Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery offered at Mammoth Hospital

Mountain View
Back and neck pain are disabling problems that affect one out of every three Americans. A team-approach to spine care is needed for optimal results. The initial examination and any diagnostic procedures will assist in providing the doctor information on what may be causing pain and limitation of function. Non-surgical treatment should be considered first. This may include medications to reduce pain and inflammation and referral to physical therapy. Spinal injections (using imaging guidance for exact placement) may be helpful to relieve pain and inflammation and to provide further diagnostic information. Emphasis of physical therapy is to incorporate movement that reduces symptoms from an early stage and to progress activity and exercise that will make the back stronger, more flexible, and resistant to injury.

Sometimes spine surgery is needed, especially when there is significant pressure on nerves. There have been great advancements in spine surgeries and minimally invasive techniques have improved outcomes. Minimally invasive spine surgery techniques shorten the incision which in turn lessens blood loss and makes recovery quicker and less painful. Most patients can have the surgery and be home the next day. The most common minimally invasive procedures include: microdiscectomy for a herniated or ruptured disc and laminotomies for decompression of spinal stenosis.

Mammoth Hospital is fortunate to have an experienced spine surgeon on our orthopedic team. Richard M. Thunder, MD, trained at Stanford University School of Medicine as well as completing his residency and fellowship in orthopedic spine surgery at the Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Thunder is a member of the Orthopedic Trauma Team at Scripps Memorial Hospital. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, a qualified medical examiner, and a former Chief of Orthopedics for Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, CA.

Offering these services locally will be a great service to our patients. Patients will no longer have the inconvenience and expense of having to drive out of town for this service. Dr. Thunder comes to Mammoth every month and has a team of providers and staff who can provide follow-up and rehabilitation services. Mammoth Hospital has acquired state-of-the-art equipment and training to provide this service starting in January 2015.

Please call 760-924-4084 to make an appointment with Dr. Thunder or to get more information.

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