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101 Hospitals With Great Spine and Neurosurgery Programs

Written by  Bob Herman and Molly Gamble | Monday, 23 January 2012 13:32
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Becker's Hospital Review has named the following hospitals to its list, "101 Hospitals With Great Spine and Neurosurgery Programs." These hospitals offer outstanding spine and neurosurgical care, and the Becker's Hospital Review editorial team selected them based on nominations, clinical accolades, quality care and other spine and neurosurgical proficiencies. These hospitals have been recognized for excellence in this specialty by reputable healthcare rating resources, including U.S. News & World Report, HealthGrades, Thomson Reuters, Blue Cross Blue Shield Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery, Delta Group CareChex and the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Note: This list is not an endorsement of included hospitals or associated healthcare providers. The following content should be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute professional medical advice. Hospitals cannot pay to be included on this list and are presented in alphabetical order.


Arizona Spine & Joint Hospital (Mesa, Ariz.). Arizona Spine & Joint Hospital has received Spine Surgery Excellence Awards for 2011 and 2012 from HealthGrades, and HealthGrades also ranked the physician-owned hospital as one of "America's 100 Best in Spine Surgery" institutions. CareChex ranked Arizona Spine & Joint as a top 100 U.S. hospital for spinal surgery quality, and within the top 130 in the nation for spinal fusion quality.

Arkansas Surgical Hospital (North Little Rock, Ark.). For three straight years, HealthGrades has awarded the physician-owned Arkansas Surgical Hospital the Spine Surgery Excellence Award and also named it as one of "America's 100 Best in Spine Surgery." In addition to being ranked number one in Arkansas for spine surgery, CareChex ranked the hospital highly in two neurosurgical areas: second overall in the country for spinal surgery quality and fourth for spinal fusion quality.

Aultman Hospital (Canton, Ohio). Aultman Hospital Neuroscience Center of Excellence features a neurosurgery program with advanced diagnostic equipment and diagnostic procedures. Aultman, which was recognized by Thomson Reuters as a Top 100 Hospital for 2011, was the first to introduce intra-cranial doppler studies. The 593-bed teaching hospital has also received accolades from HealthGrades for both spinal surgery and neuroscience excellence.

Aurora BayCare Medical Center (Green Bay, Wis.). Aurora BayCare Medical Center is the largest physician-owned hospital in northeast Wisconsin. CareChex ranked Aurora BayCare within the top 185 hospitals in the country for spinal surgery quality. Its NeuroCare Brain & Spine Center specializes in the treatment of disorders and diseases of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, including spinal deformities, fractures and tumors.

Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center (Milwaukee). Like its Aurora BayCare counterpart, Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center is a high-performing neurosurgery hospital, as defined by U.S. News & World Report. Aurora St. Luke's, recipient of HealthGrades' 2012 Neurosurgery Excellence Award, is one of the cornerstones of Aurora Health Care, and its spine experts specialize in several spine conditions, including herniated discs, lumbar stenosis and spinal tumors.

Barnes-Jewish Hospital (St. Louis). The Barnes-Jewish Hospital Neuroscience Center of Excellence contains one the largest neuro-intensive care units in the country. The hospital's neurosurgeons treat a full range of neurological disorders, and the Barnes-Jewish & Washington University Spine Center is also one of the largest clinical spine care practices in the United States. Washington University neurosurgeon Neill Wright, MD, developed translaminar fixation, a cervical spine surgery, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in 2003.

Beaumont Hospital (Royal Oak, Mich.). A 2011 Thomson Reuters Top 100 Hospital, Beaumont's Neuroscience Center of Excellence covers a full array of some of the most advanced spine and neurosurgical procedures. Beaumont offers a spine reconstruction program and also has a Spine Fracture Clinic, which provides the latest minimally invasive spine surgeries for patients with accidental and traumatic spine fractures. Mick Perez-Cruet, MD, is the chief of minimally invasive spine surgery at Beaumont and is internationally renowned for pioneering treatments of spinal disorders.

Beebe Medical Center (Lewes, Del.). HealthGrades has awarded Beebe Medical Center with the Spine Surgery Excellence Award for three straight years, ranking it among the top spine surgery hospitals in Delaware and the country. Additionally, BMC is five-star rated for back and neck surgery as well as spinal fusion surgery by HealthGrades. CareChex also rated the 210-bed hospital in the top 50 for spinal fusion and spinal surgery quality for 2012.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston). Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Division of Neurosurgery and Spine Center are nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report, Thomson Reuters and Blue Cross Blue Shield. BIDMC is also a leader in spine and neurosurgery research. Researchers from the hospital recently published a study that found spine surgeons can save more than $126 million in surgery costs each year by implementing a simple intraoperative waste awareness program.

Black Hills Surgical Hospital (Rapid City, S.D.). Black Hills Surgical Hospital, recipient of HealthGrades' 2011 Spine Surgery Excellence Award, offers 10 different neurosurgical treatments, including cervical and lumbar microdiskectomy, endoscopic spinal fusion and microsurgery. According to CareChex's 2012 hospital quality rankings, Black Hills Surgical ranked in the top 50 in the nation for spinal fusions and the top 100 for overall spinal surgery.

Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital (Charleston, S.C.). Part of Roper St. Francis Healthcare and the Carolinas HealthCare System, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital provides some of the highest-ranked neurosurgical and spinal treatment in the area. The Neuro-Spine Center at BSSF has been recognized as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, and neurosurgeons use some of the most current technology for stereotactic radiosurgery. CareChex also rated BSSF third in the country in 2012 for quality in both spinal surgery and spinal fusion procedures.

Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston). Harvey Cushing, MD, whom many consider to be the father of neurosurgery, was the surgeon-in-chief when Brigham and Women's Hospital first opened in 1913 (then known as Peter Bent Brigham Hospital). Brigham and Women's has continued to be a vanguard for spine procedures and neurosurgery, focusing on a range of areas such as neurosurgical intensive care, brain tumors and spinal tumor surgeries. The Brigham and Women's research laboratories in the Department of Neurosurgery also have national acclaim.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles). The Cedars-Sinai Department of Neurosurgery, led by the distinguished Keith Black, MD, is an award-winning institution that offers a wide array of services, including treatment of spinal cord dysraphia, spinal deformities and oligodendroglioma tumors. The Cedars-Sinai Spine Center offers interventional pain management treatments, surgical reconstruction and other treatments for degenerative spinal diseases. Michael J. Alexander, MD, professor and vice-chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery, also is the president-elect of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

Central DuPage Hospital (Winfield, Ill.). The Neurosciences Institute at the 326-bed Central DuPage Hospital contains several different comprehensive and nationally recognized programs for neurosurgical and spinal procedures. Ranked as a high-performing neurosurgical and spine care hospital by U.S. News & World Report, Central DuPage's spinal surgery team also offers several different treatment options for spinal surgery, such as synergy neurostimulation, spinal cord simulators and kyphoplasty.

The Christ Hospital (Cincinnati). As a Blue Center for Spine Surgery and one of the top-ranked hospitals in Cincinnati by U.S. News & World Report and Thomson Reuters, the Christ Hospital offers a multi-disciplinary approach to treating common and advanced spine and neurosurgical-based problems. The Christ Hospital's Spine Institute employs state-of-the-art equipment and commonly performs several advanced spinal interbody fusion procedures.

Cleveland Clinic. The multidisciplinary Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute treats and researches some of the most complex neurological disorders and has advanced innovative neurosurgeries, such as epilepsy surgery, stereotactic spine radiosurgery, and interstitial thermal therapy for brain tumors. The Neurological Institute has several laboratories and research centers specifically designed for neurosurgical research — including its Spine Research Laboratory and the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis.

Cookeville (Tenn.) Regional Medical Center. Since 2008, Cookeville Regional Medical Center has been ranked in the top five in Tennessee for spine surgery by HealthGrades, and over that same four-year span, it has won a Spine Surgery Excellence Award each year. HealthGrades also gave CRMC a five-star rating for back and neck surgery, including and excluding spinal fusions. In CareChex's 2012 rankings, the hospital ranked 14th in overall spinal surgery quality.

CoxHealth (Springfield, Mo.). When it comes to high-quality hospitals for spinal surgery and spinal fusion, no other hospital rated higher in CareChex's 2012 rankings than CoxHealth. Also rated as a high-performing neurosurgical hospital by U.S. News & World Report, CoxHealth has the largest group of neurosurgeons in Missouri and northern Arkansas.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Lebanon, N.H.). Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center was the recipient of a HealthGrades 2012 Neurosurgery and Neurosciences Excellence Award The Spine Center was also featured in a multi-year Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial, or SPORT, study that looked at the most common back conditions and compared surgical and non-operative treatments. This randomized study was only conducted at 10 other sites in the country.

Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (Edinburg, Texas). The 503-bed Doctors Hospital at Renaissance is one of the largest physician-owned hospitals in the country, and its spine and neurosurgical services are highly ranked among POHs. HealthGrades awarded DHR Spine Surgery Excellence Awards for 2011 and 2012. DHR, which was named as a Top 100 Hospital by Thomson Reuters from 2008 to 2010, is also considered by HealthGrades to be one of the top 100 spine surgery hospitals in the country.

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota (Fla.). The 168-bed Doctors Hospital of Sarasota has been recognized as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, and HealthGrades graded it as one of the top spine surgery institutions in the country. Its Orthopaedic & Spine Institute offers a wide range of neurosurgical and spine procedures and houses some of the most experienced neurosurgeons in the Sarasota area.

Duke University Hospital (Durham, N.C.). Duke University Hospital, a Blue Distinction Center for Spinal Surgery, and its Division of Neurosurgery have 13 active staff neurosurgeons. Duke has several special clinical neurosurgery programs, including its Center for Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery and the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center. The Brain Tumor Center is one of the largest such centers in the field, and it has recorded more than 60 major scientific accomplishments.

East Cooper Medical Center (Mount Pleasant, S.C.). East Cooper Medical Center is one of the top-ranked spine and neurosurgical hospitals in South Carolina. ECMC is a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, has received Spine Surgery Excellence Awards from HealthGrades in each of the past three years and is ranked in the top 20 of all U.S. hospitals in spinal fusion and spinal surgery quality by CareChex.

Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (Idaho Falls, Idaho). For two straight years, HealthGrades has awarded Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center the Spine Surgery Excellence Award. HealthGrades also considered EIRMC a five-star facility in spinal fusion surgeries. Neurosurgeons at EIRMC use the StealthStation Navigation, which allows them to track their surgical instruments precisely in relation to patient anatomy — even as that anatomy is moving — making it the only hospital with such technology in the greater Boise area.

Einstein Medical Center (Philadelphia). HealthGrades has awarded Einstein Medical Center the Spine Surgery Excellence Award for the past two years and also gave EMC a five-star rating for its spinal fusion surgeries. Mark Kotapka, MD, a neurosurgeon with an interest in the treatment of several degenerative spinal conditions who used to be with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, leads EMC's Division of Neurosurgery, which also is a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery.

Ellis Hospital (Schenectady, N.Y.). Ellis Hospital's neurosurgery team specializes in the treatment of back pain, complex spine disorders, spinal stenosis and several other conditions. Considered to be one of "America's 100 Best Spine Surgery" hospitals by HealthGrades and a Distinction Center for Spine Surgery by BCBS, Ellis Hospital also has high-quality outcomes from HealthGrades in its back and neck surgeries, including and excluding spinal fusions.

Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital (Atlanta). Part of the award-winning Emory University Healthcare, Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital specializes in several surgical services, such as spinal fusions, scoliosis and spinal deformity surgeries. A Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, EUOSH offers the attributes of the major university medical center, including research, technology and links to other neurosurgical specialists in the system. Its parent system was also the first in the country to offer a precise surgical procedure — microelectrode-guided pallidotomy — for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

Evanston (Ill.) Hospital. Evanston Hospital is one of four hospitals within the NorthShore University HealthSystem and was considered one of the top teaching hospitals in 2011 by Thomson Reuters. The Neurological Institute has more than 50 physicians on staff, and U.S. News & World Report ranked Evanston Hospital as a high-performing hospital in its neurosurgery and neurology adult specialty.

Florida Hospital (Orlando). Florida Hospital has no shortage of health awards, especially within its Neuroscience Institute, which treats more neuroscience patients than any other hospital system in the country. Florida Hospital is ranked as a high-performing neurosurgical institute (and number one overall hospital in the Orlando area) by U.S. News & World Report. It's also a recipient of two Spine Surgery Excellence Awards from HealthGrades and has been named a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery. Orlando magazine also recognized several Florida Hospital neurosurgeons as some of the highest-rated in the area by their local peers.

Forrest General Hospital (Hattiesburg, Miss.). Considered by HealthGrades as one of "America's 100 Best Spine Surgery" hospitals and a recipient of two Spine Surgery Excellence Awards, Forrest General Hospital's Neurosurgery Unit recently achieved patient satisfaction in the 95th percentile in its Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems scores, compared with other neurosurgical specialty units across the country. It is also ranked within the top 15 hospitals in the country for spinal fusion and the top 50 for spinal surgery in CareChex's 2012 quality rankings.

Forsyth Medical Center (Winston-Salem, N.C.). Within the Magnet-designated Forsyth Medical Center, part of Novant Health, is the Forsyth Stroke and Neurosciences Institute. It is a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, and in 2010, FMC received a Spine Surgery Excellence Award from HealthGrades.

Fort Walton Beach (Fla.) Medical Center. Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, is a 257-bed facility located in the eastern region of Florida's panhandle. CareChex ranked the hospital in the top 70 of all hospitals in the country for spinal surgery quality and in the top 120 for spinal fusion quality.


Gaston Memorial Hospital (Gastonia, N.C.). HealthGrades recently gave Gaston Memorial Hospital, the anchor of CaroMont Health, a Spine Surgery Excellence Award for 2012 and designated the hospital, for the first time, as one of the top spine surgery facilities in the country. GMH's spinal fusion procedures were also ranked in the top 80 in the country for overall quality by CareChex.

Geisinger Medical Center (Danville, Pa.). Geisinger Medical Center, which Thomson Reuters named as a Top 100 Hospital for 2011 — one of only 15 major teaching hospitals on the list — also has an award-winning Neurosciences Institute. GMC houses two of the three fellowship-trained neurosurgical oncologists in Pennsylvania, has specialized pediatric neurosurgical procedures, is considered to be a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery and is a Magnet-designated facility.

Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center (La Crosse, Wis.). Thomson Reuters recently named Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center as a Top 100 Hospital for 2011, and its neurosciences arena was also named a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery. Gundersen Lutheran neurosurgeons offer several modern spine surgeries, such as disc arthroplasty and stereotactic radiosurgery.

Henry Ford Hospital (Detroit). Henry Ford Hospital is considered to be a national leader in spine and neurosurgical care. It was the first hospital in Michigan to provide minimally invasive spine surgery, the first hospital in Michigan to provide a specialized treatment program for elderly patients requiring spinal surgery and the first hospital in the United States to provide radiosurgery for spine cancer.

Hospital for Special Surgery (New York). The Hospital for Special Surgery is best known for its orthopedic program, which U.S. News & World Report ranked first out of all hospitals in the country for 2011-2012. However, the publication also ranked HSS's neurosurgery and spine care as 19th best in the country. The Magnet hospital stacks up as the 18th best hospital in the country for spinal fusion quality, according to CareChex, and it also has a world-renowned Integrated Spine Research Program that is inclusive of all spine specialties, including both surgical and non-surgical fields.

