Comprehensive Care for Your Back & Neck

Our team includes physical therapists, physiatrists, general orthopedic providers, chiropractic services, non-operative spine specialists, and fellowship trained spine surgeons who work together to identify the cause of your pain and tailor personalized solutions to your unique situation. Welcome to the OrthoSouth Spine Center.

WHY CHOOSE THE ORTHOSOUTH SPINE CENTER?

The OrthoSouth Spine Center is the largest multi-disciplinary team of spine specialists in the Mid-South region. Comprised of medical professionals with a wide range of qualifications to help diagnose, treat, support, and rehabilitate your back or neck condition, the Spine Center is your premier team for comprehensive, personalized spine care. From sore back to  slipped disks to spine fractures, and everywhere in between, we aim to be your partner in recovery. 

MEET YOUR BACK & NECK TEAM

Spine Surgeons

While most back and neck issues can be managed with physical therapy and other non-operative treatment, our highly skilled spine surgeons see patients across all of our clinic locations, especially injuries or conditions that require surgical expertise. OrthoSouth spine surgeons have all undergone advanced fellowship training in spine surgery. Their broad experiences include, but are not limited to spinal deformity, spinal trauma, degenerative spinal conditions, complex spinal reconstruction, and minimally invasive spinal procedures. 

Spencer W. Hauser, MD

+ Spine (Surgery) + Non-Operative Spine

Sam E. Murrell, MD

+ Spine (Surgery) + Non-Operative Spine

Sam Schroerlucke, MD

+ Spine (Surgery) + Non-Operative Spine

Stephen M. Waggoner, MD

+ Spine (Surgery) + Hip & Pelvis + Joint Replacement + Knee

Non-Operative Spine Specialists and Physiatrists

Our non-operative spine specialists are qualified to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions that cause back and neck pain. 

David J. Dowling, MD

+ EMG/NCV + Non-Operative Spine + Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Matthew Kangas, MD

+ Interventional Spine + Orthobiologic Medicine

Judith R. Lee-Sigler, MD

+ EMG/NCV + Non-Operative Spine + Orthobiologic Medicine + Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Jonathan M. Stuart, DO

+ EMG/NCV + Non-Operative Spine + Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation + Orthobiologic Medicine

Bradley W. Wargo, DO

+ Interventional Spine + Orthobiologic Medicine

Nurse Practitioners/Physician Assistants

Our Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants work closely with physicians to provide excellent patient care across our clinics. 

Connor Coalter, PA-C

Physician Assistant to Dr. Stephen Waggoner
+ General Orthopedics + Non-Operative Spine

Elizabeth Harris, PA-C

Physician Assistant to Dr. Sam Schroerlucke
+ General Orthopedics + Non-Operative Spine

Christopher Wilkinson, DNP

Nurse Practitioner, Memphis-Briarcrest
+ General Orthopedics + Non-Operative Spine + Spine (Surgery)

Chiropractic Services

Available at the Crosstown Clinic in Midtown Memphis, our chiropractor works together with medical staff in an interdisciplinary setting to manage patients’ painful conditions.   

Jennifer James, DC

+ Chiropractic Services

Physical Therapists

All of our physical therapy locations include spine specialists with advanced training and certification in the McKenzie approach (Cert MDT, Dip MDT credentials). Visit our Physical Therapy page to view our complete list of physical therapists.

Common Back & Neck Issues

One of the more common sources of back and/or neck pain is a herniated disk. This condition, also known as “slipped” or “ruptured” disk, often occurs in the lower back, and can additionally affect the  disks in the neck.

Symptoms
Lower Back

The most common symptom of a herniated disk is sciatica—a sharp, often shooting pain that extends from the buttocks down the back of one leg. Other symptoms include:

  • Back pain (this general symptom is usually not enough on its own to diagnose disk herniation)
  • Weakness in the leg and/or foot
  • Tingling (a “pins-and-needles” sensation) or numbness in the leg and/or foot
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control (This is rare and may indicate a more serious problem called cauda equina syndrome. This condition is caused by the spinal nerve roots being compressed. It requires immediate medical attention.)
Neck

As with pain in the lower back, neck pain is also common. When pressure is placed on a nerve in the neck, it causes pain in the muscles between your neck and shoulder (trapezius muscles). The pain may shoot down the arm. Other symptoms include:

  • Weakness in one arm
  • Tingling (a “pins-and-needles” sensation) or numbness in one arm
  • Burning pain in the shoulders, neck, or arm
Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your medical history and conduct a physical examination.

To help confirm a diagnosis of herniated disk, your doctor may recommend a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. 

Treatment
Nonsurgical Treatment

Most patients will benefit from nonsurgical treatment, including: 

  • Rest and over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Muscle relaxers, analgesics, and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Cold compresses or ice applied several times a day for no more than 20 minutes at a time
  • Gentle heat applications (after any spasms settle)

Your doctor may refer you you to physical therapy to learn exercises that can help strengthen your core muscles. For the neck, exercises or traction may also be helpful. To help avoid future episodes of pain, it is essential to learn how to properly stand, sit, and lift, which a physical therapist can assist with.

If more conservative measures fail, epidural injections of a cortisone-like drug may lessen nerve irritation and allow more effective participation in physical therapy. 

Surgical Treatment

It’s rare that a disk herniation requires surgery. Spine surgery is typically recommended only after a period of nonsurgical treatment has not relieved painful symptoms.

  • Lumbar microdiskectomy. The most common procedure for a herniated disk in the lower back, microdiskectomy involves removing the herniated part of the disk and any fragments that are putting pressure on the spinal nerve.
  • Cervical diskectomy and fusion. Cervical diskectomy is a procedure for the herniated disk in the neck. To relieve pressure, the entire herniated disk is removed. Bone is placed in the disk space and a metal plate may be used to help support the spine.
 

Back & Neck Care Available at These Locations