Becker's Top Spine Surgeons
World Class Spinal Care
World Class Spinal Care
You don't have to leave the Midwest to find world class spinal care. Rockford Spine Center is the only facility in Northwestern Illinois dedicated exclusively to diagnosing and treating spine issues. Three fellowship trained spine surgeons have teamed up to bring advanced diagnostic capabilities and cutting edge treatments to the region.
Patient Philosophy
Patient Philosophy
Patients are offered a variety of treatments from low-risk conservative options to state of the art surgical treatment. At Rockford Spine Center, you choose your course of treatment, not the doctor.
Specializing in surgical and non-surgical spinal disorders
Specializing in surgical and non-surgical spinal disorders
Our goal is to get patients back to their active lifestyle as quickly as possible. Our team of experts uses a multidisciplinary approach to treat the most complex spinal cases. We have an advanced understanding of the spine and specialize in both surgical and non-surgical spinal disorders.
Comprehensive Care
Comprehensive Care
Our state-of-the-art facility offers a comprehensive care setting where patients can obtain comprehensive testing, MRI, pain management, physical therapy and a thorough consult- all under one roof and often times during a single visit.
Getting Her Life Back
Getting Her Life Back
From wheelchair bound to flying high again. Bonnie shares her story of how spine surgery turned her life around.
Patient Stories Patient Education
Recurrent Pain Requires an Engineered and Precise Solution
August/30/2016

Image

Joe Altenhoff was no stranger to the pain. And, he’ll tell you, he’d even become used to it.

Active and in good physical shape, he’d altered his lifestyle in an effort to cope with the nagging irritation in his back that had lasted more than a decade. However, for the owner and principal at Arc Design, an engineering firm in Rockford, there finally came a time when he reached his limit.

“I lived with the pain for a long time,” says Altenhoff. “But when the pain escalated and my leg started to go numb, that’s when I knew I had to do something.”

That something turned into a lot of things. He’d tried chiropractic treatments, anti-inflammatories, along with a number of other therapies and exercises. Nothing worked.

A visit to spine surgeon Christopher Sliva, M.D., at Rockford Spine Center, led to the imposing-sounding diagnosis of isthmic spondylolisthesis, more commonly understood as a slipped vertebrae.

“Joe’s symptoms had progressively worsened,” says Dr. Sliva. “He was dealing with buttock, thigh and calf pain with numbness and paraesthesia, or a ‘pins and needles’ sensation.”

More importantly, Dr. Sliva understood the impact the pain was having on Altenhoff’s life.

“The pain was really disabling to Joe,” Dr. Sliva says. “He had to modify his lifestyle quite substantially and he wanted something more definitive to be done about it.”

After exhausting a number of non-surgical options, it was clear that surgery was the solution.  He and Dr. Sliva discussed the procedure and worked together to develop a plan.

“We empower our patients so they can choose their course of treatment and surgery is typically our last resort,” emphasizes Dr. Sliva. “We look at conservative treatment options and how pain is affecting a patient’s quality of life. Only about 10 percent of our patients end up needing surgery.”

Altenhoff is an engineer, a problem-solver by nature, and he was very involved in the process.  He and Dr. Sliva looked at the scans and the models of the spine to understand what was wrong.  

“I was thinking about alternative ways to fix it,” he recalls. “However, I knew it was complicated and that it wasn’t going to go away and would most likely get worse. I had a lot of confidence in Dr. Sliva going into the surgery and I knew it had to get done.”

Working with Dr. Sliva and his team, Altenhoff was diligent in preparing for the procedure, known as a transforaminal lumbar fusion. The procedure involves removing a disc from between two vertebrae and then fusing the vertebrae to together.  For the patient, the results can be remarkable.

“I woke up and instantly knew it was better,” remembers Altenhoff. “I could feel it right away and it was amazing. That was a start of a phenomenal recovery.”

A day after the procedure, he was doing occupational and physical therapy to jump start the recovery.  Today, six months after the surgery, Altenhoff has resumed his active lifestyle. He’s made a few modifications but “nothing too radical,” as he puts it.

And, of course, the pain is no more. 

“Having pain for so long, you take it for granted,” he says. “I’m grateful for Dr. Sliva and his team and so happy that the nuisance of having that daily pain is gone.”

Thanks to all the Olympic athletes, you've been reading and seeing a lot in the news about "cupping therapy." What is it and how does it work? Check out this story on WREX-TV featuring RSC physical therapist Kim Alexander.
August/12/2016 Congratulations to Zachary Gough on his recent success. We appreciate him acknowledging the help that RSC provided him during his journey in this recent article from Peak Sports Club & Peak Fitness.
August/08/2016

Image


Rockford Spine Center Surgeons Awarded Vitals Top Ten Doctors