DeKALB – Kishwaukee Community Hospital has introduced the Spine Center, a comprehensive program based on a national best practice model for spine surgery. The Spine Center at Kish Hospital helps patients in the DeKalb and Sandwich areas who are candidates for minimally-invasive spine surgery for common back and neck conditions.
While spine surgery has been performed at Kish Hospital for many years, this new program creates a patient-centered spine surgery experience from the moment a patient decides to have surgery to the day he or she leaves the hospital, according to orthopedic spine surgeon Raymond Hwang, MD.
“This program also allows us to put in place research-driven best practices that lead to better outcomes,” he said.
“First and foremost, we view our patients along a wellness continuum, with the need for surgery as a step along that continuum to improved health through the treatment and or elimination of disease,” said spine center co-director and neurosurgeon Martin E. Gryfinski, MD.
“This fundamental concept of wellness is executed throughout the entire program, which incorporates the most appropriate analgesic, minimally invasive and rapid-recovery surgical techniques with an environment that maximizes patient recovery through education, a culture of early mobility, family involvement and group interaction.”
Once a patient decides to have spine surgery, he or she is given a comprehensive guidebook that explains the surgery and a list of activities, including strengthening exercises, that need to begin prior to surgery. This guidebook also serves as a clinical diary that the patient brings to the pre-operative class, to all appointments and to the hospital.
Each patient chooses a coach, usually a friend or family member, who is an active participant throughout the process. Patients and coaches are required to attend a pre-operative class prior to surgery, where they meet their Spine Center team and learn about the procedure, what to expect at the hospital and what to do after discharge.
All staff members at The Spine Center receive special training and are chosen to work on the unit because of their expertise, positive attitudes and motivational skills.
Spine Center patients do not wear hospital gowns; they are expected to bring comfortable clothing. Each day patients receive the day’s agenda and tips on how to care for themselves.
Patients receive calls from the hospital staff after going home. Reunions for Spine Center graduates and their coaches occur periodically with surgeons and their entire team. According to national best practice studies, the result of this new approach to surgery is less pain, quicker recovery and superior outcomes.
For more information, visit www.kishspinecenter.org.