The Role of the Spinal Specialist

By Jason D. Cohen, MD, FACS


Spinal conditions range from simple muscle strains to serious, life threatening conditions such as infections.  The patient’s complaints are often the same for both.  Navigating through this vast spectrum of conditions is the realm of the spinal specialist.  Not all back or neck pain is the same.  Sciatica, for example, may or may not be from disc herniation.  By performing a thorough work-up, the appropriate diagnosis can be reached and a treatment protocol can be formulated.

Most conditions can be managed with a conservative program but some need urgent surgery.  There can be several different options for non-operative and operative treatments that need to be considered when deciding on the most appropriate course of action; often different for each patient.  By seeking spinal care at Professional Orthopaedic Associates, patients get a complete education on their spinal condition.  The anatomy, physiology, and pathology of each diagnosis are thoroughly explained.  Similarly, imaging studies (x-rays, MRI’s, etc) will be reviewed and normal verses abnormal findings will be compared.

As your spinal specialist, I will clarify how the condition is affecting your body and causing your symptoms.  We will discuss all treatment options and decide what is best for you.  Patients may have questions about specific exercises, lifting techniques or how they can improve their posture.  Perhaps a patient has already had spinal surgery but has a new or continuing problem.  I will evaluate your current condition as well review all of your previous studies to provide the best possible treatment plan. 

At our practice, I host a bi-monthly multidisciplinary spine conference.  Here, we bring together different treating physicians and therapists to review specific cases and coordinate the best care for all of our patients’ spinal problems.   If surgery is necessary, it is tailored to your specific needs.  Not all spinal surgeries are the same.  Choosing the correct procedure for each diagnosis insures the best possible outcome.  Understanding the science and practicing the art of spinal medicine allows me to provide my patients with comprehensive treatment for all of their spine related needs.