The Mid-Maryland Musculoskeletal Institute (MMI) is taking a revolutionary approach to spine care with the opening of The Spine Institute at MMI. A “one-stop-shop” providing every care option for back & neck treatment available by today’s medical practitioners.
While some practices have back surgeons or pain management specialists, physical therapists or chiropractors, The Spine Institute at MMI offers all these treatment options under one roof. This revolutionary idea of having all the current treatment options available in one place is the brain child of MMI president, Dr. Mark Chilton whose personal experiences with back pain led MMI to take this innovative approach. "I hurt my back lifting a patient during my residency in 1981 and saw neurologists, physical therapists, and a chiropractor. I also had chymopapain injections (that dissolve part of the disc) as well as epidurals, facet block injections and ultimately surgery. That's when I realized how important it would be to have ALL experts for back care in one location, with one set of records, so all involved could share information for a seamless coordination of care."
As Dr. Chilton himself experienced, back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, second only to upper-respiratory infections. Experts say the likelihood of any person experiencing some type of back problem in their lifetime is about 80%. That’s four out of every five people.
For most patients, back and neck pain will respond to nonsurgical treatment. For this reason, evaluation by an MMI Physiatrist is a good place to start. Dr. Christopher Berman and Dr. Zinon Pappas are experts in the assessment and management of back and neck pain and dysfunction. They design and monitor customized physical therapy programs, prescribe and manage medication for pain control and perform non-invasive pain relieving injections.
In many cases a course of physical therapy is all that is needed to decrease back pain and increase function. MMI employs 14 physical therapists available at 4 locations in Frederick and Hagerstown and is coming to Urbana in the fall of 2013. Many are specially trained in the treatment of neck and back injuries.
The Spine Institute at MMI also offers patients an alternative to traditional back and neck pain treatments through Chiropractic care with Dr. Michael Gibson as well as Dry Needling (similar to ACUPUNCTURE) with several of our therapists. These treatments can be tried alone or in conjunction with traditional medicine. This practice, known as Complimentary and Alternative Medicine http://mmidocs.com/specialties/complimentary-and-alternative-medicine can be extremely effective for treating back and neck pain.
If a patient has failed all these conservative measures it may be time to see a back surgeon. The Spine Institute at MMI has the only Fellowship Trained Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon in the region performing Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. Dr. Jocelyn Idema uses small incisions (less than 1 inch) and a microscope, enabling her to spread muscle tissue instead of cutting through it. This leads to less tissue trauma, less pain, reduced blood loss, lower complication rates, lower risk of infection, and an easier, faster recovery.
Spine care is not new to MMI. As a matter of fact, we have been perfecting it for many years. Now it is time to employ all these new and innovative solutions for neck and back pain to give the residents of this region the same opportunities for specialized spine care only available, until now, in major cities like Baltimore and Washington.