Drs. Leo Spector and Alden Milam of OrthoCarolina discuss trends in spine patient care

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Two fellowship-trained spine surgeons — Leo Spector, MD, and Alden Milam, MD — of Charlotte-based Ortho Carolina Spine Center provided their insight into future spine care trends.

Q: What technology do you see having the biggest impact on spine patient care?

Dr. Leo Spector: Robotics and image guidance. Multimodal pain care. These technologies will help the transition from high cost centers to lower cost alternatives.

Dr. Alden Milam: Minimally invasive technologies are allowing us as surgeons to treat pathology that once required much bigger incisions and muscle dissection. 

Q: How do you see outpatient spine procedures developing in the future?

LS: Exponentially. More and more care will transition from traditional high cost locations to lower cost alternatives for elective spine care.

AM: As we provide better pain relief with multimodal analgesia and anesthesia, more complex surgeries will be capable of being done in outpatient settings.

Q: How has your patient population changed over the past five years? How do you expect it to evolve in the future?

LS: I expect patients to become more informed and engaged in their care.

AM: Patients are more open to outpatient surgery now compared to five years ago, particularly when it lowers their cost of care. As we provide better pain relief with multi-modal analgesia and anesthesia, patients are getting good postoperative pain control and do not have to worry about the spikes in pain. 

Q: What is one program your practice has implemented that you're particularly proud of, and why?

LS: Surgical optimization for lumbar fusions. Trying to improve patient outcomes by addressing modifiable risk factors prior to elective surgery delivers a higher quality of care for our patients.

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