DR. RONALD D. FUDALA
Spineline exists for 2 reasons:
- To help doctors achieve Clinical Authority and be recognized as the primary source for valid, impartial guidance about spine-related disorders.
- To provide accurate, unbiased counseling to individuals who are confused and frustrated by persistent spine problems, conflicting opinions, or unanswered questions.
My career experience serves as a solid foundation to do this.
I help people by NOT treating them. I know that sounds odd, but please read on.
As a consultant, my practice is distinct. I make recommendations for and refer to other professionals to provide the treatment.
Quite simply, my success depends on my judgment. On how effective I am in guiding patients to make informed choices and help them determine the options best suited to their individual circumstances.
Practicing this way requires:
- In depth knowledge about spinal disorders and the many that mimic spine-related problems.
- An understanding of numerous diagnostic tests, when they are helpful and when they can misinform.
- Awareness of, and appreciation for, a wide-variety of treatment approaches, their risk-benefit ratios, and how they may apply to a person’s situation.
Most importantly, it requires an open-minded, unbiased attitude leading to recommendations that are without personal, political, or financial conflict of interest.
There are 3 main reasons patients are referred to me, or choose to independently contact me for an opinion:
- The diagnosis is in doubt.
- Progress with treatment has been inadequate.
- They are confused, having received conflicting information or inadequately answered questions.
The diversity of my career has prepared me to help patients with these challenges.
Between 1987-1993 I was a treating physician, providing Chiropractic care to patients with musculoskeletal problems, most of which where related to back or neck pain.
In 1993, after completing additional training to become a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist, I opened an independent consulting practice for disorders of the spine and peripheral neuromuscular system. In this capacity, I was often asked to perform specialized neurologic assessment, provide second opinions, and make suggestions regarding any need for further testing or treatment.
In January 2001, I was invited to join the neurosurgical department of a large specialty practice where I remained until August 2011. Within this setting, I took part in the initial triage of referred patients and performed a majority of the specialized neurologic testing (EMG/NCV) requested by the surgeons. Another primary role was identifying and expediting patients requiring urgent surgical intervention and recommending alternatives for those patients not needing, or wanting surgery. During this time I also developed and supervised a structural spine care program for both non-surgical and post-surgical patients.
I resigned from the surgical practice in August 2011 to devote more time to independent study and creative pursuits. Since then, I have been involved in developing post-graduate training programs and providing individualized consulting services to the public and various professionals.
Our current spine-care system leaves much to be desired. It is complex, expensive, confusing, and unpredictable. More alarming is that it can be unsafe and self-serving.
New, often poorly researched, treatments are introduced each year. Yet, despite this trend toward “newer” and more “minimally invasive” treatments, the rate of disability due to chronic back pain has almost doubled over the last 15 years. The rate of a suboptimal outcome, for even a first time patients, is now about 40%.
Even worse is how financial conflicts of interest and inter-professional bickering too often play a role in the recommendations that patients are given and the research that is performed.
Spineline was developed as a resource for both doctors and patients.
It develops programs for doctors helping them to become an authoritative source of information about a wide variety of spine-related conditions, tests, and treatments.
It serves as an advocate for patients who are frustrated and confused and seek guidance that is accurate, balanced, unbiased, and without any financial conflict of interest.