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Physiatrists and Pre-Surgical Spine Consultation

A recently published article in the journal “Spine”[1] highlights the important role that physiatrists (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialists) have in managing spine patients who may be surgical candidates.  The study looks at the effect of an insurance carriers’ decision to require consultation with a physiatrist before spine surgery.  The result was a reduction in spine surgery rates, while maintaining patient satisfaction.  The authors discuss the inherent biases of primary care physicians, spine surgeons, and physiatrists and the perception of spine patients. It is true that some physiatrists are too conservative and some spine surgeons are too aggressive. However, Dr. Bainbridge combines over twenty years of working closely with spine surgeons with a working knowledge of the indications for spine surgery and the benefits and limitations of conservative care and injection options. He councils and educates patients with respect to all treatment options in a manner that allows for clear decision making and optimal outcomes.

Referrals for consultation can be made by calling Denver Back Pain Specialists at 303-327-5511 or faxing our referral form (Referral to Dr. Bainbridge – Denver Back Pain Specialists) to 303-327-5512. New patient forms can be found on our Forms and Facts page. We appreciate your confidence and strive to deliver the best care possible (Mission and Services of DBPS).

1.                  Fox, J., et al., The effect of required physiatrist consultation on surgery rates for back pain. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2013. 38(3): p. E178-84.

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