Delivering long-term solutions to spine problems
The Comprehensive Spine Center has multiple specialists, diagnostic tools and treatment options housed in one center to care for your spine. The goal of our multidisciplinary team is to help patients return to normal function by providing both non-surgical and surgical solutions to simple and complex spine problems. As part of the Ohio State Neurological Institute, our team is constantly exploring novel approaches for some of the most difficult spine-related medical challenges. Advanced care is offered for congenital, deformity, degenerative, and traumatic spinal disorders.
Our team includes board certified, fellowship-trained pain management experts, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons and neurologists. Our surgeons perform more complex spine surgeries than any other medical center in central Ohio. We collaborate with our physical therapists, radiologists, rheumatologists, endocrinologists, psychologists and nurse practitioners—each who specialize in spine disorders and injuries—to restore you to maximum function.
Patients benefit from the insights and expertise of an entire clinical team that will diagnose the source of pain and help achieve the highest level of function possible with the least-invasive treatment. Patients also have the opportunity to participate in groundbreaking research and clinical trials through our associations with national and international spine organizations.
At the Comprehensive Spine Center, our multidisciplinary team collaborates to provide cutting-edge patient care while researching the latest treatments and discoveries.
A tale of two neurosurgeons
Dr. Deogaonkar explains how differing perspectives on peripheral nerve problems leads to better care
Straightening out scoliosis
Amanda shares the story of emotional support and quality care she received from Dr. Khan
Minimally invasive, maximum impact
Dr. Yu employs surgical procedures informed by spine biomechanics to improve outcomes
Back tracking with wearable diagnostics
Dr. Marras pinpoints spinal problems with the Clinical Lumbar Motion Monitor
Artificial disk, real relief
John's spine surgery reconnected him to his active lifestyle
Jay Chapman - "I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better place"
Severe back pain is notorious for the debilitating effect it can have on a person’s life. Jay Chapman of Springfield, Ohio is all too familiar with this pain. “My back wasn’t right. There was pain in my side, and it continued to progress and just get worse. There were points where my leg felt like it was going out from underneath me,” explained Chapman in a recent interview. For a long time, Chapman assumed the pain was due to a hip replacement five years prior, but an x-ray found the source of the problem in his back. “They wanted to operate immediately. I wasn’t satisfied with that answer, so I did some research and found what OSU had on their website – there were other steps you could take,” said Chapman.
After a diagnostic process that led him through multiple doctors, hospitals and treatments, he was referred to Dr. Gussous at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Chapman was almost immediately comforted by his experience with Dr. Gussous. “He sat down with my wife and myself and explained what was going on with my back. He took the time and the patience to explain what was wrong and what he’d do to remedy the problem. We were both impressed. I felt very comfortable with his explanation – and this was the first time I’d ever met the man!” said Chapman. The pain in Chapman’s back was so severe at this point that surgery was the only option. After just one meeting with Dr. Gussous, the surgery was scheduled.
Chapman received a spinal decompression and fusion between his L4 and L5 vertebrae. His recovery at Ohio State was remarkable. “It was fantastic,” explained Chapman. “Everybody seemed to take a personal interest in making sure I had what I needed. I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better place… even the food was good!” Chapman was impressed with the quality of care he received from nearly every staff member, regardless of his or her occupation. “Everybody seemed to enjoy what they were doing. It makes a big difference in the recovery – the mental aspect of the hospital as well as the physical aspect of the hospital,” he said.
Dr. Gussous’s personalized and patient-focused care continued to stand out during Chapman’s stay at the hospital. “He would come and talk with me, and say, ‘Come on, get up – let’s walk!’ Dr. Gussous even went so far as to share his personal phone number with Chapman. “Here’s a man, who’s as busy as he is – he gave me his cell number and would text me, ‘How are you doing today? Are you OK?’. He was able to keep in contact with me, and it was almost like cutting out that middle person – I thought that was great,” he said.
At 66 years old, Chapman’s goal is to get back to the many activities and hobbies he enjoyed before the surgery. “I still like to officiate football, play tennis, stay active and travel. I still have a life, you know?” explained Chapman. Dr. Gussous played a big role in helping Chapman do what he loved again. Since his procedure, Chapman has completed physical therapy and walks almost 10,000 steps every day.