The Hospital for Spinal Surgery (Nashville, Tenn.). The name says it all for the 23-bed Hospital for Spinal Surgery. Ranked second in the country for spinal fusions and fourth for overall spinal surgery by CareChex, the hospital also has garnered multiple neurosurgical and spine-based accolades from HealthGrades. For the past three years, HealthGrades has awarded THSS the Spine Surgery Excellence Award and a five-star rating in back and neck surgeries. It also was rated number one out of 82 hospitals in Tennessee for its high level of patient satisfaction and outcomes by Consumer Reports.

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, part of Penn Medicine, offers more than 50 neurosurgical treatments and services, ranging from its Gamma Knife Center to its Neuromuscular Disorders Program. A Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery and Magnet-designated facility, the hospital's Neurosurgical Spine Center provides care for some of the most complex disorders of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system and houses more neurosurgeons ranked in "The Best Doctors in America" than any other hospital in the Philadelphia area.

Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital (Indianapolis). IU Health Methodist Hospital's neurosurgery and neurology program, for both adult and pediatric specialties, are ranked in the top 35 in the country by U.S. News & World Report for 2011-2012. IU Health also has the nation's largest adult neuro-critical care unit, and in 2010, IU Health neurosurgeons performed more than 2,200 spine surgeries and craniotomies combined. The Magnet-designated hospital also has cutting-edge technologies that include the NICO Myriad device, which allows neurosurgeons to access and remove hard-to-reach brain and spinal tumors.

Jackson Memorial Hospital (Miami). Jackson Memorial Hospital — the major teaching facility for the University of Miami School of Medicine — provides care under several specialty areas, including functional neurosurgery, pediatric neurosurgery and spinal disorders. JHM works in conjunction with the University of Miami Spine Institute, which is led by renowned neurosurgeons Barth Green, MD, Allan Levi, MD, and Steven Vanni, MD.

JFK Medical Center (Edison, N.J.). JFK Medical Center and its New Jersey Neuroscience Institute is considered to be a leader in New Jersey in the diagnosis and treatment of brain and spine disorders. Comprehensive programs at the institute include spinal cord tumor treatment, spine disease treatment and neuro-ophthalmology procedures. Former North American Spine Society President, Gregory Przybylski, MD, is the director of neurosurgery at the New Jersey Neuroscience Institute at JFK Medical Center.

John Muir Medical Center (Walnut Creek, Calif.). Among California hospitals, John Muir Medical Center is one of the highest-ranked for neurosurgery and neurology, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery and Magnet-recognized hospital was also one of the first medical centers in the country to offer stereotactic radiosurgery to treat certain types of brain and spine tumors in 2004. John Muir Medical Center also treats several of its spinal disorders through the latest minimally invasive spinal surgical techniques.

Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore).
Johns Hopkins Hospital, considered to be one of the top hospitals in the country, is a leader in numerous specialties, including its neurosurgery and spine departments. Johns Hopkins was the first hospital to pioneer a neurological critical care unit and performs some of the newest and most complex neurosurgical procedures. Its Neurosurgical Spine Center also is a leader in several research areas, such as cervical spondylotic myelopathy and spinal reconstruction using the Synthes Spine Synex Implant.

LewisGale Medical Center (Salem, Va.). The 521-bed LewisGale Medical Center has received Spine Surgery Excellence Awards from HealthGrades for three straight years, one of the only hospitals in Virginia to achieve the feat. BCBS designated LewisGale as a Blue Distinction Center, and CareChex ranked the hospital in the top 20 nationally for spinal surgery quality for 2012.

Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston). Massachusetts General Hospital's Department of Neurosurgery has 12 different subspecialties. MGH's Spine and Peripheral Nerve Center has several world-renowned spine surgeons, such as Lawrence Borges, MD, and Ziv Williams, MD. The first discectomy for a herniated intervertebral disc and the first successful stabilization of atlantoaxial instability of the cervical spine were also performed at MGH.

Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.). Mayo Clinic has more than 20 neurosurgeons, and they perform several thousand neurosurgical procedures per year — including Gamma Knife-based surgeries, complex spinal reconstruction and spinal tumor surgeries — making them some of the most experienced neurosurgeons in the world. In addition to several awards for neurosurgical and spine excellence, Mayo Clinic conducts cutting-edge treatment and research for many brain, nerve and spinal clinical trials.

Medical University of South Carolina Hospital (Charleston, S.C.). MUSC Hospital's neurosciences department encompasses nine different areas, including its Spine Center, Gamma Knife Center and MUSC Brain & Spine Tumor Program. The award-winning Spine Center team includes specialists in neurosurgery, orthopedics and diagnostic neurophysiologic testing. MUSC Hospital, the first medical school established in the South in 1824, also has several neurosurgical research programs and clinical trials within the South Carolina Research Studies Directory.

Mercy Hospital (Miami). Mercy Hospital has received several accolades for its spine and neurosurgical services. Most recently, it was awarded a 2012 Spine Surgery Excellence Award by HealthGrades, which also named it one of America's top spine surgery hospitals. Mercy's CyberKnife Institute uses the latest CyberKnife technology to treat surgical spinal tumor cases, among others.

