Spine Centers of Excellence utilize a multidisciplinary care management approach that makes use of standardized clinical protocols. This model focuses on improving the way care is provided through a coordinated system that identifies and treats conditions of the neck and back, ranging from the most common to the most complex. Central to the COE concept is a finely tuned and structured triage pathway that gives the patient immediate access and navigates the patient through an organized, coordinated approach to appropriate diagnosis and treatment and, most importantly, insures that patients see the right provider at the right time. In addition, Centers of Excellence are staffed by professionals who are "fellowship trained," the highest level of training available for physicians.

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Maine Spinecare is a spine center of excellence that treats patients from across Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Ontario, Canada. The spine center includes the expertise of Michael Regan MD, a fellowship trained orthopaedic spine surgeon; Matt McLaughlin MD, board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pain Medicine and Electrodiagnostic Medicine. Maine Spinecare has these spine providers as well as physical therapists, physician assistants, medical assistants, RNs, diagnostic tools and other treatments all under one roof. This multidisciplinary team concept combines decades of experience of selected members dedicated to successful treatment. The intent is to provide a variety of highly effective non-surgical and, when indicated, surgical solutions for the back and neck pain sufferer.

What is Specialized Therapy?

A Center of Excellence should feature necessary treatments and diagnostic technology all under one roof, so a back pain sufferer is not required to travel around for various services. For example, instead of getting a prescription for physical therapy and having to drive across town to a physical therapy clinic that divides its time and expertise among elbows, sore knees and sore shoulders. Maine Spinecare includes specialty trained physical therapists that excel at treating spine problems both on and off-site in order to serve those patients that do not reside close to our center.

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Research has shown that complex problems like back pain are treated more successfully through a multidisciplinary approach, involving the best aspects of many complementary back specialists. The strength of Maine Spinecare lies in the medical expertise brought by a variety of additional complementary specialists, like physical medicine, orthopaedic surgery, physical therapy, etc.

What Are Protocols?

Through the use of standardized written clinical protocols, physicians take a uniform approach to managing injured backs. This approach reduces variation in care and ensures that no one will get unnecessary or premature surgery.

A patient who goes to a center that does not utilize clinical protocols will notice that he or she may get a different diagnosis and treatment recommendation if they see two different doctors in the same clinic, or if they come back for a second visit. Well defined clinical pathways that are outcome driven ensure quality in health care.

Maine Spinecare protocols eliminate diagnostic tests and uncomfortable procedures when they really are not necessary. This saves the patient unnecessary pain, discomfort and money. Clinical protocols act as guidelines to ensure that the right thing is done, at the right time, every time. In a sense, having such protocols helps to ensure that all physicians in the center are practicing the same kind of medicine — the best medicine.

Surgical Treatment Options

In the multidisciplinary treatment approach that is Maine Spinecare, accurate diagnosis is critical and less invasive and non surgical options can be utilized in many instances. However, trauma, severe acuity and life threatening conditions, as well as the inability to benefit from previously applied less invasive treatment options, can require that Surgical Treatment Options be utilized.

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When Spine Surgery is necessary, the results with Maine Spinecare can be quite impressive. Some procedures, such as the microdiscectomy, can be performed as an outpatient surgery where patients go home the very same day. Other Lumbar and Cervical Procedures are performed at the hospital with Maine Spinecare providers working with the Orthopaedic Institute of Central Maine. The OICM allows the providers of Maine Spinecare to provide continual hands on monitoring and round the clock care for all post surgical patients.

Comprehensive Care for Spine Conditions has included, but is not limited to;

  • Cervical and Lumbar Radiculopathy
  • Spinal Deformity
  • Lumbar Degenerative Conditions
  • Osteoporotic Fractures
  • Scoliosis (Adult and Pediatric)
  • Cervical Total Disc Arthroplasty
  • Trauma
  • Tumors
  • Spinal Stenosis

A regional referral center for New England & Canada

Maine Spinecare provides a new spine center resource for those living in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont who would otherwise have to travel 300 miles by car or plane to other major cities for treatment of complex back and neck pain problems.

In Canada, because of the limitations of the government-run Canadian healthcare system, many residents of the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia can find Maine Spinecare as a convenient alternative to receive spine diagnostics, MRI and minimally invasive spine surgery for relief of symptoms faster than the long waits for treatment through their own healthcare system.

Main highways connect residents of Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec City to central Maine. Others electing to fly, can connect to Portland, Maine, and then access Maine Spinecare with a 45 minute drive from the Portland Jetport.

While some back problems self resolve with time, that is not the case for those patients with emergency symptoms like weakness or numbness into a leg or arm, or loss of control of bowel or bladder. These “red flag” symptoms if untreated for only a week, can become permanent. Such is the problem with delaying diagnostics for people with back or neck pain. Simple to treat problems can snowball into life-changing permanent disability because care is delayed.

If you are coming to Maine Spinecare from Canada for a spine assessment, please note that to the appointment person accordingly. For the international patient coming from Canada, we recommend Monday or Tuesday appointments to enable the Maine Spinecare team to schedule MRI, spinal injections or other treatment the following day so the patient can have a complete spine assessment with a two day time period, and receive recommendations for next steps in a complete treatment plan for their back pain or neck pain problem. Once they have their diagnosis, they can elect to seek further surgical treatment or therapy back in Canada or with Maine Spinecare.