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Brain and Spine Center: Multidisciplinary Approach

Neurological Disease and Injury Assessment

A Multidisciplinary Approach
The Referral Process
Pain Management & Physical Therapy

A Multidisciplinary Approach
As the first of its kind in the region, the Brain and Spine Center at St. Luke's Hospital has assembled a team of experienced and dedicated physicians specializing in neurosurgery, neurology, physiatry/physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical therapy and pain management. The Center's multidisciplinary approach ensures that patients with various neurological diseases and injuries to the spine and nervous system receive the most appropriate course of care in an efficient manner.

"I can walk a few steps to talk to a neurologist, a physiatrist or a pain specialist and arrange the best care for the patients I see in a timely way. More practitioners mean that more patients can be seen and triaged appropriately to the specialist best capable of helping them," said Scott H. Purvines, MD, Brain and Spine Center neurosurgeon, "Also, having other neurosurgeons in the Center allows me to quickly gather opinions regarding tough or unusual cases. This way patients can be assured that all the available intellectual and technological resources can be leveled at their problems in an efficient way."

Brain and spine patients in particular benefit from the environment of collaboration among specialists. "Complex neurological and musculoskeletal conditions often require a multidisciplinary approach, where everyone works toward a common goal. The appropriate combination of treatment options helps patients achieve the best possible outcomes, and by utilizing experts from multiple fields, we minimize the risk of inappropriate or unnecessary treatments," said James L. Williams, MD, Brain and Spine Center physiatrist.

The Brain and Spine Center provides conservative and surgical treatment options for a number of brain and spine conditions, including tumors and infections, stroke, multiple sclerosis, neuropathy, epilepsy, movement disorders, headache, dementia and back and neck pain including other lumbar, cervical and thoracic disorders. "We collectively have expertise in essentially all traumatic, neoplastic, vascular, infectious, degenerative and developmental problems related to the spine and nervous system," said Dr. Purvines.

From initial diagnosis to treatment and recovery, the Center's team of specialists uses the most sophisticated technologies, treatments and surgical techniques to provide the most comprehensive and compassionate care possible.

The Referral Process
One of the many advantages of referring patients to the Brain and Spine Center is that patients' individual needs are assessed immediately. "Often patients are referred for a specific reason to a specific practitioner, and they are seen that way. Other times a quick phone conversation with the patient and a review of radiographic studies can be enough to determine that a patient should be diverted to a different practitioner for care to cut down on the number of necessary visits. These determinations are made by the physicians and communicated to the patients," said Dr. Purvines.

Many patients will see a physiatrist/physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist for an evaluation during their first visit to the Center. Physiatrists diagnose and treat conditions of the bones, muscles, joints, brain, nervous system and other body systems that can limit a person's ability to function. "The specialty not only utilizes standard medical treatments, but it also emphasizes improving function when patients have impairments. Physiatrists are optimally suited to provide appropriate conservative spine care and can refer to surgical specialists when indicated," said Dr. Williams.

The Brain and Spine Center completes the communication loop with referring physicians by providing follow up reports on their patients when appropriate. "Our approach is intended to make the experience comfortable and easy for the patient and for the referring physician. Both can be confident that the best care possible is available and has been considered. We can provide that care efficiently and in a caring manner," said Dr. Purvines.

Pain Management & Physical Therapy
The Center also specializes in pain management and physical therapy tailored to patients with brain and spine disorders. For pain management, interventional and non-interventional techniques are available, and a wide range of treatments are offered to help each patient regain the highest possible level of function, increase quality of life and decrease pain.

The Center's physical therapists use state-of-the-art equipment to implement custom treatment programs for patients. "The physical therapy department is dedicated to providing care to patients with brain and spine disorders. The therapists focus their continuing education on these areas, and virtually all of their patients are referred to them for treatment of brain and spine disorders. They communicate regularly with the physicians at the Center to ensure each patient is getting optimal care," said Dr. Williams, "We are constantly improving our delivery of outstanding non-surgical and surgical care for patients. We want the Brain and Spine Center to be recognized as the best way to provide care for patients with disorders of the brain and spine."

For more information, contact the Brain and Spine Center at 314-878-2888.

Click here to watch the Brain and Spine Center on the medical news program, American Health Front, which originally aired on KMOV-TV/Channel 4 (CBS). Video

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