The Methodist Hospital (Houston). Methodist Hospital is the largest teaching hospital affiliated with the award-winning Baylor College of Medicine. U.S. News & World Report ranked Methodist in the top 25 for neurosurgery, and the hospital has access to several areas of BCM. Michael Heggeness, MD, the director of the spine surgery fellowship program at Baylor Clinic within the BCM, has hospital privileges with Methodist, and he was recently named the 2011-2012 president of the North American Spine Society.

Metro Health Hospital (Wyoming, Mich.). After two straight years of receiving Spine Surgery Excellence Awards, HealthGrades also ranked Metro Health Hospital as one of "America's 100 Best in Spine Surgery." Metro Health Hospital is the first hospital in Michigan to offer the Renaissance Guided Spine Surgery system, which enables neurosurgeons to provide safer and more accurate minimally invasive and open spine surgeries.

Mission Hospital (Asheville, N.C.). Mission Hospital is considered to be a national leader in spine procedures, as evidenced by its multiple Spine Surgery Excellence Awards from HealthGrades. Mission's Neurosciences Institute encompasses the Spine Center, which offers up-to-date technological treatment options for spinal spondylolisthesis and other spinal disorders and was designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery by BCBS.

Morton Plant Hospital (Clearwater, Fla.). The Neurosciences Institute at Morton Plant Hospital, a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, is one of the leading facilities in the Southeast for the evaluation and treatment of neurological conditions. Morton Plant was the first hospital on the west coast of Florida to have a complete sterotaxy program for accurate localization and excision of brain and spinal cord lesions, and its spine program treats more patients for neck and back problems than any other spine program in the Tampa Bay area.

Mount Sinai Medical Center (Miami). Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami is the largest private, independent, not-for-profit teaching hospital in South Florida and also one of the highest ranked in neurosurgery. Its neurosciences center of excellence has numerous specialists, such as neurosurgeons, spine and orthopedic surgeons and radiation oncologists, who work hand-in-hand. Mount Sinai offers a range of minimally-invasive spinal surgeries, including axlialif, kyphoplasty and disc replacements.

Mount Sinai Medical Center (New York). New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center has a neurosurgical spine program with specialists — such as Andrew Hecht, MD, and Sean McCance, MD, co-directors of spine surgery — who possess renowned expertise in spinal trauma, disorders, tumors and minimally invasive surgery. Mount Sinai also offers functional and restorative neurosurgery, which uses technologies such as gene therapies and electrical stimulating devices to restore lost neurological function.

Munroe Regional Medical Center (Ocala, Fla.). Physicians at Munroe Regional Medical Center specialize in the treatment of spinal sprains, fractures, trauma, stenosis, sciatica and ruptured discs. The hospital has earned a Spine Surgery Excellence Award from HealthGrades and is also a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (New York). The Spine Center at NewYork-Presbyterian offers an interdisciplinary and cautious approach to treatment. The center helped spearhead the use of minimally invasive surgery for spinal conditions and continues to advance spine treatments through ongoing research trials within the hospital's Neurological Institute, which was founded in 1909. Engineers and physicians at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center also have developed an artificial implant to replace intervertebral discs in the spinal column.

Northern Michigan Regional Hospital (Petoskey, Mich.). HealthGrades named the Spine Center at Northern Michigan Regional Hospital to the top 5 percent of hospitals in the country for spine surgery. It's nationally recognized for its spine services and includes state-of-the-art diagnosis and comprehensive treatment, along with an expedited appointment process where each patient is met with a treatment plan within three days of referral.

Northwest Hills Surgical Hospital (Austin, Texas). Ranked as the top hospital in Texas for spine surgery by HealthGrades, Northwest Hills Surgical Hospital also has received the HealthGrades Spine Surgery Excellence Award for three straight years. The physician-owned hospital, which opened in 1995 and is part of Surgical Care Affiliates, is also among the top 25 hospitals across the country for spinal surgery and among the top 50 for spinal fusions, according to CareChex's 2012 quality ratings.

Northwest Hospital & Medical Center (Seattle). For two years in a row, HealthGrades has awarded Northwest Hospital & Medical Center the Spine Surgery Excellence Award. The ratings agency also named Northwest Hospital among the top five in Washington state and among the top 10 percent in the nation for performing highly-specialized surgical procedures on the spine. Neurosurgical and spine quality have also been lauded at the hospital, as HealthGrades gave it a Patient Safety Excellence Award for four straight years, placing it in the top 5 percent of the nation's safest hospitals.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago). Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Department of Neurological Surgery is a leading center for several different programs, including brain or spinal vascular malformations, minimally invasive and noninvasive treatments and functional neurosurgery. Northwestern Memorial's Acute Spinal Cord Injury Center is partnered with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to form the Midwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Care System — one of only 14 of its kind to be designated as a model system of care by the government's National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

NYU Langone Medical Center (New York). To provide more coordinated care for patients with spinal disorders, NYU Langone established its Hospital for Joint Diseases Spine Center in 1997. It's a founding member of the National Spine Network and also serves as a major site for National Institutes of Health research pertaining to the treatment of low back disorders and spinal dysfunction in adults.

