Spine center opens in Chesterfield

Washington University Orthopedics has opened a spine center at its outpatient facility in Chesterfield, Mo., to provide comprehensive, specialized care to patients with spine injuries and disorders.

The Orthopedic Spine Center focuses on early intervention for patients with acute spine pain, offering appointments to qualifying patients within 48 hours.

“We want to see and evaluate patients as soon as possible once a problem begins,” says Heidi Prather, DO, the spine center’s director, associate professor and chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation in orthopedics. “The primary goal always involves restoring function and limiting pain. By bringing together physicians and other health professionals with spine care expertise, we can develop individualized treatment programs for every patient. We hope to promote consistent, cost-effective treatment plans for each patient under our care.”


In addition to prescribing individualized treatment plans, she says, rehabilitation also includes education regarding body mechanics specific to a patient’s lifestyle. Treatments may include medications, physical or occupational therapy, bracing, orthotics, injections or surgery.

“The center’s objective is to provide timely, carefully structured and monitored, cost-effective care,” says Richard H. Gelberman, MD, the Fred C. Reynolds Professor and head of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the School of Medicine and chief of orthopaedic surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. “Our goal is to return patients with acute cervical and lumbar spine pain to full function with a comprehensive set of diagnostic, and, for most patients, non-operative treatment methods.”

The facility, located at 14532 South Outer Forty Drive in Chesterfield, includes physician offices, examination rooms, ambulatory surgery suites, diagnostic radiology (including MRI imaging and general diagnostic services) and rehabilitation and hand therapy services. It has been the department’s primary facility for sports medicine, hand surgery, shoulder surgery, foot and ankle surgery and physical medicine and rehabilitation since it opened in 2007.

The patient-centered practice involves physicians, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, massage therapists, nurses and medical assistants working together to coordinate care. The spine services offered at the Chesterfield facility complement the department’s existing clinical practice at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.