involves removing the damaged disk and substituting it with a synthetic one that aids in returning the height and mobility of the vertebrae.
Robotic Spine Surgeries Performed in the USA
Robotic systems are rapidly changing the landscape of modern surgery, offering potential benefits for both patients and surgeons. Since its approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000, the da Vinci Surgical System (Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA) has been used in complex, minimally invasive intracavitary surgical procedures.
The FDA has cleared the following three robotic systems for spine surgery in the USA:
Mazor X Stealth Edition (previous models include the Mazor X, SpineAssist, and Renaissance; Mazor Robotics, Caesareas, Israel)
ExcelsiusGPS (Globus Medical, Audubon, PA)
ROSA (Zimmer Biomet, Warsaw, IN)
ROSA has had minimal use in spine surgery. Essentially, these platforms are based on shared-control models, in which both the surgeon and the robot concurrently control motions. Highly accurate screw placement can be achieved by integrating computer-assisted trajectory planning guidance of a robotic arm.
Supported by advancements in navigation technology, future robots will likely be able to facilitate surgical decompression (e.g., in laminectomies and osteotomies), aid in revision and deformity surgeries, and even potentially guide extra- or intradural tumor resection.
Top Hospitals in the USA Providing Spine Surgeries
Each hospital highlighted in this article has proven itself as a leader in spine surgery. These hospitals have a proven track record of success, offering innovative techniques, personalized treatment plans, and a multidisciplinary approach to ensure the best possible outcomes for their patients.
Johns Hopkins Hospital
The spine division at the Johns Hopkins Department of Orthopaedic Surgery offers expert, personalized care with treatment for disc degeneration, spinal arthritis, spinal deformities, scoliosis, and tumors. They integrate traditional surgical methods with the latest minimally-invasive and robotic techniques.
Advancing Surgical Innovation: Johns Hopkins Successfully Performs Its First Augmented Reality Surgeries in Patients
Johns Hopkins neurosurgeons have successfully conducted their first augmented reality surgeries on living patients. Augmedics is a pioneer in augmented reality surgical image guidance. It was used to utilize its xvision Spine System for the first time. The system allowed the surgeons to visualize the patient's 3D spinal anatomy during the procedure, similar to having "X-ray vision." The xvision Spine System combines surgical navigation features with augmented reality technology, providing surgeons with real-time guidance and improving accuracy and efficiency.
The current freehand technique used in spinal surgeries can lead to suboptimal results, such as inaccurate screw positioning, neurological complications, and the need for reoperation. Although surgical navigation systems have demonstrated improvements, their adoption by spine surgeons remains relatively low due to issues such as discomfort and integration into the surgical workflow.
The xvision Spine System addresses these challenges by providing a transparent near-eye-display headset and a complete navigation system. It accurately tracks the position of surgical tools and superimposes a virtual trajectory on the patient's CT data in real time. Surgeons can simultaneously view the patient and the navigation data projected onto their retina, eliminating the need to divert their attention to a remote screen during the procedure. The system has shown impressive accuracy in screw placement during cadaver studies.
Augmedics obtained FDA 510(k) clearance in December and launched the xvision Spine System in the United States. The system could revolutionize surgical procedures by empowering surgeons with improved control, visualization and ultimately facilitating easier, faster, and safer surgeries.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
The Spine Center treats various spinal disorders, including injuries, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease. Treatment options include minimally invasive surgical techniques, physical therapy, and pain management.
Stanford Health Care
At Stanford Health Care, the experts collaborate to create a personalized care plan that caters to the patient's specific condition and requirements. The goal is to help relieve symptoms ranging from numbness or tingling to complete paralysis. The personalized care plan is also designed to help maintain or regain as much functional ability as possible so you can enjoy your lifestyle following your treatment.
University of Michigan Hospitals
If your back, neck, or spine condition requires a surgical approach, you will be seen by one of the experts in either the Spine Neurosurgery Program or the Orthopaedic Spine Surgery Program. Many patients come to these programs that have:
Chronic and subacute back and neck pain not responding to medication
Spinal cord or nerve compression
The surgical procedures performed include:
Minimally invasive spinal surgery
Spinal revision and reconstructive surgery
Spinal surgery with instrumentation
The Barnes-Jewish & Washington University Spine Center is renowned worldwide for its expertise in treating spinal cord patients, and they receive referrals from all over the globe. It is one of the largest clinical spine care practices in the United States. Their clinical care and research are among the most advanced available. The spine surgery team includes neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons who can coordinate with other specialties, such as radiology, oncology, internal medicine, and physical medicine and rehabilitation, to fully address a spinal injury or disorder's impact on a patient's quality of life.
Whether utilizing minimally invasive procedures, incorporating robotic-assisted surgery, or pioneering groundbreaking research, these hospitals are at the forefront of medical innovation. Their commitment to excellence is evident in their consistent delivery of exceptional results and their positive impact on patients' lives.
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Choosing the right hospital for spine surgery is a critical decision that can significantly impact a patient's well-being and recovery. Fortunately, the USA is home to some of the best spine surgery hospitals in the world, where exceptional medical expertise and state-of-the-art facilities converge to provide the highest standard of care.
The best spine surgery hospitals in the USA prioritize patient safety, employ the latest advancements in surgical techniques, and focus on providing comprehensive care. They are staffed by highly skilled surgeons, specialized teams, and dedicated professionals who work collaboratively to address various spinal conditions and disorders.
In conclusion, the spine surgery hospitals in the USA are proof of the remarkable advancements in medical science and the dedication of healthcare professionals. By choosing one of these distinguished institutions, patients can have confidence that they are placing their trust in experts committed to delivering outstanding care and achieving optimal outcomes.