Ohio State University Medical Center (Columbus, Ohio). The 981-bed academic tertiary hospital's Department of Neurological Surgery houses several well-known neurosurgeons, such as Daniel Prevedello, MD, who is one of the few neurosurgeons in the world trained in endoscopic endonasal procedures. The Comprehensive Spine Center at OSU Medical Center is also comprised of neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, pain management physicians and others who treat the full scope of spinal services for cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine conditions.

Oklahoma Spine Hospital (Oklahoma City). Oklahoma Spine Hospital is one of the country's first physician-owned surgical spine hospitals and currently includes a staff of roughly 21 spine specialists. The hospital offers a variety of spine services ranging from pain management to surgery and diagnostic testing procedures are performed on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Oklahoma Spine has won the Spine Surgery Excellence Award from HealthGrades for both 2011 and 2012.

Oklahoma Surgical Hospital (Tulsa, Okla.). Oklahoma Surgical Hospital was founded in 2007 by a group of physicians who felt the hospital could offer more patient-centered care. HealthGrades awarded Oklahoma Surgical with its Outstanding Patient Experience Award in 2010 and 2011 and also ranked it within the top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation for spine surgery.


Parkview Orthopedic Hospital (Fort Wayne, Ind.). Parkview Orthopedic hospital is the first specialty hospital in northeastern Indiana that is devoted entirely to orthopedic surgery, including spine surgery. It includes three physicians who are specially trained in spinal surgery and also offers pain management resources. The hospital won the Spine Surgery Excellence Award from HealthGrades for 2012.

Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center (Joliet, Ill.). The Neuroscience Institute at Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center includes specialists with expertise in restoring spines and patients' quality of life. Neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons work side-by-side during spine surgeries at the hospital. Provena Saint Joseph also is a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery.

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center (Spokane, Wash.). The neurosurgery and spine programs at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center treat numerous head, spine, cerebrovascular and peripheral nerve disorders and conditions for adults and children alike, including complex spinal disorders through computer-assisted surgery. HealthGrades awarded Spine Surgery Excellence Awards to Providence Sacred Heart from 2010 to 2012 and also named it one of "America's 100 Best in Spine Surgery."

Redmond Regional Medical Center (Rome, Ga.). The spine surgery program at Redmond Regional Medical Center has been named among the top 10 percent in the country by HealthGrades for the past five years. The hospital recently opened its NeuroSpine Center, which is staffed by one of the largest neurosurgeon teams in northwest Georgia.

Renown Regional Medical Center (Reno, Nev.). Orthopedic services, including spine surgery, at Renown Regional Medical Center are delivered with the latest technology and expert treatment teams of board-certified orthopedic surgeons to improve the quality of life for all patients. The Renown Institute for Neurosciences is considered to be one of the top spine and neurosurgery centers in northern Nevada, as it has earned the Spine Surgery Excellence Award from HealthGrades for 2012.

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles). For 22 straight years, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has been rated as the best hospital in the western United States, and for 20 of those years, it has been recognized as a top 10 neurosurgery hospital in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. UCLA Neurosurgery and the UCLA Spine Center provide some of the most innovative and comprehensive care, ranging from minimally invasive brain and spinal surgery, neuroendoscopy and a host of other services. The UCLA Spine Center is also at the forefront of spinal disorder research and numerous other neurological-based clinical trials.

Rush University Medical Center (Chicago). The Spine and Back Center at Rush University Medical Center is home to renowned neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons. The center also offers a spine program specifically tailored for women. Patients from across the country are referred to Rush for scoliosis treatment, which the center has treated and made advancements in for more than 35 years.

Salem (Ore.) Hospital. The Salem Spine Center opened in 2008 and includes neurosurgeons, pain management specialists and physiatrists. It is a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, and it also offers a patient guidance program to expedite the referral process and help patients receive prompt treatment for their spinal conditions.

Scripps Green Hospital (La Jolla, Calif.). Scripps Green Hospital has earned the Spine Surgery Excellence Award from HealthGrades for the past three years and has also been named a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery. The hospital is one of the region's leading sites for complex neurosurgical case referrals due to its clinical research advancements, cutting-edge imaging technology and advanced microsurgical tools.

Sky Ridge Medical Center (Lone Tree, Colo). Sky Ridge Medical Center, a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, performs more spine surgeries than any other hospital in Colorado. Sky Ridge also has an entire floor devoted to spine treatments while offering several minimally invasive surgeries and spinal revision surgery. The first artificial disc replacement surgery in the United States was also performed at Sky Ridge.

SSM St. Mary's Health Center (St. Louis). SSM St. Mary's Health Center uses a multidisciplinary team of both orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons to treat spinal conditions and deformities. The hospital has won the Spine Surgery Excellence Award from HealthGrades for 2012, and it is also designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery.

St. Alexius Medical Center (Bismarck, N.D.). The team of neurosurgeons at St. Alexius Medical Center's Neuroscience Center treats 20 different spine, cranial and peripheral nerve disorders, including spinal cord injury, spine tumors and degenerative spine disease. For three straight years, St. Alexius has received Patient Safety Excellence Awards and Spine Surgery Excellence Awards from HealthGrades, and Blue Cross Blue Shield also named it a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery.

