Imaging, Treatment & Surgery Options


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Imaging, Treatment & Surgery Options

O-ARM Imaging System

Welcome to a new era in advanced patient care: the O-ARM® Multidimensional Imaging System. This system assists spine specialists before and during spinal surgeries.

The O-ARM Imaging System is a non-invasive, painless, open-air scanner with an O-shaped arm that surrounds your body while you lie on a table. The arm moves down your body to provide surgeons with real-time, 3-D images, as well as multi-plane, 2-D and fluoroscopic (video x-ray) imaging.

Using these images, spine specialists can:

  • View your anatomy in the operative position
  • Monitor the status of the surgery
  • Verify surgical changes before you leave the surgical suite

As a result, you may experience:

  • Less invasive surgeries
  • Faster recovery times
  • Improved outcomes

O-ARM Imaging System

Contact the Spine Center

Learn more about treatment options for your aching back (or hips, or knees ...)

651-326-5444 or toll-free 1-866-200-6681
Fax: 651-326-5520
Spine Care contact form

For New Patients

New to the Spine Center? Please fill out our new patient form and bring it to your first appointment. The form gathers important information about your health history and symptoms.
New patient form

Spine and Orthopedic education

For ortho/spine education questions, please call 651-232-4498.

If your Spine Care doctor determines that surgical treatment is required, spine surgery is offered at:
St. John's Hospital
St. Joseph's Hospital
Woodwinds Health Campus

Spine imaging & surgery

Spine surgeries take place at St. John's, St. Joseph's and Woodwinds hospitals, and Maplewood Surgery Center. O-ARM imaging and Stealth technology is available at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Maplewood Surgery Center
2945 Hazelwood St, Suite 300
Maplewood, MN 55109
St. John's Hospital
1575 Beam Avenue
Maplewood, MN 55109
St. Joseph's Hospital
45 West 10th Street
St. Paul, MN 55102
Woodwinds Health Campus
1925 Woodwinds Drive
Woodbury, MN 55125

Treatment and surgery options

When back or spine surgery is the best option, HealthEast Spine Care gives you access to innovative procedures. Our board certified physicians are trained in the latest technology, including minimally invasive techniques. New surgery options let you get back to your life faster and with less pain.

  • Decompression procedures
  • Spinal fusion
  • Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty treatments for compression fractures

Artificial disc surgery

If chronic lower back pain keeps you from fully participating in everyday life, relief may be in sight.

Although hip and knee replacements are common, artificial discs are now FDA-approved for the spine.

The artificial disc is approved to treat patients with degenerative disc disease in the lower back. Age or injury can cause the discs in the back to thin, reducing the cushion in between the vertebrae of the spine. The result is degenerative disc disease and back pain that may require medical care.

Different from spinal fusion

If patients don't respond to treatments such as physical therapy, medication and strengthening exercises, the standard treatment has recently been surgery, most often a spinal fusion.

Spinal fusion joins vertebrae together using bone grafts, metal screws and other devices, so that motion no longer occurs between them. While most patients report relief from pain after the surgery, it often robs them of flexibility and range of motion.

The goal of the artificial disc is to preserve motion. Instead of fusion, the damaged disc is removed and replaced with the new artificial disc.

Benefits of artificial disc surgery

Studies in the United States and other countries, where artificial discs have been used for many years, show that the discs can help:

  • Decrease pain
  • Preserve flexibility and range of motion.
  • Restore disc height to maintain the normal curve of the spine.
  • Reduce complications associated with spinal fusion surgery

The surgery and hospital stay are generally shorter than with fusion surgery, as is recovery time. Fusion surgery can require a recovery period of six to nine months. In contrast, artificial disc patients are up and active on the day of surgery, and usually return to work and normal activities within four to six weeks.

Familiar technology, new application

The artificial disc is similar to artificial joints, like those used in the hip and knee. It has three components: two metal end plates that go into the spine, and the disc itself, which is a floating core made of polyethylene. Surgeons undergo special training to learn how to implant the artificial disc.

First in Minnesota

In January 2005, Paul Hartleben, MD, performed the first artificial disc surgery in Minnesota at St. Joseph's Hospital. It is now also available at St. John's Hospital and Woodwinds Health Campus.

Minimally invasive spine procedures

HealthEast is proud to be a regional destination center for minimally invasive spine surgery with experienced surgeons and state-of-the-art technology, including advanced image-guidance and O-ARM technology.  

How it works

Minimally invasive surgery involves gaining access to the spine through small incisions or punctures that cause less injury to surrounding tissue, muscle and normal spine structures than traditional surgery. Minimally invasive surgery patients experience far less pain after surgery and are able to return home and resume normal activities more quickly. In addition, patients have less risk of developing future spinal disorders as occurs in more than 20 percent of standard spine surgery cases.

HealthEast spine surgeons have the option to couple minimally-invasive spine surgery with spinal navigation and guidance systems providing patients with unparalleled safety and outcomes. Not all patients will be candidates for this procedure, so please call to find out if you qualify for this option.

Benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery:

  • A few tiny scars instead of one large scar
  • Shorter hospital stay: same day instead of four to five days
  • Dramatically reduced postoperative pain
  • Shorter recovery time and quicker return to daily activities and work

Spine Care classes

Take a free, educational class to learn what to expect before lumbar fusion surgery.

Sorry, there are no classes available at this time.