Cooperative spine care refers to two or more health care professionals who work together to preserve or restore spinal integrity while prioritizing the patient’s well being.
Reasons for Cooperative Spine Care
- Reduce the likelihood of unnecessary or duplicative testing
- Optimize the continuity of care
- Reduce the risk for unnecessary surgery
- Early detection of spinal disorders at varying stages of development
- Expanded criteria for outcome-based care
- Improved patient recovery
- Reduced cost of spine care
Who May Benefit by Cooperative Spine Care?
The patient with persistent or progressive pain, numbness, muscle weakness or abnormal spinal movement who is not recovering as expected may require a multidisciplinary approach with the combined expertise of the chiropractic physician and the neurosurgeon to maximize potential recovery.
Benefits of Cooperative Spine Care
The potential patient benefits of cooperative spine care include early diagnosis and intervention, a broad range of therapeutic options, continuity of care, and improved potential for recovery.
Common Ground: The Doctor of Chiropractic and the Neurosurgeon
Chiropractic physicians and neurosurgeons both have extensive training in spinal anatomy, spinal biomechanics, diseases of the spine and neurology as it relates to the spine. Both disciplines can perform or order the necessary procedures to diagnose spine and related conditions. Due to the length of the spine, an individual may have varying degrees of the same pathology occurring at different levels of the spine thus requiring a multidisciplinary approach. Common examples of conditions which may coexist, include degenerative disc disease, pain syndromes, disc herniation, arthritic disease, abnormal spinal joint movement and radiculopathy. The chiropractic physician and the neurosurgeon care for many of the same degenerative spinal disorders at different ends of the disease spectrum.
Early-stage spine disease is often best addressed by chiropractic physicians whereas late-stage spine disease involving potential or actual neurological compromise may require the attention of the neurosurgeon. Intermediate stages of spinal disease may require a cooperative effort between the chiropractic physician and the neurosurgeon.
The chiropractic physician and the neurosurgeon strive to protect and restore biomechanical and neurological integrity of the spine through: early diagnosis, early intervention, patient education and through the prevention of unnecessary surgery.