Back and neck pain account for up to thirty to forty percent of visits to primary care doctors. The symptom of back or neck pain can be caused by many problems. The pain may be due to something as simple as a muscle strain. However, it may be a more complicated issue such as advanced arthritis, spinal instability, disk herniation, or a tumor. An appropriate, thorough investigation of the back and neck pain is necessary to define the underlying cause.
Once a situation requiring neurosurgical evaluation is discovered, the spine team at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Department of Neurosurgery is capable of providing top-notch surgical and non-surgical treatment of disorders of the spine. The staff at the Medical Center has extensive experience and knowledge in the treatment of complex cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spinal diseases. A thorough and appropriate investigation of the nature of the symptoms and causes of pathology is necessary to provide an optimal focused yet complete plan of care. The staff will evaluate the patient thoroughly and, after discussion with the patient, arrive at an appropriate and agreeable course of management. At times, this may include therapeutic and pain management alternatives. In other circumstances, this may be a recommendation for surgical treatment.
Surgery of the spine is at times a complicated issue. Not all back and neck pain is best treated with surgery. The staff at the Medical Center understands the alternatives to surgery as well as the risks and benefits of surgical intervention. Working with the combined team of pain management specialists, physical therapists, and surgeons allows for optimal individualized patient care. This team has been assembled at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center to provide each patient with the best appropriate course of treatment based on his or her individual situation.
- Dave Black, M.A., P.A.-C., Physician Assistant
- Carlo M. de Luna, M.D. - Penn State Hershey Neurosurgery at Wyoming Valley
- James R. Fick, M.D. - Penn State Hershey Neurosurgery at State College
- Philip Hlavac, M.D. - Penn State Hershey Neurosurgery at Wyoming Valley
- Kristine Kuzma, Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Renee D. Orris, Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner
- G. Timothy Reiter, M.D.
- Michael Sather, M.D.
- Jonas M. Sheehan, M.D., F.A.A.N.S., F.A.C.S.
Hospital Admissions and Billing
While you are a patient at Penn State Hershey, we want to do everything possible to make your surgery and stay convenient and comfortable. If you are scheduled for admission to our hospital, you may want to review the following list of questions about our admissions and billing procedures before you arrive.
Patients are pre-admitted by their surgical coordinator at the outpatient clinic. The coordinator is responsible for obtaining your financial information and scheduling your admission time to Penn State Hershey. He or she can also answer any questions you have about insurance. Additionally, your physician may request some tests to be done before you are admitted. The surgical coordinator or your doctor’s office will arrange for an appointment to have the tests completed on an outpatient basis.
On the day you are scheduled for admission, you will check-in at the Admissions Office, located near the hospital’s main lobby. Patients should make plans for someone to drive them to Penn State Hershey. Parents must accompany patients who are younger than 18 years old. Once you have checked in, a patient services representative will show you to your room where you will be introduced to your nurse and given an admissions information packet. If you were admitted through the Emergency Department, you will be assigned a bed by the operating room. A patient services representative will contact you once you have been assigned your room.
Be prepared to provide your identification, insurance card and any necessary deductible or insurance copayment. If you are admitting a child, you will need to provide the hospital with written consent to provide your child with medical care. Guardians must bring legal proof of guardianship.
For insurance information, please click here.
What do I need to bring with me to the Admissions Office?
Where do I go the day of my surgery?
How am I admitted to the hospital?