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Hoag Orthopedic Institute Launches “Back To You” Conservative Spine And Back Program

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Dr. Mark Hambly Appointed Medical Director of Conservative Spine

Because a great majority of low back pain does not require surgery, Hoag Orthopedic Institute (HOI), one of the largest providers of back and orthopedic care in the nation, is introducing a conservative spine and back program called “Back to You.”

As part of the program launch, HOI entered into partnership agreements with ProSport Physical Therapy and Performance and Sports Conditioning & Rehabilitation (SCAR), both multi- location physical therapy providers in Orange County, CA. They will serve as exclusive providers for HOI under this program.

HOI, which features more than 24 spine and back surgeons trained in orthopedics and neurosurgery, has served the community for more than 12 years alongside a team of non-operative allied back and spine specialists including physiatrists, pain management, physical therapists and more to comprise the new conservative approach of the program. Other non-operative options for first line conservative treatment include exercise, spinal injections, interventional spinal therapeutics, oral pain medication, acupuncture, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

“There are many nonoperative treatments that effectively treat acute and chronic back pain,” says Mark Hambly, retired orthopedic spine surgeon and the medical director of HOI’s conservative spine program. “This new program takes a science-based approach to the treatment of back pain. If conservative treatment fails, surgery may be the best course of action.”

Dr. Hambly joins HOI after a long career in private practice spine surgery in Northern California. He received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Southern California and his MD from Boston University. He completed a spine surgery fellowship at the Wiltse Spine Institute. He has authored numerous papers and presentations on spine issues. He is a member of the North American Spine Society, the American Board of Orthopedics, and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery. He is now turning his attention toward the nonsurgical treatment of back pain.

The HOI “Back to You” conservative spine program is an evidence-based approach to treating back pain. It is a circuit-based spinal strengthening program. The program includes education regarding the physiology of pain and the role that diet play in inflammation and resultant pain. Progress is measured with episodic strength measurements, allowing the patient to monitor his/her strength gains. Strength gains are typically accompanied by improved function and decreased pain.

“When back pain patients come into HOI, we are looking comprehensively at the patient to ensure they receive the optimal course of treatment,” said Dr. Jeremy Smith, a spine surgeon and Division Chief of Spine Surgery at HOI. “The good news is that most episodes of back pain resolve on their own or require conversative treatment. Therefore, non-operative treatments are routinely the first line of therapy. If surgery is later indicated, we utilize the most up to date and advanced technology that helps guide and optimize the surgical approach in the most minimally invasive way, all while ensuring we maximize safety of the patient.”