Spine & Brain Institute
We are Marin’s ONLY Spine & Brain Institute, offering comprehensive neurological and spine care. The institute is the result of a special collaboration between Marin General Hospital, Mt. Tam Spine Center, and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Neurosurgery. The Spine & Brain Institute at Marin General Hospital offers our patients a single point of access to world-class, comprehensive spine and brain care. Each of our partners contributes something special to the program.
- Mt. Tam Spine Center – The physicians and surgeons at the Mt. Tam Spine Center bring an invaluable knowledge base and exceptional level of expertise in spinal care. Both surgeons are fellowship-trained in spinal surgery and exclusively treat disorders of the spine. Particular interests include complex cervical spine surgery and scoliosis of the spine. The Mt. Tam Spine Center was the first to create an outcomes registry for spinal surgery in Marin. We work with them to coordinate surgery, inpatient care, seamless follow-up, and outpatient services.
- UCSF Department of Neurosurgery – Our relationship with the UCSF Department of Neurosurgery allows us to offer our patients “the best of both worlds,” with seamless care between our two institutions. UCSF neurosurgeons provide brain and spine surgical expertise and care on both an emergency and elective basis at Marin General Hospital. The UCSF connection allows our patients to benefit from the resources of a renowned teaching hospital, and gives them access to certain clinical trials. Having Marin General Hospital as a local resource means they can receive top-quality, personalized care in an intimate neighborhood setting.
The central nervous system, which includes the brain, is a complex field of expertise that touches every medical specialty. The Spine & Brain Institute offers comprehensive care with all of the requisite related specialists, including neurologists, physiatrists, radiologists, neuro-oncologists, neuro-interventional radiologists, oncologists, radiation oncologists, orthopedic spine surgeons, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners. Marin General Hospital has expert physical, occupational, and speech therapists on site, and coordinates with offsite therapists as well. The institute treats a broad range of spine and brain conditions.
Taking Collaboration to a New Level
Collaboration between the Mt. Tam Spine center and the UCSF Department of Neurosurgery allows us to offer several unique services in the field of spine care. Challenging surgical spine cases are discussed at dedicated spine conference twice a month. This conference includes orthopedic spine surgeons, neurosurgeons, physiatrists, and spinal radiologists. This multidisciplinary conference is an invaluable resource for the physicians involved in your care.
One of the biggest advantages of the institute is the ability to have two surgeons operating simultaneously on the spine. This is something unique to spine surgery, since there are two sides to the spine. Possible combinations include two orthopedic spine surgeons, two neurosurgeons, or an orthopedic spine surgeon working with a neurosurgeon. Having two surgeons operating together for larger complex cases leads to shorter time under anesthesia and increased patient safety.
Technologically advanced diagnostic studies, such as digital x-rays or high-field MRI scans, allow us to determine the source of the patient’s symptoms. We also perform electrodiagnostic testing to evaluate nerve and muscle function, including electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction studies. Most cases of back and neck pain are the result of strain or muscular injury; therefore, 95 percent of spine patients do not require surgery.