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What's Up Magazine

Dr. Chris Urban

Sep 29, 2011 04:18PM ● By Anonymous

One of the area’s most experienced spinal surgeons, Dr. Chris Urban employs the least invasive techniques available to help his patients achieve the best results with the fastest recovery possible. He is dedicated to helping both adults and children with a full spectrum of spinal disorders including deformities such as scoliosis, osteo-arthritic degeneration, traumatic injury, disc herniations, and spinal stenosis-commonly referred to as pinched nerves.

Dr. Urban received his Medical degree at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, and completed his orthopaedic residency at Duke University. He went on to complete an additional year of specialty training through a fellowship in Spine Surgery at Duke. There, he learned the most advanced techniques from leaders in both orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery. Dr. Urban spends time with each patient discussing the full range of treatment and recovery options, and he involves patients in their treatment decisions. He is a careful listener, believing it is important to focus on the whole person and their unique needs as an individual. Each of Dr. Urban’s patients can be assured that their medical care is tailored to the specific needs of their lifestyle and circumstances.

With his specialty training and commitment to staying on the cutting edge of his field, Dr. Urban always seeks to find the most minimally invasive treatment for his patients. He offers an array of non-surgical treatment options when possible, but when surgery is required, he employs the most up-to-date technologies and techniques available to achieve that goal. He performs surgery at Baltimore Washington Medical Center, and The Riva Road Surgery Center in Annapolis. Meticulous technique and appropriate use of technology allows many of Dr. Urban’s patients to go home the same day of surgery.

With modern advances in technology, Dr. Urban is able to perform such minimally invasive surgeries as: Vertebralplasty, which helps patients with osteoporotic fractures achieve almost immediate pain relief and same day recovery; Microdiscetomy, which can also be done on an outpatient basis to reduce pressure on impinged nerve and relieve pain immediately; and cervical spine (neck) surgery which can relieve the pain from disc herniations or bone spurs.

Dr. Urban’s career path and patient-centered philosophy was inspired at a young age by his mother who was a surgical nurse. Orthopaedic surgery appealed to Dr. Urban because of the mechanical nature of surgery and the musculoskeletal system, and because treatment can oft en lead to immediate relief for patients. As a specialist in spine and neck, he enjoys being able to help his patients recover from what can be among the most painful and debilitating orthopaedic issues.

Spinal disorders tend to be the most complex conditions orthopaedists face, and they can pose the biggest challenges to treatment. Dr. Urban’s specialty training in both orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery gives him the ability to approach his patients’ concerns from both perspectives. Dr. Urban gains immense satisfaction in seeing his patients respond well to treatment and from knowing that he can make a positive impact on someone’s life.

Q: Are there frequent misconceptions you run across in your practice?

A: Most people come in with a certain predetermined idea of what back surgery is. The reality is that all spine surgeries are not the same. Some are very complex and may require intricate six-hour surgeries. These surgeries carry high stakes but can be quite rewarding to a patient who has a very debilitating condition. Other conditions, however, may be treated with simpler 45-minute out-patient procedures that can oft en result in dramatic recovery in a short time frame. Recent innovations in technology enable us to do so much more on the spine with much smaller incisions and less trauma to the muscles and surrounding tissues. We have many more options for minimally invasive treatments for the back and neck than were available 10 years ago.
— Christopher Urban, MD, Bay Area Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine