Star Valley Health has a new spinal surgeon who has been around for several months already but is happy to see any patients that may need some help.
Dr. Wade Jensen grew up in Idaho and he and his wife wanted to be closer to home. He is the new spinal surgeon which he says really focuses on fixing conditions which cause pressure on nerves and when dealing with the spine.
“That could be disc herniation in the neck causing nerve impingement and arm pain,” Wade said. “Or that could be a disc problem in the back causing back pain and leg pain.”
He says he sometimes hear patients say they just can’t walk as far as they used to and must stop to sit down or bend over. Those are symptoms of spinal stenosis according to the surgeon and are treatable.
“Probably 70% of what I do is non-operative,” Jensen said. “If we’re going to do an operation, we’re going to try to do the minimally invasive option.”
He says they also do endoscopic surgery on the spine which is not very invasive either. He says it’s really been around the last 15 years in the country, and he has been doing it for the last five years. He even teaches nationally to other doctors on how to do that procedure.
He says this doesn’t mean you need to give up on physical therapy or chiropractors though. He says 70% of herniations go away with conservative care.
“But often times when symptoms persist,” Jensen said. “Or the leg or arm pain is really persistent or really bad, they’ll end up being referred to me.”
He says the goal is to get you better without an operation, but he has extensive knowledge on how to help in the event surgery is needed.
He spends most of his time in Afton, but he travels around to Alpine, Bridger Valley, Evanston, and he is hopeful to start traveling to Rock Springs soon.
He says one nice aspect he is implementing with Star Valley Health is tracking data on outcomes for treatments for patients.
“For the last 15 years I have been part of the largest national spine database in the country,” Jensen said. “We compare ourselves, my practice, to all the other academic institutions that are part of this.”
He says schools like the University of Utah, Duke University, and others are part of this. He says because they get to compare to these places, and they stack up nicely. He asked Star Valley Health to keep this going because he finds it important as a surgeon.
“If your number one goal is how is the patient doing,” Jensen said. “Turns out the patients do well and that’s your focus.”
He says that this focus on the patient leads to finding answers and coming up with solutions. He has patents on things he has created as part of being a spinal surgeon. It has given him opportunities to also teach at national conferences as well. He says he hopes people in the valley know of his expertise and his commitment to helping reach good outcomes for you.