Sentara Martha Jefferson HealthWise: Dr. Osmond C. Wu

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Neurosciences Department at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital is happy to welcome Dr. Osmond C. Wu to the team. He is improving conditions for patients that need spinal surgery with his minimally-invasive method.

Wu's patients come to see him with pain in their legs, neck or back. This pain is often caused by the compression of a nerve or a herniated disk, which are symptoms of degenerative spine disease.

"People can have back pain or neck pain for a lot of different reasons. But typically, we see it as the population ages. As there's more of an elderly population, you're going to see a lot more Degenerative Disease. All Degenerative Disease is just wear-and-tear on the body. And in our case, the spine. Whether it's the neck, back or lower back," said Wu.

In the past, patients with Degenerative Spine Disease that needed surgery had to go through a lengthy process. Large incisions needed a longer surgical procedure, and a longer recovery period.

But Wu's minimally-invasive technique uses a small tube to correct the spinal injury, and the incision is often less than two centimeters in length.

"Typically people think of spine surgeries as large, open incisions. But, you know, you can get to the spine in smaller ways by making smaller incisions. We can use a much smaller incision, and they can get out of the hospital same-day," said Wu about his minimally-invasive method.

Wu and the Neurosurgery team at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital understand that pain is complex, and they go the extra mile to appreciate every patient's unique discomfort.

"I think there's a very warm welcoming environment here, and we like to spend time with our patients," he said. "Sit down and get to the meat of things and see why they're hurting, where they're coming from. A patient is not just the pain that they're dealing with, or the pathology we see on an MRI."

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