Neurosurgery caregivers are dedicated to the evaluation and surgical treatment of disorders of the brain, spine and peripheral nerves for patients of all ages. At Mosaic Life Care – St. Joseph, we provide compassionate, coordinated and state-of-the-art care for patients with a variety of neurological needs.
Our team of neurosurgeons in St. Joseph, MO, strives to enhance and restore quality of life for each patient, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Existing patients can contact us at (816) 271-4025. We will help prospective patients with their care plans through a referral from their primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, you can find one who is accepting new patients.
Additional resources include:
Our services include the surgical treatment of:
- Degenerative Conditions
- Traumatic Injuries to the Brain, Spine and Peripheral Nerves
Spinal Condition Diagnosis and Treatment
Back pain occurring with fever or resulting from traumatic injury caused by a car accident, fall or sports activity, requires immediate medical attention. Back pain without fever or recent trauma should be monitored to see if it improves in two to three days.
If problems persist for an extended period of time or initial treatments do not work effectively, individuals should seek the care of a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon. With extensive specialized training and experience with spinal problems, neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons can offer a wide array of testing and treatment options.
Seeking the care of a surgeon does not mean surgery will result. In the vast majority of cases, surgery is not necessary. However, surgery may be the best or only option to treat some conditions.
A proper diagnosis is based on a full examination that includes:
- Historical review of the patient's back, neck or leg pain
- Physical exam of the patient's back
- Evaluation of the patient's range of motion
- Diagnostic tests, which may include a spine X-ray, MRI, CAT scan and myelogram (X-ray using special dye injected into the spinal sac surrounding the spinal cord and nerves)
Treatment options depend on the spinal condition, but the primary objective of treatment is to relieve inflammation and pain. In most cases, initial treatments including physical therapy, weight control, steroid injections, anti-inflammatory medicine, rehabilitation and limited activity are attempted before surgery is considered.
Most people suffering from back pain will find relief after a short period of time. If, however, initial treatment options do not relieve pain within three months, surgery may be needed.
Surgery becomes a treatment option when an individual experiences one or more of the following symptoms:
- Leg or back pain that limits normal daily activities
- Weakness in legs or feet
- Numbness in arms or legs
- Impaired bowel or bladder function
- Incapacitating pain
- Ineffective treatment
- Spinal instability
- Deteriorating quality of life
METRx™ System Spine Surgery
The unique, muscle-splitting METRx™ MicroDiscectomy System provides our neurosurgeons access to the spine with less tissue trauma than associated with traditional surgeries to relieve pressure on nerves. Posterior approach procedures with this system offer significant potential benefits.
- Shorter hospital stays — outpatient surgery vs. two to three days with open surgery
- Smaller scars — one inch vs. up to four inches
- Quicker return to work and normal activities
- Avoidance of general anesthetic
- Less post-operative pain — no muscle cutting or stripping
A discectomy removes a disc herniation (bulging disc) to relieve pressure on an adjoining nerve.
The Traditional Discectomy
A traditional open discectomy requires a large (up to four inches) incision down the middle of the back with extensive stripping of muscle from the spine to get to the affected disc. Though using one-inch skin incisions, newer microsurgery discectomies still involve cutting muscle and scraping it from the spine to access the disc. The muscle damage of these surgeries contributes to most post-operative pain and longer, more difficult rehabilitation periods.
The METRx MicroDiscectomy System
The METRx MicroDiscectomy System is composed of bayoneted surgical tools with various-sized metal tubes used to create and maintain openings to spinal elements. Fundamental to this system are specially designed metal tubes, called dilators, which progressively increase in diameter size. These dilators are inserted sequentially — smaller to larger — through the muscle to gradually separate, or split, and open the muscle to create an opening large enough for surgical tools to be used. The system's retractor tubes maintain the opening while the surgeon uses specially designed surgical tools to reach and remove spinal elements that are causing pain.
The Minimally Invasive Approach with the METRx MicroDiscectomy System
Surgeons are able to precisely locate, see and remove herniated discs in the spine through tunnels created by tubes that split back muscle, much like a sewing needle splits the weave of fabric, along natural divisions. No muscle fiber is cut, only separated. This unique muscle-splitting approach allows surgeons to access the spine with a posterior approach without cutting or removing muscle from the spine.
How It Works - Download the illustrated version
- Using a special "live-action" X-ray called a fluoroscope to visualize the spine, the surgeon precisely locates the herniated disc.
- Guided by the fluoroscope, a small needle is inserted through the skin and muscle to the affected area.
- The needle is withdrawn, a ½-inch skin incision is made, and dilators are inserted, one around the other, to gradually "split the weave" of the muscle until a ¾-inch tunnel to the disc is created.
- The retractor holds the tunnel open to allow for the microscope (or endoscope), surgical tools and instruments to be inserted.
- While viewing the herniated disc through the microscope, the surgeon uses special instruments to remove the herniated disc.
- Once the procedure is completed, the tube is withdrawn, and the separated muscle fibers flow back together.
- A small adhesive bandage is applied to cover the incision.
Who can benefit?
- Lumbar discectomy is the #1 procedure performed on the spine in the United States each year.
- About 250,000 Americans have surgery to relieve herniated discs annually.
- Seventy percent to 80 percent of patients requiring herniated disc surgery are candidates for this procedure.
The METRx System represents a new area in spine surgery, and the results of surgeries performed with this system have yet to be fully studied. However, in a preliminary study of 26 patients who had a lumbar discectomy with the METRx System, all reported very high levels of satisfaction with the procedure. In addition, patients in one study stayed in the hospital for an average of 12.1 hours, with a range of two hours to 48 hours. This compares favorably to the two to four days needed for open procedures.
In terms of relief of symptoms related to unpinching the nerve root, surgical outcomes using the METRx System are comparable to open procedures. However, since the METRx System allows the surgeon to unpinch the root without cutting or stripping muscle, patients are offered several advantages in terms of post-operative pain, recovery period, rehabilitation and cosmetic results.
How do you not only find a needle in a haystack but also find the needle and remove it without disturbing any of the hay? StealthStation® technology at Mosaic Life Care allows surgeons to do just that, extract a tumor without disturbing precious brain tissue. StealthStation image-guided surgery enables surgeons to isolate the exact location of the brain tumor through complex mapping technology. Prior to surgery, Neurosurgeon's build a 3-D model of the patient's unique anatomy. This sophisticated process locates and maps a tumor's size and exact location within the brain.
The neurosurgeon then knows the precise path needed to remove the tumor without disrupting other delicate brain tissue. StealthStation technology just another way Mosaic Life Care is providing you the most advanced medical treatment.
StealthStation technology's benefits also include:
- Smaller incisions shorten recovery time and reduce post-surgical complications.
- Precise targeting of tumors lessens the time needed for surgery.
- Greater accuracy delivering long-term results with less need for repeat surgery.