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Spine Care

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Spine Care

Our staff of highly skilled spine surgeons treat both adult and pediatric patients with cervical, thoracic or lumbar spinal conditions. We offer both surgical and non-surgical solutions for both common conditions and complex cases, including minimally invasive spine surgery.

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  • Spine Care

Our Approach

The Spine Surgery Service in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Augusta University Health is committed to providing state of the art spine care to our patients.  Whether your spine issues are caused by 1) degenerative changes from aging and arthritis, 2) overuse syndromes from repetitive movements, or 3) trauma from an injury – we want to help patients of any age overcome their discomfort and improve their quality of life.

The spine team takes pride in working with you to solve your spine and orthopaedic problems using the most up to date and advanced treatment modalities, up to and including surgery.  We have a complete spine team capable of taking care of the complete spectrum of spinal needs. Our team members include:

  • Uzondu Agochukwu, MD, is an Associate Professor, is a board-certified, Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon, Director of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, and Co-Director of the Augusta University Spine Fellowship.
  • John DeVine, MD, is a Professor, is board-certified Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon, Chief of the Spine Surgery Service at Augusta University Health, and Co-Director of the Augusta University Spine Fellowship.
  • Mr. Nathan Boykin and Mr. Charles Wispert are Physician Assistants (PAs) who have a combined 40 years of experience evaluating and treating patients with neck and back pain.
  • Sara Lepley RN is our Spine Surgery Service nurse.  She is instrumental in coordinating care for our patients, helping maximize the benefits of both non-operative and operative care.
  • Dr. Agochukwu and Dr. DeVine offer care for pathologies affecting the spine from the occiput to the pelvis including deformity, trauma, tumors, infection, degenerative changes, and herniations.  When surgery is indicated, they utilize the most up to date techniques to include minimally invasive surgery and navigation, with the goal of optimizing patient outcomes.  They offer those treatments to patients of all ages, including pediatric patients. 

Our collective goal is to individualize the care required based on the needs of the patient.  From the simplest “back sprain” to the most complex scoliosis deformity, our team will provide the care that results in the best possible outcome.  The more common conditions referred to us for evaluation and treatment include the following: 

  • Lumbar radiculopathy – compression or inflammation to a nerve in the low back causing pain, numbness and tingling, or weakness that can extend into the foot
  • Herniated disc – occurs when a portion of a vertebral disc extrudes from the normal disc space causing neck or back pain and irritation to surrounding nerve roots
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis – narrowing of the spinal canal compressing the nerves throughout the low back area resulting in back pain and difficulty walking.
  • Cervical radiculopathy – compression or inflammation to a nerve in the cervical region (neck) causing pain, numbness and tingling, or weakness that can extend into the fingers
  • Cervical myelopathy – degenerative condition caused by narrowing of the spinal canal compressing the spinal cord resulting in loss of balance and difficult with fine motor skills (hand writing, buttoning buttons)
  • Spinal neoplasms – tumors can be located throughout the spine causing multiple symptoms (pain, burning, fever, neurologic changes) that often require multi-modal therapy (including care from a hematologist oncologist, radiation oncologist, orthopaedic oncologist) all available at Augusta University Health
  • Adult deformity – can be congenital, adolescent, or adult in onset.  Associated with loss of normal contours of the spine, loss of normal alignment, and may be associated with neurologic symptoms. 
  • Failed back surgery syndrome – persistent back and/or extremity pain after already having had previous spine surgery.
  • Spinal Stimulation Treatment for Pain Management is a pulsed stimulation of the nervous system and can be an effective solution to pain management. A spinal cord stimulator (cervical and thoracolumbar epidural spinal stimulators) can be used to help control chronic pain. New research supports the cost effectiveness, safety and clinical value of spinal stimulators when compared to patients undergoing reoperation for failed spinal surgery.
  • Complex Spine Surgery is sometimes the only option for many to achieve pain relief and improved levels of functioning. No surgery has a 100% success rate or 0% risk of complications. Your complex spine specialist will discuss your particular case with you, including reasonable expectations for success and possible complications.
  • Acute Spine Pain Management offers comprehensive surgical management of drug resistant pain problems, including cancer pain and pain of other origins. Chronic pain patients who have failed comprehensive non-surgical pain management may be candidates for surgical alleviation of pain.
 

Our Providers

Augusta University Medical Center specialists provide care and support throughout your entire healthcare journey.

Agochukwu, Uzondu F., MD

Spine & Reconstructive Surgery/Orthopedics

DeVine, John Glenden, MD

Spine & Reconstructive Surgery/Orthopedics

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