North American Spine is a Texas-based facility that prides itself on its minimally invasive treatments for back pain. It has seven locations, three of which are in Texas (Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio). The other four are in Phoenix, Arizona; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Orlando, Florida; and Hackensack, New Jersey. It also works with spine experts from other countries including Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Spain. NAS claims that 70% of their patients come from another state or country — which probably explains why their information on the various locations includes blurbs on area hotels. Anybody accompanying a back patient to NAS will need a place to stay while the patient recuperates. Patients typically stay in the area for three to five days.
NAS also works with “partner surgical facilities,” many of whom also offer minimally invasive treatments. They list nine of them in their website, and all are in the same states as the main facilities.
North American Spine’s doctors work in three main specialties: interventional pain management, neurosurgery, and orthopedic spine surgery. A specialist in interventional pain management diagnoses and treats pain. They may use nerve blocks, spinal cord stimulation, and medications. They may also use the AccuraScope procedure, a kind of laser surgery that NAS is known for.
Neurosurgeons or neurological surgeons diagnose and treat ailments of the central nervous system. They may work on the brain or the spine or both. They often treat spine pain, stroke, tumors, and congenital abnormalities, and other disorders.
An orthopedic spine surgeon concentrates on spine and joint disorders, including weakened or broken bones, arthritis, and abnormal bone growth.
NAS holds that the less invasive a procedure is, the better it is likely to be for the patient. Minimally invasive procedures carry less risk of infection and typically involve a shorter recovery time than do more conventional procedures. They also take less time to perform than more invasive procedures. For example, the AccuraScope procedure typically takes less than an hour to perform, while conventional surgical procedures can take hours. NAS follows a “Continuum of Care” program in which they start with non-invasive techniques like physical therapy and work their way up to more invasive procedures like surgery depending on the patient’s needs. Given that, many patients will probably work with the pain management specialist first.