St. Elizabeth Edgewood (Ky.). St. Elizabeth Edgewood, labeled a Thomson Reuters Top 100 Hospital in 2011, has grown its Spine Center into a nationally acclaimed program. Raj Kakarlapudi, MD, is the medical director of the Spine Center, and he is the first spinal surgeon dedicated exclusively to providing services in northern Kentucky. In 2011, St. Elizabeth Edgewood received several designations from HealthGrades regarding its spine program, including a Spine Surgery Excellence Award, a first-place ranking overall in Kentucky for spine surgery and a five-star rating for spine surgery for its sixth straight year.

St. Joseph Regional Health Center (Bryan, Texas). St. Joseph Regional Health Center has no shortage of accolades regarding its neurosurgery and spine programs. In 2011, HealthGrades ranked the hospital fifth in Texas for spine surgery. For the past seven years, HealthGrades has also designated St. Joseph Regional as a five-star hospital in back and neck surgery except spinal fusion, and it also has had a five-star rating in spinal fusion surgeries for the past four years. Overall, spine surgeries outcomes at St. Joseph Regional are among the top 5 percent nationwide.

St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center (Phoenix).
The Barrow Neurological Institute of St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is one of the top-ranked neurological, neurosurgical and spine hospitals in the country and across the world. John Green, MD, was the founding director of Barrow in the 1940s, and it continues to provide innovative clinical care, education and research. Barrow's Gamma Knife Center, CyberKnife Center and Section of Spinal Surgery encompass some of the most advanced techniques and technologies in neurosurgery.

St. Mary's Medical Center (Huntington, W.Va.). St. Mary's Regional Neuroscience Center — a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery and a recipient of several HealthGrades spine and neurosurgery awards — offers more than 30 different neuroscience treatments, including several spine and cranial procedures. St. Mary's was also the first in the nation to receive the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for Spine Surgery in Feb. 2011, and it is the only medical center in the area with CyberKnife technology to treat spine and brain tumors.

St. Patrick Hospital (Missoula, Mont.). St. Patrick Hospital has received Spine Surgery Excellence Awards from HealthGrades for the past three years, which also named it as one of "America's 100 Best in Spine Surgery" for 2012. The Montana Spine and Pain Center is an extension of St. Patrick Hospital, which CareChex also ranked as a top 20 hospital for spinal fusion quality and a top 40 hospital for overall spinal surgery.

St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital. Within St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital lies the St. Vincent Neuroscience Institute and the St. Vincent Spine Center. These entities have combined for a plethora of neurosurgery and spine awards including: HealthGrades' Spine Surgery Excellence Award for 2011 and 2012, five-star ratings for neurosurgery as well as back and neck surgeries by HealthGrades and the Joint Commission's Disease-Specific Care Certification for spine surgery — the only facility in the Midwest to gain spine surgery accreditation. HealthGrades also ranked the hospital first in Indiana for overall spine surgery.

Stanford Hospital & Clinics (Palo Alto, Calif.). Stanford Hospital & Clinics' Department of Neurosurgery as well as its multidisciplinary spine center, Stanford Spine, have received numerous accolades. Stanford spine surgeons, neurosurgeons and researchers have made significant improvements in the surgical treatment of spinal cord and spine tumors using intraoperative monitoring and advanced microsurgical techniques developed in labs. The original CyberKnife, a non-invasive treatment that can be used to treat both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors on the spine, brain and other body areas, was developed at Stanford by John Adler, MD.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas offers several advanced spine and neurosurgical programs for its patients. This includes its Spinal Deformity Center, which specifically treats severe spinal curvatures and spinal tumors. Texas Health Dallas — recipient of HealthGrades' Spinal Surgery Excellence Awards for 2011 and 2012 — also has the first group of neurosurgeons in the United States to utilize BrainSUITE technology, which combines image-guided surgery with high-field MRI.

Texas Spine & Joint Hospital (Tyler, Texas). Texas Spine & Joint Hospital is considered to be one of the top spine surgery sites in the state of Texas. HealthGrades ranked the 20-bed Texas Spine & Joint Hospital as the top hospital for spine surgery in 2009, and it received a Spine Surgery Excellence Award in 2010 and 2011. The hospital, which has a surgical infection rate below 1 percent, was also ranked in the top 10 nationally for spinal fusion quality and the top 25 for spinal surgery quality by CareChex.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (Philadelphia). Thomas Jefferson University Hospital is one of only a handful in the country that serves as both a Level 1 Trauma Center and federally-designated spinal cord injury center. It is affiliated with the Rothman Institute, which is located on the hospital campus and treats roughly 1,000 cases of spine trauma each year.

Tulsa (Okla.) Spine & Specialty Hospital. Tulsa Spine & Specialty Hospital offers patients a resort-like setting, and its patient satisfaction scores exceed those of other hospitals in the region. The hospital has won HealthGrades' Spine Surgery Excellence Award for three consecutive years, including 2012. The hospital includes a staff of 12 spine specialists who treat a wide range of conditions, such as spinal tumors, ruptured discs and spinal fractures.

