Continuing our tradition of quality care, Meriter enlists a comprehensive and individualized approach to prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of neuromuscular or neurologic and muscular concerns. Meriter brings together a variety of skilled specialists and team members to create the integrated and quality care that each patient deserves. Our interdisciplinary team includes:
Orthopedic Spine Surgeon
Physiatrists - Rehabilitative Medicine Physicians
Primary Care Physicians
Emergency Room Physicians
Spine Triage Specialists
Physical Therapy Assistants
Occupational Therapy Assistants
Pain Management Team
Our surgeons prefer non-surgical solutions. If surgery is the right approach, our team of physicians has skills in the latest techniques to effectively correct spine problems. Meriter is privileged to have primary affiliations with an impressive collection of orthopedic specialists from UW Health Physicians and Meriter Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
Spine Care for Back Pain and Dysfunction
Eight out of ten Americans will experience a lifestyle-altering episode of back pain at some point in their lives. Meriter offers services aimed at restoring health and reducing symptoms for persons with spinal pain and dysfunction. This program focuses on:
It is our practice to exhaust every appropriate treatment option before considering surgery. However, if a surgical procedure becomes the right choice, our team of specialists is trained to effectively correct a variety of problems related to:
Traumatic and overuse injuries of the spine
Spinal deformities both acquired and congenital
Systemic diseases affecting spinal function
Degenerative spinal conditions
Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis
Herniated disc lesions
Degenerative disc disease
Work-related back pain
Mechanical back dysfunction
Advanced surgical techniques such as microscopic spine surgery provide less invasive surgical options that help speed recovery, reduce pain and improve functioning.
Disc Replacement Surgery
Lumbar fusion – surgically fusing two or more vertebrae together – has been the traditional treatment for people with chronic low back pain from degenerative disc disease. While that procedure stops the pain, fusion restricts movement in the problem area, and it creates greater strain on the healthy spinal segments above and below.
Disc replacement surgery is performed at Meriter Hospital through a joint program of UW Health Neurosurgery and Orthopedics. The artificial disk is arranged like a sandwich with a polyethylene (very hard plastic) core between two metal endplates. The device is shaped so the endplates pivot in a way that imitates the normal motion of the two vertebrae.
Orthopedic surgeon Craig Dopf, MD, explains, "Discs wear out as a natural part of aging and from stress and strain. This procedure effectively addresses the chronic and debilitating pain found when discs in the lower back fail. Disc replacement theoretically saves adjacent levels of the spine by not immobilizing one level and forcing adjacent levels to support the resulting stresses."
Meriter provides a variety of rehabilitation services on an outpatient and inpatient basis. These services include:
Physical and occupational therapy
Specialized care for the back and neck
Our staff works with each patient to restore strength, motion and flexibility while reducing pain. We strive to maximize independence and function for each patient. Our physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians work with primary care physicians in assessing the best care options related to spine injuries and conditions.
We actively involve patients in their treatment planning. Education emphasizing healthy movement is a key element of our services. Many of our staff have specialized training in spine diagnosis and treatment methods such as McKenzie, manual therapy, strength and conditioning, athletic training and women's health.
Work-related Injury Management
Meriter's Return to Work program is an evaluation and rehabilitation service for individuals who are injured on the job or whose personal injury affects their ability to work. The program also offers a full array of ergonomic and prevention services. Our team works closely with physicians and employers to follow carefully coordinated evaluation and treatment protocols, enabling our patients to return to work as quickly and safely as possible. Our staff physical therapists specialize in industrial rehabilitation. Our therapists hold certifications in athletic training, strength and conditioning, and work capacity evaluation techniques. The Return to Work program is located at Meriter Monona, 6408 Copps Avenue, Monona, WI. For information, call (608) 417-3131.