Adventist Health Castle | Windward Health | Summer 2021

ADVENTIST HEALTH CASTLE has the most sophisticated and comprehensive, minimally invasive spine surgery program in the state. Led by William Beringer, DO—one of the few complex spine fellowship- trained neurosurgeons in Hawai‘i—a dedicated team of specialists provides a full range of treatment options, both surgical and nonsurgical, to alleviate neck and back pain and other neurological disabilities. Pinpointing the source of the pain through advanced imaging and nerve function studies is key to making an accurate diagnosis and the right treatment plan for what ails patients. For Dr. Beringer’s team, surgery is often a last resort, after they have tried all available nonsurgical treatments, such as physical therapy, acupuncture, steroid injections or even yoga. “When surgical intervention is required, however, we always seek an approach that is minimally invasive in order to reduce unnecessary damage to surrounding tissue, bone, ligaments and skin,” says Dr. Beringer. Less invasive procedures can achieve the same outcomes as open-spine surgeries and offer the benefits of a shorter surgery time, less blood loss, lower infection rates and faster healing and rehabilitation, among other advantages. “Wherever the problem occurs in the spine, there is usually a procedure we can perform through a small, minimally invasive incision,” Dr. Beringer says. “We have two decades of experience in these types of surgeries as well as more involved procedures for patients who need treatment for spinal tumors, traumatic injuries and previous spine surgeries.” TAKE OUR SPINE RISK QUIZ TODAY! Go to Spine-Quiz . Next-gen options in artificial disks The past two decades have brought significant advances in artificial disk replacement as an alternative to the more common spinal fusion procedure to treat chronic pain caused by such debilitating conditions as a herniated or degenerated disk. Spinal fusion can alleviate pain by removing the affected disk and replacing it with a bone graft, which over time “fuses” together the vertebrae on either side and eliminates the motion between them. However, the procedure also eliminates the shock absorption capabilities of the fused area, which can lead to further stress and degeneration of the adjacent vertebrae. An artificial disk, on the other hand, is able to restore the spacing—and maintain motion—between the vertebrae, which helps reduce the risk of further degeneration. One of the most promising developments in this area is a revolutionary new generation of artificial disks. Earlier this year, Dr. Beringer became just the second surgeon in Hawai‘i to perform lumbar artificial disk replacement. He is also the first in the state to perform cervical artificial disk replacement using the M6 implant. What makes the M6 unique from similar devices is not only its ability to mimic the structure and movement of a healthy disk but also its shock-absorbing core, which replicates the cushioning effect of the natural spine and potentially minimizes the stress on adjacent disks. Other patient benefits are associated with artificial disk replacement, too, Dr. Beringer explains: “There can be up to 30% less post- surgery pain compared with spinal fusion, and a full recovery can be achieved in three months, compared to the nine to 15 months it can take to fully recover from a fusion procedure.” Getting your spine back in line Adventist Health Castle excels in minimally invasive surgeries and nonsurgical options William Beringer, DO 6 | WINDWARD HEALTH CASTLE NEWS