Orthopedics and Spine Medicine
The Spine Program at Central Vermont Medical Center is committed to providing personalized care to patients with back pain, neck pain and spinal disorders.
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Call us to learn more about our spine program or to make an appointment.
Spine Care at CVMC
The Spine Program at Central Vermont Medical Center is committed to providing personalized care to patients with back pain, neck pain and spinal disorders. We take a comprehensive approach to evaluate your condition, understand your symptoms, and find the most appropriate, least invasive treatment to help you live a better, more active life.
Our comprehensive non-surgical back health services offer patients local access to diagnostics and non-surgical treatments for back care. Through the involvement of local primary care, anesthesia/pain management, interventional pain, psychiatry, and physical and occupational therapy experts, we help patients better manage back pain here in your home community.
Unique to our Spine Program is our close collaboration with UVM Medical Center. Four spine surgeons from UVM Medical Center see patients in here at CVMC, providing surgical consultations and follow-up exams close to home for Central Vermont patients. If surgery is determined to be the best course of treatment by the patient, family, and provider team, it is completed in Burlington by these same four surgeons, providing patients with fast access to surgical care.
Spine, Back and Neck Conditions We Treat
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Fractures, including spondylolisthesis
- Spinal cord compression (cervical myelopathy)
- Herniated disc (herniated nucleus pulposus)
- Pinched nerves, including cervical radiculopathy and sciatica
- Spinal stenosis
- Spinal tumors
- Hunchback (kyphosis)
Spine, Back, and Neck Treatments We Offer
- Alignment correction
- Cervical and lumbar disc replacement
- Cervical arthritis repair
- Spinal decompression
- Disc removal (discectomy)
- Transpsoas interbody fusion: Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion (DLIF®), eXtreme Lateral, and Interbody Fusion (XLIF®)
- Microscopically assisted discectomy
- Spinal bone surgery (osteotomy)
- Rehabilitation, including physical and occupational therapy (learn more)
At UVM Health Network - CVMC Orthopedics & Spine Medicine, we are committed to delivering the best in comprehensive back, neck and spine care. Call our office in Berlin, VT today at 802-225-3970.
We understand that surgery can cause anxiety and worry. Our goal is to make you more comfortable with your plan of care and recovery by sharing information about:
- your preparation for surgery
- what to expect during and after your surgery
- your recovery process
You are an important part of your recovery process so we encourage you to be involved. Please do not hesitate to ask questions.
Preparing for Surgery
Once you have chosen your date of surgery, you will be scheduled for the following:
- Blood work may be done at CVMC’s walk-in lab within 30 days of surgery.
- Medical Clearance visit with your Primary Care Provider within 30 days of surgery.
- A meeting with an Anesthesiologist and a surgical nurse. This depends on your health history. At this visit you will discuss what to expect on the day of surgery, including what time to arrive at the hospital. You will be notified by our office if this visit is needed.
- You may also need additional testing such as a chest X-Ray and EKG (heart monitor). This depends on your medical history.
- Pre-Operative appointment with one of our Spine Rehabilitation Therapists to go over the recovery process.
AVOID THESE MEDICATIONS PRIOR TO SURGERY:
- Anti-Inflammatory Medications (Advil, Aleve, Naproxen, Ibuprofen and steroids). Should be stopped 7 days prior to surgery.
- Aspirin and Anti-coagulants (Plavix, Coumadin). Please discuss with your Primary Provider on how this should be done. A low dose, or baby aspirin is okay to continue until surgery.
- Herbal Supplements and certain Vitamins. These should be stopped 7 days prior to surgery since some can thin your blood.
- Avoid any other medications as recommended by your Primary Care Provider and Anesthesiologist.
Day of Surgery
- Please arrive at the hospital at the time given to you by the Surgical Nurse at your pre-operative visit or phone call.
- You will be attended to by nurses in the pre-operative area. An IV will be inserted in your arm where fluid and medications can be given.
- You will also have a meeting with Dr. Braun prior to surgery. Please ask any additional questions you may have.
- The Anesthesiologist will also meet with you prior to the start of surgery.
- After you are put to sleep, a Foley catheter will be inserted into your bladder to empty it during surgery. The catheter may still be present when you wake up from surgery.
When you wake up from surgery, you will be in the recovery room. Once it is determined that you are stable, you will be transferred to a regular room in the hospital.
Some procedures do not require an overnight stay in the hospital. Dr. Braun will determine when you are able to go home.
What are your restrictions?
- No Bending
- No Lifting
- No Twisting
Some people will be required to wear a brace after surgery. Dr. Braun will let you know if a brace is required.
Our Physical and Occupational Therapists will work with you in the hospital to help you to resume walking. They will also help you apply the movements you learned in your pre-operative Rehabilitative Spine Class to avoid bending, lifting and twisting.
You will be discharged from the hospital with a prescription for pain medication. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication as they tend to cause constipation.
- You should begin to wean yourself off of the pain medication as tolerated with the goal of being off of the medication within 3 months of surgery.
- You should continue to avoid anti-inflammatory medication for up to 6 months while healing your fusion.
Surgical Incision Care
- If you notice any increased drainage, redness or swelling, or have a fever greater than 101.5, please call your surgeon or go to the Emergency Room.
- For those that have sutures, these will be removed 2 weeks after surgery in the office.
Sexual activity may be resumed when you are feeling up to it. You may find that some positions are more comfortable than others.
You may resume driving in approximately 2-3 weeks when you feel up to it and you are no longer taking narcotic pain medication.
- No Bending
- No Lifting
- No Twisting
For the first 6 weeks after surgery, walking is the best activity.
Physical Therapy with one of our Spine Rehabilitation Therapists will start 6 weeks after your surgery.
- Your initial post-operative evaluation will include a customized Recovery Program based on your response to surgery.
- Your therapist will also review your restrictions and help you learn how to perform daily activities while avoiding bending, lifting and twisting.
- Initially, you will be scheduled for one therapy sessions every three weeks so you can slowly and gradually increase your functional abilities.
- Based on your functional goals, 6 months after your surgery your therapy may become more frequent and intense to optimize your physical function.