St. Francis offers a range of diagnostic services, specialty programs, advanced surgical procedures, interventional procedures and treatment options. For more information on orthopedic health in general and services offered at St. Francis, visit Orthopedic & Spine Care.
percutaneous spinal fusion
St. Francis is one of the first Upstate health systems to support a new minimally invasive type of surgery on the spine. With this new procedure, called percutaneous spinal fusion, surgeons can remove and replace an entire spinal disk through four very small incisions. This procedure allows patients to avoid some of the pain and potential complications involved in more traditional surgery, which exposes and invades large areas of muscle. Most patients are up and walking the next day with little back pain, and most can go home from the hospital after two or three days. Percutaneous spinal fusion is a viable option for most patients with complicated spine problems, such as degenerative disk disorders and slippage in the spine.
When back pain includes loss of function and numbness that doesn't respond to medication and bed rest, surgery may be the answer. Helping back-surgery patients return home quickly and comfortably is a priority at St. Francis. Our facilities accommodate major orthopedic and neurosurgical operations, some of which can be performed even on an outpatient basis. The ability to support outpatient back surgery is somewhat unique to St. Francis; few area hospitals have a system in place that makes outpatient back surgery possible. When outpatient surgery is not feasible, many inpatient procedures require only a short hospital stay.
Intricate, specialized surgeries involving the brain, central nervous system or skeletal system used to be performed at only a few hospitals, which meant patients and their families often had to travel. St. Francis recognized that giving our community close access to such procedures was important to our mission of caring. Today, the hospital's neurosurgical services rival any in the region. Arthroscopy, neck and back surgery, intracranial surgery, and spinal fusion are among the neurosurgical procedures performed at St. Francis.
stealth system technology
As a tool for surgeons who perform complex surgeries of the brain, back, neck and sinuses, St. Francis offers computer-guided imagery called Stealth System Technology. With the Stealth System, surgeons get a three-dimensional view inside a patient's head or sinus cavity and can pinpoint the exact location of surgical instruments. This technology enables the surgeon to navigate previously off-limits areas of the anatomy. With brain tumors, for instance, the surgeon may be able to remove more of the tumor without damaging surrounding healthy tissue.