University of California Davis Medical Center (Sacramento, Calif.). The Spine Center at UC Davis Medical Center features a multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, pain management specialists and physicists. It offers patients access to clinical trials for spine treatment, such as its current trial on minimally invasive lumbar fusions. Researchers and neurosurgeons at UC Davis are also part of a study of whether a single injection of adult stem cells into diseased lumbar discs can repair and regenerate them.

University of California San Francisco Medical Center. More than 10,000 patients are treated at the UCSF Spine Center each year by multi-disciplinary teams of physicians, which include specialists in neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery and experts in oncology and pain management. The center offers three-dimensional and computerized surgery, clinical trials, motion-sparing surgery and access to spine tumor boards, which review complex spinal tumor cases.

University of Chicago Medical Center. The University of Chicago Medical Center's physicians are well-respected in the field of spine care and treat more back and neck problems using minimally invasive approaches than any other medical center in the United States. U.S. News & World Report has also ranked UC Medical Center's neurosurgery program among the top 30 hospitals across the country.

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (Iowa City, Iowa). University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics includes the UI Spine Center, which offers treatment as well as clinical trials and spine research. It has earned HealthGrades' Neurosurgery Excellence Award for 2012, and U.S. News & World Report has also ranked the hospital's neurosurgery program among the top 50 in the nation.

University of Maryland Medical Center (Baltimore). University of Maryland Medical Center's spine program offers comprehensive, state-of-the-art evaluation and non-surgical and surgical treatment of all spinal disorders. The program has been recognized as a distinction center for spine surgery by CareFirst, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Branch for Maryland and Washington, D.C. In 2008, UMMC used the first spinal disc replacement approved by the FDA to treat patients with degenerative disc disease.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the neurosurgery and neurology program at UPMC as one of the top 10 in the country, and its Department of Neurological Surgery is also ranked among the highest in the country in National Institutes of Health funding. UPMC specialists treat complex spine conditions, such as spinal fractures and spinal stenosis, and UPMC has consistently pioneered minimally invasive neurological and spine surgeries.

University of Washington Medical Center (Seattle). University of Washington Medical Center's spine service is part of its Bone and Joint Surgery Center. Patients with complex spine problems, including spinal stenosis, scoliosis, fractures and tumors, can receive treatment from surgical and non-surgical specialists at the hospital. UWMC's Department of Neurological Surgery, which features the Neuro-Oncology Clinic and Neurological Surgery Clinic, is also the largest neurosurgical practice in the Northwest

University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics (Madison, Wis.). When it comes to spine and neurosurgical care, the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics' claim to fame is minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery. UW spine medicine specialists performed the first laparoscopic spinal fusion surgery in the world in 1993, and since then UW Hospitals and Clinics has become internationally known for the procedure. UW Hospitals and Clinics is also known for its innovative techniques for the treatment of spine tumors, spinal deformities and spinal trauma.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Nashville, Tenn.). U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanderbilt University Medical Center — a Thomson Reuters Top 100 Hospital for 2011 — in the top 40 nationally for 2011-2012 for both its adult and pediatric neurosurgery specialties. Reid Thompson, MD, an award-winning research neurosurgeon, is the chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at VUMC, which also has been designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery.

Valley Baptist Medical Center (Harlingen, Texas). Valley Baptist Medical Center is well-known for its orthopedic and joint replacement programs, but its spine and neuroscience services are also highly ranked in southern Texas. In CareChex's 2012 top quality hospital rankings, Valley Baptist was placed in the top 50 nationally for spinal fusion and in the top 75 for overall spinal surgery. HealthGrades also awarded the hospital with Spine Surgery Excellence Awards in each of the past two years.

West Jefferson Medical Center (Marrero, La.). For the past two years, HealthGrades has considered West Jefferson to be a top neurosurgery and spine surgery hospital in the greater New Orleans area. In neurosurgery alone, WJMC was ranked among the top five in the state of Louisiana, and it has received five-star ratings from HealthGrades for spine surgery and spinal fusion surgery in 2011 and 2012. WJMC also partners with the LSU Health Sciences' department of neurosurgery to offer advanced treatment for complex spinal surgeries and to conduct neuroscience clinical research.

Williamsport (Pa.) Regional Medical Center. Part of Susquehanna Health, Williamsport Regional Medical Center's Neuroscience Center offers award-winning treatment in complex brain, spine and peripheral nerve conditions. A Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, Williamsport Regional has received Spine Surgery Excellence Awards from HealthGrades from 2010 to 2012, and HealthGrades also named it as one of "America's 100 Best in Spine Surgery" for 2012.

Yale-New Haven (N.H.) Hospital. The Neurosurgery Spine Center at Yale-New Haven Hospital includes a range of services, including minimally invasive spine surgery, spinal fusions and surgical intervention for spinal tumors. As the teaching hospital of Yale School of Medicine, the center has access to the most up-to-date clinical trials. It is currently investigating ways to minimize spinal cord injury at the time of trauma to prevent further damage.

Related Articles on Spine Surgery:
Nerve Transplant for Paraplegic Patients After Spinal Cord Injury: Q&A With Dr. Andrew Elkwood

Spine Surgeons: Is an ACO in Your Future?

8 Statistics on Spine & Neurosurgeon Compensation by Medical Revenue

Last modified on Friday, 03 February 2012 11:16
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