New Spine Procedure Available at Cookeville Regional

January 12, 2005

COOKEVILLE – The Spine Center, a new division at Cookeville Regional, offers new technology for back patients known as Minimal Access Spinal Technologies, or MAST. MAST makes minimally invasive procedures possible through the use of imaging systems, tiny cameras, and skin incisions no longer than an inch.

Traditionally, the only alternative available to patients requiring back surgery was open surgery. Open surgery involves long incisions, cutting and removal of muscle from the spine, and considerable post-surgical pain. Due to the large incisions and significant damage to the muscle, open surgery patients may experience hospital stays, recovery periods, scarring and pain that make this type of surgery daunting and exhaustive.

However, now MAST is allowing surgeons to successfully treat back pain and deformity with the least amount of interruption while achieving the same surgical objectives as open surgeries. Potential advantages of MAST to the patient are quicker return to normal activities, less post-operative pain, less damage to muscle and skin, easier rehabilitation, smaller scars, and less blood loss.

MAST procedures mean surgeons may achieve the same results and objectives of traditional surgery while minimizing pain and speeding up the recovery process for patients. Muscle is left intact and only separated, or split, along natural divisions to reach the affected area. Special live-action x-ray machines guide surgeons to exact locations on the spine, rendering moot any need to open the site for clear visualization and location of the spinal problem. MAST products provide surgeons the ability to work precisely in smaller surgical fields with significantly less tissue trauma.

The Spine Center at Cookeville Regional is dedicated to providing the highest quality treatment to the patients of the Upper Cumberland. Keeping in tune with the latest technology is part of that commitment.

At The Spine Center of Cookeville Regional, we perform state-of-the-art surgery that is typically only seen in large cities such as New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles, states Cookeville neurosurgeon Leonardo Rodriguez-Cruz, M.D. Patients benefit from the state-of-the-art neurosurgical operating room and the neurosurgical nursing unit with highly specialized staff for post-operative patients. The Inpatient Rehabilitation Center allows neuroscience patients to recover and have therapy sessions locally.

Cookeville Regional offers patients a complete course of treatment and highly specialized care at home without having to travel to Nashville. Dr. Cruz and Dr. Joseph Jestus are the neurosurgeons at Cookeville Regional who perform this highly specialized procedure.

Dr. Joseph Jestus received his medical degree from The University of Illinois in Chicago and performed his Neurosurgical residency at the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Leonardo-Rodriguez-Cruz received his medical degree from Columbia University and performed his Neurosurgical residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Both Dr. Cruz and Dr. Jestus are board certified in Neurosurgery.

If you feel that you may be a candidate for these procedures, please see your primary care physician for an initial exam and referral. If you need a primary care physician, please call the Physician Referral Line at Cookeville Regional at 931-783-2571 or toll free at 1-877-377-2762.