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Orthopaedic Surgery

Program Update: UCLA Spine Center


UCLA Spine CenterA key strength of the UCLA Spine Center is the outstanding collaborative relationship among its specialists. Orthopaedic surgeons and neurosurgeons work with experts in rehabilitation medicine (physiatry) to offer a range of expertise and treatment options that few other centers can approach. The UCLA Spine Center offers therapies ranging from conservative to aggressive, and can offer appropriate patients investigational treatments often available at only a handful of centers.

UCLA Spine Center

Broad expertise puts UCLA in an excellent position to weigh all treatments without bias toward a particular area of specialty. Patients are evaluated thoroughly and all treatment options are carefully explained. Patients can feel confident that they will understand their condition and all the ramifications of its treatment before they make decisions about their care.

Outstanding Qualifications

UCLA Spine Center physicians bring great skill and expertise to the care they offer their patients. UCLA Health is a major referral center for complex and difficult cases, including revisions of procedures that have failed. Our physicians have a wealth of expertise in treating complex cases — including spine trauma cases that other hospitals may not treat — and apply this experience to treating all patients across the full spectrum of spinal conditions. They also have special expertise in treating spinal cord disorders, including tumors, syringomyelia and spinal cord vascular lesions.

Nurses and other personnel who support our physicians have received special training that helps them to meet patients’ individual needs and promote effective recovery. In addition, patients at the UCLA Spine Center benefit from the full resources of a major academic medical center. At UCLA, patients receive care for their spine and spinal cord disorders in the context of their complete health picture, rather than in isolation from their other conditions.

Minimally Invasive Surgeries

UCLA spine surgeons are at the forefront of minimally invasive surgery to treat spinal disorders. These procedures can expedite recovery and can sometimes be performed in an outpatient setting. Techniques include minimally invasive decompression, minimally invasive fusion, kypho-plasty and X-Stop implantation. Kyphoplasty and X-Stop surgeries can be performed without general anesthesia and patients can often be discharged on the day of surgery.

Motion Preservation

UCLA Spine Center surgeons have pioneered many treatments to address spinal disorders while preserving the spine’s natural mobility. UCLA was among the first centers to perform multi-level decompressions without the need for spinal fusion. UCLA surgeons developed some of the techniques that define modern laminaplasty, a surgical procedure that treats spinal stenosis by repositioning the lamina to expand the spinal canal. UCLA physicians also helped design and investigate some of the leading-edge implants used for these procedures.

Spine CenterAdvanced Biologics

UCLA is a leader in the use of biologics (agents of biological origin) to treat arthritis and degenerative disk disorders. For example, bone morphogenetic protein, discovered at UCLA, is used in place of bone grafting and is increasingly used throughout the world.

Spine Center physicians are experts in the use of currently approved biologics and are active in developing and evaluating new biologic agents. New growth factors discovered at UCLA are now being tested in pre-clinical studies. They could lead to better spinal fusion and may help reverse the degenerative process of arthritis in the spine. UCLA will be among the first to begin offering these as investigational treatments when the FDA approves them for human trials.

Scientific Approach

The UCLA Spine Center is motivated by a spirit of scientific inquiry in all its endeavors. An example of this approach is in outcomes tracking. Spine Center personnel carefully document all patient care in a manner that facilitates outcomes research and fosters evidence-based medicine. This helps our physicians improve treatment and reduce complications based on scientific evidence, not supposition. UCLA physician-scientists are conducting NIH-funded research using magnetic resonance spectroscopy in early detection of cervical degenerative disease by measuring the relative levels of key metabolites in nerve cells. Early identification of at-risk patients is a key factor in optimizing recovery.

Supportive Care

At the UCLA Spine Center, our focus on medical technology and scientific advancement is balanced by our commitment to providing an outstanding patient experience. Physicians and staff devote the time needed to communicate clearly with patients, listening to any concerns and making sure patients understand their medical condition and the available treatments. In an effort to continually improve the patient experience, we ask our patients for their feedback and recommen-dations on how we can further enhance our service. We constantly evaluate our clinics and implement changes to improve the way we provide care.

Program Faculty

Ulrich Batzdorf, M.D.
Professor, Department of Neurosurgery
David Gefffen School of Medicine at UCLA
UCLA Spine Center

David E. Fish, M.D., M.P.H.
Chief, Division of Interventional Physiatry
Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Orthopaedics
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
UCLA Spine Center

Langston T. Holly, M.D.
Ruth and Raymond Stotter Endowed Chair in Neurosurgery
Vice Chairman of Clinical Affairs, Department of Neurosurgery
Associate Professor, Departments of Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic Surgery

Duncan Q. McBride, M.D.
Associate Clinical Professor and Chief Division of Neurosurgery
Harbor/UCLA Medical Center
UCLA Spine Center

Nick Shamie, M.D.
Associate Clinical Professor, Departments of Orthopaedic
Surgery and Neurosurgery
UCLA Spine Center

Jeffrey C. Wang, M.D.
Professor, Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery
UCLA Spine Center

UCLA Spine Center

1245 16th Street, Suite 220
Santa Monica, California 90404
(310) 319-DISK (3475) Spine Center Appointments
(310) 319-2231 Fax

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