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Are you one of the four out of five people who have experienced back pain at some point in their life*? Back and spine injuries are the most common musculoskeletal problems, which can reduce quality of life, diminish work capacity and restrict activity.
The spine is a complex structure of vertebra, disks, spinal cord and nerves. Proper functioning of this core system is critical to many activities of daily living. Actions such as turning, bending, standing and lifting cannot be easily accomplished when you are experiencing pain in this area.
BMC orthopedic spine surgeons Drs. Tony Tannoury and Chadi Tannoury are fellowship-trained and board-certified, with experience in all adult spine, back and neck conditions. Dr. Tony Tannoury has pioneered innovative surgical methods and designed some of the most advanced orthopedic surgical instruments used by surgeons worldwide.
*American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
Exceptional patient care is our number one priority, with a particular focus on accurate diagnosis and providing the most appropriate surgical or nonsurgical treatment. From diagnosis to the development of a treatment plan to postoperative care, we balance the advantages of cutting-edge technology, such as disk replacement and minimally invasive techniques, with more well-known, standard open procedures to develop a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to each individual patient.
Innovative Technology and Minimally Invasive Treatment Options
While BMC performs open surgeries, it is internationally known for its pioneering work in minimally invasive techniques, over time expanding the breadth of spine conditions that can be addressed with this approach. Today, the extensive experience of our surgeons enables them to undertake a full range of spine disorders, including many complex procedures―such as revisions, multiple-level disease, fusions, compressions and deformities―using minimally invasive techniques.
As a result, more and more patients are able to experience the benefits of minimally invasive surgery. A targeted, more flexible approach that does less “damage” to nearby tissue than open surgery, minimally invasive surgery is safer and more accurate. Patients typically experience less pain and fewer complications, and have shorter hospital stays and a faster recovery, without compromising long-term results.
Because of the benefits of minimally invasive surgery, patients who might otherwise be unable to undergo spine surgery―such as elderly, fragile, obese or cancer patients or those with weakened immune systems―now have options, and may benefit from minimally invasive procedures and a lower risk of infection or blood loss.
Read more about how advanced technology offers hope for complex spine cases.
BMC’s spine surgeons treat all spine conditions, including:
- Adult scoliosis
- Fracture of the thoracic and lumbar spine
- Low back pain
- Spinal stenosis
- Spondylolsis and spondylolisthesis
- Spinal fusion
BMC Earns Blue Distinction Orthopedic Spine Surgery
Boston Medical Center has been named a Blue Distinction Center® in orthopedic spine surgery by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The award is given to medical facilities that demonstrate expertise in delivery quality health care.
Blue Distinction Centers for spine surgery are awarded to medical facilities exhibiting a commitment to quality care, resulting in better overall outcomes for patients. These facilities offer experienced, comprehensive inpatient spine surgery services, including discectomy, fusion and decompression procedures. Research confirms that hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers for spine surgery have fewer patients with complications and fewer hospital readmissions than non-designated hospitals.
Reclaiming Active Lives
Spine surgeons in Boston Medical Center’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery are distinguished leaders in advanced minimally invasive surgical treatments for a full range of spine disorders. From an accurate diagnosis to the development of a specialized treatment plan, spine surgeons at BMC draw on surgical expertise and state-of-the-art technology to provide the best possible outcomes for these and many other patients.
Robert was in excruciating pain. He had hurt himself lifting equipment at work and had tried everything to find relief, from physical therapy to traction. But, he remembers, “The pain just wouldn’t go away. I was literally curled up in bed. ”
For Robert, and many patients like him, surgery was the final option, and he ultimately found his way to Tony Tannoury, MD, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Tannoury has spent his entire professional life developing innovative, life-changing minimally invasive procedures for back surgery to help return patients to healthy, active lives.
“Minimally invasive surgery allows you to target where the problems are,” Dr. Tannoury says, “fix them and connect everything underneath with a bridge, as opposed to traditional surgery, in which we open the patient from point A to point B.”
With minimally invasive procedures, patients have less pain, a faster recovery and a much lower risk of developing infections. “Minimally invasive surgery takes care of the problem without violating other normal structures,” says Dr. Tannoury.
Chris, a Somerville police officer who injured his back in an altercation with a suspect and was out of work for 15 months, also found Dr. Tannoury. “I was very impressed that the doctor who was going to operate on my back designed the device he would use to repair it,” he remembers.
Physical therapy is always an important part of recovery. Patients who undergo minimally invasive surgery typically have less pain, can start therapy sooner and progress more quickly through the course of treatment.
Robert recalls Dr. Tannoury reminding him that minimally invasive wouldn’t mean easy, however. “He told me ‘you’re not going to like me for the first three or four weeks,’ he said, but ‘after that, you’ll like me again.’
“I went home and it was difficult moving at first, but every day got a little better,” Robert continues. “Dr. Tannoury told me to get out of the house and just go for a little walk. Every day I tried to walk a little more. Before I knew it, I was walking in the woods with my dog for an hour and a half.”
Maureen, also a patient of Dr. Tannoury, loves yoga but was afraid that physical exertion might disrupt the hardware on her spine. “He told me ‘you cannot hurt my surgery,’ ” she says. “That was reassuring.”
Chris, the Somerville police officer, is very happy he had surgery with Dr. Tannoury. “My limitations are zero, my back feels brand new. It’s as though I never had surgery―was never hurt. I am so thankful for what Dr. Tannoury has done for me.”
Dr. Tannoury believes BMC is a leader in minimally invasive surgery. “The conditions we address at BMC and scope of surgeries we do surpass what is being done at the vast majority of hospitals in this country,” he says.
Jerry, another satisfied former patient, has one wish: that it was more widely known how high the quality of medical care is at BMC.
Recovering from an injury or learning to live with a physical disability or limitation can be challenging. Physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) can help patients regain strength or mobility, relearn skills, or find new ways of performing everyday tasks.