sutures newsletter


Mark Your Calendar

Surgery Grand Rounds

Click the "read more" to see information about upcoming Surgery Grand Rounds.

Grand Rounds

Click here to view a schedule of all upcoming grand rounds.

Educational Schedule

Click the PDF link below to see the Department of Surgery's educational schedule for March.

Educational Schedule - March 2014 (PDF)

Surgery Scheduling

Click the "read more" for hours and contact information for surgery scheduling.

Share Your News

Know an interesting colleague we should profile? A story we should tell? Submit your ideas, meetings and events for consideration.

Click here to submit your news to Sutures

Physiatrists Prove Valuable to Spine Center Patients

The Cedars-Sinai Spine Center consists of orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, neurologists, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation spine physicians (physiatrists) and psychologists, as well as nine spine-trained physician assistants and a cadre of specialty-trained nurses and administrative personnel, all working in a cohesive team-oriented environment.

There is an emerging emphasis on using nonsurgical spine specialists (spine-trained physiatrists) for initial evaluation and patient management. The goal at the Spine Center is to produce improved functional outcomes as well as to create a better overall experience for the patient population.

The path to costly and often-devastating chronic low back pain often is known to relate to psychosocial factors rather than anatomic pathology. These factors — marital status, job dissatisfaction, depression, fear, litigation — can be addressed during conservative management in the hope of producing improved functional outcomes with and without the need for surgery.

Before seeing a surgeon, patients experiencing spinal problems are encouraged to see a physiatrist, who may be better able to recommend viable alternatives to surgery. A physiatrist is a physician with specialty training in musculoskeletal and neurological conditions.

As nonsurgical experts, physiatrists often provide patients with a different perspective on treatment options. When surgery is an appropriate option, these physicians can arrange a consultation quickly with the type of spinal surgeon best suited for their particular needs.

The Spine Center recently began a joint project with the Anesthesia Pre-Procedure Evaluation Center to ensure that patients contemplating higher-risk surgical procedures are evaluated adequately before the day of the actual surgery. Without doubt, this process will improve the safety, success rate and overall perioperative experience for this select group of patients and their families.

Lastly, the Spine Center has just finished evaluating an outstanding group of orthopedic and neurosurgical fellowship candidates, four of whom will join the center to complete their training over the next several years.