Kelly Fletcher - “He’s my hero, let’s put it that way”
For Kelly Fletcher of Findlay, Ohio, treatment at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center wasn’t just about her future – it was about her grandchildren’s future. After a previous back surgery had left her nearly immobile, she began to wonder if she’d ever have her life back. “For the past 18 months, I had been in the most severe pain after that surgery. It was just something that didn’t want to go away. I couldn’t really function enough to play with my grandchildren – holding them, rocking them and giving them their bottles,” shared Fletcher.
Thankfully, Fletcher’s doctor in Findlay transferred her to Columbus so that she could be treated at OSU. When she met Dr. Gussous, she instantly knew she was in the right hands. “When I got to OSU, I met Dr. Gussous that night. That man was one of the most remarkable doctors I had met in my life. I was just scared to death – I couldn’t walk hardly at all anymore. I didn’t know what was going on.” Dr. Gussous’s empathetic care made all the difference. “He put his arm around me and calmed me down, and said he could take care of the issue.”
Fletcher explained that Dr. Gussous took care of the issue and more. After performing a surgery that fused the bones between her T11 vertebrae and pelvis, he was there with her every step of the way. The results were stunning. “I am walking. I can stand straight. He explained everything he was going to do.” One moment stood out to her in particular: “The day after the surgery, he personally got me out of bed at 6 in the morning and took my first steps around the hospital with me. He was right there with me the whole time. He did the whole thing – put my brace on and everything. I knew exactly what to expect,” she shared warmly. “He’s my hero, let’s put it that way.”
Fletcher also added that the entire staff worked together to provide her with a fantastic hospital experience. She was particularly impressed with staff members responsible for the many tests conducted during her stay, such as blood tests, MRI’s, x-rays and more. “What really stood out was the people who transferred you from your room to the test. Whoever is doing the training is really doing a remarkable job, I’ll tell you that,” she noted.
Fletcher’s care didn’t end when she left the hospital, either. Dr. Gussous was adamant about frequently checking in to make sure his patient was recovering. According to Fletcher, “He released me on Thanksgiving Day. He checked on me after I was discharged to see if everything was fine, if there was anything I needed and to make sure all my meds were good. I think he treats all his patients with this much care and kindness, it’s just an unbelievable thing.”
For Fletcher, there is no doubt that The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is the only place to go for spinal surgery. “If anyone has any issues with their spine and needs a specialist, Dr. Gussous is who you need to see,” she said emphatically. Thanks to the staff at OSU and a successful surgery, Fletcher can finally return to the life she feared she had lost and have the future she dreamed of. “It’s my grandchildren,” said Fletcher, “they’re my future.”
Michael Bullock - "He’s pushing forward every day"
After a sudden accident at home, Mike Bullock’s life was forever changed. A broken neck left him unconscious and paralyzed. If it wasn’t for his girlfriend, Jenny Hoyng, his future may have been far worse. “He wasn’t breathing when I found him,” she shared in a recent interview. “I did CPR immediately – I used to be a nurse at OSU, actually.” After being taken to the hospital and put on a ventilator, Bullock endured a period of uncertainty and fear before being transferred to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center from local hospitals near his home. “I had a broken neck, and there was really nowhere around me that could take care of an injury like that. They took me to the nearest hospital, which four hours later sent me to another hospital. It took me about three weeks to get into OSU,” said Bullock.
Once they arrived at Ohio State, Bullock’s treatment and prognosis became more clear and the uncertainty began to fade. Dr. Gussous said he was going to do surgery because his neck was very unstable. It was very unsafe to have his neck brace off. I helped Mike as much as I could and the hospital helped us as much as they could,” Hoyng said. According to Bullock and Hoyng, Dr. Gussous was an important figure in their experience at Ohio State. “He seemed to be very one-on-one. He spoke the truth about what was going to happen and was very professional about everything he did,” said Bullock.
Dr. Gussous went so far as to share his personal phone number so that Bullock and Hoyng could keep him updated at all times. This constant contact made for some exuberant moments during Bullock’s treatment. “I called him one day and he couldn’t talk. So, I sent him a video of when my legs started moving for the first time.” His individualized care was further improved by the friendly and caring staff at Ohio State.
Now that he’s back at home, Bullock continues to work on his recovery. His progress has shocked a number of doctors, according to Hoyng. “He’s pushing forward every day,” she said. Bullock’s prognosis was not optimistic at first, but the future is now full of hope. “At first, he could only wiggle his toes and we didn’t think he’d get back any more function. Now he can kick his legs out. He’s doing great with his therapy. He’s starting to get feeling back – he was numb, now he can feel his arms to his wrist, his whole left leg and more,” said Hoyng excitedly.